Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bye, Bye 70's Style, Part 1: Painting the Ugly Ceiling Beams

Although our farmhouse was built in 1830, it underwent an extensive renovation in the 1970s. A family room addition was added at that time (on the right in this photo from last fall) and some of the the fixtures and trims in the house were "updated". Replacing and neutralizing the 70's "improvements" has been a long term project for DH and I over the past nine years, both inside and out.

One project we debated for a long time (DH was opposed; I said, "Let's go for it") was painting the beams on the family room ceiling in the "70's" part of the house. These before and after photos of a similar outdated family room in the September 2011 issue of Country Living magazine (p. 99)  broke the tie.
Here is the magazine family room "after":

And here's a close-up of the Country Living room "before"...sadly, a lot like mine.

This is our family room "before". Although houses built in 1830 did have exposed beams (ours does in the original section), these were pure 70's. Stained deep brown, as was the "look" at the time, they made our sunny family look dark and dated. I hated them...

So... I painted beams all last night...up on an old ladder...during my first week back at school! Call me crazy but I knew it was "now (while I was inspired) or never". Those 40 year old beams soaked up a full roll of blue painters' tape, two coats of Bin and two coats of finish paint (Sherwin Williams "Brown Sugar") before the job was finally done.

Here's the result...Bye, Bye 70's...Hello 2011!

The room is much brighter and the ceiling feels higher now. I am so happy with the results that I've started some new "Goodbye 70's" projects this week. Hope you'll stop by for Part 2!

From "Groovy" to "Pottery Barn", I remain, your faithful late night blogger and obsessive decorator,

This post is linked to:
Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Farmhouse Friday at Laurie Anna's Vintage Home
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff & Nonsense
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors


Karen said...

Good job!! That's great. Glad you followed your instincts.
Ladybug Creek

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Good for you. Our house in Virginia was built in 1976 and had those beams too. I wonder if someone has painted them yet?

Good for you! I can't imagine having the energy to paint at night after teaching all day. It's a big improvement and I like your fireplace too.

Karen said...

Me again! Wish I had your email address. I would email a picture of my "teal toes" for Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. The teal color for this horrible cancer. A young friend of ours was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the ripe old age of 27! She will be going to MD Anderson at the end of September for her five year check-up. She is an amazing young woman who now works for the American Cancer Society.
This whole month I will wear teal-colored polish for Heather and now in rememberance of Nancy.
Take care!! You're a good sister.
Ladybug Creek

Cottage and Broome said...

Love the redo! We had those 70's beams too but ours were so fake we took them out. Love that you painted them. Thanks for sharing, Laura Cottage and Broome.

Liz said...

Awesome! It turned out great! :)

Come by and say Hi! I'm having a giveaway.:)


Claudia said...

It looks so much better! I lived in an apartment with those beams - although they had Mexican designs stenciled on them so they looked better than usual. But they can be very heavy looking in a room. Great job!


Patti said...

What an improvement! A little paint goes a long way.

Pamela Gordon said...

I saw that article in CL too. You did a super job painting your ceiling beams! It looks so much brighter. Looking forward to your next project. Blessings, Pamela

Cozy Little House said...

You did a great job! And the ceilings do look much higher. The whole space is airier.

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

Love it! I am now your latest follower.

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

That is such a wonderful transformation. Really updates the room.

Vickie said...

Outstanding re-do! It looks so bright and airy! I'm looking forward to seeing Part II!

MeMeSue said...


Latoya Quinn said...

Looks lighter and wider with the dark beams repainted. You might want to repaint the brick fireplace as well to get rid of the 70’s look. Perhaps you could choose some shades that will go along with the color of your couch. Latoya Quinn @ Texture Coating