This is part IV of our living room makeover.
I’ll share my best tips for choosing new paint colors and getting the best products for painting over stained wood trim. It’s a big investment, but it adds tremendous value to your home.
So here’s the story.
Ten years ago, my husband and I discussed painting the wood trim. Ten. Years. Ago. We were recently married, so we were combining furniture and trying to come together on a decorating style. Yes, it took us ten years for me to finally convince him that painting the wood trim would be a good investment in the house.
I get it! Men like wood finishes. And wood finishes cost a lot more to install because builders use a higher grade wood than they use for painted wood trim. So why paint over them?
Here’s the problem. Wood fades over time. And it fades unevenly, because the sun hits different parts of the room. We have large windows in the foyer and the living room, so the sun had seriously faded parts of the room, but not others. The photo below shows how the stairs were a different color than the other foyer trim.
Neutral paint on the walls and soft white trim really brighten up the foyer. The wood tones on the door now match the stairs and handrail.
Another view of the foyer shows the arched entrance to the office. There is a matching arch on the other side that leads to the dining room. These wood arches were actually different colors before we painted the trim. Now the room looks cohesive and updated.
The foyer is open to the living space, and this view shows how the 17 foot window in the space lets in a tremendous amount of light. Light is great, but UV rays are not. The built-ins and the fireplace mantel got a heavy dose of sun fading as well.
Here’s the before photo of the dark trim cabinets and mantel. You can really see how the colors of the wood trim are very different. It’s harder to see in this photo, but the two doors on the left of the built-in are actually several shades lighter than the two doors on the right due to how the sun hits them.
Painting the wood trim makes the room look new again. The lighter wall color is also a breath of fresh air for the room. Sorry for the blurry pic, when you have a nosy German Shepherd, you have to check your lens for doggy licks pretty often. I hurriedly snapped some BEFORE pics as the painters were moving in.
We turned an unused bar cabinet into open shelves by removing the cabinet doors and wine racks.
This is the before picture. GASP! Was it really this dark? The sun had badly faded the wood on the left side of the cabinetry. The wine racks were unused, and the glass cabinets had so purpose.
Here’s the newly painted bar cabinet with the wine rack and glass doors removed. Repurposing this built-in is my favorite part of the room makeover. I look forward to using the shelves for books and meaningful decor pieces.
I used Pinterest for paint color inspiration, but colors take on such a different look in your own spaces. I gave my painter five of my top choices after looking at small paint chips. She put the top five on real drywall boards so that I could move them around the room and see them in different light. This was so helpful, because you can see the true color with several coats over real drywall. Ask your painter to do the same!
I wanted a warm neutral for the walls, and Winter Wheat by Benjamin Moore was the clear choice. It has a touch of gold that makes it feel so warm, but it doesn’t look yellow. I would describe it as creamy and light.
The trim color is White Dove by Benjamin Moore. It is a soft white, not a stark, bright white. It looks great with the traditional architecture of the room.
Find out how to restore a thrift store mirror on this post.
If you have tall ceilings like I do, you know how costly it is to have a room painted. I needed to nail the color choice, because this room isn’t getting painted again for a very long time! At least another 10 years. Or never, if you ask my husband.
To find out how we updated the stain on the stairs, see part III of this series.
The great thing about the brand of paint we chose is that you can touch up the paint without having to paint the entire room. This paint is extremely washable and durable. It’s an interior/exterior enamel called Rust Scat WB Acrylic by Coronado.
If you missed the earlier posts in this series, check out the project details in the links below.
If you are local, these experts are the best!
Thank you Hikes Point Paint and Wallpaper in Louisville, KY. The have the best designers to help with your color choices, and the most knowledgeable paint staff in town.
Thank you, Albrecht Painting. They remodeled the cabinets, repaired drywall, provided expert advice, and delivered a professional paint job.
I’m so glad you visited the blog, and I’m delighted to share my decorating trials and errors with you.