Why You Shouldn’t Penny Pinch On Paint.

{See what my new office looks like over here, and see how I updated those chairs as well over here!}

Over Christmas, my husband and I (finally!) decided to build an office for me to work in (woohoooooo!) Because we don't spend any of the money made from my work on this site, it was a huge splurge, and I can't even begin to tell you how much I love having a desk all to myself. I still have a few more finishes before I'll share the pictures on that improvement, but because it sits directly across from my (*very red*) dining room, I knew it was time to make a few updates there as well (but didn't want to spend much!)



See, going from this peaceful blue/green to that very dark red was just too much!

So, with my son and husband out of town last weekend, I very much on a whim decided it was time to re-paint. (I'm still not sure if my sweet husband has forgiven me . . . he loved that red!)  But, we've had a red dining room for the last 16 years, so I'm thinking it was time for an update?


Here's a peek at the before pictures . . .



And here's me in the middle of it, kinda' dorky but very happy because I could tell that the Benjamin Moore Aura paint was going to cover in just one coat . . . 

  (Isn't that just amazing?)

And finally, the after.




Here's what I spent:

  • Benjamin Moore Aura Paint: $52/gallon and worth every. single. penny. This is the second dark room that I've painted using this brand, and it's taken me just one gallon and covered beautifully. I know it's expensive, but I'd much rather spend my money on one can of paint that allows me to paint only once. . . any other type would have cost $30 and I would have had to paint twice!
  • Spray Paint for mirror and lights: $4, twice. After painting the mirror and lamps silver, I decided to try them out in black.  I'm still not sure that I love them, but it took all of about ten minutes so I can switch them again if I need to!
And here's what I'm waiting on:
  • I'd love to get a new rug, but will be waiting until we save up cash (and find a good deal!) I received tons of great suggestions on Facebook on where to buy rugs inexpensively, and I'd love to hear if you have any more tips, so feel free to share!
  • A re-finished table. The table and chairs were my husband's grandparents' home, and while I've never been completely in love with them, they do have sentimental value as we've had them for quite awhile now, and eaten every Christmas meal there. At some point, I'd love to have them re-finished and add a slip-covered chair or two, but for now this will do!
If you're curious about the curtains (those were what seemed to get the most comments on Facebook!), I lucked into the best deal ever on those. My friend Nancy (who blogs at Real Food Allergy Free), called me one day and asked if I'd want black toile curtains from her grandmother's home as they were selling the house and no one else was interested. They fit my windows exactly, and I really do love them. (And those sweet silhouettes of my children? They were my souvenir from Disney World last year.)


If you have any tips on how I can find a new inexpensive carpet, I'd love to hear them! And, if you've tried any other paint that has covered like that I'd love to know . . . I really can't tell you how incredibly pleased I was to have this job finished in only a few hours.


I'd love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I've got a new dining room board HERE you can check out!)  


See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!


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  1. Love the lighter color. Looks amazing! When are you available to come paint my house…lol

  2. Looks beautiful! It’s amazing how just painting can change so much! 🙂 And I LOVE the silver mirror and lamps – so pretty! Great job! =)

  3. I love the silver paint on the lights/mirror and I agree the curtains are lovely!

    I think your next stop is reupholstering the chairs to match the curtains or the walls: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-reupholster-a-seat-pad/index.html

    Looking great!

    • I’m thinking so too Kimmy! I’ve re-upholstered them at least 3 times…. once I figure out what to do with the table (and if we’re keeping the chairs…) those are on my to-do list!

  4. I actually like the contrast of colors with the chairs the color they are. I wouoldn’t change them

  5. Thanks Kristie – that makes me feel better while I wait…. I really would love slipcovers but am not ready to spend any money on them yet! 🙂

  6. Stunning!

  7. Looks awesome! I love that color!

  8. Tracy Abney says

    Try the Limestone flea market. We got our wool rug there for $120.

  9. I think the entire room is perfect!. The table & chairs, curtains, buffet, mirror, etc. ALL perfect!!! This color looks awesome. Not sure why your husband wouldn’t like it?

  10. I’ll try the Limestone Flea Market ~ thanks Tracy! Thanks also for all the sweet comments…. I really do love it! 🙂

  11. Chelsea Dorroh says

    I wouldn’t do the chairs the exact same fabric as the curtains but maybe something that coordinates. I love the wood with the colors its not so matchy matchy and makes the room flow better.

    • Thanks Chelsea! I do love the dark wood with the pale colors ~ really, if I could just slip cover those chairs I think I’d be thrilled….. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Laurie– I know you used Benjamin Moore Aura paint, but do you know the name of the color? I love it!!


    • Hi Kelly! It’s – Hollingsworth Green … hope that helps (I really love it too!) 🙂

      • Thanks! I just painted my kitchen Palladian Blue but I am IN LOVE with the color of your dining room– trying to see if I need to repaint?

  13. Jamie @ Time2SaveWorkshops says

    LOVE IT!! You are so cute and such a good decorator 🙂

  14. I knew I had heard of a paint that coves in one coat, and could not remember the name of it! And it covered the red? It definitely would be worth the money.

  15. thought the red was very pretty; however, the afterwards is GORGEOUS! Great job! and thanks for sharing. MAYBE you will inspire me.

  16. Mai Coursey says

    Spending extra for good paint will save time & aggregation later. I have some folks judge me for the paint we used throughout our home instead of $20 from grocery store & it's worth every penny. Less harsh fumes, less coats, even & oh kids!

  17. It's funny my color is the new color you chose for your dining room and for a change I thought I would go red or burnt orange I guess I will rethink this..

  18. Pam Thomas says

    What is the color of the paint you used?

  19. Coupon Smith says

    Mohawk gave us an area rug to review, maybe you can write them?

  20. Genny King says

    its beautiful!

  21. What is the name of the blue/green color?

  22. I would love to know the type and color of the silver spray paint. Also, do you have to remove light or is there a secret to painting it while it’s hanging without getting paint everywhere?

    • Wondering the same thing that Laura is.

    • I’m not sure what color it was – just a silver spray paint? I only painted the lamps (not the light fixture), and just took them apart to paint. I know that doesn’t help much – but any silver-ish spray paint should work!

  23. Could I talk you into to trying a little something for a big change? I did this myself and wanted to share. Change the mirror from a horizontal position to a vertical one…this part is FREE. Then replace the shades on the buffet lamps from a bell shade to a drum shade. You’ll be surprised at the difference!

    • It’s so funny you say that! This is actually in our last house, but I just bought some drum shades that I was going to use somewhere else – I think you just convinced me to try them in the dining room. (I actually have lamps too.) Thank you for the tip Anna – I’ll update everything once I finish it up!

  24. I go to a rug from Target on sale (30% off). Great quality and lots to chose from.

  25. Check out your estate sells in the area. You can get a thousand dollar rug for a hundred dollars if your patient.

  26. I love it! I have to agree that good paint is worth every penny. I went to our Habitat for Humanity Re-store last week.. I had no idea they sell paint! Ours was $10 a gallon, and all brands! Even Benjamin Moore and sherwin Williams, just have to be less picky on color. But you can find lots of neutrals. I plan to mix three gallons in a big 5 bucket and I will have plenty for my kitchen and dining room.

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