Dining Room 2.0

It wasn't too long ago that some J. Crew model snuck into my house, hopped on a ladder, and started to expose some very glaring holes in the ceiling.

While he was busy demoing the roof over our heads, I got to work planning out what life could look like without drop ceilings. Then, I decided (of all things) that I wanted a perfectly even line split the room horizontally.

How far we've come since then. Let me tell you a little bit about painting a room half one color and half another.

First of all, this is more applicable to you if you've already painted your entire room one color a year ago and have decided to change 50% of it. If you're starting from scratch, do a little more interneting to find out what works best in that scenario.

Critical Items

TSP substitute is a heavy duty cleaner that preps your walls and surfaces for painting. It was very critical to get these walls clean because not only were they a little dusty from ceiling residue, but they also needed tape to stick to them. 

After everything was clean and dry, I got to work drawing that line. Old houses are not even, so I couldn't exactly measure up 4' from the floor and mark my line there. Instead, I carried the level across the wall as I drew the line. I did a lot of double checking on this. Even after checking my work 20 times, the line looked a tad crooked when the tape went down. I had to say "level take the wheel" and trust.

Then came the priming. Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer is great for masking imperfections, which was much needed in this room. The walls are plaster board and not 100% smooth, so this helped fill in some grooves, as well as conceal the area where the newly-laid dry wall met the plaster board.


Matte paint turned out to be the true hero here. Unlike the eggshell, it also hides imperfections in the walls better than expected. Bumps and lumps that used to drive me crazy are pretty well-hidden now because light doesn't bounce off of said bumps and lumps like it once did when the walls were shinier. I used Benjamin Moore's Lacey Pearl in matte. The bottom part is Benjamin Moore's Knoxville Gray (not in matte, but I'd choose that if I had to do it all over again).

Post prime and paint, we're left with a Rothko painting. 


The new paint took two coats to complete cover up and I removed the tape shortly after painting the final coat as I went down the wall.

Hey! It's not uneven after all.

Finally, I had to go over the bottom section once more. Even though it was painted a year ago, a few parts were patched and because paint is weird, I needed to go over everything again to make sure the color was cohesive. This also gave me the change to use my steady hand as I very carefully traced the line where the dark meets the light. Because the light top coat is a little thicker - maybe due to the primer - there was an ever so slight lip that my brush nuzzled right into. Freestylin', yo.

Now onto arranging pictures and filling those bare walls. And to painting trim, which is somehow less fun than stripping paint.