We’re overhauling these halls. This weekend Dain and the dads will hit the ground running on our baby room and the office/guest bedroom. The rough plan is to replace the sheet rock on the three exterior walls (two in the baby room, one in the office). This will enable Dain to add proper insulation and a vapor barrier along with the newly sheet rocked walls. Then they’ll be on to priming and painting. With the weekend schedule set, we headed to Lowe’s last night on a paint run to save Dain a long trip out there on Friday night or Saturday morning. Because our nearby Home Depot has yet to carry the environmentally friendly paint that puts my mind at ease.
I started last week by heading to a local paint store that carries Benjamin Moore because it really is the best color selection around for those looking to bring a bunch of swatches home and test them out. Like us. Unfortunately, that paint store doesn’t sell the most eco-friendly paint, so once we picked colors, Lowe’s is the only place to go. For $25.97, Lowe’s sells non-voc Olympic Premium Paint. My pregnant self has become a tad obsessed about environmental toxins. I’ve stopped using a myriad of products thanks to the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. I’ve also made small changes around the house like switching to natural soap (not anti-bacterial) and other natural products where possible for everything from cleaning products to lotion to toothpaste.
As for paint, the immediate danger for pregnant women lies in all of those toxic smells, but normal paints can also emit toxins in the air for years through vocs. Voc stands for volatile organic compound, and they are essentially toxic gases emitted from some solids and liquids. I’ll spare you the details about the health risks vocs pose, but you can learn about it on the EPA website. The bottom line for me is that I will be using non-voc paint from now on, and I think it’s especially important in a child’s room. There are other brands of eco-friendly paint (like Mythic), but Olympic gets good reviews, comes recommended by Consumer Reports, and is affordable. The trifecta.
We also have a little experience with it as Dain used it for our living room walls. He liked working with it so we figured it would be perfect for all of our new painting projects. Lucky for me, my husband is an awesome painter, and he loves to do home improvement so while he is slaving away for the next few weekends, I will be enjoying a relaxing time at my parent’s house getting ready for Christmas, which is why we had to hit the paint store early. Primer was the easy part. We grabbed two gallons of the no-voc Olympic Primer for the two rooms.
Then it was on to the hard part: what colors would we be rocking for the baby room and office/guest bedroom? As we shared earlier, we love the idea of gray and white stripes. The only debate was how much of a contrast we wanted. I grabbed a selection of grays for us to peruse.
But in the end, Dain was worried about too much of a contrast so we settled on a color we already have in our living room: Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine. It is definitely a soft gray, and we know it looks good with the white and provides enough of a contrast because it works well against our current white baseboards. Since we already had leftovers at home, we brought that can with us and had them mix it to the same specifications since it has to be color matched when using a different brand’s color in Olympic paint.
As for the white, we went with Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White. It is a very bright white, but Dain’s philosophy is that the white on the stripes should match the trim in the room. We brought the swatch from the Pottery Barn paint deck to have it matched into the Olympic Paint.
That only left the guest bedroom/office color. We wanted it to be serene, warm, and inviting so we knew we were going to go with something neutral in a white or beige tone. The problem was picking something we think will look good with the white trim that carries throughout our entire house. After much debate in-house, we settled on Benjamin Moore’s Linen White also from the Pottery Barn paint deck. It is a soft, creamy white shade that we think will do the trick. We grabbed a gallon of it color matched into the Olympic Paint. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but trust me that it is a lot warmer than a bright white.
Another difficult part was picking what paint sheen we wanted to go with. Home Depot has a handy dandy paint sheen guide online that explains all of the differences. We settled on semi-gloss because it is easy to scrub, and we figured especially the baby’s room will eventually have some very dirty walls. Lowe’s had swatches showing all of the sheens, and the first three were filthy from everyone touching them. The glossy was the cleanest, but we didn’t want quite that much sheen so we settled on semi-gloss which appeared to hold up pretty well to everyone touching it. Our living room and hallway are semi-gloss too, and we have been happy with that for those high traffic areas. There really was no science to our decision, but we think it’ll work out.
And that’s where we stand. Hopefully Dain will remember to take lots of pictures over the weekend so we can share our step-by-step process on how to properly insulate, create a vapor barrier, and add new sheet rock to exterior walls. For those of you who own an antique like us.