Normally, I don’t need a push to change things up. I am a serial re-decorator and proud of it! In fact, from year to year, we’ve changed at least one thing about our home at my insistence, whether it be re-painting the entire house, adding a backyard oasis, creating a live-in dining room or designing a man cave. It’s all me and it’s all because I thrive on change.
Think I’ve run out of ideas for my home? Ha! My husband wishes! I’ve got my eye on refinishing our second floor, cleaning out the laundry room, adding shelving to our walk-in closet and am strongly considering an enclosure for our front porch. And then, maybe I’ll give it a rest for a while.
Now the truth is, my fireplace was not on my list of things to overhaul. I mean, it’s just a fireplace, right? However, I recently came across a house listing where the living/dining area was described as having a “statement corner fireplace”. Wait a minute – I have a corner fireplace! But, it’s far from being a statement; painted in the same warm beige tone as the majority of my first floor, it actually blended into the wall with a decided lack of ambition. And that’s when I learned about Benjamin Moore’s new ben & ME promotion:
For a limited time (until October 5th, 2014), Benjamin Moore is offering exclusive ben & ME kits for just $109 (a $169 value)*. In the kit, you’ll receive:
• 2 gallons of premium paint with 1 quart for trim
• a sleeve roller, paintbrush, paint tray
• a drop cloth, paint can opener and green painters tape
• How-To Guide and even a playlist to keep you on a roll!
Perspective: for just over a hundred bucks, you’ll have everything you need to add colour vibrancy, softness, glam or interest to a room you choose. And fall is the perfect season for change! To take advantage of the promo, pop into your local Benjamin Moore Signature store or visit the Ben & Me website to find your nearest participating dealer.
I’ll be honest – I’m living a charmed life, because my father-in-law is a professional painter! And, he just happens to be a Benjamin Moore enthusiast, trusting the brand for over 40 years for all his clients. To quote him, “you can’t find a better paint.” So, of course I asked for his expertise (and his perfected technique!) when painting something as finicky as a fireplace. Consulting the ben & ME How-To Guide, he asked that I share the 3 top tips that have served him well over the years:
1) Preparation, Preparation, Preparation. Prep your walls by sanding down any lumps or rough patches first. Then use a slightly dampened sponge to wipe all the dust away (don’t forget the trim). Clean walls ensure your tape will stick, and no dust will muck up your pretty paint job.
2) Protect Your Goods. You have stuff. Some of it may even be nice stuff. You don’t want paint on that stuff. So move it, cover it and you won’t have to worry about it. Don’t forget the floors too. Drop cloths are your friend.
3) Tape Trick. Here is a master taping secret: heat seal the tape’s edge (with friction!) by running a smooth tool like your finger, a spoon or a paint stick along the edge. Heating up the sticky stuff helps it form a stronger seal against paint seepage. You don’t want paint seepage.
Without further ado, here’s our statement-less fireplace, also known as the “before” photo:
Okay, so we had a candy jar on the fireplace. And some haphazard candles. I know, I know! But the point is, the fireplace blended into the background, so there was no point in dressing it up. Our bad.
My first panic moment occurred when I realized that with no distinct lines (we have a fully open concept first floor), we’d have to “create” a border using paint and painter’s tape. Ugh! I was totally paranoid at getting it perfect – and if it wasn’t perfect, it would haunt me until I made it right. Still, I sought courage from all the interior designers I’d ever seen showcase how to create separation using paint alone, and knew that with a quality product and the know-how of applying the tape (see Tip #3 above), we’d be okay.
As for the colour? We settled on “Mustang”, a brown hue with a kiss of grey and a healthy dose of mossy green, which would complement our dining table and kitchen cabinets.
With expert taping and my father-in-law’s aid with painting the fireplace (thick application, smooth strokes, perfect lines), we were well on our way to creating that statement corner fireplace I had envisioned. Check it out, folks! A photo of the progress, complete with a cameo from the master painter! (And yes, that wooden ladder is 102 years old. Don’t judge! It injects adventure into our lives… we never know when we’ll fall off it and break our neck.)
Okay, so I know y’all are waiting for the big reveal. But just before I show you, I’ll let you in on a secret: knowing a professional painter is awesome. Because when I complained that the fireplace frame got lost in the darker hue, my father-in-law simply tinted the paint (Mustang) with just a touch of gold and red, making the frame pop. Et voila! My new statement fireplace, with a two-tone effect!
We adore our new fireplace, and I’m thrilled we were able to complete this look by using paint alone. And what a difference a little colour makes! The room looks modern and inviting – we should have done this years ago.
Love a good before and after? Looking for more decor inspiration? Sheblogs Canada is hosting the ben & ME Twitter Party on September 18, 2014 from 7:00PM-8:00PM ET. Simply follow @sheblogsmedia and tweet with the #DIYWithBen hashtag to win! RSVP here to join the fun.
This fall, spend a weekend with Benjamin Moore and transform a room or living space with a ben & ME kit. Remember, for a limited time (until October 5th, 2014) you can grab the kit for just $109 (a $169 value)*.
* With a qualifying purchase of two cans of 3.79 l ben® interior flat K625, eggshell K626 or semi-gloss K627 and one can of 946 ml ben® interior semi-gloss K627 for $109.00 suggested retail price, receive a FREE ben® & Me tote and painting kit at participating dealers. Limit one (1) per customer. While supplies last. No substitutions. Qualifying purchases must be made in single transaction. Actual price will be determined by dealer at checkout. Offer cannot be combined with other offers, discounts or promotions, or applied toward prior purchases. Offer valid August 25, 2014 – October 5, 2014. See your local participating dealer for details. Void where prohibited.
Although this post has been generously sponsored by Benjamin Moore, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Benjamin Moore.