The one thing I wanted to change immediately when we bought the house was the paint colours.
Oh, everyone kept telling us not to rush, it didn't have to be all perfect before we moved in...but. We had three weeks of being able to live in our apartment between when we took possession of the house and when the mortgage came out. So why not?
(not paint, but the view from clearing off my car one morning before work)
Now, don't get me wrong, the colours weren't awful. All the rooms were green except for three mustard yellows. Very country-esque which seemed to suit the previous owners very well. It just wasn't "us".
So we decided on painting every.single.room... and it soon became apparent that I love greys and purples. We went from a green house to a grey house. Ah well. Surprisingly I learned a few things about painting:
- low VOC paint is ridiculously easy to find.
- the darker the tint, the more VOCs will be present, even in low-VOC paint
- I suck at avoiding the ceilings
- paint is expensive
- you can actually smell the difference with low-VOC paint- hardly any paint smell at all!
(our walls in the process from green to grey, along with sprayed banisters!)
Honestly, my father (and several other people) asked if we were crazy, painting "beautiful" oak cabinets that were in such good shape. My response- exactly! They will paint over beautifully since they're in such great condition :)
We considered (ok I considered) doing the painting ourselves, but after hiring professionals I am SO glad we didn't. It would have turned out awful (mostly because I don't have the skill or patience).
(Before spray- what you can't imagine is that the walls were green... we had painted them before the professional painters came)
(The kitchen tonight- lived in, new energy efficient appliances- Andrew is installing the range hood tomorrow... crossing my fingers! and a more funky feel!)
Now it's like we have a brand new kitchen at the fraction of the cost, without any cabinet waste or the energy footprint of having new cabinets made (or purchased). We went with a fabulous local company, Gallagher Paint & Paper (the link takes you to their blog post w pics of our kitchen!) It was quite intensive of a process, they plastic'd off the entire house (both floors) to protect the walls and floors. I'm glad we weren't living here, it would have been messy.
(grainy night photos of our plastic'd off light fixture and entry to kitchen!)
Every evening we would finish work, eat a quick supper in the city and drive out to take a peak at the progress in the evenings. I almost felt like I was in a weird reality home improvement tv show... The primer was a bit strong smelling (not as eco-friendly, but we didn't have much choice there) but the other coats were all low-VOC and hardly off gassed at all. Further, all the paper and plastic used were recycled (since it's the law here in NS, and I saw all his clear recycling bags in our dining room :) ).
Now our kitchen truly feels like "us" and is perfect for all our future Maritime Kitchen Parties :)