The world’s most underwhelming paint job

As I have mentioned before, we moved into a new flat back in May and so, for the first time, I am living with a boy. I’ve lived with boys before, but not a boy, the boy. Before we moved here we spent a year living together in a shared house but it was more the case that he moved in with me, rather than us creating somewhere to call home together.
Our current place was the perfect blank canvas for us to put a bit of a stamp on (it is still a rented property and already furnished so there’s only so much we can do – no going crazy with the paint colours). It came with neutral coloured walls, neutral flooring, neutral sofas, neutral curtains, neutral everything! However, it wasn’t in great condition with scuffs from what looked like a good few years of use without a repaint. The worst thing though was that the paint had a yellowish tinge to it and the rooms ended up looking very yellow, particularly at night. 

With our landlady’s permission, we painted the lounge a few months ago. I wanted a blue-grey and thought I’d found the perfect colour in Dulux’s Celestial Cloud 4. On the pieces of A3 paper we painted and hung around the lounge it looked perfect, once we got it on the walls it took on more of a blue tone than I thought it would but I do still like it a lot. We also changed the layout of the sofas a bit as we didn’t want to spend the evenings staring at each other across the room on our respective sofas.

The next step was the hall which was very scuffed as it’s obviously a much higher traffic area. It was also painted in the same yellowish cream and I wanted to not only cover the scuffs but to also brighten it up a bit. As my boyfriend alleges a ‘paint allergy’ (allergy to painting more like), I had to wait until he was away for the weekend before attacking the hall. Last weekend he went away so I seized the opportunity.

This was our hall before:

I started painting the first coat at 6pm on Saturday night and finally put down my brush at 2am. What I hadn’t quite appreciated was how difficult painting white over cream would be – it’s damn near impossible to see the difference. However, although white over cream was tricky, doing a second coat of white over white was worse, particularly as I seem unable to finish anything fully and will get bored halfway through one wall and so move onto another.
After two coats, I was left with this:

See the difference? Yeah, my boyfriend couldn’t either. He only knew that something had been painted because I left the paint tray in the kitchen, even when he knew that something had been painted, he had no idea what. But, it does cool the yellow tone down a bit and most importantly, it’s covered the scuffs. The problem now is that it’s made the door frames and skirting board look terribly dingy and aged and so I’m going to have to buy some white gloss paint to do those.
As part of the process of painting, I managed to rectify the slightly sloping shelf problem by tightening the bracket screws which now means that we have a nice level shelf which doesn’t look like it’s ready to drop off the wall at a moment’s notice.

Once I had beautiful white walls, I also finally got around to hanging the Seb Lester original piece that I bought myself as a slightly early Christmas present last year.

It’s done in 23 3/4 carat gold leaf, it’s hard to capture it properly in a photo but I love seeing it up on the wall (previously it was propped up on my bookshelf).

Seb Lester is a type designer, illustrator and artist and I’ve been a fan of his for a while (I also own the Stars print in midnight blue and the So Much To Do print also in midnight blue) so I was excited to have the opportunity to buy something original. The fact that it came with a beautifully lettered Christmas card was a bonus. Even the address label on the box it was sent in was beautiful. I wish I could write so nicely but unfortunately I lack Seb’s patience and dedication to learning and practice. Instead I will content myself with looking at his work and admiring it whenever I walk down my hall.
  • Oh, it looks wonderful :)! You did a great job for sure…. and the framed piece makes you think, how beautiful simplicity can be

    Laura Elisabeth @

    • Aww, thank you. I agree regarding simplicity, it doesn’t take all the fuss and drama for something to be beautiful.