Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Walkin' on Sunshine

Ah, everything always seems so simple in the beginning, doesn't it? Before the third coat of primer, and the fourth re-application of tape? And the running out of tape? And the incorrect combinations of oil and latex paint, in an attempt to save money? And the yelling at the husband and son that "NOBODY GOES TO THE BATHROOM FOR ANOTHER HOUR!" Ah hahaahhaa haaa HA.

Anyway, it turns out that no, it's not easier to use the natural pattern of the floor, and that yes, stencils would have been a hell of a lot easier. But, after approximately 31 coats and nine hours of my life, there was no turning back.

First, I painted a couple different stripes with primer, just to see which width I preferred. After I decided on the narrower stripe, I marked off those widths down the length of the floor with sharpie.


Then I thought I would "paint" alternating zigzags so they would show through the primer, helping me keep track between coats.

Then I primed over those zigzags. They showed through as I hoped they would.

Then I planned to paint the white zigzags over these primer stripes, tape off the rest, and fill in the empty stripes with a marigold color. But using a brush wasn't giving me the smooth result I wanted, so I did the thing I'd been trying to avoid the whole time: taping everything off.

At this point, I was so hunched over from putting down tape that I looked like this:

And because of that, and because I was honestly loving the Painters Tape Blue with the white, I suggested that we just polyurethane over the floor as-is and be done with it. But I couldn't convince anyone else of this. (Will someone else paint their floor blue and white for me? Because I really, seriously love it.)

Then, nine hundred more coats of white (which messed up my pretty blue chevrons). In an effort to save money, I used some semi-gloss latex that we already had--Behr Elegant White. This is what's on all the trim in our house.


Then MORE taping (and my second tearful apology to my husband for "always messing with everything like this. But I just want things to be pretty."

And three coats of yellow paint, FOUR rolls of painters tape, and countless leaps from our bedroom doorway to the vent cover to the bathroom door later, I'm done. Kind  of.



I have lots of touching up to do, I need to paint that return vent white (I think?), I need to coat the whole mess with a layer of polyacrylic or polyurethane or something, AND I need to put quarter round trim on. But the hallway is already so much lighter, brighter, and happier.

And now for some good ol' before-and-after (well, before and during?) action.

I'm also hoping to get a real, non-prison-issue light fixture and hang some photos and artwork, but let's remember that this part took me a year (well, eight years since we bought the house), so let's be realistic.
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18 comments:

Kara said...

I think it was worth the effort. Looks great. I'd never ever have enough patience for this so more power to ya.

Catharine said...

Holy awesomeness, this floor looks so freaking good! I wish I had lame flooring to paint a chevron pattern on but sadly I have wall to wall carpet. Boo. Yay apartment living. I'll just live vicariously through you!

Oh and this was totally worth all of the effort, it seriously looks amazing!

xo Catharine @ Your Modern Couple

Sara said...

Made my way over from YHL. You must have the patience of a saint...awesome job!

Cathy Wall said...

Visiting from YHL also and loving your transformation. I think the chevron pattern is so nice and graphic and was well worth your time and energy!

Cathy @ Room Rx

Sarita said...

Love this! Totally worth the process! :)

Q said...

Stunning! What an impressive job and so much work that really paid off!

Allison said...

It looks awesome! I wish we had a hallway to try this out in!

Susan @ homeroad.net said...

Your floor looks fabulous!! I love how bright it looks. (I'm always messing with something too, he'll get used to it)
Nice work even though it was so time consuming! Be sure to Polycoat really soon!
Susan

Erika said...

Visiting from apartment therapy - I love you and your spaghetti arms. Your floor was worth every bit of effort...please come do my kitchen!

alison@MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Brilliantly done! Lots o' hard work, but it paid off!

Anonymous said...

What material is the flooring? Vinyl? linoleum? Wood parkay? I have been studying up to attempt to paint the vinyl in my kitchen. Did you treat the floor with tsp before painting?

Emily said...

Hi! Thanks so much for all the great comments! The floor was a veneer. I had originally thought it was linoleum, but some of the places where the wax had worn off felt a lot like wood. I think it was two big sheets of veneer. I didn't treat it with TSP, but I used a similar, grease-cutting cleaner (Mean Grean) to eat away at any grime or leftover wax finish from 40 years ago. Then I primed with Kilz 2. I hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

You are so creative! I never would have thought to do that! I love the color scheme as well!

Emily said...

Yes, thanks for answering my questions! Your home is super cute! I'm not sure if I'm as patient and motivated as you are. I might just continue to bitch about my ugly floor for a few more years...

lauralyons said...

I made my way to this post via Apartment Therapy. Your floor transformation looks great! I'd love to hear more about what you coat the floor with, drying time, etc. to keep it looking great.

stephanie @ rani recommends said...

LOVE this floor, the colors and your post! I think I may attempt this on my laundry room floor! I'll let you know how it goes.

flooring Houston said...

That is definitely one way to walk on sunshine, especially after a long hard day. All the effort you put into it is definitely worth it. The output you got is great and I would love to do something similar if I had garnered enough patience. In the meanwhile, I’m just going to admire yours! Thanks for the share!

Anonymous said...

Love the blue but the mustard gives a more retro feel and go's well with the other flooring :)