The Power of Paint: One Room Challenge Week 3

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style home in rural Iowa with my husband. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, and my Fall 2018 One Room Challenge: Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Reveal. My design style is cozy, whimsical, and collected. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

Welcome to week three of my One Room Challenge! We are officially halfway!

Catch up on all of my progress for the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge:

Week 1: High Style, Low Budget Sunroom Transformation

Week 2: DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables

One Room Challenge Final Design Plan

This week, I saw monumental progress in my space through the power of paint.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Paint is the easiest and cheapest way to completely transform a space. If you make smart and bold paint choices, you can achieve a significant transformation without breaking the bank.

This porch was previously pale yellow with wood trim around the windows. I started painting it white in 2017, and it took me hours because I was doing it all with a brush. One half of the walls are house siding, and the other half are either bumpy concrete, paneling, or window trim. A roller just didn’t work. So I spent hoooours on the porch during the warmer months, and only completed about 60%.

Enter, the paint sprayer.

Why, oh why, didn’t I just pursue this in the first place? Probably because I didn’t have any experience with a paint sprayer, and moving all of the furniture out seemed like a pain. (Spoiler: it was. But it wasn’t as painful as spending more hours of my life out here with a paintbrush.) My friend, JJ, is a painter, and said he could have the entire porch (including the ceiling) sprayed in under an hour if I already had everything prepped. SIGN ME UP.

The thought of me (a 5’2″ woman) painting a 300 square foot ceiling with a ladder and a roller just didn’t sound like my idea of a good time. (Shocking, I know.)

On Tuesday, Ben and I moved all of the porch furniture out. I filled the MANY nail holes, and cleaned the cobwebs and dust bunnies. My friend, Tessa, came over to show me how to use a masker. It is a neat tool that lets you load a roll of tape and a roll of paper, and puts them together for you as you roll the paper out and tape it to the windows. It is easiest to do with two people. We had the whole porch masked off in about an hour. When you are spraying, be sure to mask off EVERY SINGLE THING you do not want painted. We needed to cover the oak front door, which was difficult to do with the masker, so we left it cracked just a tiny bit, covered it with a tarp, and taped the tarp to the door frame so that overspray wouldn’t get into our house. That left about a three inch opening towards the bottom of the door where the tape wouldn’t hold it together, and our entire main floor was covered in a thin layer of white dust.

JJ was right- the painting took less than an hour. He showed up, set up his sprayer, showed me how it worked, and had the entire room finished in 45 minutes total. He let me do one wall, and I enjoyed using the sprayer!

Enough talk. Here are some incredible before & after photos of the white paint. I used three gallons of Sherwin Williams Extra White in a satin finish.


This one is Ben taking a picture… of me… taking a picture.


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Louie, my furry photo assistant.



The “before” just felt kind of dirty. (Partially because it was… don’t @ me)


This was the chaos of our living room after moving in the porch furniture and masking off the windows and doors. We’re going for a “maximalist meets flea market meets condemned house” aesthetic in here now.

Now for the big reveal…



IT FEELS SO CLEAN! We didn’t worry about masking off the floors, because they will be painted next week when the weather permits open windows. I can’t believe what a difference the white makes in this space. Before now, I could only dream of what awaited me on the other side of a long-term, on-again-off-again relationship with a paintbrush.


Please excuse my paint buckets and mountain of paper and tape. Maybe this could be a new decorating style. I would call it “Reno-Chic”. It’s where you leave out all of your renovating supplies, but in an artistic and revolutionary way. So edgy.IMG_8834

I also started painting the navy accent wall, but not without a little lettering fun!

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The paint is still drying in this photo, so it looks streaky. I’m going to take the navy all the way up to the ceiling- I just ran out of time to finish it today! I also have to figure out whether or not to paint the half of that concrete column. It is incredibly bumpy, and I’m a bit worried I won’t be able to get a clean line. It will be covered by curtains, but I don’t want to leave a mess for future occupants of this house!



Continuing the navy all the way to the ceiling will draw the eye upward, and ultimately make the space feel taller. I still need to paint the window trim on the outside walls (the ones on the right), and paint the inside of the door on the right. I would love to paint the actual front door because the stain is uneven and looks very worn, but I don’t paint original woodwork in this house since we don’t own it. (Except for the upstairs porch, where the window trim was damaged beyond repair and needed a coat of paint for protection.)

I used three gallons of white paint, and one quart of Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue for this space! I’ll be using a light grey epoxy paint for the floors next week, and black paint for the window trim. This was not a complicated or expensive update, but it made a very significant impact! I’m very excited to see how it all looks once the floors have a solid, fresh coat of paint as well.

That’s all I have for this week! The other major progress will be happening this weekend. My brother-in-law, Kirk, will be showing me the ropes (literally) of building a bed swing. I showed him my vision, and he created a custom plan for beginner builders that utilizes a twin sized mattress and dimensional lumber. You will be able to buy the plans if you want to tackle the project yourself! I’ll also be working on dyeing the curtains and painting the floors next week. Things are coming together quickly now, and I’m still enjoying the process and trying to have fun at every stage!

You can follow along on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram and Instagram Stories for behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog. I’ll be sharing weekly updates here on my blog, and you can get reminders every time a post goes live through entering your email into the “brighten my inbox” tab to the right of this post.

Don’t forget to check out the design plans of the Featured Designers and other Guest Designers on the One Room Challenge Blog. 

Thanks for following along, and stay tuned for next week’s project- the bed swing!

Catch up on all six weeks of my Spring 2019 One Room Challenge:

Week 1: High Style, Low Budget Sunroom Transformation

Week 2: DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables

Week 3: The Power of Paint

Week 4: DIY $150 Bed Swing and Painted Concrete Floors

Week 5: Finishing Touches

Week 6: Before & After High Style, Low Budget Sunroom

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