Blowing Smoke

Roofing has taken priority over the bathroom, and while I’d love to make progress in there and call it done, I’m waiting for Ben to work on the trim.  While he was on the roof sweating his butt off installing shingles, I decided to get something done.  I looked around the house and decided to finally paint over the red accent wall in the living room.

If there’s one thing I know about my personal decorating sense it’s this: I am not a red person.  In stores, I never gravitate toward anything red.  Not clothes and not home decor.  There’s nothing wrong with red, I just prefer blues and greens.  Heck, I can appreciate orange and yellow, but red?  Notsomuch.

So this red accent wall was on my list.  What spurred this painting session?  For one, I couldn’t stand the red any longer.  Two, I picked a paint color and I could kill two birds with one paint can stone.  Cover the red and test the paint color before painting the entire room only to realize I don’t like it.  And three, it would be easier to paint around the entertainment center before Ben installs the upper shelves.

Even before moving in, I decided I would use Glidden’s Wood Smoke for the main areas.  It was my second choice when I repainted our living room at our first house.  On the sample card, Wood Smoke looked like a medium dark warm grey, just what I wanted.  I could easily wrap the color around to the family room and down the hall.  The boys and I hopped in the car and headed to Home Depot to pick up a gallon of Wood Smoke in a satin finish.  Because we have two little (dirty) boys, I buy satin for the easy wipeability.

We got home and I immediately started painting.  Like I had hoped, the paint covered the red well in one coat, but the nooks in the textured walls called for a second coat.  And here we are now:

You can see I didn’t get rid of all the red.  But that will change soon.  When Ben built the lower cabinet boxes for the entertainment center, he also built two upper shells.  He added backs (which I’ve already painted) so it would have been a waste of time to paint behind that.

When we find the time to remodel the kitchen, most of the wall from the right side of the bookshelf over to the door will go.  Who knows when that will happen, but I’d rather live in a space I like until then instead of staring at the red.

Now that we’ve given the paint a test drive, I’ll have to buy a few more gallons to paint the rest of the room.  Still haven’t figured out how I’m going to paint over the stairs.

And after I paint the living room, I’ll work my way to the family room.

Hopefully I can talk Ben into hauling the painted shells up to see the accent color in action.  Any guesses what color I chose?  Have you been painting this weekend?

19 thoughts on “Blowing Smoke

  1. I painted this weekend!! My office has been a terrible blue (ie purple) color for the past 2 years that I tried to convince myself I liked- but I didn’t. I finally repainted to a pretty tan/grey color- and it looks so much better already!! 🙂

    1. Hi Emily, Isn’t that annoying. You try to convince yourself you like it so you don’t have to repaint, but you just look at it and know you want to change it. been there, done that. Glad it worked for you!


  2. So glad you like your new color. I, like you do not gravitate to red colors but unlike you, grey is another color I do not use. I have SAD and grey is the color that makes me cry the most. Can hardly wait to see your new accent color. I love watching all of your remodeling. Love almost everything you do.

    1. Hi Patty!

      We had tans and beiges in our first house, but I’m wanting something a bit more modern, so gray is a great neutral. But, I think you’ll like the accent color. 🙂 It’s definitely happy.


  3. Hey so you make painting such a large area look quick and easy! Do you tape the ceiling and trim and all that? Or do you freehand it? I love the color BTW.

    1. Hi Meggan!

      This wall was pretty easy. We’ll replace the trim at some point, so I didn’t care too much about it. Maybe that way I can convince Ben we should do it sooner. Haha. I did tape along the crown but that was all. I’m really not looking forward to the stair part. Eek.


  4. I love this gray. Me, I’m a red person, or a warm-color person but I have been toying iwth the idea of painting my new house with grays and blues for the main living areas and I’m nervous because I want to paint a tree on the wall, but I’m not sure that’ll work. I saw an aqua-ish blue that I LOVE and was thinking of making it an accent wall (we have a weird house, the living area is all one big room with a half-cathedral ceiling and then a smaller room off of it that’s open) I’m trying to explore dark brown with gray, but I’m not sure if that works. I love the tv cabine, we have such a huge wall like that to work on (only 3x the height) and for something that big I want to build something that works perfectly for us rather than pay the fortune it’ll cost to buy something that won’t be quite right!

  5. I love the color – so much better than the red. It looks great and so much brighter. When you figure out how to paint above the stairs, please let me know! I am going to paint our entry hall/stairway soon and I can’t figure out how I’m going to do it without killing myself, either.

  6. I had a similar stair situation when we moved into our house & were painting the walls grey as well. It involved 2 ladders, some cinder blocks under the low end, some 1×6 boards as a “platform” across the rungs of the ladders, and minor heart palpitations on my part as my husband balanced up there with the paint roller. Needless to say, no matter what else changes, that wall will probably stay grey forever.

  7. When faced with painting a stairwell (of a slightly different configuration), I hired a professional. He stood on the railing, leaned over the empty space (two stories up), with one hand on the opposite wall, and painted with an extension pole used to paint ceilings. I couldn’t watch, but quickly went to check my insurance policy.

  8. I love the gray! I currently have gray in my downstair area which is the living, dining and “office” area but it reads as lavender and I hate it so I’m getting ready to repaint. I’m leaning towards Moonshine by Benjamin Moore and hope that I get gray instead of purple-gray. Please share what you come up with when you get ready to paint the stair area, I have the same exact problem in reverse. The walls that lead up my stair case are this horrible orangey-yellow-baby poo color and the walls are so high that I can’t reach with a roller and the stairs prevent me from putting a ladder on them.

  9. what are your plans for the trim, balusters and stair rail, windows, etc. I notice they are all natural wood and was wondering if you had plans to paint them? (I did notice that you mentioned replacing the trim above). I have the same wood situation in my house. Every inspiration photo that I come across these days has the same crisp white trim. I’m totally torn on the direction to take and was wondering what the future has in store for you.

    1. Hi Niicoollaa,

      Eventually we’ll replace the trim with beefier pieces. I don’t like how wimpy these are. If you don’t like the wood trim, you could always paint it. Just remember that it’s not going to be easy to go back… Sorry, that’s not much help.


  10. We just painted our bi-level foyer, which is a similar configuration to your stairs — we used a ‘little giant’ type ladder that we borrowed from a carpenter friend. We opened it up to be an extension ladder to cut in at the ceiling, then folded it in half and set it on the stairs themselves, one side of the ladder longer than the other to make the ladder level, and used an extension pole on our roller to get the higher-up areas. It still was a little precarious, even with the super-adjustable ladder, but we got it done. Hope that helps!

  11. Your blog always inspires me! Love to read it, especially your etsy finds and decorating skills!
    I think that the grey is much better! 🙂 I’m not a great red lover to, actually I hate it! And grey is at least a safe option, and easy to combine with all kinds of other non-reds ;-).
    Last week, we’ve painted out living room the same grey color. Before that it was lilac, I really don’t know what got in to me but I once decided to paint it lilac and I had to live with it for two years. 😦
    Today our kitchen got a nice dark teal color which matches the grey and white open shelving with yellow and blue and green kitchen stuff on it!
    Keep up the blogging!

    P.S any plans for the pool? I’m so dying to know!

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