Dark and Dingy to Bright and Beautiful

The next step of painting in the hallway is getting all the trim done. That means 6 doorways and the baseboard. And the trim is kind of fucked

Clearly lots of work needs to be done before this is at all paintable.

First up came the scraping. This has all most likely been painted pre-70s so we're sure there much be lead paint in there somewhere so we made sure Zoe wasn't around while I got started scraping things. 45 minutes gave me this

I moved around all 6 doors and scraped off a lot of peeling paint. But the trim still looked like shit. We knew things wouldn't be able to get perfect before we painted, but we didn't want paint peeling so we decided to sand. Our Festool sander hooked up to the vacuum is EPA rated for sanding off lead paint. Chris brought it into the hallway (again when Zoe wasn't around just to be safe) and sanded down the really problematic areas. When he was done the trim looked like this

It's not perfect, but it's a lot better. Really the only way you can make a new paint job look better is by sanding down to bare wood it seems, and well, we don't really have the patience for that. Chris had feathered out a decent amount though so we thought the new paint would go over well without it looking too much like crap :)

The last step before painting was installing the trim around the closet opening. This opening isn't original to the house because it was trimmed out really weird and we could see evidence of previous framing jobs inside the closet. I wish we had an original blueprint to the house so we could see what this closet space looked like originally. To make it look original though we wanted to trim it out with the curved trim. We had some leftover original trim, but we only had one curved corner piece. The only problem is the trim we buy new to look like this old trim is slightly larger, so it's not a perfect match. Chris had to use the jigsaw to cut the curve down a bit and I think he did a pretty good job considering the only way to get a perfect match would be to mill our own

Once the trim around the closet was done it was time for Zoe and I to come in and prime and paint everything. I was REALLY excited for this step because the trim paint in here is an awful yellow/beige color, just like the crown. Not pretty. But as soon as that primer started going on, it was magic

And after the color coat went on things looked even brighter

It was just too exciting to not jump right in and paint the walls. So that's just what I did one morning before going to work and before Chris woke up :)

You can barely see it, but I started the cut-ins along the door frame and baseboard. We went with a very light gray/blue (Glidden's Shaded Ice) in a Satin finish. I got all the low cut-ins done before I made breakfast

And after I got home from work this is what Chris had done

Just beautiful. I love the lightness of the hallway now. It felt so dark and dingy and depressing. Now it's a brighter, cleaner space. Last things left to do: hang artwork, sew the curtain "door" for the closet and put things in the corner cabinet. I smell the finish line. And a lot of things checked off the list :)


Samantha said...

Love it, Meryl!

I have a couple questions: how high are your ceilings? ours are 8', which seems too low to put crown molding up, but i really like how yours looks. also what year (and style) was your house built in? We bought a house last year in Somerville, MA, and the trim is exactly like what I see in almost all the houses here (rosettes at the corners), but I love your rounded corner trim. I'm trying to decide if it would work in our place. There's no real obvious style--just "conventional" from the 1920s.


LifeBegins@Thirty said...

AHH!! Such a great transformation. Funny how trim seems usually like an afterthought but makes such a big difference. Great job!

meryl rose said...

Hi Samantha! Our ceilings are a little bit over 8 feet at 8'4". I think crown would look great for 8' ceilings too, it really adds a lot. Ours are actually set just below the ceiling, so it leaves a little gap. It's a nice little added element. Our home was built in 1926 and is called a Storybook home

I haven't found our rounded trim online, but there's a local hardware store here in Oakland called Economy lumber that carries it. They might be able to help you!

AZ DIY Guy said...

Looks great. I really like the look, especially that cool corner cabinet.

Samantha said...

Thanks for the info and the link!

Heather said...

I can't believe you paint before breakfast. I mean, I've met you so I believe it, but . . . you two are the good kind of nerds is what I'm saying.

meryl rose said...


And Heather - "good kind of nerds"... I love it! :)