Four poster bed in Black (part 3)


Sherwin Williams Tricorn is a gorgeous black! I ended up diluting this paint at 1 cup to 1/4 cup water for my paint sprayer. I tested the color on a wood scrap and and made sure the Velvet Finishes Protect (water based poly) would be okay with this paint. Everything checked out okay! So onward with the project!

Start your project on the back or an inconspicuous area so you can get a feel for the sprayer. Always start the spray pointed away from your project so you don’t get splatter. I found working outside much easier then the garage and inside the house would have resulted in a huge mess!


I decided to use sawhorses to prop up the head and footboards because it helped me get one coat on the front and back. The above photo shows the first coat which is still showing a lot of white and unevenness in the coat. Remember, you want light coats, not heavy, so it’s not unusual for the base primer to show through at this stage.

Below is the first coat (left) and second coat (right):

When dealing with molding and carvings, change the position of the piece you are painting to get the coverage inside the crevices. After spraying the bed in the upright position, I turned the headboard flat. Curves can really hide places where you are not getting coverage! The same for legs – move the piece higher so you can see the legs at chest height in order to doublecheck the coverage.


Large flat areas also take a lot of time to cover so you don’t have streaks. This third coat is starting to even out but it will take time to get that nice even coverage in thin, light coats. Be patient!


Some more tips on using an electric Spray Gun for paint:

Always dilute the paint according to the machine’s instructions;

Always keep your machine clean because that is the biggest source for paint spray issues;

Always look on the can and use only when temperature and humidity are right, as spraying when it is too cold, hot or high in humidity leads to paint blemishes;

Remember, first and second coats should be light. At this stage you probably won’t be seeing the color coverage you want but be patient;

To get a heavier coat, move the spray gun closer to the item you are painting;

Keep the gun in motion, when you keep it in one place you get drips;

The spray is heavier at positions where you start and stop it, which could result in splotches if you don’t keep it moving;

Always check between coats for blemishes such as hair, drips or nicks in the paint coat so you can correct as soon as possible;

With this sprayer, if the nozzle is perpendicular, spray up and down;

If the nozzle is horizontal, move the sprayer side to side;

To better coverage inside of the spirals, turn the nozzle to the 45 degree position;


Well, this project is going to take several days – letting paint dry well between coats, dealing with the weather and humidity and finally it will need two coats of water based poly, so next time you see it, it will be in our bedroom with our new linens (Pottery Barn is having a 20% off sale on Duvets so I’m thinking I might be grabbing that Duvet I wanted this week).

Updating our four poster bed to Black (part 2) the design ideas

Originally, when I had the idea of painting the four poster bed black, I was going to distress it, but as time passed, I began to really think distressing had become a bit passe. I want whatever finish I do to the bed to last for another 10+ years so I’m looking for a deep solid black on the bed as the final finish.

So before beginning I collected some Inspiration photos on my Pinterest bedroom board:

Basset Furniture
Baker Ballard Interiors

I had a pretty good idea that the black bed would look great against the white molding wall that I will be doing behind it in the master bedroom, something similar to this feature wall.

Charles Vincent George Architects

I also knew from experience that it was hard to really find bed linens that looked good with the cream white – the poster bed itself seemed to fade away in the room. However, I think black would be stunning for example against this Pottery Barn duvet:


I had tried a Glidden black for the television cabinet with the idea I would just be using the paint for the bed but I discovered it didn’t handle the water based poly coat that I wanted to put as the topcoat so off to Sherwin Williams where I bought another black called Tricorn.


Updating our 20+ year old bed frame with paint (part 1)

We bought a four poster, king sized bed from Ethan Allen about 3 years into our marriage. It’s been with us now for over 21+ years! When we moved to Tulsa and was stuck in an apartment for six months, the bed had to be hauled up with ropes over the balcony to be brought into the bedroom as the stairs tight corner wouldn’t have allowed it to fit!

The original paint was a cream but over the years it wore poorly and became stained and dirty. The original paint yellowed in areas. Its been badly in need of a paint do over for a decade or more! And for some time I’ve been considering the color black.


First step: Cleaned the surface with Denatured Alcohol. Do this in an open area with a LOT of ventilation. Wear gloves and ventilator (if doing inside). This removes the topcoat surface (i.e. polyurethane, wax etc…). I did sand lightly as this is a project that is important to me and I want a very nice smooth finish.

Second step: Using our paint sprayer, I applied about 3 light coats of Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 123 Primer for all surfaces. This was diluted by 1 cup to 5 Tablespoons water for my electric paint sprayer (HomeRight sprayer) and I actually used the entire quart of primer for this project.

I first sprayed one side of the headboard with it leaning up against a privacy fence with plastic behind it. About an hour later, I flipped it and sprayed the other side. Once dry, it went horizontal on two sawhorses to get one side sprayed, and after it dried, the other side. Because of the decorative posts, it took different angles to get it evenly covered with primer.

A few times I didn’t keep my spray gun moving and got a drip or two, so I did sand again lightly to clear up those mistakes. The best thing to do is to keep the gun MOVING and think LIGHT COATS. It is far better to keep going back and doing another LIGHT coat then doing a thick one and then having a gloppy surface finish.

Below, the post on the right are with the 2 coats of primer, the one on the left with the first light coat.


As you can see fro m the photos, in each photo the left one still shows some of the cream and grime, while the one on the right has a nice, even coat. Also from these photos you can see that the twists on the posts would have been difficult to get nice smooth coverage using a brush or roller. Hence the spray gun was a necessity for this project!


Some thoughts on this primer – I bought it because it specifically said it would work with latex paint. The odor was far less then Kilz. In reading the reviews on Lowes for this product some people complain about it not giving a flat white the first try…  Well anyone with real paint experience knows that several light layers is better then one heavy – and that primer is just a base for a top coat.

Also, if you are spraying new wood, you should know first to use a wood conditioner, especially if the wood has knots which might later bleed through.

For me, I’m pleased with the product. It adhered to the wood very well. The coverage was even and the paint surface felt like it would give grip to the black paint I would be spraying on top. It dried quickly and I was able to work with it even though the humidity was high (over 50%, under 70%, check the can) which allowed me to get the product moved along even though the weather was uncooperative.

Because this project has ornamentation and has to be flipped for other visible sides to be done, allow a day to get it primed before moving on to the next step.

Next blog post will be about the black finish (which may take a few days as I’m waiting for the weather to clear off).

master bathroom lighting

I’m realizing more and more how important lighting is to my re-designs of these rooms. Pondering the master bathroom yesterday, and then sleeping on it, I decided to take some time and search Google Images for bathrooms with sconces and chandeliers.

I’ve always liked sconces on the sides of mirrors over the vanity instead of overhead lighting that is either canned lights (what we have now) or your typical flush mounted bar, centered above. The chandelier idea can be a bit foo-foo for my taste; it probably depends on the chandelier if I can make it work for me.

This design (2nd image down) is my favorite. I love the linen shade on the sconces. I also like the cabinet color and glaze with the mirrors and wallpaper.
Love the chandelier (with a bit of green) with the sconces on this design. My only thing I really don’t like is the stool vanity combination. Impractical. Women sitting down to do makeup seems to 1950’s to me. Having counters of different heights increases clean up time.
Lovely design in white and green. Major sparkley chandelier. The vanity lights seem a bit weak but the room has canned lighting too.
This design is a bit on the cold side for me because of the very high walls in stone. I think it needs a little warmth, but I do love the sconce and chandelier combination.The lighting overall is fantastic. It does scream SPA!!! which is extremely hot in design right now (and I think will remain in people’s mind for some time due to our need for comfort during these troubled times).

Lighting is something your builder will skimp on. For example our entire lighting budget for this home (2-story, 2 living, 2 dining, four bedrooms) was $600! That was to include all the hall lights, ceiling fans, switches and outlets! The upshot is adding more light fixtures will cost money, but it will also send a message to the home buyer, consciously or unconsciously that the home is ‘luxe looking.

Since we were talking about remodeling the walls (Venetian Plaster) anyway, I think we will do a bit of hole busting in plaster and put in more lighting and move lighting about. I doubt there is any type of attic access but we’ll check that this weekend.

~ Put a sconce in the toilet area, removing the light/vent combo and just have it be a vent. Wire this into the current sconces? OR put in a mini-chandelier?

~ Sconces on either side of mirrors over vanity OR mini-chandeliers over each vanity sink? The mini-chandeliers would probably fit better because there isn’t much room to put 3 across (1 mirror 1 mirror 1).

~ If no chandelier over the vanity, a central chandelier in the room, replacing the vent/light with just a vent.

~ putting in a new outlet on the wall between the toilet door and closet #2 door. This would allow plug in for something like a towel warmer!

~ solatube over the bathtub area.

An interesting note – when we wanted to put sconces over the bathtub area we were told by the builder that was NOT TO CODE… yet here I see many chandeliers over tubs. I wonder if these people really got code approval before putting that in? Whatever… check with your city government before installing lighting near wet areas such as sinks, tubs and showers.