Down Pipe is dark charcoal; chalky like a blackboard and sooty like a spent campfire. It is definitely a leap of faith to paint a room almost-black, but I am sure glad we bought a sample pot and tested it. We ended up painting the top field of our hallway in Down Pipe and it quickly became our favorite color in the apartment. Now that the kitchen is open to the hall, it makes sense to expand the Down Pipe onto the kitchen walls. I think it will provide crisp contrast with our white cabinets, trim, and ceiling, and give the kitchen a sophisticated, urban vibe.
I tested a few colors before picking Oval Room Blue for the vintage buffet (bottom color). Oval Room Blue has a Swedish county-look that I like, and also pops against the gray walls.
I am no pro on painting, but have painted about 5,000 square feet of Victorian walls in my apartment. My best tip is to buy a paint brush that is good for edges (I like the Purdy brand 1.5” medium stiff nylon/polyester brush). I do not use blue painter’s tape anymore — it is too much work to put up, sometimes has leaky edges, pulls paint off the wall when removed, and I get a similar clean line by being careful and using a brush made for edges.
We painted Down Pipe on all walls that will be exposed after the cabinets, tile and trim are installed. The chalky white ceiling in C2 Paint’s Pearl is gorgeous.
In our apartment there are layers of lead and oil paint on every surface. We have friends who have tackled the painstaking process of removing all of the old paint on their millwork, with crisp and clean results. We contemplated that option, but decided to take the easy road and paint over the layers. It is simpler and healthier than releasing all of that lead paint dust in the air. Because of the lead/oil paint, we always prime before applying a new coat of paint to prevent peeling and chipping down the road. This takes time — in fact, it took most of the weekend to paint the ceiling, trim, walls, doors and baseboards in the kitchen.
Looking toward the kitchen from the front hallway, the “new” utility room door shines in C2 Paint's Halo..
We also set out to buy our stone counters this weekend. We already ordered a zinc countertop for the island, but we need to purchase something simple and complementary for the counters along the walls. I was thinking that a quartz product in white would be durable, modern and timeless. We went to a marble showroom and got a quote of $2,000 for a remnant piece of ¾” Cesaerstone in Pure White, including fabrication and installation. We need 24 square feet of stone, so this is about $85 per square foot. I had a hard time committing to it. Because Cesaerstone is a common and consistent product, I feel the need to comparison shop first.
Dean, perplexed by my inability to purchase the counter top that we have been discussing for months, drove us to another marble showroom around the corner. There I saw a marble called Snow White of Thassos and I fell in love. It had a depth and subtle pattern that Quartz products do not have, but it was still a crisp white solid surface. Of course marble is not reputed to be as durable as quartz, and I would have to buy a whole slab of this product (cost = $1,800, in addition to fabrication and installation costs of about $1,300). I was royally confused and needed to go home for a glass of wine.
We still have not chosen a counter top and need to start the installation process in 10 days. It is top priority for next week.
Estimated time for project: 9 weeks
Time remaining: 4 weeks
(Images and diary text: Andi Forker)