Progress + Paint in the Girls’ Office!

August 31, 2020

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

In case you missed it, we’re currently tackling the girls’ office! Which, I suppose, is just a normal home office that you might find in other homes, but we have designated it for the girls’ use for virtual learning and homework, etc.

You can check out our plans and the mood board and lots of home office inspiration in this post. Our main goal is to lighten it up and add some whimsy and after last week, we’re well on our way!

Previously, the cabinets were a dark cherry with matching wainscoting around the perimeter of the room and a different tone of wood on the coffered ceiling.

We decided to paint it all Sherwin  Williams Accessible Beige, which is the color of the trim in the main areas our our house. I think a lot about how rooms flow together and because the doorway to this room is a cased opening (meaning, it’s trimmed out already) with no doors, I love the seamless transition of the color of the trim spilling out onto the cabinetry and trim work in here.

You may have spotted this, but before painting we also added vertical tongue and groove to the wall behind the desk and even carried it into the back of the bookshelves (using a laser level to make sure all the lines lined up!). It’s the exact same paneling we used in the kitchen. We did this because we didn’t want to carry to wallpaper onto this wall so this helped define it as trim work and we painted it as such!

We also decided to sand down the desktop to a more natural color before painting. We’ll stain and seal it after painting is all done.

The last piece of prep was patching all the knots in the wood with wood filler and going over all the cabinets with a deglosser.

We’ve painted quite a few cabinets in the last year, we have it pretty much down to a science. 1. Liquid Deglosser (this allows you to skip the sanding step!) 2. Primer (here we used a Quick Dry Stain Blocking Primer). 3. 2 coats of paint (This one is an enamel (extra hard!) specific for trim, doors, or cabinetry. Because there was so much to trim work to paint in here, we knew that a paint sprayer would be the fastest method. We used this one again (but we rounded up all of our favorite paint sprayers in this post if you want to check out more!)

One thing we did differently–we DIDN’T take off the cabinet doors like we normally would. There was spacing around each door so we knew they wouldn’t get painted shut. Instead, we taped the backs/inside so that no paint would get inside the cabinet boxes (since we wanted those to remain a natural wood tone they are) and we will roll the back of the doors after these cure. Like I said, we’ve never done it this way, but these cabinet doors don’t rest on cabinet boxes like all of our other cabinets have so we’ll keep you posted on whether this works or it’s a total fail. Hahaha

I can barely wait to get the wallpaper installed above the wainscoting, but I’m so thrilled with how this is looking already. So much softer and lighter.

Hopefully we can get the wallpaper installed this week (we’d prefer to hire it out if we can find a professional!) and the rest of the room should come together super fast!

See all the mood board sources here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Jenna says:

    How big is the wall you all covered and how many rolls of wallpaper did it take?

  2. Rochelle Tallmadge says:

    Julia, I’ve fallen in love with accessible beige from these pics and your trim. I decided to use it on my kitchen cabinets. We are building and I’m starting to consider it for the trim too. I love it in your house. But you have wood tone doors. I have paint grade. I would like to do the doors in a bright white. Is that strange? Or should I do the doors accessible beige too? I literally can’t find any pics online of white doors with beige trim, so now I’m wondering if I’m out to lunch. Thanks!

  3. Courtney Wayne says:

    Love it! I’m getting ready to paint my kitchen cabinets Accessible Beige. Would you recommend matching the wall color and cabinet color for a more custom look?

  4. Sara says:

    Julia you said its Tongue and Groove but the link says Shiplap. What is the difference?

    • Sam says:

      The difference is how the pieces join together. I believe what she used is ship lap despite calling it tongue and groove (sometimes people call the “look” tongue and groove without knowing it specifically refers to the joints). The overall look you will get with either is very similar! Shiplap can be laid butted up to one another, for the look she has here, you’ll want to use the wider gap side. Most shiplap boards allow for the option either way depending on how you flip them.

  5. Danielle says:

    Love this! Did you cover the floor before painting or did you tear out the carpet and are planning to replace?

  6. Cassandra says:

    So!!? How did leaving the doors in place turn out?

    • Julia says:

      Fine! Well…about the same. Hahaha. We took them off and painted them after but it did cut down on having to block off the interior of the cabinetry.

  7. Becky says:

    What finish do you recommend for trim? I noticed the paint can says satin – is that what you normally use? I always thought semi-gloss was needed for trim/baseboards, so that’s what we’ve used in our house but it now seems too shiny for me (or maybe my tastes have changed!). Do you find satin holds up to the wear and tear of a house with kids? Thanks! PS – the room (and whole house) is looking GREAT!

  8. Ashley says:

    And that new window is just going to pop!!!

  9. Jillian Wilkerson says:

    Looks goooood!

    Can we send one of those “It’s cool to be kind” pennants to the White House? :-)

  10. Kiersten says:

    How did you make sure you had the exact same distance bt the tongue and groove? Did you use some kind of spacer?! Thanks you it looks amazing!!

  11. Gill says:

    So dreamy as always! What do you guys use to cover knots? Just the primer or something before primer?

  12. Megan says:

    Do you mind showing photos at some point to visually show why you chose not to take the doors off and what you mean by you taped the inside of the doors? I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that ????

  13. Angela says:

    Looks great! I would love to see a pic of how you covered the insides of the cabinets and a closeup of what you mean by the doors not resting on cabinet boxes.

  14. Dianne Phillips says:

    I can’t wait to see the final reveal! While I love wood (and my husband even more), the same light color throughout the room will allow the wallpaper, rug, and other accessories to really pop. Another CLJ win :).

  15. molly says:

    What is the plan for the ceiling inset portion? I see the spray from the trim went over into the ceiling – covering with wallpaper in there too? I enjoy following the process!

  16. Rachel says:

    Hi!! Are you guys willing to share your paint color? It’s so dreamy!!

  17. Jen says:

    Why did you change paint type? My mom is currently in process of painting their kitchen cabinets with the type of (non-cabinet) paint. I’m worried she should get the enamel paint now…

  18. Kathryn says:

    I love that you extended the trim color into this room! Could I use your same deglossing, priming, and painting method on wooden dining chairs?

    That velvet couch in the mood board is gorgeous too. What will you do with the white couch that was previously in that room?

  19. Tricia Walsh says:

    Just gorgeous, WOW what a transformation. Can you tell me about the paneling behind the cabinets. Is it one sheet or is that shiplap panels?

  20. Nora says:

    Love it! Looks like this room was always meant to be this color! ????

  21. MC says:

    I’m excited for you all! How long did the prep take? Prep is always the longest part of painting a room and something like this seems overwhelming to me

  22. Catherine says:

    Since you have plenty of cabinet painting experience, I need advice. I am building new cabinets/shelves for my office, and I am painting the shelf bottoms where books and objects sit. I still have a hard time finding a paint that won’t ‘stick’ to books after resting on the shelf for several weeks. Do you have a recommendation what I should do? I’ve used an enamel (latex based) paint on bookshelves to minimize odors, let it cure for a week, and put a clear coat on it (but with a white cabinet paint, I still find it yellowing) but it still comes out sticky. Should I just go with a oil based paint, or line the shelves with paper (tacky, but so is the paint ;))? Are there steps I am missing or a better product that you’ve had luck with? Your office is looking great.

    • Julia says:

      Hmm—do you live in a humid area? We’ve never had that issue.

      • Eugenie says:

        This is so interesting! I live in humid Texas and paint never fully dries. Anything I lean against painted surfaces, even years later, will stick. I never considered the humidity.

    • Megan says:

      Catherine, I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about! I’ve tried a lot of different paints to avoid the tackiness, but have found baby powder to be the best trick. After your paint has cured for a few days, sprinkle it with baby powder. Use a dry paper towel to swirl it around the whole surface, then use a wet towel to clean up the excess powder. It will be smooth as silk!

  23. Janelle says:

    Love it! I was one who voted for the basement, but I’m so glad you didn’t listen to us! We just moved into a home that has stained wood EVERYwhere! I’m toying with the idea of painting the cabinets to lighten things up a bit, but the cabinets (and allll the other wood in the house ????) are a knotty wood. What did you use to fill your knots in the office cabinets? I’m worried about them bleeding through after painting.

  24. ALICIA KAHLE says:

    I love it! Just a fun tip, maybe consider a yoga ball ( white ) for them to zoom as well. i found that it helps keep their attention and my kids just grab it if they need a little help, But overall what an amazing space for them!

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

There was a 10-year-period where everyone (including me) was doing black or almost-black rooms or walls. These days, we want something moody and romantic, but we want warmth back in our lives. We want the “grown-up” version of that look. If you are craving a rich, moody paint color that’s a warm, inviting neutral, then […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations