Painting my dining room

I’ve wanted to re-paint my dining room for quite some time. I debated about colors for a few months. I considered doing something dramatic like a bright fuchsia or tropical blue. I thought about going with pale walls with an orange accent wall. I considered waiting and splurging on some amazing wallpaper. But none of those options felt quite right.

Ultimately, I decided to paint the walls a medium gray. (I posted about this color choice here.) In summary, I love gray because it is a complicated neutral that highlights other colors beautifully. It also contrasts with my otherwise warm goldeny furniture and floors.

Over the holiday break, my husband and I finally took the plunge. I had decided on Silver Fox by Benjamin Moore, primarily from researching grays online and playing with the color simulator on the Ben Moore website. I was worried it would be too drab and not blue enough, but I couldn’t find anything else that was quite right. Turns out, I am so glad I went with Silver Fox. In fact, I may paint my entire downstairs this color soon.

Here are the steps I followed to paint the dining room. It took a full day, sun up to sun down.

First we moved everything out of the dining room and into the living room. I placed all the books on the big chair and kept them in the order they were already in so that, when it came time to put them back, I wouldn’t have to make any decisions.

Then I cleaned the dining room. I dusted the corners between the walls and ceiling with a Swiffer, and then ran the Swiffer over the floor. I also wiped down the baseboards with a damp rag and some mild cleaner to get rid of all the dust.

We placed towels under the sideboard and slid it away from the wall. Then I covered it in paper. Next, I meticulously taped the woodwork around the floors, ceiling, windows, and doorways with painter’s tape. I don’t rely on the tape (because paint can leak underneath it) but I do consider it a guide and a safeguard. More on this in a moment.

Unfortunately I used cheap tape that I found on discount and it didn’t stick very well. We had to keep pushing it down. On the other hand, it did come off the molding quite easily when we were all done, so that was good.

At this point, the Mr. went to the paint store and bought one gallon of Ben Moore Eco Spec paint in eggshell finish. In the past, I’ve always chosen a matte finish for walls, but the guys at the paint store talked me out of it a few weeks ago. The Mr. and I were certain we would need a second gallon, but we thought we’d at least see how far one gallon got us. We live so close to the paint store it would be easy to make a second run if necessary.

Next, we carefully painted in the corners, along the ceiling, around the window and door frames, and along the baseboard with angled brushes. The trick is to use the tape as a guide, but not rely on the tape to keep drippy paint off the woodwork. You still have to be really careful. I only allowed the brush to overlap the tape when it was fairly dry and had hardly any paint on it.

And yes, that is my Christmas tree covered in a sheet in the above photo. A tip: don’t paint when your Christmas tree is still up! It just adds an unnecessary complication, trust me.

I actually left the screws in the wall that hold my painting because I knew I’d be returning the artwork to the same spot. You can see in the photo above that I just painted over the screws.

After all the corners and edges were dry, we rolled one layer of paint on with rollers. We let that dry, and then did a second coat around the edges and a second coat with the rollers.

This paint is amazing. We only needed one gallon! We were so glad we didn’t purchase two. Also, it had virtually no odor at all. I cracked one window for 15 minutes, but otherwise we didn’t need any fresh air.

The final result is lovely, if I do say so myself. I am so happy with the room now. I’ll post all the final “after” pictures tomorrow, so stay tuned…

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