Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Paint-a-Thon Week

If you follow me on Facebook then you probably already know that last week was a mega paint-a-thon for me.  It could also have been called a PAIN-a-thon seeing as I was SO very sore at the end of each day.  I am just not used to all that manual labor.  : )  We packed our kids off to spend a week being spoiled and loved on at their grandparents, and I stocked up on 7 gallons of paint and spent all day everyday working to transform our dreary walls into something brighter and more refreshing to look at.  

I've never really shown pictures of the living room area because it has been so drab and dingy and depressing to look at.  Let's take a look at some of the rarely seen "before" pictures.

This is standing at the edge of the kitchen looking into the living room.  The walls were an awful shade of orange that magically turned yellow in the bright light of day, but then turned almost brown by the time the darkness of night settled in.  That paired with the dark brown trim (that absolutely cut the room off and made it feel so much smaller) made for a depressingly dreary combination.

Notice the beam in the upper right corner of this picture?  I've mentioned this fact before, but I don't know if all of you have really realized it or not, but our home is not actually an old farmhouse.  It is, in fact, a 10 year old doublewide manufactured home.  So this beam overhead is where the two halves of the home came together and are connected.  It had dark trim on both sides that just visually divided the house right in half.

The ceiling in the living room had never received it's coat of paint after we scraped the popcorn off, so we've been living with this splotchy stained look for 4 months now.

This view of the living room is standing in the entryway from the front door looking in.  You can't even see the left side of the living room.

Ah, there it is!  Now we've stepped in a few feet and come around the wall to the left.  More and more orangenish.  My eyes just couldn't handle one.more.second. of it!

And notice where the arrow is pointing?  Whoever painted these walls didn't even take the color all the way to the ceiling!  They just ended wherever their roller could reach I guess.

Here's standing in the living room looking back at the entryway.  Notice the wall on the right side of the picture?

It goes to the weirdest set up for a dining room I think I have ever seen.  This odd 3/4 wall area was technically supposed to be the formal dining room.  Why you ask?  I have no idea.  But I didn't like the idea of the dining room being so separated from the kitchen (as well as being on carpet!) so we made what was really supposed to be the family room into our dining room, and this weird area has just been the "extra" room that we haven't known what to do with.

We've had a couple of ideas of what to do with it, but had never really decided on anything for sure.  But I realized on the first day of my paint-a-thon that the one thing all our ideas had in common all involved the wall being removed.  So when Hubby got home that evening I pleaded my case to him saying that I didn't want to waste precious hours painting those walls and painstakingly cutting in the trim only to have it all torn down later.  It really only made sense to just go ahead and take it out now while the kids were gone and not getting in the way.

And you know what?  Shockingly he agreed to my spur of the moment hair-brained idea!  He got out his sawzall and went to work, and a few days later we were left with this. 

We decided to just take the archways and the corner section of the wall out first and live with that for awhile and then decide if we want to take out the rest of the wall to the right there behind that cabinet.  But already we are liking it SO much better!  It really opened the place up and made it feel huge in there!

My goal for this paint week was only to get the upper trim addressed, I didn't even begin to touch the trim around the doors and windows and along the floor yet.  That'll be for another time.  
(I also have a new front door on my wish list.)

And you can also see that I didn't get to this little alcove yet either.  It still has its dreary orange color.  I had hoped to get get all the upper trim completed during this week, but was only able to get the living room side completely done.  I still need to get the top coat of white gloss on the trim on the other side of the room as well as edge in the tan color under the trim.  But even though I didn't get it completely finished, it's still such a HUGE improvement, dontcha think?

Almost a week later and the dog is still laying in the same spot.  :D  

A couple of you noticed the super chippy coffee table there in front of the couch.  It's a project I've never shown because I've never completed it.  I got it at a thrift store and stripped it of its Holly Hobby style paint job, but then we moved across the country and I've never gotten around to finishing it.  Someday though.

The ceiling finally got its coat of bright white paint and just that by itself brightened up the place so much.  And all that trim took me 4 solid hours of tedious work to caulk, but the results were so worth it.  It all looks seamless and smooth and beautiful now.

I'm actually not crazy about our TV cabinet and I hope to replace it someday.  It came with our bed when we purchased it off of Craigslist, and it was a huge improvement over what we had before, but I'm not in love with it.  It's too slick and modern looking for my taste, plus the black color shows every speck of dust horribly and that doesn't go well with living on a dirt road....as well as my strong aversion to the chore of dusting. 

Here's the view from the entry way now.  You can immediately see the whole space without having to walk in and come past that wall first.  (Notice the shabby state of the back of the loveseat?  It happened when we moved.  Hubby said, "I don't know why you don't like it.  You like everything else to be old and shabby looking so why not the couch too?"  Then he snarkily used my line of, "It just adds to its character.")  :D

Now let's look at some side by side comparisons of all my hard work, shall we?

I shared the above pictures on Facebook and asked if anyone could spot a difference between the two that could give a little clue as to the secret project Hubby and I had suddenly taken on.  There were lots of really observant guesses, but no one got it quite right.  The difference was that the loveseat is sitting further back in the picture on the right because that wall had been removed and we were able to spread the furniture out further.

Notice how the beam now just sort of disappears into the rest of the ceiling?  It's much less obvious and the whole space feels more unified.

Ahhhh....my eyes are rejoicing now that the scuzzy orange sherbet is gone.  It all looks a little bit "vanilla" and boring right now with everything being the same color, but things will improve once I start to get some decor up on the walls.  And later on, if I decide I'm ready for a little more color I can always paint again.  But it's a good start for now and I am ecstatic to have the orange and brown (and all the mystery stains) gone.

So....you might be wondering what in the world we plan to do with the newly opened up "extra" room?  That's a mighty good question, and one I don't quite know the answer to yet.

But I have an idea....a possibility that I'm mulling over.

I'm thinking of turning it into sort of a library area, with "built in" looking bookcases on both sides of the window and a window seat/bench beneath it connecting the two cases.

I had also considered a shelf above the window, but the more I think about it I'm not so sure about that part.  It might be a bit too much.  I also really want to get a piano to place on the wall to the right so my kiddos can start taking lessons.  
(And my free, rescued-from-the-garbage, shutters make an appearance again!  They've been an easy solution for this big window until I figure out what other window treatment I want there.)

Here's a picture I found on Pinterest that has the same idea of what I'm thinking of for this space.  It'll probably be awhile before this can happen though, as I don't really want to build the bookcases over the existing green carpet.  I'd like to have the wood floors in place first, but that will be a good long while before we have the money to do more flooring.

(via Pinterest, but I couldn't find the original source)

All in good time I suppose.  : )

So, besides all the living room and extra room work I did, I also got both of the ceilings and upper trim painted in my kiddos' rooms as well.  All in all it was a very successful paint-a-thon week and I am so pleased with the results.  I'm also very happy to have my children back home with me.  I know they had a blast with their grandparents, but I missed their sweet giggles and cuddly hugs so much!



  1. It really turned out great!!! I love it! I also love your idea of the built-in bookcases on the side of a window seat - gorgeous picture!!

  2. Looks fabulous! What a dramatic difference you have made, you should be proud of everything you accomplished in such a short time.


  3. I,figured out you were in a MH sometime back. Since I do too, I've been watching to see all your projects as mine has many similar features, including that lovely beam right down the middle. I looked at thing and hated it for years. Then, the last time we painted, we did exactly what you just did, and happily, it blends right in with the ceiling now.

    1. I'm happy to have you following along on my MH decorating adventures! I love to see pictures of what other people have done to fix up theirs. I'm doing my best to make ours feel a little less like a "trailer" and more like the old farmhouses I love so much.

  4. It literally is the difference between night & day. You have made such a huge improvement; your ideas for the library area are ingenious as usual.

  5. Everything looks very cheerful now. I love paint it is the great fix. Those built-ins would look really good!

  6. I FINALLY took the time to sit down and enjoy your pictures!! Love the thought of the built in addition!! (You could cut away the carpet in that small section and build in the cabinets and not wait on the floors....) LOVE LOVE all the new paint!!

  7. Love your blog Stephanie! I think we are a lot a like especially when it comes to yard sale-ing and thrifting to furnish our homes piece by piece. I love seeing what you find at yard sales and I really love your bedroom. I love that your blog is so relatable. I think we might be best friends if we lived near each other ! :)

    1. I wish we did live near each other so I could get to know you, that would be so fun! :D

  8. Thank you so much everyone for your very kind comments! I appreciate it.

  9. Well you have been a busy girl!!!!! It's looking so nice and I love your idea for a music/library room. I am a music minister, so that would be my favorite room!!!
    Blessings to you,


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