Trimming for a New Home Feel

Disclaimer: While there are links to the products I used, I do not get paid to post them, but I put the links for the convenience of my readers.

When we moved into our house, we immediately started painting - to an extent - because our master bedroom had lighthouses in it. Literally. They hand-painted lighthouse on the walls (and even incorporated the light switch covering into the lighthouse), and while I love a good nautical theme, it was a little much.

Luckily, Vinny had about a gallon and a half left of Kilz primer paint leftover, so he came over and began painting over those lighthouses, along with painting the dark blue accent wall that they had in their bedroom.

Once the master bedroom was primed and ready to go, I became very adamant about caulking and re-painting the bottom trim on the bedroom. I was doing a lot of #Pinteresting and a saw a lot of different articles about re-painting the trim to make an older home feel newer, so why wouldn't I do it? We have a 1977 home, and I would like it not to feel so dirty and old... And boy did working on the trim help.

Obviously, I'm new to this whole #DIY and #renovations thing that inevitably comes with being a first-time homeowner. So, needless to say, I've never caulked trim before. I read all these different articles explaining how to caulk properly and/or professionally, but all of them said to tape off the wall and the bottom of the trim to leave a little gap to create a straight line along the trim.

Ain't nobody got time for that.

So in true me fashion, I said a little prayer and hoped for the best. I snipped off the tiniest piece to the top of the caulk (we used DAP Alex Plus White Acrylic Latex Caulk PlusSilicone from #HomeDepot at a straight angle. I point out the angle, because everywhere I was reading says to snip it at a 45 degree angle - shoot, even the #DAP label says to do so. Either way, I committed to my choice - and let be honest, I was super excited to start and didn't read the label until I was writing this article. However, from there? I was off (and here's the order I did everything in):

1) Spackling

I apparently love to spackle. There's something about seeing an imperfection that gets my little reno-heart a fluttering. I went around the entire room with my iPhone light and looked for any nail hole, knock in the wall, anything, and then, I spackled. I spackled all the little doggie nail marks in the window ledges, the chips in the baseboards, the hole in the wall from the door handle. Everything... And then I waited while it dried, which wasn't very long with my 3MPatch Plus Primer 4-in-1, which comes with a spackle knife and sander attached, so it's basically amazing and handy (though I didn't really its sander).

2) Sanding
After spackling, I took a 3Mfine-grit block sanding sponge, and I went around and sanded all the trim, and the door frames, and to be honest? It wasn't terribly worth it. It was worth doing on the little ledges we had in our windows, since the Seller's dog had scratched them up with it's nails (spoiler alert, our dog has now done it now too *eye roll*), but otherwise, not terribly worth the time and labor for how minimal the outcome looked to me, so I would skip this step, personally.

3) Cleaning

Good Lord those baseboards were dirty! Filthy. Just disgusting. I took Clorox wipes to those baseboards like crazy, and scrub as hard as I could... Only to find out that apparently, Clorox removes the spackle I was using... Oops.

4) Re-Spackling
I was not terribly thrilled about doing this all again, even with my little reno-heart.

5) Caulking
When I started caulking, even though I had ignored the 45-degree cutting angle, I held the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle as I moved it along the corner of the trim, where it meets the wall. I would go down about two feet, stop, and then take my index finger and firmly press the caulk at an angle against the trim and wall as I drug my finger along the way until I came to the end of my caulk line... And then repeat. It surprisingly worked out magnificently.

The main reason I wanted to caulk the trim, besides making the lines look smoother and more polished, was because the corners where the baseboards met each other, was completely cracked and separated so it looked awful to me. So when it came time to caulk the corners, I used a little more caulk than I was using for the clean line on the trim and door frames (make sure to do the door frames too because it helps with that world of difference), and once again, used my index finger to push in the caulk to the separation and smooth it out.

Side Note: Since I'm new at caulking, I will warn my fellow newbies about releasing the caulk gun when you're not using it, or you'll end up with little caulk piles on the floor. It's sounds obvious when someone points it out to you, but let's be honest, I was super excited to start, so I wasn't thinking about releasing the gun so I didn't waste caulk.

It takes about 30 minutes for caulk to dry, so I waited 40 to be safe.

6) Painting Trim

Okay, I love to overthink things - well, I don't love to do it, I just do it. Do you understand how many white paints there are?! Hundreds. It's ridiculous! And when you're a first-time #homeowner and you just want to do it all once and do it right, but you're doing it by yourself, you begin to panic a little. For me? Trim was a big deal (Hubs didn't get it), but we needed to pick one that would be able to fit the entire house and ceiling (it's an interior design trick that if you have low ceilings, paint your trim and your ceiling the same color to create height). That's a lot of pressure. I went back and forth: I asked around. I Googled. I Pinterested. I did it all.

I ended up deciding on Benjamin Moore ChantillyLace for the color, except that I went to #SherwinWilliams and did a color-match for their paint. The only reason I didn't use Benjamin Moore's actual paint is because I used work for a general contractor, and when I asked our paint guy about brands, he said that Benjamin Moore has better color choices, usually, but Sherwin Williams paint tends to hold up better over time. So I did the best of both worlds.

Honestly, doing the work that I did on the trim and door frames made a world of difference, to me, in that room. It just made it not look dated and old, because before, the white on the baseboards seemed to have a pink or maybe beige hue to them, which I'm sure is do to being there for awhile. #MyTrimMakesMeHappy Now with a beautiful, clean white trim, the room just felt better. Cleaner. Newer? Maybe not newer, but definitely cleaner.

We ended up painting our walls a beautiful green from Benjamin Moore called WethersfieldMoss, which we got from #SherwinWilliams again (noticing my pattern here *wink*). I'll admit, I was absolutely convinced it would be too dark, but Nick (the hubs) was convinced it wouldn't be... And guess what? It's a little game we play, called "He was right". It's perfect! The perfect blend of darkness for a calming affect at night, but also, not so dark that during the day it still feels like a cave.

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments - D) All of the above - please feel free to leave them below. Next week, I'm going to post about what it's like to tackle #PopcornCeilings