HOUSE: Newburgh

Painting the bedroom.


I never understand what people are talking about when they ask about my supposed “energy” and ability to complete projects so quickly. It must be an illusion caused by the fact that I don’t blog every day, and I that don’t post many progress photos.

Case in point, I wrote this post about painting our bedroom black four months ago. Four months! That’s how long it’s taken me to build up the enthusiasm, find the time, ask Evan to drive me to the paint store, set everything up, change clothes, climb up and down the ladder 50 times, cut in, roll, and repeat.

bedroom, before

Here’s the yawn-worthy before. Blah city, I know.

before before bedroom

Actually, this is a real before shot. Before-before. Back when the walls were covered with mauve sand paint. But that was five years ago.

So anyway, yesterday I finally got going on the painting (Benjamin Moore Aura in “Soot”, an inky-black color I previously used in the apartment kitchen), only to discover that I can’t find the skinny roller I need to paint behind the radiator. We looked and looked and looked, but it’s nowhere to be found. I think it was just devoured by the Basement of Doom.


I hate getting to the point of almost completion on a project, and then not having to stop. Such a buzzkill. We’re heading out to the store now to buy a new roller…and paint for the radiator, too. I’ve never painted a radiator before, so this should be an exciting day filled with frustration (and procrastination).

You can expect the bedroom to be “done” (as if) sometime next year. Or the year after.

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  • Reply Kate {DomestiKatedLife} October 21, 2010 at 11:27 am

    ooo I love the color already! I’m trying to build up some courage to paint the wall behind my bed black — but am scared of my landlord’s reaction — not everyone “gets” a black wall.

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      Tell your landlord that the amazing thing about paint is that you can paint over it! 😀

  • Reply Dan October 21, 2010 at 11:33 am

    1. Oh, exciting! Soot’s a great color.
    2. They make skinny rollers specifically for painting behind radiators?! Damnit, I just about sprained my wrists trying to get back there with a brush.

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      Yes! They’re called “hot dog rollers” (isn’t that great?), and they’re great for painting in tight spaces. Get one! I used mine all the time, which is probably why it packed its bags and moved out, apparently.

    • Adam October 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      I really like the image you painted in my brain of your roller gathering it’s belongings in the middle of the night and sneaking out do to feeling over worked!

  • Reply Valeria October 21, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Looking forward to seeing the results! You might be happy to know we still have unfinished/unpainted rooms in our house and we’ve lived here for 4 years! Takes time, that’s for sure, but I still think you’re superwoman, haha! 😉

  • Reply Jorge October 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Are you painting the 4 walls black or just one of them? Can’t wait to see the result!

  • Reply Cher@NR October 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

    looking forward to seeing the results! Can the radiator be sand blasted?

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      Yes, it can be (we did that with the ones in our office and bathroom, and then had them powder-coated), but it’s expensive. We’re only having the ones that are in REALLY bad condition with a lot of layers of paint and rust sandblasted.

      All in, between the cost of plumbing (disconnect/reconnect), transport, sandblasting and powder-coating, it’s about $500 to have a radiator done. Soooo…only when absolutely necessary!!

    • Cher@NR October 21, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      Yikes! That is so not budget friendly. I understand now!

  • Reply Karen October 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

    OMG – I do love this color! My condo does not get enough light to use this though. We recently painted our dining room grey and I love it.

    Don’t feel so bad about unfinished projects. We started installing crown molding about five years ago and finally got the last pieces put up six months ago. Still need to paint it all.

  • Reply Fiona October 21, 2010 at 11:58 am

    What a beautiful room to work with though. Believe me, four months is speedy, speedy. There’s fairly simple stuff to be done in our house that’s been bugging me every single day for twelve years. Why don’t I just fix it? Sigh, don’t answer that.

  • Reply Jessica (Goodbye, Small Heart) October 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    My advice for painting the radiator: spray paint. Open the windows, wear a mask if you have one, remove the dogs to another part of the house and just go at it. It will smell for a couple days when you first turn it on after painting, but we found that spray paint was the easiest, fastest, and least frustrating way to paint our radiators in our 90-yr-old DC apartment. And you have the benefit of being able to escape to your apartment in the city while it airs out!

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm

      If it were a different time of the year, I’d consider spray paint, but given that it’s already freezing and we are needing to turn the heat on (much to my chagrin), I think I’m going to go with the least noxious option this time around.

  • Reply BB Wooten October 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I’m sure you’ve already been to the store at this point, but I found myself in a similar position with the toilets in our 1/2 bath. I wrapped the whole toilet in a trash bash and used a fat roller and paint brush to get behind without messing up the ceramic. Then just let everything dry before removing the bag. I’m not sure if that would work in your case, but it saved me a few bucks, and more importantly, a frustrating trip to the store for one item.

    P.S. Love the soot and can’t wait for more after shots.

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      Those skinny rollers are GREAT, seriously—well worth the couple of bucks. (And a fat roller won’t fit back there AT ALL, actually—there’s less than an inch of clearance!)

  • Reply Deleilan October 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Wow, that before-before colour is… ewww. The soot colour, though? Fabulous!

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      Yeah, it was kind of cross between a Band-Aid and Pepto Bismol. And it was textured.

    • PhillyLass October 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm

      What did you do about the textured paint? Did you have to sand the walls?!!

  • Reply Chantel I. October 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I love the colour you chose, and I totally get the painting procrastination. I made a big deal last Christmas about buying paint for our suite, and haven’t touched the paint since. I have two paint cans waiting for me with all new rollers and everything, and I just haven’t been in the mood to do anything about it. My boyfriend has no interest in painting our place, and I find the idea of doing it myself rather demoralizing right now. The last time I painted an apartment all by myself, it took FOREVER and I still remember how much my arms and back hurt, and that was 7 years ago! Ugh! What was I thinking? Why did I spend all that money on paint I don’t want to use?

  • Reply elissa October 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    My parents have painted many a radiator (mine are still all at varying stages of peeling and flaking) and they recommend not using spray paint, but a paint sprayer. The mist isn’t as fine and it’s easier to contain than spray paint which tends to get everywhere no matter how many tarps get taped up. Then you can also control what type of paint goes in there and use the low VOC paint so it doesn’t stink.

  • Reply Adam October 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Are you painting all four walls soot? I can’t wait to see it!

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      For now I’m just doing one wall, and then I’ll think about doing the rest. The bedroom has a LOT of trim (10″ baseboards, three windows, four doors, the fireplace…), and I’m worried that all of that black and white might start to look too busy.

  • Reply jennifer in sf October 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Oh that’s gonna look good!

    I stayed at the Ace Hotel recently and it pushed my urge to basically paint everything black into high gear. I think I’m going with kitchen and bathroom. So I look forward to seeing how it looks next year 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      Oh, I know, the Ace is such a project-starting influence!!

    • jennifer in sf October 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      It really is. I kind of loved it there, even though everyone else was about 300 times hipper than I am.

      P.S. Happy Birthday!

  • Reply Monica October 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Oohh, great things are happening in Newburgh! Would be happy to see the bedroom done next week, sometime before the Holidays or next year.

  • Reply heather October 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    All I can say is me too. I have so many painting projects and I absolutely hate painting… so they are not getting done anytime soon. And don’t get me started on not having all of the supplies at hand – I think we have a painting supplies goblin loose in the house.
    This color is gorgeous.
    I shudder to think of what it took to get the sand texture off of the walls.

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      It took a lot of sanding and a lot of joint compound. And a lot of suppressed hatred for the person that decided to mix sand into their paint in the first place.

      All of the walls AND THE MOLDINGS in our kitchen were sand-painted, too.

    • PhillyLass October 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      Oops. Sorry. You already answered my question in response to someone else!

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm

      That’s okay, I’ve asked myself the same question many times!

      Fortunately, we had someone more skilled than us helping with the plaster work, and he was really able to do an excellent skim-coating job. The walls are pretty much flawless now.

  • Reply LeeAnn October 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I snickered when I read the previous owners “sanded” your walls. One of my girlfriends l.o.v.e.s that crazy sand effect. She practically painted her whole home with that sand paint. I am imagining the couple that purchased her home last year want to wring her neck! I started my bedroom makeover in April and I still have to finish the curtains. I am hoping to get that done before the end of the year.

  • Reply Leah October 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Yes, that soot is beautiful, the perfect black. I actually weirdly like that mauve colour too (even though I am sure the original owners’ application of it and “styling” were highly questionable), esp. if it was coupled with “soot”! (on the mantle perhaps).

  • Reply Grumble Girl October 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Did I mention that we finally found a painter? We just can’t do it ourselves anymore… it would take DECADES!!

    I can’t wait to see the finished project, Birthday Girl… xox

  • Reply ehalvey October 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    LOVING the paint color. I’m currently in love with black and gray rooms, and once we move, I hope to make at least 1 room as gorgeous as your bedroom.

    I can relate in that I’m not the greatest at DIY whereas my mom can do projects better than a professional. I think I might just hire her to paint our next place.

  • Reply Heidi October 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I painted my bedroom a very similar color. Love it. I also have the baseboards, huge bay windows, picture rail 3/4 way up the walls, and two doors. I’m feeling overwhelmed by the craziness of the black and white black and white black and white. I have been thinking about painting the baseboards the same color as the walls to eliminate some of this (Jenna Lyons bedroom…). Any thoughts?

    • Anna @ D16 October 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      I’ve definitely thought of doing that too, Heidi—that was actually my original plan (see this post from two years ago?). Still mulling it over…I think I need to make a firm decision about the floors, first. Sigh!

    • Heidi October 23, 2010 at 1:27 pm

      I just finished painting the baseboards and the picture rail-highly recommend. It looks awesome.

  • Reply JO October 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Heavens Anna.. mauve sand paint ?? REALLY ? I thought I had problems with the dusky rose all over the house when we moved in, but sandy paint… ugh !
    I remember when ‘Changing Rooms’ [the original version of ‘Trading Spaces’] first appeared in the UK, one of the designers used that technique by literally mixing paint and sand… but she was a cow who used to deliberately provoke people.. like Hilde.
    How on earth did you get it off without destroying the plaster ?
    I recently told Benita @ Chez Larsson, that I was against the black thing, ‘cos she thinking about her living room wall as I’m sure you know… BUT with your huge windows and wonderful mouldings, I think it will look really good..
    Can’t wait to see the results..
    btw.. I don’t want you to think that I’m teaching my grandmother to suck eggs and I’m sure you know this already.. but in the UK I was always taught to only paint rads with an OIL based paint.. and preferably a gloss. That having been said we DON’T have Latex based paints in the UK at all, so I don’t know how that would work..
    Although I’m thinking.. hot radiator + plastic based paint = not good.
    Jo xx

    • Fat Cat October 22, 2010 at 6:21 am

      I used “The Little Greene” acrylic eggshell to paint my living room radiator, and it’s turned out really well. It’s way more eco-friendly than oil-based paint and works just as well. Plus I prefer the more matt finish.
      If The Little Greene is doing it, I am sure you can find equivalents with other UK paint brands 🙂

  • Reply Holyoke Home October 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Damn you, Basement of Doom!

    When I run into people in my real life, the ones who know about our blog ask me what we’re working on, and when I tell them, ‘nothing really’ they are genuinely surprised. ‘But you’re always doing something!’

    Am I?

  • Reply kay* October 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    i can’t wait for the reveal – i love a black wall.

  • Reply kristin October 22, 2010 at 1:23 am

    I love the color! I’ve been thinking of painting our bedroom (or maybe just a wall of it) a luscious soot for a while. Your inspiration just might embolden me to finally do it.

    We’ve painted our old radiators often, and have used the old sock trick… put an old tube sock over your hand, dip in paint, smoosh paint onto radiator. Really gets into the crevices and curves! (I think I’ve used a rubber glove under the sock to mitigate some of the paint on the hand, but it’s messy anyway…)

    Hey, also: happy birthday to you!

    • Anna @ D16 October 22, 2010 at 1:33 am

      Thanks, Kristin! I was thinking of trying something like the sock trick, but it never occurred to me to put a rubber glove underneath!!

  • Reply Fat Cat October 22, 2010 at 6:16 am

    It’s a relief to know that even ‘super diy & design guru’ Door16 has procrastination issues. So you are human after all 😉
    As always, I find your post incredibly inspiring and it will hopefully get me going on painting my hall (started in May and still not finished…).

  • Reply flutterbymama October 22, 2010 at 6:23 am

    We also have the same problem re painting behind radiator but I think I’ll get a plumber friend to come and remove it whilst I do it. We finally got around to painting our freshly plastered walls in our bedroom about 4 months ago. It was more a case of needing to do it as I didn’t want to risk splashing black paint on our new bed so it was a bit of a rush before it arrived! We painted 2 walls in a UK B&Q’s own paint called soft black. It looks kinda chalky and mega matt. We love it but we now just need time to decide what to do with the floor and trim.

    That job is on hold whilst we finish the newly knocked through garden room and kitchen. We are almost there and have chosen the black, greys and white together with teak wood as we love the black sooooo much! I pretty much think I could paint my whole house in black at the mo but think that would be a tad too mad????

    Nothing in our house is actually completed although most people don’t really notice…unles they are just TOO polite?! It’s just difficult as when we have the time we don’t have the inclination and when we have the inclination we don’t have the time or have small child who needs our attention!

    Good luck and loving the seeing the progress. : D

  • Reply Kristen October 22, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Hi Anna!

    Oh I love that color! And I’m glad to hear you are using Benjamin Moore paint (my favorite…it’s a lot more expensive than other home improvement store paints), but I think it has the best painting “feel” out there (although a lot of people disagree)…and I know what you mean about general procrastination and busy-ness…”glad” to hear it’s not just me! Our bedroom took over a year to finish and then within 2 months of it being finally finished, our house was flooded by a stupid bursting water heater and then all the crap got moved into our bedroom….so here we go again! Do we get bonus points for our master bathroom too (that has paint all over the one wall (we were deciding what color to paint it after the flood)…but I can just say we’re still deciding, right?! LOL.

  • Reply Lonely Wife Project October 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    We fall under the same category of procrastination! It takes me months to even get my husband to agree to start a project, then years to finish. We started painting our master bathroom 1.7 years ago and it’s still not done. I wish I was joking.

  • Reply Gabriella April 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Sorry if its already been asked, where is your bed from ??

  • Reply Lena February 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Hi Anna,

    Where is that indigo-ish blanket with white stitches on the bed from? I’m a little obsessed with it.

  • Reply Lena March 2, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Thank you kindly! 🙂

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