A Good Day Off: Painting the Dining Room

A few weeks ago, I had a random day off work. I set out to savor it, and ended up spending the afternoon painting our dining room after taking a good nap. Which fortunately, is my idea of a day off well spent.

Although our dining room didn’t have so much of the “beige box” feel as the rest of the house because of so many windows, I still longed to change it.

This photo is how it looked until the day I painted it with just a few updates since we moved in (chandelier, and spoon/shutter decor). It’s a big room and I wanted to brighten it up even more.

photo 2 (40)
The room has a lot of character with the chair rail and huge windows. I wanted them to stand out more with a different hue of paint that was more modern.

photo 3 (10)But first I began by addressing the sliding glass door. Our backyard is beautiful with many trees, and yet there were bulky curtains at the door. They also were tan – maybe that’s why I hadn’t taken them down yet- they essentially blend into the walls and block part of the view. And we had never used them.

IMG_9262 IMG_9265
I removed the curtain rod with the curtains attached, then endeavored to remove the brackets. After it was all down, I was so pleased. It opened up the room and gives an even larger view of the yard.

IMG_9266 After patching this area, I prepared to paint. I used the same paint- Granite Dust by Valspar- that was used in the living room, master bedroom (post on that soon!), and master bathroom (yeah… reveal hopefully soon on that too). The only area I taped off was between the windows because the space was so small. Otherwise, I cut in with a 1″ angled brush all around before rolling.

The trick to cutting in without taping off is to not get too much paint on the brush and angle it well.

IMG_9271 IMG_9272It took me a little getting used to and some patience, but after a bit it went fast! I had q-tips on hand for any paint I got on the trim!

After cutting in I realized a few areas on the wall were dirty… ick. A few squirts of Green Works fixed it right up. IMG_9269Although paint was running low by this time since I used it in several rooms, I had learned my lesson and didn’t skimp on putting paint on the roller at the expense of my arms.

In reality, if you apply the proper amount of paint to a wall (i.e. no drips) you are going to use the same amount whether you push real hard and kill your arms or give a more generous amount and spread it around. Save your arms.

I finished just in time for home group and pushed all the furniture back and put the switch covers back on real quick. Whew! I didn’t get into the kitchen, but that’s on my list to do soon.

Ready to see how it looks? First, let’s have a good look at the before….

Here is a photo of the room from the day we moved in, before any changes were made. Remember those terrible shutters we took down asap?! It was so dark and dreary. We wanted to bring in light and see our lovely backyard.

photo 3 (7)Here is the new room…


I love how the chair rail and crown molding stands out more now!

IMG_9303We love the huge windows and serene view.

IMG_9298And look at how much more open the doors are!

IMG_9300We love the new color. It feels crisp, clean, and elegant. The grey is a wonderful change from all the brown tones.

IMG_9313 IMG_9295I am so glad to have this big room updated! It again proves how editing (shutters and curtains coming down) and painting can have a huge impact for little money.

Linked up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s January Before and After Link Party


9 thoughts on “A Good Day Off: Painting the Dining Room

  1. I love all the changes you are making. I was wondering if you have repainted any of those heavy gold frames. my awesome hubby has several of them around the house. wont take them down but said I can redo any way I want. your pictures and instructions are easy to understand and copy.

  2. I love what you are doing to your new house. my new hubby has 6 big gold framed mirrors hanging in our house. they work well at enlarging rooms,but I really do not like the heavy frames. he said I can repaint them any way I want. have you done any mirrors like that. your instructions and pictures make it so easy to figure out.

    • Thank you so much! I try to make things easy so others can get adventurous in their own homes! I have painted a mirror, and in fact a heavy gold-painted wooden one. Here is the link:
      I love chalk paint because it paints over anything, but it is a little pricey for a small project.
      But if you use a primer (or a paint that has a primer in it), it would do just fine. I love using spray paint because it is fast, goes on evenly, and comes in a ton of colors (many with primer)! Just make sure to tape and cover the mirror well if you spray paint.

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