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When color starts to appear in a construction project is when the fun begins!

Whenever I’m painting or staining, I always make sample boards to help choose the colors and to make sure it looks good.

It’s a good thing I did this time, as the first board I stained (bottom) was extremely blotchy.  So I did some research online and found a product to prevent blotchiness, Charles Neil’s Pre-Color Conditioner.  The top sample board is the one I pre-treated with Charles Neil’s Blotch Control product.  I didn’t wait for the second coat to dry overnight as stated in the directions.  Here’s what happened when I did:

The top section is the one that I followed directions on, while the bottom section is the one I stained with only an hour’s drying time after the second coat.  When I followed directions, there’s even less difference between hard and soft wood, giving a more even stain color.  So this is going to be worth all the extra work!  And I do mean extra work!

Treating the sample board is one thing; treating four plywood ship berths is quite another!  I used a little over 1 1/2 qts. on each section and did two of them today.  First I rolled on the blotch control, then brushed it into the wood and back-wiped with a rag dampened with the product.  Next I let the wood dry for over an hour, then sanded lightly with 320 grit sandpaper to even out the raised grain.  Finally, I put on a second coat, this time using a brush to get it on thickly.  By the time I was back-wiping with the rag, I felt like my arms were going to fall off!  Hmm, I thought this was supposed to be the fun part!

At the same time, I’ve been figuring out what paint colors I want to use.  It took five sample colors and several trips to Lowe’s for the hall color.  (One of those was because I didn’t verify the color samples, and the paint guy had made the wrong color.)   Here are the two final candidates after the first two were deemed too dark:

Kara and I decided on the left hand color, Valspar’s Coconut Scent.  We decided the peachy color on the right would be too much with the red carpet.  With the Metal & Patina Glaze over the Coconut Scent, the wall has a nice sheen even though it doesn’t show up well in photographs.

I used a scrap piece of sheet rock to try out my colors and technique for the ceiling of Narnia.  The left hand side starts with a dark blue on top; the right side starts with a medium blue on top.  Both sides have the same light blue on the bottom, and the middle is a mixture of the dark and light blues.  The three horizontal “stripes” were then blended with a brush.  When we do the actual walls, we’ll use several rollers, paint pans of various blues, and two painters to create the gradient blue sky, but I’m happy with my sample.

After a hot shower and some ibuprofen, I’m sure I’ll be back to saying, “This is the fun part!”