Saturday, April 07, 2012

Nursery Update #2 - Painting (with Milk Paint)!

Last week I finished painting the nursery!

As I had planned, I used Milk Paint's "Safe Paint".  It came out really well, I think.

At first it seemed like kind of an intimidating project because I was going to have to mix the paint myself, and I'd never done that before.

Our regular mixer was totally adequate for mixing the paint up.  I mixed it up usually about a quart of paint at a time.  It doesn't last well after it's mixed, so you're only supposed to mix the amount you're actually going to use.

The people at Milk Paint told me I should expect to need two coats: the first acts as a primer, and the second coat provides complete coverage.  So, I scrubbed all of the walls, and then I primed all of them.  I finished the white walls first, just because that seemed like the easier part.  Then I put up some painters' tape and prepared to paint the accent wall!

With Milk Paint, there are only twenty colors you can choose from, and none of the color choices are pink.  Instead, they suggested I order one of two red colors: "Salem Red" or "Salmon".  Then, I could add some of the red powder to my white paint powder, and mix it up to make my own pink.  (If I wanted an orange-ier pink, I should choose Salmon, they said.)  So, I ordered Salem Red, and hoped that if I added it to white the result would be a "Little-Girl-Nursery Pink" color.

For the main background on the accent wall, I tried to create a very light pink.  (My ratio ended up being: 8 oz white powder, 1 tsp. salem red powder, 8 oz water.)  I thought it looked pretty nice.  So I went ahead and painted the accent wall.  After I painted it, it occurred to me that it looked kind of like Pepto Bismol pink, so I asked Jeff if he thought that was a problem.  (Nope!)  Fortunately, it dried into a slightly different color.  After two coats, the wall looked great.

My plan had been to use a stencil on the accent wall, and after the light pink dried, I decided I should stick to the plan instead of leaving it plain pink.  One of the nurseries that had kind of inspired me had a dark pink wall with a white damask stencil that covered the whole accent wall.  It looked a lot like wallpaper, but the girl explained that she had stenciled it, and I thought that was pretty interesting.  So, I found Cutting Edge Stencils online and debated which pattern I wanted to put on the wall.  Eventually, I decided to do polka dots.  (Keep it simple.)

So, I ordered the small polka dot stencil.  While I listened to General Conference talks last weekend, I mixed up a darker pink, and I used a (smaller) foam roller to put dots all over the accent wall.  It was so exciting to see my progress.  Suddenly, the ugly 1970's beach room had been transformed into a modern little girl nursery, and that just seemed wonderful to me.

I think it turned out beautiful!

For a little review of Milk Paint: I would probably use it again, although it did turn out a little different than I had thought it would.
1. The paint is quite flat, which seems like not the best choice for a baby's room, since I think little kids get stuff on walls.  Optionally I could have purchased an acrylic finish to paint on top, but when I was ordering I didn't want to spend another $50/gallon beyond what I was already paying. 
2. Especially on the accent wall, the paint formed tiny cracks as it dried.  It is only noticeable if you look very closely, and it is very uniform, so it seems like it could have been intentional.  Based on the instructions, I think this is a result of the milk paint kind of somehow reacting to the old paint, and pulling in different directions as it dried?  (Or something?)  I'm not sure why it was a problem primarily on the accent wall, though.  It wasn't what I wanted it to look like, but it doesn't really matter.  The baby won't care.
3. On the walls adjacent to the accent wall, where I had put painters' tape (especially the kind that is supposed to keep paint lines totally sharp), when I removed the tape it pulled up a bunch of my white Milk Paint. Maybe I needed to use delicate painters' tape, but I didn't know.  So, it was a bit of a pain to touch up.
4. Milk Paint was very easy to mix up and the "recipe" for mixing paint seemed fairly forgiving.  I used a calibrated mixing container so that my measurements were close, but I'm sure there was some variation especially among the many batches of white, and it really didn't matter.
5. Milk Paint was very easy to clean up.  I didn't even bother to put plastic down.  The room has a fake wood floor, so once I was done painting, I just used a wet washcloth to wipe the floor all the way around the room.  The few drops that had gotten on the floor washed off easily.
6. The Milk Paint really didn't smell at all.  It had a slight milky odor while it was wet, but definitely no chemical smell. After it dried, it didn't smell like anything at all.

To finish the nursery, I think I will...
- Set up the crib.
- Make a curtain to hang in front of the closet, since the closet has no doors and it has not-baby stuff in it.
- Make curtains for the window?
- Finish the fairy tale paintings.  (They've been on hold during the room painting project.)
- ???  Not sure what else.  I would love to do something with the baby's name, to really personalize her room.  Of course, it's hard to do that without picking a name!
(- Do NINE MILLION other crafty projects in my free time that I wish I had: make a mobile! make a button monogram thingie!  sew a pillow or stuffed something from a fairy tale!  re-upholster the glider! etc, etc, etc)

At a minimum, we should probably at least set up the crib.


Tara said...

So cute Emily! I love it!

SkyBluePink said...

The pokadots are absolutely adorable! Thanks so much for giving a detailed account of your milk paint experience. When the day comes, I am so going to look into it. I think the cracks are kind of cute and they give it a rustic feeling to the room. I only wish I was closer so I could see it in person!