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Paint From Top to Bottom!

tile floors | door hardware | wall color

This post is a collaboration with Paintzen. Use promo code YBH50 for $50 off your paint service! 

This post is about so much more than paint. It’s a celebration of the last big, huge, monstrous step in getting the garden apartment ready for its future tenants. It’s the relief of the ticking clock over our shoulders. It’s the overwhelming joy of seeing our hard work shine for all that it is, and as dramatic as that may sound (does it?), it couldn’t be more true! We’ve sacrificed our summer for week nights and weekends in the garden, and while there were times we were riding the high of whittling down our To Do List, there were exhaustive lows and moments of burnout. We kept our spirits up for the most part (and to put it bluntly, I’m pretty proud of us!), but the day that a crew of 3 professional painters came to our home was a day that we downright celebrated.

I kid you not, I got misty eyed.

We worked with a hired crew from Paintzen, a service that takes every last ounce of stress out of home painting. Their online platform allows you to do everything from building a competitive quote to choosing colors, and you work with them to schedule your job with trusted, insured professionals. (They’ll even deliver paint right to you!) Paintzen introduced themselves to us last year, but it wasn’t until this garden renovation kicked off that we knew we could truly use their help. Not only did it feel luxurious on every level to have them tackle this last massive task on our list, but they did it beautifully and efficiently – and in two days. They’re also offering $50 off all paint services for the next 30 days when you use the promo code YBH50! They currently have markets in NYC, SF, LA, Boston, DC, Chicago, Dallas and Portland, but fingers crossed they keep ’em coming.

For the last few weeks, you’ve seen us wrap up the bones of the kitchen, and Scott knocked out all the missing trim, adding new and repairing old, and I followed up with caulk, spackle and sanding. We swapped outlets and scrubbed the floors, and we pulled down the recessed lighting in preparation for the Paintzen crew. Here’s where we were a week ago; notice the heavily patched walls, pencil scribbles and bare drywall: Click on the main image or any thumbnail below to view the gallery. If you’re in a reader, you may need to view the full post.

The crew showed up bright and early last Monday, and it started with a brief 10 minute walkthrough with the team leader. We were immediately relieved upon meeting him; he was incredibly friendly, and his whole team spoke to us with kindness and positivity. We supplied the paint, including bright white for the ceilings (flat) and trim (semi-gloss). Beforehand, Paintzen gave us an estimate on how many gallons we’d need, so we were sure to have it all on hand.

My irrational worry was that the painting crew wouldn’t properly protect the floors, cabinets and doors, but how silly was I? Every last inch of tile was taped and covered with paper, and plastic drop cloths were draped over the entire kitchen. Although Scott and I had sanded the walls, they did another pass before cutting in on the ceiling and trim.

We anxiously awaited the moment they first started rolling, and as soon as they did, I immediately texted Scott a flurry of photos and videos. So clean! So bright!

The warmer gray and ultra white ceilings – in combination with the rows of newly installed recessed LED lighting – brought the unit to life! We’re not ones to underestimate the power of paint, and yet it still surprises us every time. Click on the main image or any thumbnail below to view the gallery.

Finally, a detail of the kitchen with fresh paint! Does anyone else feel like screaming? Or dancing? During our final walk through, it took all my might not to ask each one of them if a hug was appropriate. (I restrained myself, but I was thisclose.)

We sprayed all the doors with fresh paint a while ago, but over the course of the renovation, they were being continually dinged and scuffed. In addition, the heat of the summer swelled the doors up, and we had to trim 1/4″ off the sides. (The things we’ve learned after 3 months of ‘living’ down there ourselves!) I took time to touch them up here and there, but after the painters came through, they touched up the areas we hadn’t yet reached, and here they are, looking all brand new again!

All the naked windows still need their shades (we picked up motorized solars just like ours!), but for now, let’s focus on how shiny and new the garden feels.

Our most sincere thanks to the Paintzen team for jumping in at the final hour and polishing up our apartment! We’re over the moon with the results, and after our experience, we can’t recommend them highly enough. We often joke that we paint so regularly, it’s a DIY job we could do with our eyes closed, but at the end of this hustle, we couldn’t be more grateful to have collaborated with them and shout from the rooftops the ease of it all.

If you’re in the NYC, SF, LA, Boston, DC, Chicago, Dallas or Portland area, we encourage you to consider them for your next paint project. You can get started right here, and don’t forget to take $50 off for the next 30 days with the promo code YBH50!

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  • Stacy G.8.7.17 - 5:44 AM

    It looks so fresh and clean! Living in an old house, I think fresh paint is one of my favorite things. It makes the space a clean slate. You’re in the home stretch now! Great work.ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.7.17 - 9:00 AM

      It’s true. Funny how we did SO much to the space, and yet, until the walls were painted, we couldn’t really SEE the transformation for what it was! So fresh and so clean, clean. Aaah.ReplyCancel

  • Carol8.7.17 - 8:36 AM

    Love, love, love that paint color in the space!ReplyCancel

  • Olga8.7.17 - 9:21 AM

    The garden apartment looks beautiful. You have both done an amazing job. It’s a shame you’re not renting out the apartment as a holiday let as I would definitely love to stay there. I live in Edinburgh, Scotland and Chicago has never been a place that I would have thought to visit but after reading your blog and seeing the apartment Chicago is on my list of places to visit.ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.7.17 - 9:37 AM

      If you decide to make the trip (which you really, really should!), let us know, and we’re happy to give you recommendations. :)ReplyCancel

      • Olga8.7.17 - 12:10 PM

        Thanks for that. Hopefully next year!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah8.7.17 - 11:22 AM

    The space looks incredible. So bright and clean! We have been looking at different options for recessed lights in our dining room/kitchen. I like the 4″ diameter, but am not sure if it will give off enough light. Any recommendations?ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.7.17 - 11:25 AM

      We used the LED cans that fit the 5″ or 6″ and couldn’t be happier. They have CHANGED the feel of the entire unit! We set ours to a dimmer, so we can control the mood, which we’d recommend no matter what you end up with.ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm8.7.17 - 1:53 PM

    Its looking so good! Come and do our house!


  • Ashley Wilson8.7.17 - 3:18 PM

    It looks beautiful!!! Question- how did you shave down the doors! I have a few doors that stick that I need to do this to!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.7.17 - 3:22 PM

      We just use a straight edge and our circular saw, and shave off about 1/8″-1/4″ at a time! It’s a bit of a pain, but it’s absolutely necessary for the doors to function.ReplyCancel

  • Victoria8.7.17 - 8:03 PM

    I just finished reading your blog from the beginning to end (I started Friday…I’m not proud.) I enjoyed all of it, and was inspired in many ways. Seriously, you two are awesome. Best of everything to you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.8.17 - 10:35 AM

      This is amazing. I can’t even imagine the roller coaster of design decisions you witnessed along the way – ha! Thank you for being so loyal, and we’re happy to have you along for the ride!ReplyCancel

  • Lucy8.8.17 - 10:26 AM

    Wow, the apartment looks amazing!! You may have mentioned in a previous post but where did you get the door hardware from and was it hard to replace them? Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Kinga8.11.17 - 10:09 AM

    Love the color! Did you guys end up tinting it?ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.11.17 - 10:18 AM

      Ah, good question! We ended up going with 75% strength, which we ended up loving.ReplyCancel

      • Melony7.24.19 - 12:05 PM

        What color did you use on interior walls? Love it!ReplyCancel

  • PJ3.19.19 - 8:27 AM

    Please what is this gorgeous white paint in the walls?ReplyCancel

    • Anna9.5.19 - 11:55 AM

      I would love to know as well!ReplyCancel

      • Sara9.7.19 - 10:13 AM

         I found it in a previous post..Basalt Powder.ReplyCancel

  • Maral11.19.19 - 1:10 AM

    Hi! Love the color of the hallway.  What is the brand and name please?ReplyCancel

  • Polly1.6.20 - 10:42 PM

    Looks so good!! What’s the name of the paint colour??ReplyCancel

  • Nicole3.28.20 - 4:55 PM

    What color paint did you use in the walls? ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.28.20 - 10:12 PM

      It was Sherwin Williams Basalt Powder.ReplyCancel

      • Stephanie5.23.20 - 5:37 PM

        Hi Kim! I loved this space and it inspired me to use Basalt powder 75% in my home as well. However, I’m now having an issue trying to get more of that same paint and it is coming out differently than the first time. Wondering if you have your touch up paint still and can let me know the barcode color make up of the paint? ReplyCancel

        • Kim5.25.20 - 1:32 PM

          Sure thing! We had it mixed to Valspar paint in a 5 gallon bucket, and the code on our bucket is: 8916-13.5, 8988-3Y42.5, 8991-3ReplyCancel

  • Marichu8.6.20 - 10:06 PM

    What brand of paint you used ? And what colors ! It looks super clean and beautiful ReplyCancel

  • Pamela A Howard10.20.20 - 10:12 PM

    What is the wall paint color ??? and since there are 500 color whites ???? what “white” is the ceiling… ReplyCancel

  • Nicole walton6.4.23 - 11:17 AM

    I read the whole post looking for the wall color, and the link is broken. Please let me know, we love it! :)ReplyCancel

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Kim and Scott

We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

Join us as we renovate and nurture vintage homes across Chicago + SW Michigan!

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