Nothing spruces up a space more than a fresh coat of paint. I don’t always feel like I’m either a great decorator or the most immaculate house keeper, but somehow, painting a room makes me feel like both. Recently, Benjamin Moore sent me one of their ben & ME bags to try out. The timing was perfect, considering the number of months we’ve lived with mud patches and paint swatches on our walls. Besides that, so much of our house hadn’t been painted in 3 years and, with two dogs in the house, the walls were looking a little grubby.
I knew the space that would benefit the most from a coat or two of paint was the dining room area. Much of it had never been painted before. The yellow on the wall was the original paint colour in the house when we bought it and we still had chunks of plain drywall to cover. A couple months ago, when we painted the dark grey of the stair walls, we got a little peak at how big of a change a little paint would be.
Yeah, this space really needed some paint.
And then, there was our living room, a giant scar right through its focal point.
The whole space, dining room and living room combined, was a big job. With Isabel still napping for many hours in the day, and a ben & ME bag in hand, I picked up a roller and got to work.
The ben & ME bag came with pretty much everything I needed. Two gallons of the best paint I’ve ever used, plus 1 quart for the trim, a sleeve roller, a paint brush, a paint tray with a paint tray liner, a drop cloth, a paint can opener, and painters tape. Because some of our trim was brand new, we also had to make use of a couple tubes of caulk in order to close up any gaps and get a nice clean line from trim to wall.
The bag also included a how-to guide, particularly useful for DIYers who have never painted on their own before. It was full of tips, many of which I used in order to get through this huge job.
The ben & ME bag is only available for a limited time (until October 5th) and you are able to get all these contents inside for just $109* at a value of $169. Make sure you get to a Benjamin Moore store to get one for yourself.
Because a number of our walls hadn’t been painted before, tip number 3, preparation, preparation, preparation was especially important. Cracks needed mudding and sanding, and fresh drywall needed at least one coat of primer. We had some cobwebs in our highest corners to sweep down before I picked up a paint brush, and wiping down the trim made painting far smoother.
Tip number 8 was a good reminder before I got started. Splatter happens. And, I’m not the neatest of painters. Keeping a damp cloth close by for drips and droplets that landed on the floor was absolutely crucial. I went through so many damp rags over the four days I spent painting, but my floors are more or less paint splatter free.
Considering the quality of the rollers and brushes in the ben & ME bag, I paid pretty close attention to tip number 14 – Clean ‘Em to Keep ‘Em. With some cheaper materials, I won’t worry about this too much, just tossing the roller sleeve when the project is finished. These ones though, were worth cleaning immediately at the end of the project in order to keep them as immaculate as possible. As for all my leftover paint? I think I might have enough to do my bathroom yet too!
The painting itself took 4 full days. It wasn’t easy, balancing getting paint on the walls and trim, and taking care of Isabel when she needed me. I woke up early, took advantage of her naps, and passed her off to the Husband as soon as he got home in the evening. By the end of the 4 days, I was exhausted and felt like I missed our snuggles and naps, but the house was finished and I was thrilled with the result.
Ready for the reveal?
The pale grey colour I chose went really well with the dark stain of our stairs, our table, and the dresser I brought down from our attic – you know, the one I was using for a diaper changing table. After the patchy yellow that was in this space before, the bright coolness of the grey seems perfect to open up our space and make it feel clean and fresh.
And, the living room?
Here, the grey seemed to go well with the green and orange accessories I already have. I’m looking forward to adding a little more to both spaces to accessorize and emphasize the colour of the walls. Maintaining the same colour from space to space kept everything feeling large and unified. The house feels amazingly fresh, just in time for me to start school and head into my own fresh start. The new paint job just feels good right now, helping me to clear my mind and get in the right headspace to start something new.
It’s amazing how something so simple can have such a high impact.
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