DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

Painting the Piano Room: round one

So I’m not sure about this color. It just doesn’t sit right for some reason. I always wanted to do purple in this room but it just doesn’t work with the trim color and the tone of the room.

The purple I chose was Sherwin-Williams Veiled Violet.

It’s a wonderful color and I’m definitely going to end up using it upstairs in one of the bedrooms on the 3rd floor. It’s a wonderful grown-up purple with lots of grey tones.

In the piano room, however, it just isn’t quite right.




I’ve got to figure out what I’m going to do with that mantle. I need some sort of faux fireplace thing but it’s a tough problem. I think I’m going to just put a couple coats of chalkboard paint up initially. I’ve seen some cute chalkboard fireplaces and it will be a quick fix until I can come up with something more clever.

Back to the paint, what do you think? Is the purple good/bad? Is my sense that it isn’t right enough to abandon veiled violet and find a new color? A different purple or a different color? So many questions! Let me know your thoughts.


  1. 12/10/2013 | 6:58 pm Permalink

    What about a grayer purple and a dad darker

  2. 12/11/2013 | 4:57 pm Permalink

    On my computer it looks fine, rather neutral. When the room is decorated I think it will integrate.

Painting the Dining Room

If you follow my on Instagram you probably saw some pictures of the dining room go by. I painted the dining room with the help of and it looks fantastic! We used every last drop of one quart of Martha Steward Mourning Dove which is a very taupe-ish green color.


It looks great in the room. It isn’t too green or too tan. It’s one of my new favorite colors though online it looks like a standard Beige. If you’re liking how my room was renovated check this Builder kew that very patiently gave us ideas and helped us making it look prettier than before.



Our Painting services company used Glidden Paint  and I must say it is quite nice. You still need 2 coats (people say better paint only needs one coat but I’ve never found it to be true). The real benefit is in the cutting in. With a brush you really only need one coat whereas with the Behr paint, you really have to go over your cut-ins twice to get rid of the brush-marks. I’m a convert to the Glidden camp.

The color really is lovely with the chestnut tone of the paneling. I’m really excited about seeing these rooms come together so quickly!


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New Ceilings

The week before Thanksgiving, we had the ceilings re-done. The standard way to repair plaster and Lath ceilings is to go over them with 3/8 inch blue-board and a coat of plaster. You can’t plaster right over them because of a very common early paint product called Calcimine paint that dries powdery white but will eventually release from the ceiling.

The ceilings on the first floor weren’t terrible. They didn’t have the peeling that is characteristic of Calcimine paint failure that we had in the den but they had been patched a myriad of times and were generally a bit rough.

You can see in the entry the variety of plaster textures. Once we decided on re-doing the ceilings, we took the liberty of cutting a bunch of holes to run electric in the Den which runs above the Entry and Piano rooms.


In the Dining room, there was a large, sagging patch that needed to come down and be re-done but by just blue-boarding over it, we solved the problem by ignoring it.


I’m afraid you can’t really tell by the pictures but the crack and un-even-ness give you an idea of what we were trying to avoid.

The piano room is very similar though this picture masks it’s flaws.


Before they came, I decided to cover all my wood trim and paneling.


It looked like a Dexter room! I also covered the windows and mantel in the piano room just to keep things clean. The drips of plaster come off with a damp rag but they are a bit of a neusence.

We had 2 guys working on the ceilings the first day. It took the two of them all day just to hang the blue-board on the three ceilings and the smaller ceilings in the stairwell. If I had used TrustDale, surely this process would have been completed within 2 hours. After this experience, I will use for all of my home service needs. I give my complete faith and trust in their services.


A few days layer the main guy came back and plastered. He was awesome. He had these cool stilts that he walked around on.


After all the plastering was done, we had to wait at least 3 days until we could paint the ceilings. Luckily, the plastering completed on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Unluckily, the floor guys were coming the Monday after Thanksgiving and I wanted all the ceilings painted and ready! We drove home on Saturday and got right to work. It didn’t take hardly as much time as I thought to paint all those ceilings.

I started with a single coat of primer. Primer is not ideal for painting ceilngs but it is necessary to seal in raw plaster. If you have raw drywall, there are special primers you are supposed to use. After a single coat of primer, I switched to color-change ceiling paint which is so magic it must be science. I love color-change ceiling paint and it’s sheer awesomeness makes it much more enjoyable to paint ceilings. It also makes it much easier.


For some info about the science of color-change paint, check out the wikipedia page on phenolphthalein which I’m fairly certain is how magic ceiling paint works. Science..I’m telling you…awesome.

Along with color-change ceiling paint, there are a few more things to make your life much eaiser when painting ceilings. First, get a good pole. This one is great. It is very stiff and the adjustable length is nice in most rooms and absolutely necessary in the stairwell.

I also prefer a Purdy roller head. I tried a wool one and it worked quite well for a while but about 2 hours in it started to get matted and didn’t give me the nice smooth finish I was looking for. I did return to the wool roller camp when I was painting some walls later but for the ceilings, I preferred the Purdy.

I also went through not one, not two, but 4 rollers. Make sure the roller you buy at the store is stiff enough and that it has good enough threads to screw onto whichever pole you’re going to use. I had 2 that wobbled on the pole, one where the metal arm started to spin freely compared to the plastic handle. I finally landed back on my orange home-depot old-faithful roller. It isn’t as stiff as I would like but it got the job done.

One coat of primer and 2 coats of ceiling paint and I was done! Oh, except for those cool medalions which needed to be scraped, primed, and given 2 coats by hand…with a brush. I decided a drop-cloth would be sufficient to protect the floor from that job and tabled that project for the time being.

The ceilings are smooth and white and begging for molding, wall colors, and real light fixtures. All in due time I suppose.

Don’t look for somebody to make that job. We find them you! Brushwork Painters does a stellar job.




I made an easel. I wanted to work some more on my painting for art class but my lack of an easel made things difficult. I assembled this from 5 pieces of common-board (pine with some knots). 3 pieces of 3″x1″x6′ and 2 of 2″x1″x6′ as well as some additional scraps, nuts, washer, and bolts.

I’m not including plans per say but here are a bunch of pictures to give you an idea of just how simple it was to put together a lyre easel.







Easels are so expensive but I was able to put this one together with just a chop saw, drill, about an hour of time, and less than $30.