The 'Blank Slate' Dining Room

Last week we fixed walls, prepped, primed, and painted the dining room and shared it all in a bunch of Instagram stories.  I didn't share an after photo though because I like to reserve the good stuff for the blog, ya know?  ;)  Sorry Insta, you'll always be second best.

But the truth is, the after was (and still very much is) very underwhelming.  I was so excited for this huge transformation that was taking shape with the power of paint right in front of my very eyes and then...well it was better than it was because paint always trumps bare drywall but even though it doesn't seem possible, it seemed to get more boring.

I told you...womp, womp.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that the walls are bare and the hutch is camouflaging it.  Well, that's going to have to change and I'll give you a few ideas how but first, let's do that thing we always do and take a little trot down memory lane.

The Best Painting Tools, Say Us

This post is a long time coming; one I should have written a very long time ago.  (Thank you Rebecca, for helping me realize it!)  We've painted a room, or a hundred, and we've pretty much got painting down to a science.  But the science of it all doesn't add up if you don't have the right tools.  That's how it goes, right?  The right tools will help you succeed!  #communitycollegeslogan

I didn't know the first thing about painting an interior room growing up (and neither did Anthony).  My dad made my siblings and I scrape and repaint our white farmhouse when I was ehh, maybe middle to high school somewhere (I hated it so much I must've blocked out the time frame) and that's the most painting I did until we bought our first house and dove headfirst into changing the color of 90% of the walls in the house...and then 100% of the walls in our second house, 100% of those in our rental, and now what will eventually be the walls (and ceilings!) in this house.

All that's to say, you don't actually have to have any experience in painting to start.  It's not that hard!  Yes, it takes a little bit of time and effort but as far as I'm concerned, the time you spend is money saved and the effort counts as a workout.  Win, win.  :D

So, without further ado, these are our tried-and-true, all-time favorite painting tools.  We've used all of them for quite a while, so there aren't any newbies here.  Just oldies and goodies.  ;)  

Our Next Project + Our Current White Paint

We are still stalled on the kitchen.  Ugh.  I don't know if I mentioned this in a prior post but I'm too lazy to look - we've decided to hire someone to mud the ceiling where we put up new drywall to cover up that new beam.  Anthony started doing it and he's good at it, but with life right now, progress is snail-pace and we could get someone in here to get it done in a couple of days tops.  Once the ceiling is mudded, we'll be ready to paint the ceiling in the kitchen, breakfast nook, and living room then paint the walls and the list just goes on from there...

SO while we wait, we're going to paint another room.  That's our next project.  It'll be the dining room this time because it was the obvious choice, flowing right off the newly-painted reading room and we're going with China White by Ben Moore (color-matched in Valspar paint).  In my head I've got ideas swirling about going a tad more bold in the dining room but I just can't nail one down until we get the kitchen done since, you know, that whole cohesive thing.  So, neutral we go for now.  It seems counter-productive though, doesn't it?  To just paint a room when you know it might get painted again later?  It does and it is.  But clearly...

...spending $20 on a can of paint is so okay right now for this room.  It's that or bare drywall for who knows how long and so we gladly be out this twenty for a few months of a normal space.

The Reading Room - Mini-Makeover and Plans

When you walk into our front door, the first room you see, besides the entry you'd be standing in, is the formal living room.

Or at least, that's what we think it was intended for and probably was right after the house was built.  For us though, it was a space we didn't really know what to do with.  We were looking for houses in the 2000 square foot range when we were hunting and well, this one rang in at 2400 and a big chunk of that extra 400 square feet is this room.  So, extra space?  Great!  Except, what do we do with it??