Drywall Repair + Paint = :)


We have painted kitchen walls! Yea, paint!

As soon as the contractors wrapped up wave one of renovation last week, we were right behind them with our drywall tape, mud and sandpaper. Scott did the majority of this work while I continued the hutch refresh, and he powered through for an entire weekend and several nights this week (a champion, I tell you) – taping, mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding and sanding some more. Drywall dust is our biggest enemy when it comes to renovation (remember this happy day?), and although we did our best to close off the kitchen, cover the appliances and mop every night, that dust continued to find it’s way into the living room, bedrooms and bathrooms.


But let’s fast forward to the magical night where we moved past that and dived into painting! Choosing a paint color was particularly agonizing (ha!) since our plan is to continue the color into our living room. That said, we wanted something that felt bright and clean with a hint of warmth, finally landing on Intense White by Ben Moore. We’re thrilled to continue working with Ace Hardware this year, and they graciously provided the paint, color matched to Valspar Optimus in an eggshell finish. (This is the same brand we used in the guest room, and we are on board. It’s thick and smooth with an almost matte appearance once dry.) The color itself is actually a pale warm gray, providing soft contrast against our (eventual) white trim and appliances.  The color is a chameleon, looking straight up blindingly white out of the can, going on slightly beige (causing us to panic – just for a minute), and drying down to a gorgeous, subtle gray that never feels too cool or overly warm. Love, love.

Let’s go back to the beginning, before electrical was juggled around and all the walls were in tact:


To last week:


And now, today! We haven’t even begun our back-wall-of-windows, but man. What a difference paint makes! Now, imagine: white trim and cabinetry, a dark island and that runner.


We hope to get new doors for the furnace this weekend, a completed hutch and although there were rumblings of finished cabinets, it looks like those have been slightly delayed. But! Once those are in, it’ll be on to counter installing, tiling, dresser-reconfiguring, hardware choosing and, fingers crossed, back-door-transom-ing!

Our longtime partner Ace Hardware provided the paint for this project, and we used BM Intense White color matched to Valspar Optimus in an eggshell finish. Thank you for supporting those that support us! xx.

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  • Amanda1.29.15 - 9:12 AM

    I’m curious about how paint companies name their colors. I would expect something called “Intense White” to be a VERY bright white, not a subtle gray lol. This looks great! I’m glad you find something you like. When do you think you’ll paint the living room?ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.29.15 - 9:18 AM

      I know, right? And the funny thing is that we landed on “Distant Gray” for our cabinets (also Ben Moore), which is a super clean bright white! So we have Intense White walls (gray) and Distant Gray cabinets (white). Hmm…

      I was hoping to paint it last weekend, but the drywall mess was a bit too much to bear. Maybe this weekend?ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer1.29.15 - 9:41 AM

    I used Intense White in our kitchen and mudroom and I love it! Though the name did scare me a little and I almost didn’t pick it, but it really is a warm pale gray. We have white cabinets (BM Simply White) and white subway tile with black countertops and the wall color looks lovely against all of it. It also works really well next to our living/dining room wall color (Rope by Valspar).

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of your kitchen transformation!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ 702 Park Project1.29.15 - 10:22 AM

    It’s really coming together so well! I can’t wait to see the finished product. I especially love the pocket door you chose, and the color is perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Colleen1.29.15 - 10:40 AM

    That color completely brightens the space! It looks so much bigger!ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.29.15 - 10:43 AM

      It FEELS so much bigger! And we don’t even have all the new windows yet to let in even more light!ReplyCancel

  • Staci1.29.15 - 11:07 AM

    What a transformation a clean coat of paint can make. The color looks great with your pocket door. Picturing it against bright white trim and I have no doubt it’s going to be awesome!

    Off topic (didn’t have time to comment on your kitchen island post) but I like the idea of a leeeetle overhang on the back side of it. My parents’ island (which is huge) has an overhang with barstools and I love sitting at that while doing food prep (or eating breakfast while watching the TV they have in their kitchen).ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.29.15 - 11:12 AM

      You’re totally right. Since we’ve put the dresser in the kitchen, I find myself pulling up a stool to sit during food prep. It definitely needs an overhang, but it will be a delicate balance of how much we can have.ReplyCancel

  • Nate1.29.15 - 2:29 PM

    Just a question, as I am a little ignorant about paints and such. What do you mean exactly by Ben Moore’s Intense White matched to Valspars Optimus in eggshell finish? Is the Valspars Optimus simply the primer over which the BM is applied? If I’m on the right track here, would using a different primer produce different effects? Or am I missing something… Thanks a lot for bearing with me!ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.29.15 - 2:36 PM

      Hi Nate, no problem! It just means that we liked a Benjamin Moore color, but instead of buying it with BM paint, we had the guys at the paint counter mix it into Valspar Optimus. Essentially, we fell in love with a color that wasn’t Valspar, but we wanted to use Valspar paint. This is especially helpful for pricier brands that have gorgeous color, but getting it mixed into a more affordable gallon.ReplyCancel

      • Kim1.29.15 - 2:37 PM

        I should also say, we didn’t use primer :)ReplyCancel

      • Nate1.29.15 - 7:55 PM

        Oh, wonderful! I didn’t realize you could do that. Thanks so much!! One more question. Is there a standard ratio to do this? Sorry to ask a lot, I’m just quite curious about this process.ReplyCancel

        • Kim1.29.15 - 8:02 PM

          Hmm, not sure what you mean by ratio? Most places will color match, but if you’re unsure, just ask the guy at the paint counter! They’ve heard it all before!

          For example, say you love a color by Clark+Kensington, but you really want Valspar paint, just say, “can you color match this C+K color to Valspar paint?” They’ll be able to tell you if it’s doable :) We also did this with a Farrow & Ball color, but had it color matched to Sherwin Williams, since you can’t buy Farrow & Ball locally!ReplyCancel

        • lsaspacey1.30.15 - 1:49 PM

          Nate, every paint company uses specific color formulas (ex. 3 parts red + 2 parts cyan (blue) + 1 part yellow) for their paints. These combos of pigments are then added to a white neutral base. That base can be from BM, Valspar, or any company you want but it allows you to get the same color recipe at different price points, if possible. They basically just duplicate the same recipe/ratio of colors from one company in either a more or less expensive white base.ReplyCancel

          • Kim1.30.15 - 3:03 PM

            THANK YOU!

          • Nate1.31.15 - 7:42 AM

            Ah!! Thanks so much. I misunderstood at first with what the mixing meant and was unaware you could reduplicate colors!! Perfect, thanks again.

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design1.29.15 - 4:08 PM

    yay for paint and I can totally picture the dark island and runner.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn1.29.15 - 6:57 PM

    I’ve been searching for the perfect grey for my kitchen too. I have about 6 swatches up on the wall right now.. I may have to try this one. I love seeing your progress :)ReplyCancel

  • Mara1.30.15 - 11:39 AM

    Kim, is it just me or is this reno whizzing by??!!! I’m so excited to see everything come together. Plus that hutch refresh is going to be AWESOME-can’t wait!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.30.15 - 11:46 AM

      You literally had me LOLing – I think it’s just you, but we ARE working on getting through this as efficiently as possible, because we can’t wait to see the end results ourselves!ReplyCancel

      • Mara1.30.15 - 2:59 PM

        Oh man!! I’m sorry that it doesn’t seem that way to you. You guys are so good at making it look easy, quick and painless :) Maybe other bloggers are just slower ;)

        ANYWAY- keep up the good work! I’ll stick around for more humor.ReplyCancel

  • I absolutely LOVE the color! Looks amazing, and can’t wait to see more!ReplyCancel


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