Our Home Renovation: Painting and Trim

The painters were here ALL DAY, en masse. Five painters with drop cloths and ladders, all scrambling around. It was a circus.

Once everyone left, Jimmy and I went into the den and opened the newly installed exterior doors to the side yard. The deep grey is sophisticated and cozy, but not bright enough for what will essentially be a garden room.


So, we evaluated all of the chosen colors, and the flow, and determined that the lighter shade of grey used for the mud porch picked up the foliage color much better. I had to make that call to our lead painter, Ruben Pena. Bless his heart. They will repaint with the lighter color.

After that ordeal, Jimmy is second-guessing our choice for the kitchen and hallway. That is also a strong grey, and will look marvelous with the white cabinetry, but it may be too strong for the hallway.

The rest of our painting decisions have to do with details, mostly. Our old home has wood trim (lots of wood trim). As is typical of homes of this era, the craftsmen who built these homes would demonstrate their skill in the finish work.

From the very beginning, we wanted to maintain that detail and style.  Our contractor was careful to match the style in the baseboards, door trim, picture railing and bead board. All of this trim work has been painted in high-gloss, Swiss Coffee-colored paint. It contrasts nicely with the deep-toned, matte paint on the walls.

The trick with high gloss trim is that the painting needs to be impeccable. I know this because when we first moved in 15 years ago, I painted the trim myself. My lack of talent in this endeavor shows!

Ruben Pena’s team is painstakingly thorough. First, they took a week just in the preparation of the wood. Ruben chose to spray the paint in order to produce the smoothest finish. All day today, his team held up bright halogen lights to the wood, moving it a different angles to capture any flaws in the application. Then they would break out small brushes to feather and smooth, and prepare for a re-coat of paint.

30_February  7_ Renovation Day_ 109C 30_February  7_ Renovation Day_ 109D

Oh, and we discovered another surprise. After painting the lower half of Jimmy’s closet, the walls started puckering up.

30_February  7_ Renovation Day_ 109EWho would have thought that there was a layer of wallpaper under all that old paint? How many years ago was that done? So, the painters peeled off the paper, revealing the plaster, and prepared for paint...again.

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