Hey hey hey! Are you shocked that I’ve written three posts in a row about the same space?! I am. I don’t know what’s come over me and my normal ADD… maybe I’m turning over a new leaf?
Last week, I excitedly shared our mud room plan and the doorless, cleaned out coat closet. If you’re just tuning in, part of my mud room plan is to turn the coat closet into a little nook with coat hooks and our shoe bench. So with the doors off and shelves down, I got to work filling screw holes left from the shelves. I am so in love with this nail hole filler that I made Kreig take a cheesy picture of me holding it. The ridiculous/creepy smile is only because he refused to get a shot of me kissing the tube. Yeah, I want to marry it.
Filling holes is probably sort of boring and maybe even fool proof, but here’s what I’ve learned after filling about a zillion holes with this stuff:
- Before you start filling, go over the hole with some sandpaper or a sanding block. There is usually a little lip of paint surrounding screw holes, so the sandpaper will get rid of that before you start filling. If you can’t get the lip to go away, push the edges into the hole when with your finger, then sand again.
- Don’t use the sponge applicator that comes attached to the tube. Or the black tip. Screw the tip off and just squeeze straight from the tube.
- Fingers are the best tools for applying it. Squeeze it onto your finger, and glob it right into the hole.
- Don’t be stingy — more is more. This stuff sands off so easily that it’s better to have your hole heaping over with the filler and sand it off later than it is to try to fill it level the first time. This is probably not the “proper” practice, but trust me. It’s better than having to do multiple coats which you would have to wait to dry and still sand anyway. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
- Once the filler dries, sand it with a sanding block versus regular sandpaper. Sometimes with sandpaper, you can create a little divot with your fingers, which will need to be filled again. A sanding block keeps things even with the surrounding wall, plus I think it’s more comfortable to use. You can find the sanding blocks right with the sandpaper at any home improvement store.
- Once the fill dries and you sand it smooth, you HAVE to HAVE to HAVE to prime it before you paint over it. Learn from my mistakes. If you don’t prime it, when you paint over it, the filled spots will look oddly dull and different than the rest of the wall. In this case, I didn’t have any primer around, so I gave all the filled spots a coat of the paint+primer that I used in our living room and kitchen. I wasn’t confident it would work, but it did! There’s no difference in sheen over the filled spots – so there ya go.
Here’s the closet with the screw holes all filled, sanded and primed with my leftover paint+primer. Pay no attention to the color.
Once that paint+primer dried, I gave the entire closet two coats of the same stuff we used on the rest of the mud room. The paint is True Value’s Easy Care in eggshell, and the color is called “Prominence.” Of all the paints I have used recently — this, Wal Mart’s Color Place, Lowe’s Valspar, and Lowe’s Olympic One — I have to say the Easy Care goes on pretty terribly on comparison. It seems really watery. Thanks to a buy one get one free sale, we used this paint on the entire interior of the house when we first painted, and I didn’t notice the poor quality then, (Maybe because they were new walls so I expected minimal coverage? Or perhaps I breathed in too many primer and paint fumes during that long couple of weeks?) but boy could I tell this time. I don’t recommend this stuff. Olympic One has definitely been the best so far, but Wal-Mart’s Color Place is surprisingly thick as well– I got away with one coat in our bathroom!
I used to tape everything off and go back and touch up spots whenever I would paint a room, but when we painted our new house, my dad didn’t want me to put tape on the freshly sand-painted ceiling. So I was forced into cutting in without tape. I was so scared of totally ruining our nice new house with jagged paint lines along the ceiling. I googled my face off to find out the best methods for cutting in. Actually, that’s when I discovered Young House Love, which started my home-blog addiction, which ultimately led to the creating of Heroth Home! Crazy, huh?
Anyway, after that research plus the experience of painting our whole house, and repainting three more times (or six if you count the living room, kitchen and dining room space as three separate rooms) here’s what I’ve learned about cutting in effectively:
- Unless you’re striping walls, painting an accent wall, or spraying, painter’s tape is a waste of time and money. Don’t be scared to get tape-less. It’s liberating.
- It’s all about the brush. I am a total tight wad. I’m always willing to go cheap when I can. (Hello, Wal Mart paint and Target clothes!) I’ve learned that you simply can’t buy off-brand brushes. If anyone knows of any exception to this rule, I’d love to know about it! Cheap brushes won’t give clean lines like the good ones do, and don’t even get me started on shedding bristles. Just suck it up and drop a few extra bucks on a good, 2″ angled stiff bristle brush. Purdy and Wooster are my homeboys. I’m sure there’s other brands that work just as we’ll, but I’ve experienced these guys first hand and you can’t lose.
- Speaking of brushes, I am in love with my little short-handle Wooster 2″ angled brush for cutting in and for tight spaces (like behind toilets). I’m sure this is a person-to-person thing, but the short handle just feels way more comfortable for me, and it seems to give me more control. I can definitely cut in faster and neater with this little baby. And the better news is that it’s a little cheaper than full-size handle ones. I still use regular sized paint brushes for some stuff, but I always use the little guy for cutting in.
- This is hard to describe, but it’s what makes the biggest difference for me when it comes to getting a nice clean line. Let the ends of the bristles do the cutting in, not the sides. My dad taught me to cut in with the brush parallel to the edge that you’re cutting in, using the side of your bristles to create the edge line. I think this is how real painters do it, but I can NEVER make it work for me. I get jagged edges. When I turn the brush 90 degrees, so its perpendicular to the edge instead of parallel. It gives you a neater line, and it lets me move faster. See what I’m saying?
If you’re thinking that you can never cut in without tape because you simply don’t have a steady hand, just try it with these tips one time and see if they help. I probably have the least steady hand in the world, and I get straight-up shaky when I don’t eat often enough. In fact, almost every time I paint a room I end up all shaky because I get so focused that I forget to stop and eat…. but it doesn’t matter. I am still able to get clean lines when I’m really shaky. Now, theres times when I get a little hurried and end up smacking the ceiling with my paint brush, but that’s for another post. So seriously, give it a shot without tape, with a good brush, using the ends of your bristles… and see how ya do. I bet you’ll surprise yourself!
So, back to my point: the coat closet is one step closer to becoming a little mud room nook. The walls now match the rest of the mud room, and I even slid the bench in, mainly so I could cross one more thing off my list. Next up: hang some shelves for storage and hooks for coats.
Here’s how my list is lookin’:
Remove the doors from the coat closet. This way we can walk in and step to the right, into the closet and take our shoes off in there. Paint the coat closet to match the rest of the room. I originally painted it with a light blue-ish green color that I got by mixing some blues and greens from other spaces, mainly because I thought the navy would make the closets too dark. If I remove the doors, though, I want it to look like part of the room.
- Fill the indents left from the hinges and ball-catch plates on the door casing.
Move the bench into the coat closet and create kind of a little mini-mudroom within a mud room area. Check out this inspiration pic. Mine won’t be as nice and built-in looking, but see what I’m saying?
- Upholster the bench, or create a removable cushion. This will double as a dog bed when we’re not home, so we don’t have to have an actual dog bed on the floor. Does this gross anyone out?
- Buy or make a gate for the hallway, so we can gate the dogs in the mud room when we leave.
- Hang coat hooks in the closet, above the bench along with maybe some shelves and baskets up high.
- Makeover a long dresser (from my childhood bedroom) to go in the bench’s place and provide storage for extra coats, sweatshirts, and maybe even shoes. I think I’ll do better with storing coats if I can fold them instead of hanging them.
- Hang some shelves and/or a rod in the laundry closet. Right now there are no shelves in there so there’s a lot of wasted vertical space going on. I may use the shelves that are in the coat closet now, but I haven’t decided yet.
- Remove the hook rails from the wall and repair the holes left behind.
- Relocate the key hooks and dog leashes closer to the door. Their location now (right next to the hallway archway) causes a lot of mud too, because we have to walk across the mud room with our shoes on when we forget to grab our keys.
- Sand the filled nail holes on the door casing, and fill and sand the ones that aren’t done yet.
- Paint the doors and trim. Because I never did when I was supposed to. You know, before we moved stuff in the house. Before I did a zillion other unnecessary projects. Before I decided I didn’t need closet doors anyway. Well, at least I have two less doors to paint now.