One of the last spots in the house left to improve, that I could work on without hiring professionals or buying more equipment, was the dining room. I have cogitated on what to do with the dining room for a few months. Options I have considered are: stripping the wallpaper and reapplying new wallpaper, painting a pattern on the bare walls with a stencil, continuing the green from the living room into the dining room, painting the walls the gray from the entryway. I was really leaning towards this last option after seeing how great the gray looked with the wood and brick in the entryway.
But one thing I hadn't considered doing was leaving up the current textured wallpaper and giving it a fresh coat of paint. I mean, it's clear by now that I hate all things textured wallpaper, right? However, that textured paper in the dining room, with its swirly floral pattern, had begun to look more attractive after getting rid of all the texture in the rest of the house. We'd even gotten several compliments on it over the past few months. So I thought and rethought and finally decided to give it a try.
Here was the dining room this past Tuesday, after clearing out most of the furniture. It had that same dirty cream color that the rest of the house had when we moved in.
Here's my test swatch of the gray paint (Martha Stewart's Driftwood Gray in flat finish) on the old wallpaper. Since I have not painted the wallpaper before, I wanted to try out whether or not I would need a coat of primer underneath. Since the paper already had a coat or two of flat paint on it, I discovered that I could skip the primer step. (I also painted the dining room ceiling in the same Martha Stewart Glass of Milk white that I have used elsewhere. Once again, taking this step helps diminish the visual presence of the textured ceiling and makes everything seem fresh and clean.)
And here's the dining room on Thursday evening. The room isn't totally put back together yet, but it already feels more polished and considered. The new coat of paint makes the pattern of the paper more subtle, perhaps because the color is darker and the flat paint doesn't reflect any light. It has become an interesting detail instead of an overbearing focal point.
Here's a close up of the freshly painted wallpaper.
Another look at the new dining room. Now I just need to work on lowering and centering the light fixture, and I think we can call this room done. One more line scratched off my to-do list. Hurrah!