Building Community, One Room at a Time

So when you own three houses, what do you do in your free time? Head to someone else's house to take a class in painting a room!

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota has a fantastic series of classes, and the one Patrick and I took yesterday was on paint and plaster techniques. We were working on a little 1885 worker's house in South Minneapolis — a smallish dining room with high ceilings, a simple stained glass window, and an all-white starting canvas. Anders Christensen, of TigerOx Painting, was the instructor, which was great for two reasons: 1) I have known him through preservation circles for a long time and find him one of the smartest, most lives-to-his-values people I know, and 2) he's an incredible painter. I'm a pretty good painter, but I was really excited to "brush" my painting techniques (as it were).

Anders started with some general tips (summarized - it's all in the prep, sigh). We then started from the top, painting the ceiling a cream color. I'm kind of an all-white ceiling girl myself, but I have to admit, it looked pretty good here.

We then did the top of the room in a green/blue color, which the homeowner had picked from the Sherwin Williams historic palette. It came exactly 17" from the ceiling line, which was picked because the stained glass window was 17" high, and the proportions were perfect. I got to use a little roller (loved it!) to do the band. Best of all, Anders confirmed my strong belief not to tape, but to freehand the edging, and let me cut most of the room edge myself! I was in heaven!

The lower part of the wall was in a hubbard squash color, which really looked great. There was an attempt to demo part of the wall to expose the brick of the chimney, but that was a bit of a fail since it had been cemented-boarded and there was a big heating duct there. Old houses never fail to surprise, and the homeowner took it in good stead.

The workshop was great — we both had so much fun and learned a ton. Now I'm casting an eye around my own house, wondering if I should get Anders over to suggest some ideas...

Shots "during":

And after:

ETA:  Want to get in on the fun? Join us for one of the classes; Patrick and I are taking floor refinishing, plumbing, and electrical ones soon. Sustaining members get free classes with a monthly donation!


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