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When I last left you, every single surface of our room needed to be painted. We saw the progress, but to you it probably looked like a jumbled mess. It needed a 360 degree paint job.

We are singing “Hallelujah!” as this major project is winding down. It has been quite the undertaking. We started from studs (for more on that, click here) and we have not hired a single contractor for this job. It has been done 100% on our own and with the consulting help of my engineer father-in-law.

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Now everything is painted! And I mean EVERYTHING!! The ceiling, trim, walls, and floor all got a few coats of paint. The trim still needs some touch up, but it is coming along.

It’s amazing what a few coats of paint can do, isn’t it?

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To paint the floor, we followed this tutorial from Vintage Revivals.

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For those who like specifics, the floor and wall colors are both by Benjamin Moore and were color matched to other brands of paint (more on that below). The walls are Stonington Gray lightened by 50% in Olympic One paint and the floors are just called Gray 2121-10 in Sherwin Williams Porch & Floor Paint.
Here is the closet! This was before we finished installing the quarter round on the baseboards.

I bought pretty specific formulas for this job. And we used a lot of paint. So…I thought I would share a few of my tips for buying and using paints.

1. For high end colors at lower prices, learn how to color match. 


For months, I saw bloggers reference the term “color match,” and I had no idea what that meant. It all seemed so black and white to me. If you buy Valspar paint, you use Valspar colors from the little kiosk in Lowe’s, right? If you want Benjamin Moore colors, you have to shell out the $50+ per can of paint at a specialty store?

Not true.

I love the selection that Benjamin Moore has in their paint colors. And often times when I look on Pinterest or in a magazine, the colors I fall in love with are Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. I know those high end brands have high end paint quality, but in our current home, I care about coverage and color, but I’m not worried about paint colors lasting 20 years or being the most expensive on the market, so enter the beloved color match. 

So far, my favorite paint to handle is Olympic One from Lowe’s which runs around $25 a gallon. It’s got great coverage and consistency, and of all the brands I have tried, it has been my favorite. The great thing is that Lowe’s has the formulas for all the brands in their system (the same is true of most retailers), so I simply tell them “I would like a gallon of Olympic One in Eggshell color matched to Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore”…or “Sunny Yellow by Valspar” or “Light French Gray by Sherwin Williams” or whatever color I’ve chosen at the moment.

And they mix it up and send me on my way.

The colors may not be 100% as accurate as Benjamin Moore paint, but I haven’t been disappointed yet! Half the price. Done.

2. Lighten up. 

It is hard to find the right shade. So when I find it, I am thrilled. In the case of our basement, I knew Stonington Gray was the right shade.  On the cool side of gray, but it doesn’t lean too purple or too blue. We have LED lights in this room, so the undertones of colors tend to be more vibrant. But, I wanted it to be really light and airy in a room with low ceilings and dark floors.

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Enter, the lightening factor.

I simply had Lowe’s “lighten the color by 50%.” I have done this before, and it works wonders. It is a mixture of 50% white and 50% stonington gray, and it is EXACTLY what I wanted. Don’t feel stuck at one saturation…just tell em to lighten up! Want 75/25? No problem!

3. Use a good angled brush. 

 With a steady hand and a good angled brush, you can avoid using painter’s tape. My favorite brush is this one. 2″ with a short handle. It’s easy to maneuver and makes those edges and corners a synch. 

4. If you must use tape, use the frog. 


Frog tape is awesome for three reasons.
1. It’s green.
2. It’s called frog tape.
3. If you use a wet washcloth and wipe down the tape, you will get the most crisp line you’ve ever seen. That’s a trick I recently learned, and it changed my paint taping life. It’s like a frog sticking it’s little webbed feet on your wall and creating a barrier for the paint.

5. Paint without fear. 

The best part about paint? You can paint over it. If you paint all your walls and realize you don’t like the color, it is fairly easy and inexpensive to try again. Painting is one of the most effective ways to make a big change for a small amount of money.

And in my case, with raw drywall and concrete floors, paint was kinda a necessity.

Up next…more details on our closet.