Painting Over Red

December 19, 2017  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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This post is sponsored by HANDy Paint Products.

A few years ago, right before Christmas, I convinced my parents to buy the home right next to ours. It’s honestly been a dream! We love having them so close, they love to be near their granddaughters and frequently, we love to show our appreciation for all they do for us by helping them with a project or two. My dad works from home and their office space could be best described as heavy. The original room was characterized by its dark maroon walls,  dark wood executive desk and a dark rug with dark blinds.

They have been asking for advice on how to fix it up, so for Christmas this year, Chris and I are helping them tackle the small space. Starting with those walls. They requested something in the green family and I recommended Valspar’s Recycled Glass.

It’s fresh and bright, but soothing–things you want to feel when you are going to be in that room from 9-5 every day. This year, we’ve been working with HANDy Paint Products, and this was the perfect project to pull out their HANDy Pro Pail.

The HANDy Pro Pail holds over a quart of paint (or stain), and has an adjustable strap that lessens hand fatigue, but the real appeal is that it accommodates up to a 6 1/2” mini-roller, while still having that built-in magnet for a brush. While Chris always handles the major rolling of a room, I always do the cutting in and tight places and this pail is awesome for that. I can switch from brushing the edges,

to rolling small, tight places where a 6″ roller is perfect. This would also be the pail for the job for painting cabinets, when you are frequently switching back and forth from brush to roller, or paneling or a room like this where there is a LOT of cutting in and tight corners.

We used Valspar Optimus Paint and Primer in one and it covered almost completely in one coat. We ended up going back and doing another quick “half coat” in places where there was a little bit of red still peeking through.

Needless to say, the new color completely transformed the entire room. We also painted the soffits where the lights are, to blend into the walls–even the big arch window looks a little less obviously off-centered.

Of course, paint is just the base. We already ordered this herringbone jute rug for them, I love this desk lamp (on clearance!), and we’re trying to decide between this black leather and wood office chair or this warm cognac leather one–feel free to weigh in! Are you tackling any painting projects over the holiday? We haven’t painted since I was pregnant, and it was so much fun to turn on some tunes, break out of favorite supplies and completely transform a room in a morning.




What do you think?

  1. Colleen says:

    Okay – I know this post is old but I’m going through your archives for some weekend inspo. Did you ever post a finished office? Would love to see it! Have a few awkward windows in my house and looking for ideas!

  2. Reenie says:

    I just covered up my red in my kitchen to a light grey. I used Kilz though ~ I wasn’t going to chance having to put on 3 coats. :o It just took one coat of the paint. I’m going to have to look for that Handy Pal.

  3. I’m surprised at how great it looked right from the first coat. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Amanda says:

    That paint colour is a lovely choice! But in all honesty anything would of been better than that red! The colours some people choose! (Totally not judging… Oops)

    That window must be placed to make the outside look symmetrical eh? It’s so horribly placed inside. Details peolke, details! It must of been the same people who chose that red. I kid, I kid! ;)

    Can’t wait to see what else you do with the room! Lucky parents. And lucky grandchildren having their grandparents so close. I would of loved that as a child!

  5. Allison says:

    I like the looks of the cognac chair, but the black leather looks much more comfortable.

    What do you do about painting ceilings? I’ve always painted ceilings at the same time as my rooms to freshen them up as well.

  6. Julie P says:

    Shouldn’t the man that spends dozens of hours a week in the chair pick it for comfort? I’d love a roundup of sexy AND comfortable office chairs. My hubby also works from home and has a hulking and horrible but comfy chair. Alas.

  7. What a huge transformation it feels so much more light and open! My vote is for the cognac leather chair. I think the warm color would look so pretty with that paint.

  8. Kelly Jones says:

    Is the window off center in the outside as well?

  9. Erika says:

    I’m stuck.on.the.window……….. how in the world did that come about?! I do love how the lighter paint color makes that less glaringly obvious though!

    I know my hubby would vote for a chair with arm rests over one without for sure!

  10. Jeanna says:

    It’s a great color! As for the desk chair, I’m partial to the black :)

  11. Kerri Jo says:

    I was preparing to have a lot of visitors at my house on Sunday. My oldest daughter leaves to serve people in the Alpine portion of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Anywho…I thought I’d touch up some paint in our home of 1year. I found paint left by the previous owners and thought “Hey this paint must be the dining/kitchen color.” Off I went to Home Depot to give the paint a shake and buy another gallon. Back home I optimistically started painting to find it wasn’t quite a match. You can imagine my frustration/disappointment/despair when I realized my previously planned day of cooking now turned into a day of painting. This painting tool would have come in handy. But all is well now and everything turned out great on Sunday…whew! Love your tips!

  12. Danna says:

    i vote for the cognac chair too. Will be pretty with the floor color, since the room is so small.

  13. Michelle says:

    What a difference paint makes! Wow! That window is killing me too. I find that men like to have a desk chair with arms. Both are good looking. Also, listened to the podcast yesterday and regarding your roof color. If you narrow down your shingle brand and a couple of colors, go to the local building supply that carries that brand and they can usually give you a few addresses where that color has been used. So much easier to look at the total roof with a house similar in color to yours.

  14. Holley Rogers says:

    I love the cognac chair but for the space the wood and leather. Since he works in there he probably would like arm rest to relax a bit thru the day! ☺️

  15. Kate says:

    Cognac leather chair all the way!

  16. Molly says:

    How do you decide which paint line to go with? I know often paint is supplied but looks like maybe not in this post, so I’d love to hear how you narrowed it down to a Valspar color when there’s so many out there: BM, SW, F&B, Behr, etc etc etc. It’s overwhelming staring at 20 light gray/green samples across many brands and it be great to hear your thoughts.

    • Julia says:

      We have a few paint decks–Benjamin Moore, Valspar, Farrow and Ball and Clark+Kensington. So I often look at those colors first. Most paint stores will color match whatever color you pick, so I wasn’t too concerned about brand there–I just really liked recycled glass and we love the cover of Valspar–not sponsored. ;)

      • Megan says:

        FYI, I’ve not had any luck getting either of the big 2 stores to color match one brands paint to another brands color. I’ve quit buying paint from either because of the bad experiences with their staff refusing to do so. I now only buy paint from our local ACE store who will gladly match anything.

      • Julia says:

        That’s where we got this paint.

  17. Julie says:

    Beautiful color! How did a builder live with the decision to make that curved window not align with the pitch of the ceiling?! I know you’ll handle it beautifully!

  18. Katie says:

    I have neglected my downstairs living room for 3 years!! In 2018 I am finally getting rid of the red and yellow walls!! Good to know there is a paint that you don’t have to prime. I hate that step. Always seems to take the longest.

  19. Felicity says:

    Love the wall color. I have that rug in my dining room and I LOVE it.

  20. Shelley says:

    I need this pail in my life! Love to paint but absolutely hate the cuttiing in part. Benjamin Moore Aura paint works wonders at covering tough colors too. It covered our formerly red walled living room in just one coat and has a low odor. I’m hooked!

  21. Ashley R says:

    Cognac leather chair has my vote times ten. The room does look so much better! And that window, what were the builders thinking?

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