Mostly, here’s proof that the smallest fixes are often the best ones. The finished project (sponsored by Benjamin Moore’s Natura paint—more on that, here) is a simple update: fresh white paint on walls and trim, plus the tiniest touch of color. But it’s made all the difference in the way our apartment feels.
That’s the thing about white paint, isn’t it? I write a little bit about the magic of a fresh coat of paint in my soon-to-be book (!), but it bears repeating here that a fresh coat of white paint changes a space in a way that feels more visceral than visual. Yes, it reflects the light differently, but it also freshens the energy in a space, doesn’t it? A fresh coat of paint on a September weekend when the heatwave has finally broken and there’s a hint of fall in the air? Even better.
Without beating you guys over the head with it, the biggest treat was being able to use a paint that didn’t smell up our place. The semi-gloss seemed to have only the slightest odor—a kind of barely-there, practically imperceptible, paint smell—but the eggshell, which I used on the majority of the closet, was, indeed, odorless. Both paints were an incredibly far cry from the usual experience of being overwhelmed by paint fumes and a truly noticeable improvement over other zero-VOC paints I’ve used.
Once I began painting, I realized that half of the rear closet wall was covered in joint compound from old plaster repairs and hadn’t even been painted at all. (No wonder it was looking so grody.) I put two coats on everything to make sure the wall was properly attended to, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I’m especially pleased that the Simply White (2143-70) shade finally offers me something to recommend to curious readers in search of a perfect white.) It’s a warm white that’s not too warm. It doesn’t look yellowy or creamy, per se, but it’s also not so white that it’s blue. In contrast, the Lily White (2128-70) succeeded at being the right shade of light blue gray for a little stencil accent.
In the end, I decided to add the Stencilit Diamond Wall Stencil to just one side of the closet. The placement below the wood trim felt like it framed the corner just right and I feel like the finished product feels intentional and pretty but not visually overwhelming. And at the risk of sounding overly fickle, my favorite part about using a stencil was the lack of utter and complete committal. For this pattern-phobe, it’s nice to know that if I decide that there’s too much pattern for me, the fix is as simple as a coat or two of paint and not lost time or money spent on removing wallpaper. I trimmed the stencil a bit so that it fit easily into the corners of the wall and after one misfire with too much paint on my roller, the process was easy.
To finish up the closet, I hung a bit of gauzy white fabric over our curtain rod to hide the diaper pail and added of dose of life with an over sized air plant that I can move across the closet pole depending on the whims of my acrobatic child. In the end, I’m really glad that the space feels like clean and fresh and bright enough for a baby, but that it’s not so baby-fied that it changes the feel of our apartment as a whole. When your dining room table is mere feet away from your diaper pail, these considerations are, after all, important. Here’s a not-quite-perfect side by side analysis in case that’s something that you’re interested in. Isn’t it amazing how the light looks different with a fresh coat of a warm white?
More about the process of paint selection, HERE. A very special treat for a lucky reader coming at you tomorrow. Stay tuned.
This post was sponsored by Benjamin Moore’s Natura Paint. Opinions my own. Reading My Tea Leaves is proudly supported by businesses striving to do better. Thanks for supporting the brands that help this blog thrive.