Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Accent Wall

The accent wall, pre-paint.

You can't say I'm anything if not determined. Stubborn, some would call it. As soon as non-Super gave me permission to paint, I hijacked my lunch break and headed down the Benjamin Moore store on Spring Street and picked up a sample of stem green.

After work I raced home and tried a sample spot. Though the green came out a little bit darker on my wall than in the chip sample, I still loved it. Stem green it is! With spring coming I need a little bit of the outdoors in. The next day I was back at the Benjamin Moore store for a gallon in semi-gloss. A gallon was way more than I thought I needed. Better to be safe than sorry.

Next, I called in a solid you owe me. P had painted several rooms in my Norwalk house and seemed to know what he was doing. Good enough for me! Plus I love hanging out with him. It's a true East Coast relationship -- we spend half the time loving and half the time arguing with each other.

I met P at Grand Central on Saturday and then we 6'ed it back up to my apartment. He had sent me prep instructions earlier in the week. I'd gotten a dropcloth and painting tape, along with 2-extending arm rollers. He came prepared as well. More tape, a special non-tip tray, and rags. After the obligatory teasing about the size of my apartment, we started taping. We agreed that he would do all the cutting (using a paintbrush on the edges of the wall) and I would do the rolling.

P tapes. It was tight quarters.

We had to do some furniture shifting. In a 300-sq. foot apartment there's not a lot room to maneuver but we managed to make enough space to paint. Getting the ladder in was another story.

My ceilings are probably about 12' high, so it wasn't like a stepladder would do. Luckily, my building super keeps a stepladder on my backyard. P got it in the door OK but then looked at the space between the wall and my bed and realized there was no way he could open the ladder up. Instead, he risked injury by leaning the ladder against the wall and carefully scaling it. Ever the doting assistant, I held up the paint tray so he wouldn't have to mess with his balance while cutting. Somehow, it worked.

We decided we didn't need to prime because the walls were painted eggshell right before I moved in. P worked on cutting around the radiator while I rolled. By the end of the first coat I had a nickname -- reckless roller. It may have been well deserved. Since I was just doing an accent wall I had to be careful near the other walls. I'd also picked the one wall with a window and the kitchen entry. A couple of times my roller may have accidentally gotten into the white trim. It got to be pretty funny. I'd say oops and P would look at me accusingly before grabbing the Windex and rag to clean up. He told me I was being rambunctious. I was just having fun.

All told, the taping and the first coat took about an hour. I was pleasantly surprised that the smell wasn't too bad. I guess I'm used to latex paint, which stinks to high heaven. We headed out to lunch despite the pouring rain. I'm sure we must have been quite the sight -- we'd attacked each other with brushes a few times.

We waited another hour before doing the second coat. The first coat had dried like the sample box -- a bit darker than the color chip. P told me not to worry and he was right. The second coat was much brighter. The paint coverage was excellent. Two coats was all we needed.

I headed back to Norwalk with P so the wall could dry in peace. When I returned on Sunday I was thrilled with the outcome.

The accent wall, post-paint.

The image in the Pottery Barn catalog made the color look lighter, but it's got a very pleasant tone to it. I keep my apartment lights slightly dimmed which makes the color look like fresh spring grass. But with direct light on it it takes on a much lighter look. It's multi-tonal.

I was excited that the color reflects
off my bathroom mirror.

My main concern was that painting one wall would make my apartment look smaller. I'm happy to say I really don't notice a difference. Also, the green makes me happy. I couldn't be more pleased with the end result.

The final result.

I've nicknamed this end of my apartment Pottery Barn corner. The art piece, my bedding and now the wall color are from there. It's a nice focal point when guests arrive and it makes me feel like an adult. It's another part of settling in.

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