trim for days, grays doors & glass knobs

Marian ParsonsKitchen, My House58 Comments

I scoured and studied pictures of our house before I had the chance to see it in person.  That didn’t happen until after we made an offer and were pretty much committed to buy it as long as Jeff received a job offer.  In the pictures, I was hopeful that the trim was a nice, clean white, but I had my doubts.

When I walked through the house for the first time, my love for the house was tempered, if even a little, but the fact that trim was almost beige.  I knew it would mean weeks of painting if I wanted it to be bright white, which, of course, I did.  Having painted out the trim in our two previous homes, I knew what a huge job it is and not one that’s particularly exciting.

The results of bright white trim, though, are worth it.

So, Monday, when it was raining outside and I couldn’t spray the cabinet doors, I put on the musical Hamilton, listened through it for the first time, and painted trim.  (Fantastic, by the way!  The musical, not the trim painting.)

It took me the entire time the boys were at school to paint the trim in the kitchen and the base cabinets (not including the crown molding).

And that doesn’t even include the window frames.  It’s a bummer that those are all beige as well, because it will involve a lot of tedious painting.  Those details make a big different, though, so they will get painted on at a time.

(That sash still needs a second coat.  Isn’t it a pain that white over cream almost always takes two coats?!)

For the trim and the cabinets, I’m using Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint in Satin.  The color is a custom-mixed formula to match Farrow & Ball’s All White…

It’s a clean, bright white, but it’s not as stark as the bright white out of the can.

I’ll share more about painting with Advance in my next post about painting my cabinets.

I’m also using Advanced paint in satin for the interior doors, which are also beige.  I want to paint all of the interior doors in the house a color, so I’ve been debating between Templeton Gray…

…or a paler, bluer Stonington Gray…

I decided to go with Stonington Gray.  Both really are pretty colors, but I think this option is more neutral to use throughout the home.  I’m also going to use it on the kitchen island.  It’s going to look a little off with the current counter, but will look gorgeous with the white marble (yes, I’m going for it) I hope to install in the coming months.  (I’ve been doing a ton of reading up on marble and this article helped me decide to get what I really want and that’s real marble.)

And another thing I have finally made a decision about is the hardware!

I was planning to just keep the existing hardware.  I don’t love it, but it’s neutral enough that it doesn’t bother me.  I have looked and looked for hardware, but I had some limitations.  The drawers are very skinny where the hardware is attached (just over an inch), so I can’t use bin cup or clapper pulls, which would be my preference.  All of the hardware I found that was on the thinner side looked modern or wasn’t any better than the current handles.

This morning, on a whim, I tried on a glass knob from my stash.  The style of the knob isn’t quite right, but I liked the look.  It’s a nice bridge between the traditional styling of the cabinets and my style.

I selected these knobs from Hobby Lobby

I needed a boatload of pulls and these were 50% off, which made them $5/each.  It’s still a small investment, but one that will really change the look and feel of the kitchen along with all of the paint.

It’s so exciting to me that the kitchen is coming together!  I can picture the finished result and it’s just going to be beautiful.

I hope to finish painting and installing the lower cabinet doors tomorrow…

trim for days, grays doors & glass knobs

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58 Comments on “trim for days, grays doors & glass knobs”

  1. Hi Marian, I’m so excited to watch the progress you make on your new home. As someone who has done TONS of painting, may I suggest you try using a narrow paint roller for the primer coat. It goes really fast and if you use a thicker nap you can even get into those nooks and crannies. I have even successfully done the top coat of paint the same way. I just run a paint brush over it to smooth it out a bit. I painted my front door a glossy deep red in this manner and it took me less than an hour and looks fantastic. Give it a try. LOL, must admit that I got such a thrill seeing your mantle decorated for fall. You have a mantle!!! Yeah!

  2. Before you paint all those doors, consider using (single) French doors for some of your rooms, such as the laundry room. It is amazing how much light they bring into the interior of the house, and if you need some privacy, a pretty curtain on the inside or rice paper privacy film still lets light through. I have swapped out most of the solid doors in my house with “15 lite” French doors, including bedrooms and the master bath. The hallway is always bright, even with the doors closed!

      1. Before you spend a fortune on a new door try adding a window to the existing door. I posted a tutorial on installing a window on an interior door. I don’t think I can post a link, but if you search “window interior door” on my site you should find it. I LOVE IT! I have a small laundry room and a narrow hall and adding that window made a huge difference! It really isn’t as difficult as it may sound. I also added a couple of glass doors to my kitchen and love them as well. If you use the right glass, there is no need for curtains! Changing out the glass on “french” style doors is easy as well!

    1. Great idea. I’m in the process of finishing plans for a new kitchen addition with a laundry and bathroom off to one side. Installing glass windows in the doors to those rooms will let the light through. Thank you so much for sharing your great idea.

    2. Leslie, can you tell us about rice paper privacy film please ? Where do you find it….how to install ? etc.

    3. I did this with the door to my basement. It really helped make the basement feel like part of the living area.

  3. I love the color you picked for the doors! Is that a Benjamin Moore color as well? It’s a beautiful contrast to the white trim. Painting trim is a TON of work, I did it in one house where the trim was stained dark brown. I coat of primer and two coats of paint, took forever by so worth it. Question, how do you like your spray tent? We’re thinking of getting one. It is easy to set up and take down? Love how the house is coming along and I can’t wait to see the white marble countertops!


  4. Great style choice for the drawer pulls, Marian! I checked them out through your link and the reviews, for the most part, weren’t very favorable. I hope you’ll blog about your review of them once they arrive.

    I’m loving the chance to see your progress and beautiful transformations – that interior door color is dreamy, by the way. Nice work!

    1. Yes, I saw the reviews. I had the chance to see these exact pulls in person and I have even used the same ones in the white “milk glass” finish and they were great. So, based on my own experience, I wasn’t concerned.

  5. We have an 1865 limestone homestead with original Greek revival moldings. I painted the trim in my entire second and third floors in Stonington GRay with navajo white walls. We love it! Just a hint of green

  6. Everything is looking like you! Would one have to prime those interior doors before painting? Thank you for sharing so many painting tips with us!

  7. It’s really all coming together so nicely Marian! I like the Stonington Grey color that you chose for your doors!

  8. I redid my kitchen last year and went with honed Carrara marble around the perimeter and a white quartz island (I would have done all marble, but the fabricator was worried it was too soft for a waterfall edge). I love it so much. Even around the stove, it’s easy to keep clean. I polish it with Barkeep’s Friend once a week, and it just glows.

  9. You’re like the old Army slogan – you get more done before breakfast than most people do all day. I’m not a fan of most granite so we agonized over using marble in our kitchen. Trips to Italy to visit family changed our thoughts. Most people there use marble , without problem, throughout the home because it is a common natural resource for them. We chose honed Danby (Vermont) marble for it’s “hardness” several years ago and have never been sorry.
    How do you get the Farrow and Ball color formula at BM? Do they have them at your BM dealer?

    1. Hi Marianne,
      I have Danby honed marble counters in my kitchen and they are a maintenance nightmare. What do you know that I don’t?? I’ve sealed them at least 4 – 5 times in the last 3 years. And they STILL water spot!! Drives me crazy. What can you tell me??

      1. Mary, I’m so sorry you’ve problems with your marble. I don’t think I do anything special with them. They were sealed by the installer and I’ve never done it again. The only spots I have are a few etching marks from lemon juice I didn’t wipe up, but I can’t see them unless I bend down and look for them at a certain angle and light. We tend to leave clean knives or pots to one side of the sink to “air” dry and if I look closely I can see where the water dried. Almost like very light calcium marks. I’ve used baking soda on a very damp sponge and taken them up. That’s it though. Have you Googled that question? Marianne

  10. One of the things that has stood out to me since you’ve moved is the different color tones in your new house compared to your previous ones. Are you going to do a fair bit of painting this go around (trim aside)? It would be neat to see a post where you run down the paint colors or more general tones/shades you’re considering as you settle in and tweak your new home.

  11. Hi Marion,
    I recently bought a house built in 1950 will all white trim, except for all of the new windows! They chose brown stain and brown hardware. I would love to paint them all white to match the trim but how do you get all the inside edges of a window (they are crank out windows)? And what do you do about the brown hardware? I thought you might know with your window painting and beige hardware experience.
    Thanks for the help!

  12. It is so fun to see you making your home…well yours! Love how you are adding so many
    touches to your new home. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

  13. I love that you decided on the glass pulls and marble! Can’t wait to see it! And Stonington gray has been used extensively in mine and my daughters home and always works. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, it’s been so fun.

  14. When I read that you were planning to keep the handles and the granite, I thought oh no… I knew they were not going to work with your farmhouse style. So glad to see that pretty glass cabinet hardware and white marble countertops are in your future!! I’m enjoying watching your progress. Might I venture to recommend hardwood floors throughout (when the budget allows, of course)?

  15. Love it. I see that you are using the color Stonington. Stonington is a real place just north of Mystic Seaport in
    Ct. It is a charming town on a point of land in Long Island Sound. Put it on your bucket list.

  16. I had all new trim put in my home. It is still bare wood and it’s been two years. I cannot work up the motivation to paint it. I know I’m going to have to sand it, prime it, paint it and it feels overwhelming. Plus I have 3 cats so lots of hair in the air.

    Things are looking so good at your place.

  17. Marian, love the glass hardware you have decided on. Also, your marble countertop will be lovely! Great choices! It is definitely you! Love seeing how you are “personalizing” your gorgeous home! Blessings! Have a great day!

  18. Marion,
    We have many sunless gray rainy days in the fall and winter. These long stints are challenging to enjoy and not get the blues. I have stayed far away from the gray color trend. Do you find the gray colors to be sad even adding happy joyful colors ?

  19. I have had carrera marble in my last two homes. I knew going in that it would not be perfect for long. I likened it to the old soda fountain counters of my youth. The wear and tear patina was something I loved then and still do. I do have honed and I have been able to minimize wine etching with wet or dry sandpaper.
    Can you refresh us on what color you painted your living room walls and what sheen?
    Love seeing the transformation. It is awesome!

  20. It will look lovely, I am sure! I love the idea of the island and doors in a different color, so can’t wait to see that finished…no pressure! It is fun to watch you transfor this house and put your spin on it. Although I know initially you were looking for an older home, I think in the end, this shows how you can make a newer home read older style, which will inspire your fan base. Keep up the great work!

  21. I’m so enjoying the journey, and I especially appreciate your details about prepping, cleaning, priming and painting. I am building up a small reference library from you for when I get for some painting projects. Looking forward to learning more, and watching this transformation!

  22. We need new countertops. My heart wants marble. My head thinks quartz would be more practical. I am so looking forward to seeing yours.

  23. Marian, I truly love what you’ve done to your new home. However, I would be happy just to have the countertops you have now. What do they say…another man’s trash (or countertops) is another man’s treasure. ☺. Good luck with your projects!

  24. My bedroom is Stonington Gray and I still love the color 17 years later (I’ve refreshed it twice and keep going back to it). I’m a blue and white lover too and it works well with all my blue willow ware.

  25. Everything looks amazing. But I think you should secretly hire a painter to do your trim. Holy moly does that look like a lot of work! But again it looks great!

  26. You continue to amaze me with all you get done. Guess I should get to work, instead of reading about it. Have fun!

  27. Did you prime the trim before painting it with satin paint? Was it originally a high gloss or semi or??? I was going over my high gloss trim with semi-gloss paint, and it didn’t seem to cover too well.


  28. Love watching your house become your home. I chose natural quartzite for my counters. Did not like granite. This has just a little color that goes with my Mexican tile floors.

  29. Gahh! I’m hearing you on the trim, girl! I have only just begun our 5 bedroom, huge house and didn’t realise what I was getting myself in for! Trim for DAYS, MONTHS, this could take all YEAR. There ain’t enough Hamilton Musicals for this job. And I’m painting 4 coats as I’m going over varnished timber! Two undercoats/primer and two top coats of white. I’m trying to set myself small challenges to get me through this daunting task …

  30. Hobby Lobby is my go to place for knobs. You can not beat their 50% off prices. I totally understand your choice of marble. I debated the same thing a year and a half ago when I redid my kitchen. In the end I opted for quartz. My decision was based on the worry of staining it during my food prep. I know if you put several layers of sealent on them you can relax but it was not something I was willing to risk. Your kitchen will be amazing! You have accomplished a lot!

  31. It is so fun to see the choices you are making!! They are so you and your house is taking on a beautiful transformation. We are moving into our 1970’s retirement home on Saturday. We’ve been doing some remodeling on the weekends for the last 2 months and haven’t gotten nearly as far as we had hoped. The bathroom is 3/4 done and the kitchen is hardly started. I’m doing trim painting too. We are putting up all new trim as we go and replacing some windows. We have been offered some white trim from our daughter and son in law that they had leftover from their basement finishing. What a blessing that will be! I can hardly wait to get moved in and started on things full time. I was inspired to use one of your paint colors choices in our bedroom…wickham gray. We love it!

  32. I didn’t like the glass pulls from your stash…that curvey look was too froofroo looking…BUT, the ones you chose from HB are perfect. Loving that taylored, straight line to it. Kinda modern but with a look and feel from the past ! Great pick. It will be a great look 🙂

  33. I love BM Advance paint. I have used it on my kitchen cabinets, a bathroom vanity. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a sprayer & I painted all doors by hand. But they still look great! No brush strokes. I may have to invest in a sprayer & a booth. Our house has Creamy trim & doors & I want to change it but it has been so daunting that I haven’t started that project!

  34. We’ve just bought our paint to start the long, tedious task of transitioning our house from all cream (walls, ceilings and trims) to greige with white ceilings and white trims/doors. Our house has 33 doors including 9 mulitipaned glass French doors. The solid doors will be sprayed, but the miles of skirtings and architraves, along with the staircase is one of those jobs that I’m worried I’ll get 1/2 way through and run out of enthusiasm. I am so looking forward to making this house our own though and bringing it from 1997 into 2017. 😊

  35. I’m loving reading your posts on your new house. It is looking amazing. I am curious if any of your new neighbors have come by to see what you have done and what do they think?

  36. I love everything you are doing to transform your house, but I must warn you about those Hobby Lobby pulls unfortunately…. we have a different version of those glass pulls from Hobby Lobby, and unfortunately almost 15 have already broken in the first few months. Definitely try to find something similar elsewhere!!!

  37. We installed all new trim and are currently doing the crown moulding in Benjamin Moore Snowfall White. We used the amazing Advance paint for bathroom cabinets that were not white and absolutely loved it. Based on the recommendation of our local Benjamin Moore paint guy’s recommendation, we did not use the Advance with white paint. He recommended against it for our white trim and crown because he said it will naturally yellow over time since it has the alkyds in it. Is this your understanding as well?

  38. Everything is looking beautiful! I love your color choices. I’m looking at a house online that I love and currently everything in the house is painted dark, bold colors! The kitchen cabinets are black, dark red walls. The laundry room is painted black also! It would take gallons upon gallons of primer to cover the colors it is painted!

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