Category Archives: Benjamin Moore Paint

The Master Bedroom

bedroom wall before renovationSo Hubs walks into the bedroom on Valentine’s Day to find our tripod, camera perched atop aimed directly at our bed. He was curious. Very curious.

“I’m making a video,” I said batting my eyelashes.

He smiled.

“For my blog.”

Such is the lot for the husband of a social media mom.

Let’s hope this sneak peek into my bedroom does not disappoint you as much as it did my dear husband. But before we get to the video, I want to remind you how it looked before our renovation. Take a look at the photo on the right.

And here’s a sense of how it how it looked once we raised the roof and bumped the room out a few feet.

bedroom during renovation

Now you’re ready to appreciate the new look and our fab new bedroom and our cool new mattress, er, sleep system. It can take a week or two to adjust to a new mattress. Had I not known this, I might have freaked out about our fancypants hi-tech bed, wondering if it was a mistake. But by night 7 or so, I adapted to my new bed (and my new bedroom) and now I sleep well.

Check it out!


And just for fun, this is what the wall behind my bed looked like just a few months ago. It’s a pretty amazing transformation, isn’t it? I’m grateful for it every day.


roof line before renovation


What’s that? You want to know more about my oh-so-pink vintage nightie? That will be a post of its own one day. Let’s just say I might not be where I am today without it.


Disclosure: The Serta iComfort System was provided by Serta.

The Four Seasons in Denver Has Got Nothin’ on Me (Well, Maybe One Thing)

Things are shaping up in the master bath and all over the house, really. There is so much to catch up with on the blog, but I can offer this bit of eye candy for the time being. Remember the luxe bathroom from the Four Seasons Denver? No?

Here’s a quick glimpse.

bathroom sink with cubbie

And a glimpse of our bathroom, as captured by my cell phone because I’m still living in the 20th century and it’s a pain to transfer over and resize my photos from my camera, but I realize I’m going to have to start because the quality of the phone shots is disappointing. See?


master bathroom painted with Benjamin Moore Smoked Oyster

We have a cubbie with a recessed mirror, just like the Four Seasons. We also have a sleek modern sink and faucet (placed on a cheap, off-the-big-box shelf vanity that is probably most regretful purchase of this whole process).

The paint color, which looks admittedly “blah” in this picture is Benjamin Moore Smoked Oyster. I promise it looks lovely in person. It’s kind of a mauvey-beige that goes nicely with our tile. Late one sunny afternoon, it actually looked purple! Not kind of sort of purple, but purple. Apparently the magical walls of my house bring out the blue tones in all the paint we put up. More about that later.

I’ll be back with more pictures or video of the master bath. Our luxe shower is spa-mazing!

The master bath is going to be a wonderful little getaway (two doors between us and the kids, as DH likes to remind me), but there is one big difference between our master bath and a 5-star hotel: maid service.

Just for fun, here’s what this same spot looked like in June. The vanity area is in the far left part of the closet.


bathroom before renovation


Disclosure: Benjamin Moore provided paint for this room.

The Thing That Does Not Belong on the Living Room Ceiling

peeling crack in ceiling

This literally appeared overnight. Each of the peeling sides is about 3 inches long.

The thing that does not belong on the lovely, white,  freshly painted for the first time in 10 15 20 years, living room ceiling is a crack. I had just finished admiring the sheen of my clean new kitchen cabinets in the morning light when this caught my eye as I was floating dreamily out of the house.

{sound of a needle scratching a record}

Perhaps it’s a stress crack. Hello! I’m the one who’s at the cracking point, why does my ceiling get to break down first?

Or it could be one of a handful of things.

I called our painter and told him he’d need to stop over and see this. But before I went ballistic on him, I stopped over to visit my buds at the local Benjamin Moore store learn about the potential causes. You may recall that Benjamin Moore is the paint sponsor for Casa de Renovation, and I’ve been spending a lot of time at my local Epco/JC Licht Ben Moore store.

I wasn’t concerned about the Benjamin Moore paint or primer, indeed, our painter told us that we were using “the best.”  I was concerned that this crack looked like something more.

Something bad.

And expensive.

Not that I’m one for drama.

At any rate, I had a friendly informative chat with Benjamin Moore store manager. This in turn, will help me have an informed discussion with our painter and our general contractor. One of the things I really appreciate about our GC is that whenever I approach him with sort of a panicky tone, he always responds with a matter-of-fact, “Okay, let’s check this out” or “”Here’s how I will fix it the way you want.” So let’s hope that’s how this will go.

And the painter has told me he will patch it up at for free.

But I’m concerned that there is a bigger issue with the ceiling. I *might* have heard the walls whisper angrily, “Get out! Get out now!” It’s not like blood spontaneously began dripping down the walls, but as I took a closer look at the areas near the cracked portion, I got a feeling that there is a large issue at play.

Then again, what do I know about any of this? Do you have any ideas?

At least the kitchen looks nice.

Painting My Home Office

Before the demo started DH decided we I should get one thing accomplished on our my own. That thing was my office walls. The floor was already done, so why not turn it into a pretty, functional storage space before the demo dust started to fly? Originally, our color consultant chose a few bold colors for the office, but after staring at them for a few days, I decided that none of them were truly a fit for me, so I zeroed in on colors that always catch my eye.

Like these:

blue benajmin moore paints

Snipped from's Personal Color Viewer

Or these:

Benjamin Moore blue paints

Also snipped from's Personal Color Viewer


I made my choice after bringing a couple of sample chips home and considering ignoring the opinions of my family. I have to say, I enjoy painting, but, oh the prep work is a killer. And our old walls need quite a bit. In the end, I didn’t give each bit of surface the love it needed, but the walls look great from a distance! I wasn’t sure if even Benjamin Moore’s primer + paint Aura line could stand up to my dry old walls that likely haven’t been painted in ten or more years, but it did!

I’m not sure how the color will mesh with the other walls in the house, but the office is my haven and this color makes me feel relaxed and happy. I love it! I still have to paint the trim, but I’m waiting until the windows get replaced to do so. Also, I need to touch up a few spots on the ceiling where the painter’s tape left its mark. Ugh. (Should I be using the green painter’s tape instead of the blue stuff?)

One lesson learned is that we’ll likely have to hire out at least for the prep work or give up our social life for many months if we want our house painted by springtime. These old walls need a face lift. And while I don’t mind a few wrinkles showing through on my office walls (I’m into the perfection of imperfection), I certainly want my living room and dining room walls to shine.

Are you a DIY painter? Any tips on that prep work bit? Also, do you have any songs to paint by? Leave a comment and you might get quoted in a future post.

Disclosure: Benjamin Moore is providing design services and paint for my new house. In return, I hosted a blogger event with the brand and I’m sharing insights and experiences on our journey to painted walls.

It will be months before the house is finished. If you’d like to follow along on our journey, “Like” Reluctant Renovator on Facebook, subscribe to this blog or Progress Notes, our monthly newsletter that serves up links to our most popular posts as well as a chance to enter product giveaways. Click to subscribe.


And the Paint Color Winners Are…

retro curtainsThe votes are in! My hearty thanks to all of you who chimed in with your preferences and useful advice, to boot. With your help, I now have a sense of direction. As many of you cautioned, I’ll likely have to review this once the new walls are up and the old ones are down, especially because the living room/dining room color vote resulted in a tie. Yes, the top vote was split between 1A Huntington Beige and  2C Richmond Gold. Interestingly, both go with the retro dining room curtains that are currently hanging.

I  think the warmer tones will work well. Though it’s ironic that I was daring to go beyond beige and that’s what you guys brought me back to. Look for a final runoff in about two months.

In the kitchen, Audubon Russet (A), my least favorite of the trio, was the winner, but Yellow Marigold (C)was not far behind. I’ll repost once the kitchen is done because I think once you have a sense of the design and our color choices for the cabinet and such you will understand that Russet will make things way too bland even for me. (I hope!)

Up to the master bedroom and en suite bath, I’m excited about the deep Grape Juice and will let you know if that changes once the bathroom actually exists. Pilgrim Haze, Bed 1, was the winner if only because many of you didn’t want to subject my husband to life with the lovely shade named Lavender Lipstick. I agree with the many of you who suggested Pilgrim Haze was most likely to work best for the long-term (i.e. even after we get rid of the bedspread).

I was shocked when I saw the color strip with Pilgrim Haze at my local Benjamin Moore store, a place I’d surely be mayor of now if I played on FourSquare. It looked so gray! But the large sample on my wall has strong blue tones. It was a great reminder of the importance of light and place when evaluating wall colors. Which is while I’ll runs this all by you again once the new walls are in place and we’re getting ready to paint.

Thanks again!

If you’d like to follow along on our journey, “Like” Reluctant Renovator on Facebook, subscribe to this blog or Progress Notes, our monthly newsletter that serves up links to our most popular posts as well as a chance to enter product giveaways. Click to subscribe.

Disclosure: Benjamin Moore is providing me with paint for all of  the rooms of our house in exchange for me sharing my insights and experiences on the journey to painted walls. I’ve made at least four trips to my local Benjamin Moore local store in the last two weeks, garnering helpful advice and buying supplies on just about every trip.

Bloggers Gone Wild at #PaintMeBen, A MomImpact Event

Last week my blog friends and I were treated to a presentation on How to Choose the Perfect Color at my local Benjamin Moore retailer. Color wizard Mary Hoffman, a third generation Benjamin Moore employee, talked to us in a way that made zillions of paint colors seem a little less overwhelming and a lot more fun.

After an inspiring presentation, we headed over to Casa de Renovation to look at the color themes suggested by Evelyn Martinez, our designer provided by the brand. So what happened when the energetic crowd headed over to my house?

Bloggers. Gone. Wild.

 Bloggers behaving badly Hope and Tracey defaced the wall.

One woman demolition crewJen then smashed it, finding her her true calling.

No wait, that all came later. When we got to the house, Mary and Beth, also from Benjamin Moore, drew a winner for the Grand Prize of the Evening- a personal in-home color consultation from Benjamin Moore. Lucky Melanie from Tales from the Crib won.

I awarded a few lesser prizes- an old key to the house, vintage wallpaper scraps (removed from my wall earlier that day) and a chance to hammer a hole in the wall that will soon (pretty please) be demolished.

Oh dear, it appears the other Jen forgot to take home her strip of vintage wallpaper. I’ll have to remember to bring it to her the next time we’re together.

Alli won my hip-again lime green sheer living room curtains- an item I didn’t even know I was giving away. But really, I’ll give almost any old thing away to a good home.

Everybody who showed up is a winner because they received coupons for Benjamin Moore sample pints.

I hope they go bold.

Maybe they will. After all, Kathy, (below) a blog friend dating back to when dinosaurs ruled the digital space in 2006, has been pondering a color change. And Lisa learned a few tips to help with her troubled yellow bathroom walls.

Special thanks to my guests: Paula, Beth, and Maureen.

Kathy looking tough

The party isn’t over yet. Take a look at the colors we’re pondering and let me know your favorites.

Your vote will also put you in the running for coupons codes for Benjamin Moore sample pints! Voting ends 9/16/11 at 11 CST.

Click to see our options for the master bedroom.

And also vote on the living room/dining room and kitchen. (My largest paint challenge.)

And when you’re done, you’re done, take a look at Evelyn’s suggestions for my teen son and my tween boy.

So, what do you think? Help me decide!

It will be months before the house is finished. If you’d like to follow along on our journey, “Like” Reluctant Renovator on Facebook, subscribe to this blog or Progress Notes, our monthly newsletter that serves up links to our most popular posts as well as a chance to enter product giveaways. Click to subscribe.