Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Foyer Progress! And Black French Doors...

So you guys may remember in my recent post about redo-ing our powder room, me mentioning that a foyer re-do was in the works.  Since the rest of our house is painted in pretty tones that I actually really love, I was dreaming of a foyer that was light, bright, and a bit modern, tying in with our more traditional house design. I knew I wanted to go with white so that the decor could really stand out. Our foyer is such a large and pretty space, that I didn't want it to be defined by a specific color. I wanted the architecture and decor to really stand out. These inspiration photos on Pinterest had me drooling...
  • I LOVE how the white walls in this space works with the dark flooring and moulding.
  • The layout of this foyer is crazy similar to ours. Just reversed. I'm loving the open feeling the lighter walls create. The lighter shade also works well with the "glam" feeling of this space.
  • This foyer is really fun.  I love how they used accessories and actual decor, rather than just slapping a fun color on the walls. The white gives you so much more possibilities!
  • This foyer is just classy and glamorous. Again, I love how the white works with all the moulding and accentuates the gorgeous rich flooring.

This is what I was working with....

Don't get me wrong... it's TOTALLY not bad. However, after living here for a few months, the gold and brown faux-finished walls began to make me itch. I actually tried to will myself to like them. But I couldn't shake the feeling I had from the first moment we walked into this house.... They looked a little dirty to me. Seriously, they don't look that bad from a distance. But up close, they looked a little smeared....and brown and gold. Not a good combo. I'll let you use your imagination.

I'm no stranger to painting rooms. Big rooms. At our old house, I completely re-finished and re-painted our kitchen cabinets by myself and repainted a lot of rooms in that house (Brad is super handy, but he's no painter, so that's my job).  I strangely enjoy it and find it therapeutic. So I guess this room just really upset me because I knew there was no way I could do it myself. There was no way I was going to risk my life painting this two-story foyer while trying to cover the faux-finish because something told me it wasn't going to be easy.  It wasn't just the foyer, it extended into an adjacent hallway and a bit of the upstairs hallway as well.
So I bit the bullet and hired out. 
Brad was convinced it was going to be thousands...  I was thinking maybe $700.  So when we got an estimate from a local painter who had repaired some outside wood when we moved in and he said $500, we immediately said "YES, WHEN CAN YOU START!?" 

Before I go on, have you guys ever actually tried to pick out the perfect shade of white paint?? Not for moulding, but for actual walls? Most difficult thing I've probably ever had to pick out. I should've taken a photo of my swatch action on the walls. At one point, I had 5 different shades painted on the walls in 3 different areas of the foyer. SO glad I did that. I wanted a true white that wasn't going to have too much contrast with the moulding. Why? Because we have a lot of moulding and trim in the foyer that is white white. So if you choose a slightly warmer, cream white, the walls will look yellow. A slightly warmer fleshy white? Looks pink. You can imagine what some of the cooler whites looked like. One white I tested looked like a true white on the swatch, but turned purple-y gray at night. No lie.
So after a lot of deciding, I went with White Truffle by Behr which is actually a shade I used at the old house in my filming/makeup room. I used that shade on the stripes below the chair rail and always loved it.  Brad loved this shade the best out of all the others we had tested too, so we went with it.
SO glad we did.  It's not too warm and not too cool and sterile looking. It's perfect.

For the painters, it was a bit of a process. Long story short, they primed and STILL had to do 4 coats in some areas to cover the faux finish. That's using a really high-quality paint and primer in one formula as well. But when they finished, it was like a big breath of fresh air.

*Technically, these were taken when it was a few coats shy of being finished in some areas.

 You can really tell it needs a few more coats in this picture below...  But it was already looking SO much better!

I think going with a white on white actually made the trim and moulding stand out more and look prettier than it did before.

I was LOVING the fresh white walls, but felt like when I looked down toward the front door and the area of French doors that lead to the living room, something was missing.

Which leads me to the next big thing I painted in the foyer which really brought it all together...  Can you guess from the Pinterest inspiration photos at the top? ...or the title of this post? haha

Black French doors, baby.
Now this could've went terribly wrong. Sometimes, I'm impulsive. I chose and bought my paint at Home Depot just from looking at paint swatches. No testing at home, no scouring Pinterest for photos of the actual paint color used in rooms. I just went with it.... and I'm SO glad I did!
I chose Black Suede by Behr which is a really soft, warm, grayed black (I went with a satin formula to help it look even softer).  I knew I didn't want a really black black because I didn't want it to look too stark against the white walls.
To me, it is THE perfect black for painting doors.

Much better huh? Such a huge difference black doors make!
Another reason this could've went terribly wrong is because at first, I was considering painting the ENTIRE door casing... Trim, transom window above, everything.  I've seen that done before and it can look awesome, but for this space, I'm glad I skipped it. I just painted the doors only.  The more I thought about it, I didn't want the transom window above the French doors to compete with the one above the front door. So I kept them both white. Glad I thought that through...  Most photos I was finding on Pinterest had done it the way I decided to (doors only) and I think for most spaces, that's the best bet.

The only thing I WISH I had for this post (I was impatient and had to share), is a pretty big green fiddle-leaf fig or banana plant to go next to the front door (or maybe one on each side?).  My goal is to pick up one (or two) of those babies this weekend.

Here's a shot of it from upstairs...

I love how it really grounded the space without looking to stark. I've actually toyed with the idea of painting the back of the front door black, but something is telling me not to. 

Here's a few shots from the other side- In the front living room/my office.  Sorry about the dark photos. This room is so hard to photograph for me.

Not loving the paint color in there. It looks a bit too yellow. It will be changing soon... I already purchased the paint! I'll keep you updated on that...

So I'm sure you have some questions on HOW I painted the French doors. It was VERY time consuming. I started off by thinking it would be easier to tape off the windows so I wouldn't have as much paint to scrape off the glass at the end. Yeah, applying the painter's tape took longer than actually painting so I gave that up about halfway through one side of one door. I NEVER use painter's tape anyway, so it was already on my last nerve. I just used a small paint tray and my little angled brush I always use to go around trim and ceilings with (I use a little brush called a Wooster Shortcut which is my fav), and started on the wood framings between the windows. I wasn't too careful around the glass because I knew I could scrape it off with a small blade made especially for scraping paint off windows for a cleaner look. I used the brush to go precisely around the doorknobs (which I didn't remove) and the hinges on the inside edge. Then I took a small foam paint roller (about 4" across) and painted the large areas of the door.
It only took two coats! I did have to go back with the brush in some areas between the windows where the brush didn't coat as well as a roller, but no biggie. To get the inside edges of the door (that are covered when closed), I just swung the doors open all the way into the living room and painted them with the brush. I made sure not to close them back until it was dry, just in case.
I didn't remove them either. I know some people make a big deal about removing the doors when painting, but for these, it would've been a waste of time since it went perfectly anyway.
If you're nervous about dripping paint, you could also spread some newspaper out below the doors to catch any drips or smears.

So that's it! It's definitely not absolutely complete, so I'll keep you all updated as it comes along! What about you guys? Any big projects you've been working on lately? Isn't it funny how a bit (or a lot) of paint can totally change things??

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