Archive for September, 2012

September 20, 2012

Benjamin Moore Metallic Paint

by Gillian

A few months ago I read about a metallic paint line from Benjamin Moore that looked really cool.  (A Metal-Like Paint from Benjamin Moore – NYTimes.com.) When I was considering revamping my hallway I recalled this article and thought that metallic silver stripes would really punch up the small space. I selected a color called Shyness (PT360) and the man at the paint store told me I needed to select a base color that would compliment the silver otherwise the metallic would not show.  Armed with my paint brushes, rollers, tape, and paint I set off back home to map out my design.

When determining the layout of my stripes I had to consider the fuse box which is located in my hallway.  I wanted to leave it white, so I determined the height of my stripes by the size of the box which is 10 1/2 inches. I borrowed a long level from my handyman and measured every 10 1/2″ up and down the wall. Then, using painters tape I positioned the rows of tape either on the interior of my mark (if the space was to be white) or on the exterior of the mark (if the space was to be painted metallic) and made sure the lines were straight with my level.  This definitely gets confusing so it’s a good idea to double-check the space in between each row with a ruler once you have completed a section. To make matters even more confusing I had to work around 5 doors and still try to make sure that each stripe lined up horizontally 360 degrees around the space. Make sure you rub the tape in place so you get clean, sharp lines.

Once your walls are taped you’re ready to paint. I had to apply the base coat first and two coats of the metallic finish on top.  A tip I read about was “to remove the tape immediately after the last coat of paint is applied, while the walls are still wet. Waiting until the paint has fully dried may cause peeling and uneven lines”. While I followed those instructions I still had some paint that bled from underneath so once everything was dry I had to go back with a small paint brush and touch up some of the lines. It was very frustrating since I had spent so many hours taping to begin with.

I learned after the fact that the paint is really meant to be used for faux finishing – think textured walls – so unfortunately my walls didn’t come out the way I had hoped. You can see the roller marks and brush strokes within each stripe. 😦

Also, since this is an apartment rental the walls are not in very good condition and are not very forgiving. If you were going to attempt this paint in a well-lit area you must make sure the walls are skim coated prior to painting. Every crack, hole, or minor imperfection becomes glaringly obvious.

While in theory this project seemed like a good idea the end results were not what I hoped for.  Has anyone used a  metallic paint and achieved a smooth finish?  Since I did all the taping myself (except for the top row which I had to enlist my husband for) it took about 7 hours and the total cost was around $75.

After painting I added a few black and white family photographs, and covered a bland cork board in fabric (more to come on this project). I think the space looks better than it did before, but the roller marks still bug me. Does anyone have any tips on how to fix this?

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September 4, 2012

Gallery Wall

by Gillian

I was getting a little tired of my living room and while I would LOVE to get rid of just about everything and start fresh that’s just not happening at this point. So I decided to use what I already had and add a few new things and freshen it up a bit. I’ve been pinning gallery walls for a while and I really wanted to create one behind my sofa. I will admit I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out but I am very pleased with the results.

This was my living room before:

And here’s how it looks now:

To create the gallery wall effect I first gathered all the frames I had on various walls throughout my apartment and laid them out on a large piece of craft paper that was the length of my sofa wall in the design that I wanted.

Once I was happy with the design layout I traced around each frame and taped the paper on the wall.

Using the outline of each of the frames as my guide I measured the center of each frame and then located the position of the hanging mechanism to determine where my wall hooks should go.

Once all the hooks are in place remove the paper from the wall and hang your photos. (I made the mistake of trying to remove the paper after the pictures were up – I do not advise this.)

I used a combination of family photos, my children’s art work, mass produced prints, even framed wallpaper samples and an Hermes scarf that was hardly worn. This gallery will evolve over time. I think that it really makes a big impact on the wall and makes it much more visually interesting. The project probably took a total of about 3 hours, because I did all the hanging by myself, but the best part is that it cost me nothing because I just reused what I already had.

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