Chugga chugga Chugga chugga CHOOO CHOOOO!!!! Sorry couldn’t help myself LOL. :)

My initial plan for the bedroom was to have a dark gray accent wall with light gray side walls. I really liked the mock up I did and so did our friends and family.  We went to Home Depot and purchased a few different samples of Glidden paint.  All I can say is paint color looks WAY different on the walls than it does on the sample card or online.

Here is the room mock up I created using Glidden’s website to paint the walls and then I used PhotoShop-ed in add the bedding and my photo from Mexico:

The silver dust color on the side walls turned out to look super purple in the room.  The Seal Gray was pretty, but just not what I was looking for.  I’m not sure what the lighter gray/silver color is on the wall (in the picture below), because the husband chose it at random and we have since thrown the paint card and sample away.  Sorry for the horrible picture. This is what I get for using my old crappy camera.

Feeling discouraged that my gray accent wall wasn’t turning out as I had hoped a friend offered to help us narrow down color choices.  We got a gray duvet cover for our wedding and considering it is the ONLY duvet cover we have agreed upon in 2 years we weren’t willing to part with it.  Therefore the bedroom color had to compliment gray. Lucky for us gray is pretty neutral! Our friend suggested we do a red wall instead of the gray. I was sold on the idea pretty quickly.

The husband and I had been considering red as our accent color in the living/dining room after finding this Pottery Barn rug.  Luckily my husband has purchased a rug sample so it was easy to find a red paint swatch that closely matched the rug, BM Confederate Red (2090-20).  During one of my many trips to the paint store I purchased a sample of this paint.  It looked nice on the wall, but felt like it had too many pink undertones.  I remember my mother had said her friend had recently done a red accent wall in her living room and decided to ask my mom to ask her friend for the paint color.  Enter HOT TAMALE! It’s a C2 paint, which is suppose to be thick enough to only have to do one coat of paint.

Anyways we slapped C052, aka hot tamale, paint sample up on the wall and we had a winner!  Since the red rug didn’t match the red paint we decided to say goodbye to rug.  We are now thinking a gray rug with red accents around the room to tie everything together.  Hopefully it turns out well!

With the walls taped and the floors covered I was ready to begin painting.  Sophi supervised the whole thing. :)

I’m proud to say I pretty much painted this whole wall myself.  One thing I quickly learned while painting the red wall was to do the trim first.  Painting the trim first with a brush and then going over it (or close to it) with the roller made it blend better. When I rolled and then did the trip the brush strokes stood out more.

Although C2 paint is supposed to only need one coat we decided to do two. As it was my first time really painting as well as wanting it to look perfect the second coat made a world of difference.  I was very methodical about the second coat too and started at the left and worked my way right instead of starting in the middle as I did with the first coat.

When I removed the tape I noticed the window frame had some red on it … oops. I also noticed the tape pulled up a few small pieces of the paint around the edges.

Luckily my husband has a steady hand and went ahead and touched up the places where the paint lifted from the wall.  Now all I need to do is touch up the window frame.  Two mistakes, not too bad if I do say so myself.

Here’s the before and after of our red hot tamale wall:

I can’t wait to paint the other three walls a creamy white and then we can call the master bedroom a wrap on the painting front.  I’m on the hunt for some nice little red accents to put in the room.

What do you think of our red wall?

Happy painting!

Don’t forget to leave your tidbit by commenting below :)


Before buying our condo I had never painted any of the places I had rented.  The only thing I remember painting was a fake wall my roommate and I had (frat boys) put up in the living room of our one bedroom apartment to make it into a two bedroom.  Funny thing about that, my friend and I only painted the part of the wall that wasn’t covered by the couch … can you say college standards?! :)

My husband on the other hand has painted before and was good about giving me tips.  He said to only put about an inch of paint into the pan and to make sure the whole roller has paint on it before painting the wall.  Then there was the tip to roll slowly at first to avoid excess paint spraying on things not covered or taped.  These were all great tips!  The one thing neither of us knew was what kind of paint finish is suggested for different rooms.

The counter top in the bathroom has green tones to it so I knew I wanted to go with a green paint in the guest bathroom.  Here’s the first green we considered, but it was too bright for the bathroom:

After slapping two more greens up on the wall there was a clear winner.  I seemed to have missed taking a picture of the other two colors we put on the wall.  We decided on Benjamin Moore Old Prairie (2143-50).  A whole gallon wasn’t necessary for a small bathroom so I was to buy a half gallon (two quarts really since a half gallon wasn’t an option at this particular store).  The first Saturday after becoming homeowners my husband was busy taping and prepping the condo to be painted.  Therefore I was on go to the store/run errands duty. Off I went to the store feeling really good about what I needed to buy.

The man at the store was less than helpful. He started by trying to up-sell me and I got completely confused on what I needed/wanted.  Eventually he took my order for the paint and then asked what finish I wanted. I said “ummmm well ….” to which he handed me a finish card to look at. I immediately remembered my friend saying samples come in flat, but get eggshell when you actually paint.  Done and done, paint mixed and purchased.

While I was gone my husband taped the bathroom and got it ready to be painted.

When I got home we painted the bathroom our new light green color.  On my next trip that same day to the same paint store to buy paint for the master bedroom, I overheard someone talking about which finish to use for the different rooms.  Keep in mind this information wasn’t on the finish card and the guy helping me didn’t offer up any narrative as to what finish to use.  As I hear the words bathroom and semi-gloss in the same sentence I start to freak out.  Have we just painted the bathroom the with the wrong finish??

When I got back to the new place I shared this tidbit with my husband. Out comes the iphone and Googling begins. Sure enough we painted the bathroom with the wrong finish.  We debated if we should spend the money and the time to repaint the bathroom the same color but in semi-gloss or just go with what we already had on the wall.

In the end back to the paint store we went to purchase a quart of the semi-gloss.  Apparently even a 1/2 gallon was too much paint for the guest bathroom.  Since the bathroom was still taped we decided it was best to repaint the room now.  Doing it right now would save us the hassle of repainting the room in 6 months if the eggshell wasn’t holding up well.

The repainting took less time since there was already a base coat on the walls.  In the end I actually liked the look of the semi-gloss better than the eggshell in the bathroom.  I’m SOOO glad we took the time (and money) to correct the painting finish error.

The husband did a great job on the taping and when we pulled the tap off the lines looked fantastic!

Interested in learning about what paint finish is suggested for each room? Click here for details about paint finishes. This website would have come in handy if we had done some research before slapping paint up on the wall!!  Lesson learned. :)

Guest bathroom painting completed … master bedroom, master bathroom and living/dining room as well as hallways to go.  Painting is time consuming, but the place is starting to have a more homey feel to it!!  Now we just need a shower curtain, mat and accessories and the guest bath will be complete.

Happy painting!

Have you had any similar painting mishaps?

Don’t forget to leave your tidbit by commenting below :)


Big, BIG things happening for us as of late.  Apparently we don’t know how to do low key/boring. :)

2010 – Engagement
2011 – Wedding/Honeymoon
2012 – PURCHASE OUR FIRST HOME!!!!!!!!!!
2013 – ??? I’m sure we will find something to spice things up next year!

Remember back in February when we turned 30 and went on our lovely trip to Mexico? Well the day before we left for vacation we found out the owner of the condo we rent is planning to sell.  What did this mean for us? Well it meant we had to move and do it within the next few months.  STRESSFUL! The thought that we would need to move, or that our apartment would be sold, was nowhere on our radar.

We had planned on building up our saving account a little more and then purchasing our first home.  The plan was to move at the end of the summer (or possibly early 2013).  With the news of an impending sale coming our way, the purchasing timeline was moved up.  Our move out date was no longer being driven by our savings account but by our current landlord’s desire to sell.

Despite our initial freakout everything has worked out pretty well.  We have a friend who’s a realtor so we called him the day we found out about needing to move and he got us hooked up with the lender that afternoon.  Within a week of coming back from vacation we were preapproved for a place and ready to start the big search.

While we were drinking margaritas and relaxing on the beach the husband and I came up with our must have and like to have lists for our first home.

Here is what our list looked like in order of priority …

Must Haves:

  1. Within our ideal price range
  2. In DC (not Maryland or Virginia)
  3. Pet Friendly – we can’t part with little Miss. Sophi!
  4. 2 bedrooms
  5. Washer/Dryer
  6. Walking distance to a metro

Like to Haves:

  1. Parking Space
  2. Plenty of Storage
  3. 1.5 or 2 bathrooms
  4. Patio and/or balcony
  5. Fireplace

I felt like this was a pretty good list to begin with and began stalking RedFin for listings. After looking at a few condos in person, our must have list started to change a little.  We quickly realized a large living/dining area was important to us.  Small bedrooms were okay as long as the living space was big.  I feel like I do two to three things in the bedroom.  Sleep, get dressed and watch tv. I don’t need a massive amount of space for any of those.  Also, it became very clear places under ~800 sq feet were just too small.  As it turns out the one bedroom we rent is slightly over ~800 square feet so when you add a second bedroom but don’t increase the size of the unit the living space shrinks considerably.  TIP: find out the square footage of your current place before you start looking at places (to rent or buy).  This  will help you to gauge what square footage is ideal for you.

After viewing at least 20+ places in person and probably over 100 online we ended up putting an offer in and after a week of negotiations the place was officially UNDER CONTRACT.  WOOT WOO!!!

Based on our initial list we end up with the following:

Must Haves:

  1. Within our ideal price range – FAIL we went over the initial budget
  2. In DC (not Maryland or Virginia) – CHECK
  3. Pet Friendly – CHECK
  4. 2 bedrooms – CHECK
  5. Washer/Dryer – CHECK
  6. Walking distance to a metro – CHECK

Like to Haves:

  1. Parking Space – Fail
  2. Plenty of Storage – Fail … well kind of.
  3. 1.5 or 2 bathrooms – CHECK
  4. Patio and/or balcony – CHECK
  5. Fireplace – Fail

PLUS our living/dining room is HUGE and get a ton of natural light, win win!!  Overall I would say we made out VERY well with our first homeowner purchase.

Looking back at the process here are a few things I think we did right and a few more I wish we had done:

  • Go with your gut. If you love it then you love it and if you don’t there are always more places coming onto the market so don’t settle.  For those of you who purchased a wedding dress and had “this is THE dress” moment that will happen for your home too!
  • View a lot of places and even take a look at places you aren’t sure look great online. Not all places photograph well (or the owner just puts up crappy pictures).  We found a few I wasn’t sure about online and then really liked in person.
  • Remember the paint color (or wallpaper) can always be changed!
  • Determine what the deal breakers are. For example I hated when the second bedroom didn’t have a window (which didn’t come to light until we saw a few places like this).  It didn’t bother my husband, but we agreed when things are a deal breaker for one of us then the place is out.
  • Figuring out what you can afford and comfortable spending BEFORE you start looking and don’t look out places above your price range.  I mean let’s be honest if you find a place for 100k that you like, but then look at a place for 500k 9 times out of 10 you are going to like the more expensive place.  Just don’t tease yourself it isn’t worth it I promise (same thing goes for wedding dress brides!!!).
  • Going back to the first choice place at least once before putting in an offer or shortly there after. It felt so good to walk into the condo and confirm I LOVED it.
  • Getting the paperwork in order while looking for a place. I wish I had asked the Lender for a list of the paperwork we were going to need to provide (bank statements, w-2s, paychecks, etc) to get fully approved.  The documents takes a while to compile and if you are like me, you might have forgotten how to access some of your 401k accounts online.
  • Don’t take the negotiations personally.  The seller wants the highest price possible and you want the lowest.  Some back and forth is to be expected.  We had a hard time with this because we felt our initial offer was very reasonable/fair.

And remember to RELAX and try to ENJOY purchasing your first home!!

Related blogs coming up soon: Moving, painting and other homeownership related projects.

What tips do you have for a first time home buyer?  Do you have any pre-move in tips for us?

Don’t forget to leave your tidbit by commenting below :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...