Famous last words.
We were going to share after photos of the kitchen today, but the china cabinet we ordered arrived afternoon yesterday and we lost our ideal lighting before I could finish the other task I decided to start–painting the windows. The task of painting the window sashes black wasn’t even on the original “finish the kitchen” list. My sisters were hanging out and helping, and somewhere between the Indian take-out, the Something Corporate songs, and gabbing about “Bachelor in Paradise,” we all accidentally ended up with our own miniature can of black enamel paint and small edging brushes. (Oops!)
We were minutes into our task (but past the point of no return) when we were all wishing we had primed the wood first (did I learn nothing from my very own cabinet painting post?). The paint was going on so streaky! “The first coat will act as primer,” Chris reassured us, and we kept on keeping on. We’re replacing these windows in the next year, but I just thought this would be a quick project!
Next, contorting ourselves into the sinks, kneeling on counters, and limbo-ing under ledges, we wished we had taped off the windows first. With surgical precision and at a snail’s pace, we slowly edged each sash — sharing just-discovered tips: “Let the brush drag along the trim, hanging just enough over the edge…” Still, the backlight of the setting sun was blinding. We couldn’t even see if we were doing it right! (Lesson learned: This task might be better suited for after the sun goes down.)
Hours passed, and we weren’t even halfway done. I had the brilliant idea to just paint one “willy nilly” and clean up all of the paint I got on the window with a razor blade. Can you guess what a big mistake that was?! The razor blade was hard to grip and scraping off all of the paint took just as long as carefully edging each piece of trim. Thankfully, I limited my experiment to one window pane.
My sister was next to experiment: “I’m going to tape this one.” She went about the fussy task of taping off 15 window panes and the exterior. We were halfway through an Adele playlist when the tape ran out. Victoria concluded that the time to tape + the time it takes to paint several coats = maybe no time saved at all.
In the end (read: in the morning), we all loved the black windows. And even said, “wow! worth it!” (note: we were not saying that during the 6 hours it took to paint.) I can say, it made a huge impact and probably cost a total of $15. And that was the biggest lesson: A project like this isn’t a financial investment — it’s a time investment. If we could start over, we’d prime all the trim and tape all of the windows. So, if you decide to take on this project (and you should! There’s so much wow factor!), take those notes and save yourself a few hours and a lot of squinting.
Or invite your sisters over and just surrender to the process. That part had rewards we couldn’t even measure. I can’t wait to share with you how they look with the rest of the finished kitchen. Tomorrow! For sure!
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
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.
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.
Over the weekend Brooke (our social media manager) and I went to the Parade of Homes in the Raleigh area and it was so fun to get a feel of how other people in our new area are living and living large! The purpose of the parade is so that home builders and designers can […]
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!
Make yourself right at home