Home » Gourley Home » Back Where We Came From…50 Shades of Gray

Back Where We Came From…50 Shades of Gray

So- last year we decided to paint our living room.


In 2009, I needed a fresh start. The futon-couch belonged to my ex, I had super old end tables from my parents’ house (before I was born), and my living room is super strange. It’s long & narrow (that’s what she said?) and it was difficult to have the TV on a separate piece of furniture, so I was hoping to hang the TV over the fireplace. 


I decided on some paint colors. I wanted a green accent wall and 3 khaki walls. Then, I picked out a khaki couch and some dark brown end tables. Thanks, Value City. 


Fast forward a little over a year and a half to summer 2011: green & khaki are VERY warm and VERY dark in my living room that gets little natural light. Also, my living room was a hot.mess.hoootttt.messsssss. In that year and a half I had lived alone, started dating again, gotten engaged, gotten married, had a husband move in, had one roommate move in (twice) and out (once), and completed another year of teaching. My living room showed it. Are you ready for this?! 


That TV in the corner? Took me MONTHS to convince my husband we should sell. 

I’m not sure what most of this crap is. This is the “middle” of our living room. What. The. What.

Ridiculously blurry. Ridiculously messy.

Where’s the couch?! I DON’T KNOW?!?!?!

Aaaaaand back toward the sliding doors. Whew. Aren’t you glad that part is over?!

 Then…I got an offer from Valspar for some paints. What?! Free paint samples?! Yes, please. We ordered a light gray (I believe it was Foggy Mist) and they sent me this whole kit. 

 Then came my favorite part. We painted on some Foggy Mist and also got about 2 bazillion samples from Lowe’s and Home Depot. We hung them all on the wall over the couch and left them for DAYS to see the 50 different shades of gray. We ended up choosing Nimbus Cloud by Olympic. Why, Olympic? I dislike the VOCs and I like the $5 coupon we got. Haha. I’m nothing if not cheap frugal. If you ever came to my house, you would have seen these colors…where the paint samples were hanging is where the ladder art currently resides. So, big changes have continued to happen this year!

This is with the lamp light. See how blue the big ol’ patch of Foggy Mist ended up? 😦 

Anyway, with our Nimbus Cloud all picked out, we went to Lowe’s and talked to our favorite paint girl. She has piercings and crazy tattoos and a dye job. And I. Love. Her. She knows her stuff and she’s chill and she makes fun of people who ask stupid questions. Luckily, I wasn’t one of those customers…this time.


Then…the priming began! No, we could not take the TV down until it was ABSOLUTELY time. We needed to be able to watch HGTV (obviously) while re-painting. Also, we had no AC during this process. That’s why there’s a fan sitting in front of the fireplace. It was hot in there. Really hot. 

Priming machine. See that rusty looking plant stand with the broom handle resting on it?! That’s a new color! Stay tuned to see that awesomeness! (Seriously- I love it.) Also, the back porch with the extra end tables and junk on it? Those are in the shed waiting for redos, the porch has since had a truckload of spare lumber, and now it’s clean again. Ahhh, full circle.
This corner was never quite as crisp as I’d hoped. Painting the room all one color made me really excited that I wouldn’t be staring at that corner any longer.
…aaaand all the way up the stairs! Our house is narrow…and it’s not open AT ALL so I thought one color might lighten things up and make them airy.

Speaking of “airy”, we interrupt this painting update to show you what happens when you don’t change your air filters regularly. Mind you, our AC was going and “sucking” (literally and figuratively) a bit more, but we didn’t change the filter until we realized it had died. This is what we found. 

WWWWHHHAAAATTTTT?!?!?!?!?! HOW DID WE NOT ALL DIE?!

 Back to our regularly scheduled painting update. Cats like drop cloths. Exhibit A:

Going up the stairs was fun and exciting…and exhausting. Also, we have this weird flat hand-rail-bannister-creepy-thing-to-look-over-as-you-go-up-the-stairs. It was gross. I wanted to make sure the paint didn’t come off from previous applications. I ended up chipping paint off of it for HOURS. It may or may not have stayed this pukey yellow-brown-off white combo for a few days weeks before we painted it.

Thumbs down for this part of the project. I’m not sure why I took this picture like this…but I did.

Three layers of paint colors later…

 But wait, we’re almost there! I painted and painted (and panted-it was hot!) Final product?! Pictures taken in tons of different lights to make sure it shows up as well as it possibly can with a terrible camera?!



 TADAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is purely to express my thanks for “Friends” reruns during home improvement projects.

so grateful for Chandler, Ross, Joey, Phoebe, Rachel, and Monica

This is coming in the front door.

Isn’t it so light and welcoming now?! Yes, we took care of the brassy knobs/locks. No, it didn’t end up being a permanent fix. Womp, womp. 

Clearly, cleaning the living room was the next step and it was MUCH cleaner for the past year. I was really proud of it. At one point, I sent our friend a picture of something in the floor and he replied, “You guys have a floor in that room?!” I was excited, too.

Unfortunately, there are no “current” pictures because WE’RE GETTING LAMINATE FLOORS. And by “we’re getting”, I mean, they’re sitting in our floor in a huge pile…because we’re installing them ourselves. Fingers crossed we don’t screw this up! πŸ™‚ 

Now that I’m finally blogging all of these older projects, maybe someday soon you’ll get a “final” look at our little hole in the wall…and it might even be with new floors! πŸ™‚ There could be a House Tour page up on this blog soon! πŸ™‚ 

Anybody else made drastic changes with paint lately? Leave a comment and share your color choices!
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5 thoughts on “Back Where We Came From…50 Shades of Gray

  1. I changed my pumpkin orange guest bathroom to…."ocean mist" I think. It looks SUPER awesome. Today my wonderful husband let me get a new faucet and light fixture too. I can't have a housewarming party with a crappy bathroom! Or maybe I should've and people would've felt bad and gave me paint! (Hmm, might have messed this one up!)

  2. I have had paint sample squares on my den wall since Memorial Day weekend. I consider it an arty focal point now since we have no time to actually paint the room. May I borrow you and your husband's night-owl-ness to come help?

  3. I saw the pictures and think that was a GREAT move! Your guest bathroom looks so open and soothing. If we stop by that housewarming party, don't be surprised if I end up in the bath! πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Manic Monday | Gourley Girl & Guy

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