Posts Tagged ‘zero VOC’

The Office Stripes

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Posted by Rebecca, February 21st, 2011

If you follow me on Twitter, you know what I was up to this weekend. Never have I thought of an idea on a Wednesday, blogged about it on a Thursday, started it on a Friday and finished it (mostly) on a Saturday.

Needless to say, we were a little spontaneous this weekend and decided to do this…

The temperatures were in the high 60s here on Friday, so Mike and I planned to take the afternoon off from work to do something fun. At 11:50, we still didn’t know what that was and we had an email exchange that went something like this..

Me: What do you want to do today? NYC, beach, stay local, find some waterfalls, Ikea, couch shopping, outlet shopping?

Mike: I don’t care, it’s your choice

Me: You know if it was up to me we’d paint the office

Mike: I’m game.

We did grab some lunch and take our time to relax, but by 4:00, it had begun.

I decided to go with my beloved Smoked Oyster by Benjamin Moore color matched to Olympic’s no VOC paint. We chose one shade more gray and one shade lighter, Benjamin Moore’s Silver Fox, for our lighter stripe since the colors below Smoked Oyster on the swatch appeared lavender. We also color matched that to Olympic. We brought it home and started putting our “lighter” color on the walls and ceiling…

Holy dark! We also painted the ceiling this “lighter” color and yes for a little bit, we were completely panicked. I think the color match was slightly darker and a little more purple than the Silver Fox appeared on paper. After painting this, I knew we couldn’t go with the darker, even more purple Smoked Oyster for the stripes. Luckily I picked up some testers for our bedroom and tried out Olympic’s Silver Dollar and Gray Ghost on the wall. Silver Dollar was the exact same color as Benjamin Moore’s Silver Fox (funny huh?) so we decided to go with the much lighter Gray Ghost, which was just one color below our darker one on the swatch.

The original, darker Smoked Oyster we were going to do for the stripe is on the right. The Gray Ghost, our new choice, looks white in this picture.

By around 8pm on Friday, our office was all painted, ceilings and walls.

The ceilings actually look higher now that they’re darker! I love a painted ceiling. I know not everyone understands it, but they don’t call it the 5th wall of the room for nothing! ๐Ÿ™‚

We loved the way this color looked. We loved the drama of it and were a little nervous going with such a light stripe. But by Saturday morning, we had already gone to Lowe’s to pick up a gallon of our new stripe color and were hard at work taping out some lines.

Our ceilings are 9 feet tall, so to keep things simple, we did twelve 9-inch stripes. We are planning on adding crown molding to this room at some point, so I just measured from floor to ceiling. Our top stripe will eventually be cut in half or so by crown molding and our bottom stripe is currently cut in half by our baseboards. I didn’t want to try to estimate the width of our future crown molding, or have to live with a too large top stripe for years if we don’t install it right away.

As for measuring method, I know there are a lot of tutorials out there. We had a plan, but we didn’t stick to it. In the end we went with what worked for us. Mike ended up doing all of the taping. He said I was too neurotic and taking too long, though he wasn’t much better with the OCD. But thank goodness for him, he did such an amazing job, never once lost his patience and kept at it for hours and hours. Such a keeper!

Here is how we measured:

1. We started at the top and measured 9 inches down from the ceiling and made a mark about every foot or so across.

2. We then took a level, lined up the marks until they were level and drew a line with a pencil to connect themย (usually about 3 feet long at a time, see photo above)

3. We lined the tape up to that line and stuck it to the wall

I did a lot of research before striping to make sure we’d get the best result possible. We took every single recommendation and precaution ever listed on the internet.

Extra steps for clean lines:

1. We used Frog Tape (and loads of it, about 50 feet!)

2. We flattened any bubbles in the tape with a credit card

3. We brushed some of the base color over the tape to “seal” any potential bleed through points

One thing we were not prepared for was the amount of time it would take to tape stripes. It took us all day Saturday. And by all day, I mean it took us about 10 hours to do. Granted, every single line in our office is perfectly level and 9 inches wide. At one point Mike told me he wished we weren’t such perfectionists, and he’s right, it would have been much faster to just wing it!

By 10pm Saturday night, we were ready to start painting our stripes.

We were nervous about painting over such a dark color. Mike thought we needed primer, but I was worried that multiple coats of paint wouldn’t allow for us to pull of the tape while the paint was still wet. So we took a risk and just put a very thick coat of the Olympic Gray Ghost. We worked fast, doing just one stripe at a time then removing the tape. The reveal part was extremely nerve wrecking.

See that line??? Clean as a whistle!! We were estatic at this point and quickly finished painting the stripes and removing the tape, probably in just a little more than an hour.

We had just a few touch up areas and we’re not sure why. In about 3 spots, the tape actually removed the drywall paper.

Maybe we used a little too much muscle with that credit card method! But these were much easier to fix than bleed through on every line. We just put a layer of spackle on them and sanded them down.

We painted them with a coat of the lighter color yesterday. Today we just re-taped the small area along the line, painted the darker color again and it was good as new!

And now for the before and after shots!

Before:

AFTER!!

Tonight we shampooed the carpet and brought our Expedit bookcase back into the room. We are definitely looking forward to some organizing and accessorizing this room this week! We’re so excited about how this turned out and we’re back on an office kick now ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m sharing this little how-to at the Lettered Cottage’s link party. They also have awesome horizontal stripes so check them out!

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