Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tickled Pink

When we moved into this house, my daughter was an infant.  She therefore had no say in how her room was decorated.  I chose a beautiful light green color (Sherwin Williams Honeydew), and her room remains one of my favorites in the house.

She is now five and has been voicing opinions about her room and everything else for quite some time. With respect to her room, those opinions mostly have involved pink.  I steadfastly refuse to paint the entire room pink, but have been happy to indulge her need to girl it up otherwise.  She has a pink bedspread, pink bins in her IKEA Expedit, and pink striped curtains that my mom helped me make (not to mention liberal use of Dollar Store wall decals).

The last time I tried to pacify her need for pink, I bought a few cans of Ballet Pink spray paint.  I painted a small bookcase I had removed from her brother's closet and was about to haul to the curb, as well as her $15 unfinished IKEA nightstand, then let her decorate them with flower wall decals.

This time, I decided to paint some walls--just not the ones she was hoping I would paint.  This is her closet.  Nice enough, but nothing special.

When we bought the house, the bedroom closets had a single shelf and hanging bar.  We had custom shelving put in because otherwise they were a complete waste of space.  A couple years ago, I repainted my son's closet to eliminate a hideous '70s avocado color and white areas where the old shelf used to hang.  To make things simple, I painted it one shade lighter than the blue walls in the bedroom.

Off and on since I did that project, I've considered painting my daughter's closet.  Unlike her brother's, there really wasn't anything wrong with hers, so it took a while to motivate to change it.  I finally got there this week.

There are good and bad aspects of this project.  The good news is that it's a pretty forgiving project.  Even if I made a huge error, odds are that no one would ever see it.  The bad news is that (i) the space is really cramped to work in, (ii) I needed to paint around the built-in shelves, (iii) there is wall-to-wall carpet in the space, and (iv) the wall is that 1970s swirly textured stuff, which soaks up paint like a sponge.  They say "no pain, no gain," so I gave it a whirl.

First I emptied the closet and removed all the shelves that could be removed.

I put adhesive plastic down to protect the carpet, then got to work edging around the shelves with a brush.  You might make the mistake of thinking that, since there already is so much brush work to be done, that you should forego the roller and paint the whole thing.  You'd be wrong.  I made that mistake when I painted the swirly walls around built-in shelving in the mildewy foyer closet (first closet project).  You also might think you should tape all those shelves (did that once too), but it's not necessary.  Because the shelves are laminate, paint wipes off very easily.  It was much faster to paint and wipe off the shelves as I went.  I did tape the edges of the swirly ceiling, because it is nearly impossible to wipe off unintended wet paint from that stuff.

The baseboard appeared to never have been painted before, so I taped the carpeting around it with duct tape.  I used a putty knife to shove the tape between the baseboard and the carpet, protecting the carpet, then painted the baseboards.

A couple afternoons and one minor head bump later, this is what the closet looks like.

Now if that's not girly, I don't know what is.  Oh, I know, stuffing it full of dresses.  Here it is all put back together.

When I was edging around those shelves, I questioned my decision to undertake the project.  An excited little girl jumping up and down and exclaiming "thank you, thank you" made it worth it.

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