Deck the Walls

Stephanie had encouraged me for awhile to get prints made of some of my pictures, so that we could hang them up in the house. A couple of months ago we finally sat down and decided which ones to use. As often happens, Stephanie added a minor constraint to the project (such as squashing my desire to use the free, white mattes that came with the frames), I complicate matters by balking once I find out what a custom color matte would cost at a frame shop, and then she solves the problem by finding a $3 can of spray paint that is pretty similar to our ceiling color. If you ever need to change the color of a matte, we found that they take spray paint very well. It is so much cheaper than buying a custom matte, and using a stock frame was, of course, a fraction of the cost of custom framing.

Here are the pictures we have up in the dining room. The one on the left is a section of Portland skyline at night, and the one on the right is of the crane sculptures at the Portland Japanese Garden:


Crane sculptures at Portland Japanese Gardens


Here are the pictures in the living room. All four are from the Japanese Garden.


8 thoughts on “Deck the Walls

  1. Another option: You can get mattes at Art Media. Now, you have to have a matte cutter, but I’ve learned more people have them than I would think. I learned that I have 3 friends with them! And, it is really simple to cut your own.


  2. Thanks Josh!

    Ha! Thrifty + custom = awesome! I tend to agree, which is probably why I am hooked on the IKEA Hacker blog. Somehow though, “Mat-hacker” just doesn’t have the same ring!


  3. Wow. Wow. Wow. Your home is so incredible. The colors remind me of a scene from Amelie. Speaking of colors, perhaps this question has been answered before somewhere on this blog, but what are the names of the paint colors you used for the living room and bathroom?
    My husband (also named Julio) and I are trying to buy a tudor-style bungalow and the previous owner painted all of the trim and doors bright white. Any tips on how to remove paint from trim, DIY-style?
    One last question…I’m crazy about the wainscoting you have in the bathroom and living room. Did this come with the home and if so, do you where we could buy it?
    Lovely home and impressive vision.


  4. MarieLouise,

    Thanks. All of our paint colors were listed on this page:

    Regarding paint stripping, we did not strip down any doors ourselves. We took them to a place that dips & strips, which meant we did not have to deal with it ourselves. Trim is much harder to remove and replace, so most people strip it in place. This will usually involve some nasty chemicals and fumes, but above all, I would never sand off any old paint. It’s likely to be lead-based, so you don’t want to be getting that toxic dust all over your house.

    We also have an infrared stripper that works quite well on flat pieces, but it’s not so good with the details.

    The dining room wainscotting was already there when we bought the house, but we used it as the model for the bathroom. To make it, we attached 1/4″ plywood, filled and sanded smooth, to the wall all around the room. Then we made a shallow notch in the back of 1×3 MDF, so that could cover the top of the panel and be adjusted to be perfectly level. The base trim was more MDF (1×6, I think) just nailed over the plywood. Lastly, we cut strips of wood for the vertical battens. These were glued onto the plywood, with a few staples added to hold them while the glue dried. The most time-consuming part was actually the filling, sanding and caulking.

    We don’t have any good in-progress pics from the wainscotting on the site, but here is one I found in my photo archive:


  5. Hi MarieLouise. I thought I would chime in as well…

    First of all, thank you for the kind words about our house. 🙂

    Secondly, I think Julio’s post above is a little confusing, so just to clarify, all of the wainscoting in our dining room was intact when we bought the house. While we did have to have trim stripped in other rooms, the dining room wainscoting – and the woodwork in the living room and front entry hall – have never been painted (which is one of the reasons we fell in love with this house.)

    Thirdly, I have heard some good reviews on gel stripper – it’s less messy than some of the liquids, as I understand it and by using a wet paint removal method, you don’t have to worry about lead dust. As Julio mentioned, we have an infrared paint remover that works really well on flat surfaces, but to get into the little nooks and crannies, you’ll probably still need to use some sort of chemical stripper. Or, you can carefully remove your trim and take is somewhere to be dipped and stripped, which is what we have done with a lot of our trim.

    As for the paint colors, the bathroom color – Seaweed – weirdly enough, is from the SpongeBob SqaurePants collection of children’s paint available at Lowe’s (although I didn’t use Lowe’s paint – I had Miller Paint match the color for me.)

    The living room color was a Miller Paint color called Green Acre. However, earlier this year, Miller released a new color palette and Green Acre is no longer one of the colors they offer. Sherwin Williams’ Leapfrog SW6431 is very similar though. It can be a bit dark in a room without lots of natural light, so if it looks too dark in your home and you wanted to check out a color that is similar but one shade lighter, you might also look at Sherwin Williams’ Great Green SW 6430.

    Hope this helps, and good luck with your house purchase!


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