Diane, Author at The Paint Factory

The Nesting Process Begins…New Home, New Wise Owl Products To Try!!

The Nesting Process Begins…New Home, New Wise Owl Products To Try!!

If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know that at the end of last year I moved house. Buying/selling property during a pandemic – in an area with a red-hot real estate market – is not for the faint hearted. If I had any sense, I would have sat and waited everything out. But that’s not me – why make life easy, right? After my youngest (traitorous?) daughter left for college in British Columbia last summer, there seemed little need to live in suburbia. We didn’t need to be near good schools, or be in close proximity for after-school activities. Basically, if she could spread her wings and fly to new shores – why couldn’t we? It seemed that, literally over night, we could choose to live somewhere based on our needs and wants; and what a glorious seductive idea that turned out to be! Plus, if I’m honest, I’ve never really enjoyed living in a neighborhood; especially as I got older, it brings out the anti-social\claustrophobic parts of my personality (which really should remain hidden). I was fast becoming that person who complained about those cars parked on the street, and why were the neighborhood kids so loud at laughing and playing outside, and if that dogs barks one more time, why I…. You get the drift? Basically, I longed for space. For quiet.

Suddenly, Zillow became my friend – my new addiction. The website that could offer everything my little heart desired – only wrapped up in a price tag I could not begin to entertain. So, when the little house on 2.5 acres showed up on my daily hourly search (a house that didn’t cost heaven and earth combined) I knew it was the Universe telling me that this was the time to move. Once I acknowledge that, everything was a whirlwind. We sold our house the first weekend it was listed (thank you, red hot real estate market), and moved into our new abode within five weeks of the accepted offer. Painting furniture? Eek, no. That didn’t, and hasn’t, happened for months and months. This old chick needed to do some good old-fashioned nesting. (Doesn’t it look like the fireplace is about to eat that box??).

Is it me, or does the front wall look like a face?

Now – that’s not to say I haven’t picked up a paintbrush because, oh boy, let me tell you. I have been painting none stop, I feel that I need to write a book ‘If You Give A Mouse A Paintbrush’. Because what started off as wanting to paint one room (the main living room), quickly turned into that room, plus kitchen, plus hallway, plus ceiling – including all of the trim and doors. I was a little paintbrush-wielding hurricane – no flat surface was safe.

If you remember in my old house I LOVED color. Loved, loved, and loved it some more.

Remember my fabulous blue staging wall?

Or the rich green Marrakech wall by Pure & Original?

For many years, I was smitten by jewel colors.

I love playing with product, and I love thinking of my walls (in the old house they were orange-peel textured; and even typing that makes my eye twitch) as a canvas. Part of the reasoning behind using such vivid colors were 1) Well, why not? but 2) I think it was my attempt to customize my very ordinary suburban home. And it worked. And then I moved.

This house has a completely different feel to it. It’s definitely a country home – and it doesn’t have orange peel textured walls. Oh yea, oh yea! It has relatively smooth walls, but they’re old walls (the main part of the house was built in 1935). The one thing that I have come to realize is that, while I love the relative smoothness of the walls, if said walls have repairs on them (raises hand) the light will naturally refract differently to the areas. So while the sellers of the house had painted the walls prior to listing it (I’m guessing satin finish, although some were eggshell finish), the end result (in certain light) looked patchy because…well….physics.

This time around I didn’t need to ‘shout’ my house is different. I really wanted to embrace the quietness of the house, and that need for stillness (in my life and environment), came through on my choice of colors. I wanted the walls to take a step back, and let my art work etc. be the focal point. This is a new me: neutral is good. Neutrality, I embrace you warmly. Plus, having lived in New England, I’ve always liked the idea of having the traditional darker trim, light walls combination. So that’s what I was going to do with this house. And yes, you absolutely can have contrast while working with a neutral color palette.

In terms of trim paint/color that was a no-brainer. I love the look and feel of oil-based paint (while hating the mess and smell in equal measures); having used the One-hour Enamel paint by Wise Owl paints on my kitchen cabinets in the last house, I knew that I was going to use that on all of my trim and doors. I can’t rave enough about that product, let’s just leave it as me saying it’s really good. A few months ago the company introduced a new wall paint, and this is what came in my email.

Naturally, I was intrigued. A washable matte finish? If I used this product, would I be able to get a more unified finish AND have walls that I could wipe down, if needed? (No, I don’t have young kids – but c’mon, I’m as messy as the next 5 year old). The problem I had was Wise Owl didn’t offer the paint colors that I wanted. Dang.

(Let me be completely transparent here: I am NOT a paint retailer, I don’t sell paint. What I do have is an affiliate link, let me explain: In the great scheme of things, usually when you have an affiliate link with a company you will either be paid $ for a blog post, or they send free product to use and review. You use it, write about it (hopefully, honestly) and people click on your link, order the product and you get around 10% of the list price. It’s a standard formula for businesses and bloggers. So – the gist of it is that I could have absolutely contacted Wise Owl (a very lovely company) and said ‘Hey, want me to try out the wall paint and blog about it? And they would have said ‘Hey, favorite painter of ours, that’s incredibly gracious of you to offer (or words to that effect) and very happily sent me all the product I needed. EXCEPT. Except, they didn’t have the colors I wanted. Double Dang. I probably should also need to mention that I haven’t being paid for this blog post – although money has been exchanged – continue reading).

So, I wrote to Erin and said essentially ‘if I send you a few color swatches, could you custom blend these in both One Hour Ceramic AND One Hour Enamel because my mind is made up, and there’s no changing it. Yada Yada Yada, I want to try this product, but I’m not spending time painting with a color that I don’t want’. She agreed to custom blend the colors, but I would have to purchase the products myself. Like buy them. Like spend my own pennies. When I ‘casually’ mentioned this to my husband, his first reaction was ‘What? Wait? You’re paying them money – I thought you were in the business to MAKE money. Shouldn’t they be paying you?? To which I responded ‘I know! What am I like?? But I will absolutely die – a slow and painful colorless death, if I don’t get these colors’. To which he walked away shaking his head, and that was the end of the conversation; proving once again, that I am a very bad business person.

I actually fully understand why I would have to buy custom colors – it’s a business, it’s extra work for them. And because they were both custom colors, Wise Owl really can’t promote my blog – because they don’t sell those colors. Duh. The only thing I can write about is the quality of the product – which, in itself, I think has a certain value. They did offer me a discount (which was incredibly nice of them, they didn’t have to). When I asked for the custom colors, I wasn’t even sure I would have time to write an entire blog post on them. At the end of the day, I’m happy that this had been a ‘true’ business transaction; it made me very aware that, because I was personally paying for this product would I, hand-on-heart, say I would buy it again? Remember, I’m from Yorkshire – we are a frugal bunch.

Looking at the color charts, the closest match to the wall color I can see is:

Wise Owl Ceramic Paint in Alabaster (my wall color is similar but has warmer undertones).

This gives you an idea of the contrast. Subtle. Suddenly, I’m subtle??

Who knows, maybe they’ll start to made my colors? (they totally totally should!). So, let’s talk paint and is it worth the price tag (in terms of cost, it’s in the Farrow & Ball range). This is not a big box paint, this is marketed as a ‘luxury’ premium paint. So, drum roll – the One Hour Enamel for trim/doors. I just want to say ‘SHUT THAT DOOR’. Terrific. That’s no other way to say it other than it’s completely awesome. I have the look and feel of oil-based paint, without the hassle. Super fast drying, very tough, yet a nice smooth finish. Fabulous for trim/moldings.

When I wrote about it in my kitchen cabinets post, I mentioned that there is a learning curve to using it (because it dries really quickly, you can’t overwork it like you can with latex). But, obviously, if you’re doing trims/window frames it’s incredibly easy to use. This I would absolutely use/buy again. Yes, the hype is real my friends. The hype is real.

The One Hour Ceramic wall paint I have in my living room, kitchen/dining area, hallway and hallway ceiling (I just kept going). I originally bought one gallon, and then ended up ordering another (not because of coverage issues, but because I just kept painting!). I painted over a light base, so really in terms of coverage, it needed 1 1/2 coats (areas that I needed to touch up (user error, more than anything). Again, it’s very fast drying – which is good, especially for the hallway. What I love, ABSOLUTELY love, is the smoothness of the finish. Typically (or at least in my experience), matte finishes usually have a slightly chalky finish – this paint doesn’t. It’s very smooth, almost a silky feeling – but yet a very distinct matte finish. I’ve had to wash some areas (again, I’m the proverbial messy 5 year old) in the kitchen, especially near the garage bin. And it washes really well, you can’t tell it’s been wiped down. I even painted above my range (where the previous owners had removed the microwave in favor of a vent, and then not matched up the tile). You could say it was a rookie mistake, to paint above a stove in a matte finish, but it was very intentional – and it’s actually fine. It’s more than fine (I have wiped this area down several times).

So to recap: I’ve now gone down the neutral route. And I’m liking it very much. I love that my walls have now become a canvas that I can built on. I sure do love the contrast between a darker trim and lighter walls – it makes things seem airy and light, plus it gives more visual weight to the flimsy wood trim that is used today. And I most like that both colors are neutral enough that I’m not tied to a certain color scheme – they give me a lot of freedom. Quality of the product? Top notch. Seriously fabulous product.

The coverage is really good – but again, I painted over a light base (light beige in the living room, and yellow in the kitchen). What I would suggest is, if you’re going to paint over a darker base – use a primer first. Save the good stuff for the top coat. I’m all for saving money, and I think that’s what I would do. I believe the standard practice for most paint companies is to always suggest two coats – I’d just change it up a little and use a high quality primer instead. But again, I highly recommend this stuff – if your wallet allows. I know I will definitely purchase this again (imagines husband shaking his head again).

And there you have it. Out of a gallon on the One Hour Enamel, I have about 1/3 left. I’m planning on using that on my dining room trim/doors, once I move to that section of the house. Ultimately, all of the downstairs will be this color scheme – I just love it so much.

Again, this is the Before:

and the AFTER

Welcome to my home!

{Insert catchy ending phrase here}

Diane aka The Paint Factory

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