Monday, August 26, 2013

An ombre wall (guest room progress!)

Hello all! How was your weekend? Oh people…we’re finally getting summer around here and it hurts a bit. Looks like we have another week of high temps and then things get awesome again. I knew it had to happen…and at least now that it’s hot I’m now completely ready for fall. I wasn’t before. ;)

So I’ve had a specific project on my to do list for years – paint the guest room. A fairly simple thing, right? A lot of projects take me forever but this one may win for being on the list the longest. This room was my stepdaughter’s room and our guest room, and I felt sorry for those who would come to stay:

squares of color on wall

I mean…I know.

It was completely adorable for a 13-year-old (we did this when we moved in more than nine years ago), but it was a little much for anyone else. The wall was actually kind of special to us – soon after we moved in she and about five of her friends did all the painting after I had taped off those squares. There was a paint fight, lots of laughs and they had a BLAST.

I got new bedding for the room a couple years ago but still never painted the room:

 

And like most guest rooms this space got the hodge podge furniture that didn’t really work anywhere else in the house.

I’m on a house-wide decluttering rampage right now, and it’s taking forever. I keep getting sidetracked by little (and BIG) projects along the way. That’s how this redo started – with the decluttering and organizing in here I shared a couple weeks ago.

For some reason I couldn’t handle this wall one. more. day. The great thing is, I already had the paint I needed to change up this pastel wall:

blocked paint wall

I bought the paint about six months ago I think? I had a look in mind for those squares. I wanted to try to keep them since I knew if I just painted the wall I’d still see the lines of the squares. And I really didn’t want to mess with sanding it all down – I just went with what I already had. What better time to finish this up then in my no-spend August? I had all the paint tools I needed, so I went after it.

First up – taping. This is what took the longest part:

taping off lines on wall

You can see there how the paint job by the teenagers wasn’t perfect – I never fixed it. ;)

I used my trusty Frogtape and had to tape off each side of the squares – years ago when I did this I used a two inch tape but the thickest Frogtape I had on hand was about 1 1/2 inches.

It took a while because I was trying to tape off just right so I didn’t see any of the old color. I also had to tape it so the new paint would cover the seepage from the tape I used the first time I did it:

taping off paint lines painters tape

Like I said, this took awhile. But it was good, mindless, relaxing work. Sometimes not thinking much is a very good thing. ;)

And then I was ready:

squares with painters tape

Months ago when I picked out the paint I went through a ton of options. Originally I planned to go with a gray in this room but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. This room is SO bright and cheery, and it could certainly take the gray. (Not all grays are dark and dreary.)

I wanted it to be light and pretty. I wanted to work with the bedding too, but the green in that is more of a chartreuse color – not exactly something I want on the walls.

So I went with something that didn’t match just right and I don’t think the world will stop spinning:

light green wall colors

Yes, all of those colors.

I went ombre:

ombre paint wall

Obviously I went darkest (Pond Reed) on the bottom and moved up. All of the colors are from Porter Paints (I had them mixed them in a cheaper paint):

ombre squares on wall

(See the story of that nightstand-from-the-trash here.)

I REALLY love it. Keep in mind nothing else is done in the room so you are seeing this way in between, but I like sharing progress as it happens.

The rest of the room got painted as well, but first I had to remove my horrible trim idea from years back: removing trim from wall

I was trying to do an easy crown molding look all those years ago, and it FAILED.  I’ve learned a few things over the years -- one, don’t use two inch nails to install trim. Two, don’t use Liquid Nails, ever. Ever, ever, ever. Did I mention ever? Unless you are SURE you will never change your mind. 3. Thin, inexpensive molding doesn’t look like crown molding, no matter how hard I try. Ever.

I just painted over the glue for now but I’ll have to do crown or something to cover it up later. Nice.

I painted the rest of the room the lightest color on the ombre wall, Dew White:

dew white porter paint

Here’s another tip – covering blue walls with a light paint will take two coats. Get enough paint. ;) I didn’t and will need to get more to finish up a couple of the smaller walls.

There’s lots left to do in here, obviously. Drapes for sure and paint the old dresser:

dew white porter paint

The nightstand that matches that dresser got a redo a few weeks ago.

The room as is is very…dewy. :) But drapes and art and accessories will help to tone that down a little. Thing is – I probably wouldn't use this color elsewhere in the house, but it’s just so dang pretty and light in there. I fall in love with it more every time I go in that room. 

I’ve had this little garage sale chair forever, and I don’t know why but I love it:

ombre squares on wall

Well, the shape of it I love. Not the 70’s fabric. I was sitting there yesterday thinking I could totally recover this myself. I have totally lost my mind. I’ve done it before and said never again.

That little foot stool thing won’t stay, it’s just here till I figure out what to do with it cause I love it. I’ll also DIY a simple headboard at some point too.

My list is long but at least I finally painted!! HUGE project done. Even if I get nothing else done in here for awhile it looks SO much better:

ombre paint wall

My plan is to still add some dark gray/black in here to play off the light green and black combo that I love. It will also be some nice contrast. I think it’s such a fresh look and I hope I can make it work.

Can you believe I finally got this done? THIS is why I need to do no-spend months every year. I’m getting so much done. I do have a short list of things I can’t wait to go out and buy on September 1st though. Is this month taking longer than most or is it just me? ;)

53 comments:

  1. What a fun update. So soothing.

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  2. Just wonderful! Great job, hombre!

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  3. i love this! i usually am not a fan of ombre, but you have made me such a fan! i just went from thinking about how i don't really like it to thinking, i might want to do this myself! so lovely!

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  4. I love the colors you chose. Well done!

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  5. That's a very pretty and subtle update! About four-years ago I did a similarly styled wall in my first dorm room by just adhering scrapbook paper squares. :)

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  6. I am in love with this room!! The colors are perfect with the bedding! Great job :)

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  7. It really turned out super pretty, I like how subtle it is!!

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  8. I love the colors! It is so beautiful and feels so relaxing. Great job!

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  9. Oh my goodness, I am obsessed with ombre. This is so creative!! LOVE. IT.

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  10. This is such an amazing CALMING color! Beautiful! Love the update!-aimee

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  11. Sarah, This is one of your most clever ideas yet! Love it. Cheers to your accomplishments!

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  12. Wow that wall looks amazing! I really like the color choice. So refreshing and relaxing!

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  13. The wall looks awesome! It's cool that you kept the idea of the squares since the wall was special to you guys. :)

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  14. That looks awesome.....and I might be crazy, but I actually think that chair is perfect in there. I wouldn't recover it. I think it adds the perfect vintage and eclectic accent to your room. My vote: keep it the way it is! (The more I think about it, the more I think it's probably just because my grandpa had a rocking chair in that same fabric that he always sat in, smoked his pipe, and listed to jazz music.....I still vote "keep", none the less!)

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  15. Your wall turned out great. I really think those colors make it so relaxing and calming. I'm sure it will be hard for guests to leave now. :)

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  16. I love the ombre wall. I can see why you like the room so much. It is so light, airy, and inviting. I've seen other ombre walls, but this version with the squares is sophisticated. Even when the ombre look goes out of style this wall will still work because it's more classy than trendy!

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  17. Gorgeous and refreshing Sarah!!! Love it a lot!

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  18. Beautiful job Sarah. I love how crisp and geometrical the squares are but with such soothing colors. Lovely contrast to your redone bedside table. I am just about to start my bedside tables makeovers, I think I just got the inspiration to get it done! Thanks!

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  19. It's just lovely, Sarah! What a major change. Beautiful!~~Angela

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  20. Great colors Sarah. I had a similar wall treatment on my daughter's bedroom wall years ago and it took a long time to do. She loved it but it was hard work. We moved out before we could paint over it. We took lots of pictures though.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Kristi

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  21. I love the wall! What a great idea for a bucket of paint. Can't wait to see how you finish off the room - I know it will be great.

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  22. Love it both ways. It went from girly fun to spa chic! Your bedding is really pretty. I have two pups with me at night and use quilts and old blankets. I envy a pretty room like this one. Great job!!

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  23. Love it both ways. It went from girly fun to spa chic! Your bedding is really pretty. I have two pups with me at night and use quilts and old blankets. I envy a pretty room like this one. Great job!!

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  24. I love that transformation! And besides the creative and practical reasons for keeping the grid, its a great nod to your now-young-woman s-daughter! I LOVE how it turned out. I, personally, am not big on ombre but I definately think this is awesome, probably because OF the grid!

    I wonder if that fabric can be painted. I've seen lots of tips on Pinterest. What do you have to lose, right?

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  25. This wall is really special. I like it!

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  26. I love the changes! It looks so calm and refreshing! I'm sure your guests will absolutely love it! :)

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  27. Great job! It looks beautiful and relaxing.
    Something I learned this year... the colors on the paint chips are not just lighter/darker versions of the same color. For example - your darkest is Pond Reed. The Milan Green above it is not just a lighter version of Pond Reed - it's actually a completely different formula that coordinates. If you want to go lighter than Milan Green you would have to ask them to mix it and then lighten it by 25%/50% etc... I had no idea that's how paint cards worked. Just thought I'd share.

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  28. Wow...do you ever run out of ideas?! That looks great!!

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  29. Beautiful work! I love how it's such a subtle ombre, each square looks just a shade different from the next. Pairs perfectly with the nightstand and lamp, the combination of a pretty green with shades of black, white, and gray always manages to look clean and fresh. Your guests are lucky to sleep in such a pretty room :)

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  30. Oh my goodness! I thought you had taken a picture from another source! Looks great.

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  31. Jaw dropping update. I have to admit, when you said you were sticking with the square design, I couldn't picture it but OH MY that wall is gorgeous. I hope I will use this as inspiration! BTW, you are awesome! :)

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  32. Beautifully done. I love everything about it. Very nice!!!

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  33. it looks so great, Sarah!! Great reuse of the squares. And I am in love with that chair, too. The fabric doesn't even seem that bad covered by those pillows. Don't worry about that project until next year. :)

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  34. Ok, this is seriously my favorite ombre project ever. I looove it. I don't think I could ever get it taped off like that, especially trying to stay in previous lines. Yes, I'm tape challenged.

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  35. So clever! I love your unique take on ombre ~ such a great custom look, Sarah!

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  36. Love the color of the walls with the bedding. I also like the black nightstand with those colors too. Great job! You have so much patience. I don't know if I could re-tape all those squares. The effort and time were totally worth it though 'cause it looks beautiful!

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  37. That is beautiful! I love how calming it looks. Now; come on over and do this in my house :) It was worth a shot right?

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  38. Wow! I love the colors and the geometric approach to an ombre finish. Just wow!!

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  39. That green wall is absolutely gorgeous. LOVE it!

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  40. One of the few times I like the before and after pictures equally. Love the story behind the pastel block wall....I can see the girls laughing and painting. Love the green ombre wall, glad you recycled the blocks.
    Thanks for fixing replies so I can post this. Martha

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  41. It's such a beautiful guest room, though it looked pretty awesome as your step-daughter's room too. I'd never thought of ombre squares, but may just give it a go. I'll be sure to link back to your blog and give you full credit if I do!

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  42. This is sooo beautiful! Splendid idea. I am in love with those squares. I am so glad I found your blog, will be one of my fave reads from now on.

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  43. I really like how this turned out! Totally a place I'd take a nap. :)

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  44. Absolutely love the ombre wall and the colors you chose!!!

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  45. That is such a great idea! Love the colors you picked!

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  46. That is such a great idea for an ombre wall! Love it!

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  47. Great wall - what paint company did you use?

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  48. My jaw actually dropped a little and I gasped when I saw what you ended up doing with the wall. It looks so intentional! Like that was exactly what you had in mind from the beginning. Beautiful and original.

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