Right before Christmas, literally a week!, we had the main space in our a-frame painted. We were thinking about it for awhile and then it hit us–as soon as we start moving furniture in (we were hosting family starting the 23rd) it was going to become a lot more difficult to ever do it. So we took the leap! It was a big jump, but we’re so so happy with how it turned out.
Here’s a few before-paint photos to remind you where we started:
After looking through lots of inspiration photos, we decided to paint the tongue and groove a warm white, we went with Benjamin Moore China White and de-orange the beams–more on that in a minute.
The painters taped off all the beams and surrounding areas the first day and primed the tongue and groove with Kilz Oil based primer.
And the next day, they followed up with two coats of Benjamin Moore China White in a matte finish. It’s the most beautiful warm white. Not stark. Just right. At this point we knew that the beams were going to look completely different but we thought maybe there was a chance that uncovering them they would be magically be perfect. During this time, we discovered that the beams had already been stained and sealed previously–although they weren’t slick and shiny like you’d expect. Unfortunately, uncovering them, they looked more orange than ever.
We didn’t have the budget (or time) to sand down the beams and start fresh, but we worked with the pros to figure out a solution. We used oil-based paint “watered down” with mineral spirits at a 2:1 ratio paint to mineral spirits. After lots of testing, we landed on Benjamin Moore’s Sandy Hook.
The painters brushed it on and wiped it off immediately, working in small sections. I didn’t want any opaque areas of paint because that could go shabby really fast. I just wanted the look of a light stained wood and this was the work-around. It actually worked wonderfully! I took the in-progress photo below where you can see the beam below the horizontal beam has the thinned paint treatment and above it doesn’t. It really toned down the orange and made all of our other finishes work together so much better.
We decided to keep the window wall wood, too. Although, I’m going to paint the doors and sidelights black.
Everything important, everything that we wanted to be noticed stands out now. I didn’t even see the black metal plates at the top of the a-frame beams before we painted and now they are there and SO cool!
The stacked fireplace, the wood floors can all breathe and shine now. Even though we know it isn’t what everyone would have done, we’re so glad we did it! I really believe that you should never live with something you don’t love completely because you are afraid of doing something “permanent.” Both scenarios are “permanent”…and yet neither are.