Ever since I can remember, I’ve held the belief that every kitchen should be green. To be honest, I’m not really sure why I think this way. Maybe because it’s my favorite color. The psychology of color says that green rooms offer tranquility and health. Calm, quiet, soothing. Who wouldn’t see the appeal in that? Thinking back, I remember seeing a picture in one of my Mom’s Country Living magazines. It was set in this adorable little cottage in the middle of some woods. The kitchen had green walls, white cabinets, hardwood floors. It looked perfect.
Since then, I’ve always wanted a green kitchen for myself. So consequently, that’s the first project I gave myself for our new house. When we first moved in, all the walls were the same color from when the house was first built. As much as I love a good beige, it’s important for me to have some personality flow throughout the house. And for our kitchen, green was the natural choice.
Before I was able to brush the first stroke of paint on our kitchen walls, I spent weeks pouring over paint samples. I taped them up on the wall, making our kitchen temporarily look like a green mosaic. Finally, I landed on the final two: Willow Run and Martinique Dawn — both of which I was told sound like retirement homes. Nevertheless (and after a round of Facebook polling) I landed on Willow Run (pictured on the right side of the wall.) It’s a bit darker than Martinique and definitely has a less limey look. It fit exactly what I wanted — a nice sage green with a bit of lightness to it. And after a few trips to our local Home Depot (paint brushes, blue tape and a ladder), I was set.
Contrary to what my boyfriend believes, I have never fully painted a whole room by myself before. I tried painting my bedroom once when I lived with my parents and was able to tackle a layer before I let my Dad take over with the second and trim. So not only is this my first DIY house project but also my first paint job. Since this was a huge first for me, I’d like to point out a few things I’ve learned about painting an entire room.
1. Blue Painter’s tape is tedious but helpful. My parents always painted the trim without any buffer between the crown molding, windows or doors. I think because they paint everything some off-shade of white so you really can’t tell if some paint gets on the trim. However, I am neither that skilled nor using anything close to resembling white so the Blue Painter’s tape went up. It took about an hour and I used up the whole roll, but it’s well worth it over worrying about ruining my white trim with green paint.
2. Make sure your primer is included in the paint. My Mom told me this before I even thought about painting. It’s much more convenient than buying a primer and painting with it before you start on the main color. At first, I think it made the paint blotchy when I painted, but no worries. Once it dries, the color definitely has a more finished, clean look. Home Depot will mix primers in whatever paint you purchase, no matter the brand. Also, I made sure to get a satin finish incorporated into the paint to make it easier to clean in the future.
3. Painting matts are your friends — you can never have too many. Purchase as many of these as you can and move out all the furniture so you can lay them down everywhere. Because believe me, you will get paint everywhere if you’re not careful. I eventually dropped some paint on one of these matts, stepped in it with my socks and ended up dragging around wet paint all over the floor. Which brings me to my next piece of advice:
4. Always check the bottom of your feet before walking around, especially on uncovered floors. This speaks for itself.
5. If you’re afraid of heights, this DIY project may not be for you. Painting near the ceiling isn’t the most comfortable position to be in, but try painting while standing on countertops. I had a hard time bending over and preventing my head from hitting the ceiling, but it was the only way to get above the cabinets. While I was a bit shaky at first and kept picturing myself falling over, I got used to it by the second coat.
6. While standing above my countertops, I learned way too much info about the life that happens above my cabinets. Bugs, dusts and spiders. It looked like a warzone. I was actually dealing with it quite well until I grabbed at a spider that was still alive. Thankfully I didn’t fall over, but I did scream a little.
7. Keep a hand of wet paper towels on handy for when paint drips onto your trim. It makes it easier to wipe up when the paper towel is wet. Also, it’s important to know your paint is bound to get on something. You can do your best to keep an eye out for it, but it’ll happen. I found my fair share of paint droppings once I finished so make sure you have a paint scrapper to use if necessary. Despite this, I like to think that the imperfections make it more homey and add an extra touch you wouldn’t get with having perfect, clean lines. Also: make sure to keep a gate up for any four-legged companions you have at home. There’s nothing worse than poisoning you dog when he/she licks your freshly painted wall or a cat falls into a bucket of paint (you should always keep the lid on your bucket of paint when not in use anyway.) Winston definitely went through some “creative” measures to keep himself entertained during this process.
8. Back to the Blue Painter’s tape. It may be more difficult than you think to take the tape off once everything’s finished. Pull the tape off slowly and carefully to make sure no extra pieces get stuck on your nicely painted walls.
I don’t think I could be happier with the final product. My Willow Run paint completely transformed the kitchen into a much brighter atmosphere. Looking into it from the living room, I love the contrast from everything else that is beige about this house. I may not have the white cabinets or hardwood floors, but I think the green goes very well with all the original pieces in the kitchen. I was even able to hang up some pictures of vineyards Jacob’s mom bought when she was in California. I’d definitely say this first DIY paint project was a success story all in all. And on the plus side, Winston was very pleased to not be blocked off from the kitchen anymore.