Say it and Spray it

Our office makeover is officially underway!

Color me extremely happy.  Like really weirdly giddy happy.  Sortof like The Joker but on a sugar high…and less scare-the-poops-outta-small-children-freaky.  I just nailed that description, didn’t I?  :)

So anyway – you can imagine my uber-excitement knowing that this space would soon be not like this at all.

As you can see, it’s sortof depressing in there.  Brown trim, fleshy walls….clutter and mess.  It’s hard to be creative and organized and efficient working in a space that is anything but creative, organized or efficient…so when Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine offered up a $300 gift card for a room makeover we jumped.  as in up and down.  We immediately accepted the challenge and knew that this room would be the perfect jumping off point (we are doing a lot of jumping here aren’t we?! hello bathing suit calves?).

Why did we pick this room?  Well for one, its mess is sortof flowing into other rooms.  I need this space for photography editing (so it needs to be bright and happy since I spend a chunk of time editing photos and don’t wanna leave depressed), as well as sewing and craft storage (my fabric stash has taken over the Jack room which we will need for the Little Baby eventually), and general blog work (you would be surprised by how much I need to keep straight to keep Bower Power even remotely functional).  So basically I need it to be inspiring…bright and happy….and organized with lots of storage.

If you are an old friend, you may remember that I recently painted the office bathroom…which also had dark brown trim….and it took at least four coats to look decent but really it probably deserved closer to six coats for perfection.  Keep that in mind.

Now multiply the amount of trim in the bathroom by 8.  Now multiply that number by 5 coats.  That’s how much painting I would need to do to get decent coverage on the office brownness.  That’s a lot of math.  and a lot of painting.  Neither of which is fun.

So I was happy to fork over a bit of our makeover budget and my own debit card to score a decent paint sprayer.  I consider it an investment in my sanity.  We ended up going with the Graco TrueCoat Plus – because of online reviews and the fact that it’s more manageable for a gal like me for future furniture projects.

Okay – so after a lot of emotional and financial investment in this space, I took the plunge and moved everything out.  It took me all afternoon.  And when Jeremy got home, he helped me carry out the brown desk (which is gonna get a paint job too)…and a bookcase (both need a coat of white STAT!).

The empty room is still so gross.  I have to admit that I never mopped in there.  I think I vaccumed once.  I told Jer that I was surprised that he didn’t get sick when he worked in there because of the dust.  It was just dark and disgusting.

Then came time for sprayer-prep.  We definitely didn’t want to damage the hardwood floors so we decided that the best way to protect them would be with painters tape and paper.  It took about an hour to lay everything.

Oh and yes, it was definitely needed to cover everything that wasn’t getting sprayed.  These sprayers are no joke.  They spray big or go home.  And we knew that the over-spray and the white film would cover everything…especially since we planned on spraying all the wainscoting and the entire ceiling.

We also blocked off the windows with some plastic and tape.

Freaky deaky.

Oh and just so everyone knows….yes, our quarterround matches the floor…but we want it to match the trim…so we planned on painting it white too.

Then came time for Jer to crank out the new sprayer.  It’s pretty much crucial to your lungs to wear a mask and your eyes will definitely need googles…not protective glasses that little airborne paint particles can get behind…GOGGLES.

I took these photos and them ran for my life.

Two hours later, Jeremy was completely done with priming.

Yes…it was lots faster than us doing it by hand.  And yes, the coat of primer was LOTS thicker than I could have evenly done with a paintbrush.

Immediately I noticed two things.  First – this sprayer ate paint like it was Keilbasa at a Steelers tailgating party.  It went through two cans of Kilz primer.  TWO CANS!

And secondly – HOLY BRIGHTNESS BATMAN!  This room was instantly changed from a dungeon to a shining ray of happiness.  Even down the hall, the open door was gleaming with how marvelously bright the room was.

Two days later, Jeremy did the second coat.  He used Valspar’s Bright White paint base in Eggshell….and Great Scotsbrite!  It is so clean and bright.

It was amazing how fast we got it done.  Part of me wishes that I could have done it (new toys are always fun) but I knew that going up on a ladder with a paint sprayer wasn’t exactly Pregnancy Safety Wise.  And Jeremy said that besides cleanup he really didn’t mind (he HATES brushing and rolling is almost as bad).

It took two full buckets of paint for the second coat as well.

The ceiling wasn’t absolutely perfect when it came to the drywall parts…so we decided that it would be deserving of one more coat there…and some of the trim needed a little touch up but other than that – the white bits of the room were done.

Oh and just for reference sake – check out the three colors present in this photo.  The dark brown that was in the door way is the old dark brown office trim color.  The door is still the current house trim color (it’s like a soft tan color) and the white white is the newest trim color that we plan to carry throughout the house.  crazy how different they all are, huh!?

So that’s that.  Phase one complete in our office makeover.  Next up – wall color…and some painted furniture :)


  1. Holly Austin says

    The difference is amazing!! Makes me want to go paint something :) Looking forward to seeing what you’ve got going on in there!

  2. Melanie says

    Given the crazy amount of super dark painted trim and weird wall treatments in your house, that sprayer is a must! Looks great so far. :)

  3. cappy says

    I am so grateful you did a post on sprayers! We have been looking at getting one but heard negative comments on them-clogging etc. What type of respirator is Jeremy wearing? Do you recommend this for painting?

  4. Erica says

    Awesome! I can’t wait to see the rest of this room come together. Is there going to be a kidde area (for nearby play while you’re working) or is it a no-toddler zone?

  5. says

    Huge difference, especially with the wainscoting. We have dark wood trim throughout our house and we are painting it white room by room. So time consuming! I will have to start thinking about a sprayer to move along the process!

  6. Kathryn says

    Oh. My. Gosh! What a difference!!! Loooove the bright white. And my favorite part, is now any paint can be spray paint!!! It’s probably a good thing you’re pregnant, because otherwise you would LOSE YOUR MIND and spray everything!!! :-) Love it.

  7. Christina says

    You’re such a tease, Katie ;) I got excited when I started reading this; I was thinking I’d get to see a completely painted room. I am amazed at how eager I am to see the transformation in there! It looks great so far!
    Are you guys going to tape off the trim/ceiling and spray the walls, too? Or are you going to roll them?

  8. cat says

    holy moly, what a change!! it looks so bright and inviting. I know the floors will go back to wood in the pictures so it won’t be quite as bright, but wow, looks so so great already! Can’t wait to see it finished!

  9. says

    That looks awesome– and super fun, too. I am with Jeremy on the hating brushing/ rolling paint… but spray paint is a different story. So wish I could justify a paint sprayer!

  10. J says

    Crazy amazing how that white brightens up the whole room and makes it so cheery and seem so much bigger! Love it! Can’t wait to see what’s next for that room. Definitely using this to explain to my husband why crisp white trim is such an essential- he’s not swayed to one side or the other.

  11. Anne says

    Looks great but even better….”this sprayer ate paint like it was Keilbasa at a Steelers tailgating party”. Crack me up!

  12. becky says

    So, do you think you saved any time with the sprayer? Obvy the painting is faster, but with brush & roller you wouldn’t necessarily have to spend so much time taping, putting down plastic, etc. (I don’t usually tape at all when I paint–I just take my time cutting in.) I’m wondering if overall you think the investment was worth it??

    Thanks for the post–I’ve never known anyone with a sprayer and am interested in your thoughts!

    • says

      Oh yes, we definitely saved time. It took us about an hour to tape and paper…and it took Jeremy 2 hours to spray each time. So a total of 6 hours total between the two of us to spray. Now one (maybe two) coats of the minimum four needed would have taken me 6 hours to do by hand with a brush and roller. All in all, I think it saved me about 20 hours total. Worth every penny :)
      xo – kb

  13. Cordia says

    I love how some white paint really changes a room. I had this experience when I started my kitchen. Just the white primer over all the dark trim, beadboard and cabinets transformed the whole room. It’s so bright in there. I’m still working on the cabinet doors and have to finish painting the ceiling, trim, beadboard, and walls. Takes a while for just one person to do with a toddler around. I’m so ready to be done with it. If I could just have a whole day (like 8 hours) of uninterrupted time, I could accomplish so much. I’m the type of person that once I get started I dont like to stop, and having two little boys around doesnt allow me to do that. So hopefully I will get it finished before it starts getting hot around here.

  14. says

    We used a sprayer in our TX house to redo the kitchen cabinets-it was FAST, and like you said, well worth the $$$ vs time spent.

    What color are you doing the walls?

  15. Barbi says

    Long time lurker here…but the change that just that white made inspired me to say, Holy Crap! Amazing difference! With all that brown and swine flesh color going on I was thinking how in the world will she make a space that could inspire anything but meh and blah?? Well done, diy-ers, well done! Can’t wait to see how the rest of the room turns out :)

    PS: I know you’ve lamented the tan trim in the rest of the house, but it was never more obvious than with that picture with the unpainted door against the sparkly white. Yick

  16. says

    Looks awesome! Is the sprayer hard to clean afterwards? I’ve heard they can be a pain in the butt to clean all the parts after you are done. True or false?
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. says

    Wow! It’s amazing how beautiful the moldings look after the paint! We took a major break in our remodeling after baby #2 (as in 13 months major). Your blog is really making me itch really bad to get back on it now! Thanks for the inspiration! :) Oh, and PS… I took a major break from blogging once I got pregnant with said #2… your blog is making me want to blog again… thanks for that, too! :)

  18. Joan says

    Wow, I love how the white turned out! May I know the paint brand and colour code you use? I hope they’re available in my country, I plan on painting my house all white! :D

    • says

      I used Valspar’s Bright White…just the base – no tint. It’s really quite stark so some folks couldn’t handle it but I love it.
      xo – kb

  19. Jessie says

    What is the material you guys used to cover your floors? Does it come in rolls? Is it kind of thick so it doesn’t tare easily?

  20. says

    Hey Katie, where did you guys buy the paint sprayer? I am trying to find this same one local but no where has it. I want it asap, but if I order on Amazon it will take several days to arrive. I’m just wondering if you have any ideas. Thanks.

  21. says

    I really like the progress on this, I did something similar when updating a very old cottage that we purchased recently. I did have to use a low PSI pressure washer to strip off some of the old paint before priming. I was wondering what your thoughts were on working with older wooden walls?


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