Monday, December 27, 2010

Home Addition: We like orange, part two.

We hired the painting done way back in October, but not until the holidays did I get a chance on long airplane rides and while waiting in airports to get caught up with some pictures. 

The first step was for us to pick out the paint colors.  We had a pumpkin color in mind for the kitchen and new main floor room.  We tried four different shades and even had the Sherwin Williams guy try to “make” us a shade before, under the advice of our designer friend Rhonda, we went back to our first try, "Tigereye".

The bedroom upstairs was harder.  I wanted a neutral color because we have a vaulted ceiling and I really don't want to have to paint again soon.  We started with these three samples.

But none of them really excited us, so we got a few more samples.

After two weeks we were up to nine (9!) different colors.   

Finally, again on advice from Rhonda, I put up another coat of one of the first three we picked out and we decided that although it was basically tan (read: boring) it looked the best with the trim, the stone for the fireplace, and the hickory flooring, and would allow natural light to bounce around the room.  "Colony Buff" it is.

Then there was the bathroom.  All I wanted was something neutral that wouldn't clash with the travertine, limestone, and pebble tiles.  Before Drew knew it, I was up to eight (8!) samples in the bathroom.  Good grief.   

None of the greenish or peachish shades we thought looked good with the tile samples did anything for us when we put the samples on the wall, so we ended up going with a darker shade of the ceiling and trim paint, "Dover White".   We'll have to add pops of color with the accessories. 

The painters spent days and days preparing the trim for paint,

 during which time Drew painted the laundry closet,

and meanwhile we were hurrying to get all the trim up that was to be painted.  About a week before this stage, the general contractor (GC) ripped off the 2x4s that were being used as temporary stair treads and put down the oak treads. It was then that Drew and I noticed that the upper flight of stairs seemed to be out of level. The GC said "no problem, that's an easy fix" and he would be out the next day to fix them. A week later, as the painters were closing in on spray day, GC came to fix them.  It was then that he and I realized that the rise and run among all the stairs was not equal.  Not only is this very annoying and a trip hazard, as you no doubt have noticed if you've ever walked up or down a flight of stairs that is uneven, but some of the steps were outside the 3/8th of an inch difference allowed by code between the rise of each stair. By a long way, like, by over an inch! So all 23 treads had to be ripped off, shimmed up, re-glued, and nailed down again by the GC.

This all happened on the same day the painter told us that he couldn't make the risers look good because the joints between the risers and stringers were not tight enough (even though we had asked him numerous times about that very thing), so we had a high-priced, last-minute carpenter there tacking up trim strips to cover the joints.  That was a bad, bad day.  We were angry with the GC for screwing up the stairs in the first place, panicking to design and source materials for the decorative trim before the painters got that far, we knew it was costing us more than it had to, and we were starting to worry about the quality of the GC's work if he had screwed up something as important and code-stringent as the stairs. 

But the day passed and soon we had primer on the walls.

And in a couple of days we had color!

 See, we love orange!

The upstairs tan color turned out great.

And brown glaze on the textured accent wall brings some visual interest to the wall that will be behind the bed. 

The bathroom white turned out fine and doesn’t take away from the fabulous tile, but apparently I did not find it picture worthy.

I am more or less happy with the way the paint turned out, but I was never so happy to see a contractor leave. Not only did the painter mis-quote us and ask for more money, he was annoying and just plain rubbed me the wrong way.  We got to the point where Drew was the only one allowed to deal with him because I could no longer hide my irritation. If anyone needs a painter, I know who not to recommend.

Anyway, paint is up and the next post will highlight the trim work.


  1. Wow Lucy, this is a huge project. I can't believe the GC messed up the stairs! That was a major bad day. - Heather

  2. I ditto what Heather said. BTW, you were so smart to do the color samples on the walls. How a color looks depends so much on the light in a room. Despite the rocky road in getting there, all looks beautiful. Very beautiful.

  3. HHH, this project is too huge! The stairs fiasco was not as bad as the drywallers sheetrocking the blower moters, in their cardboard boxes, inside the fireplace cavity. We could have died.
    Sam, I got a little carried away with the samples. Need any semi-neutral color samples?