Peace, Love and Anna

Anna wanted her room to be funky but was done with the hot pink. Like most young girls her age she was really into peace signs and as a matter of fact, she wanted them all over her walls! Then she wanted her name on one wall, PEACE on the other and LOVE on the other. So her wish was our command.

We base coated the room in a light blue (mom and her picked out the color) Then traced (using peace signs made from manila folders) onto the walls. I used 2 sizes, a larger one and smaller one then staggered them on the wall for visual interest. Then I used a projector to project the words onto the wall.  We painted the peace signs in with green, purple, pink & white, while the words were done in black.

Anna loved her new room! And we loved creating it for her!

Colorfully Yours,

Maggie & Mary

A Yankee Room

We were contracted to paint this room for two really cute little guys who wanted a "Yankee game room!" with lots of stripes. Well, as die hard Yankee's fans we were determined to make a Yankee's room these two little guys would love to sleep in!
As always when working with navy blue and darker based colors you need many coats of paint to achieve the actual color that you're looking for. Using a primer tinted to the color helps tremendously. We also used tape to give us an even boarder all the way around the room. We measured from the base board, marked with a pencil, then taped it off. Easy.

Once the bottom half is painted it's time to lay down the stripes and the NY Yankee symbol on the wall.  We used a projector to project the NY on the wall. Then proceeded to draw on the stripes around it. Again, we just used a large ruler for the "stencil" for the stripe, marked the pencil lines, then taped it off. You really need someone with eagle eyes to stand across the room to make sure the tape is straight. Side note: Never rely on construction for a straight line (ex: door frame, window frame ect...) because these are never really straight. Always go with your "eye" because that' s what you (and everyone else) will notice.

Then it came time to fill in the stripes with the navy blue. We did decide to put a small circle of red around the NY to set it apart from the blue stripes.

It was such a fun project and the little guys were so excited with their Yankee stripes! There were lots of smiles all the way around!

Colorfully Yours,

Maggie & Mary


1940s Black and White

One of the hardest rooms to wallpaper is the bathroom. One of the most difficult spots to wallpaper is the ceiling. This space involved both, but Maggie and I are always up for a good challenge.

First, let me apologize for the "not so great pictures". I forgot my camera and had to use my phone (she says stomping her foot!). It always frustrates me when I do that, because then you at home don’t get the full affect of what we're doing. You also aren't able to see the crisp details of the paper and the room. As was the case here. This bathroom had marvelous black and white, original, 40’s tiling and fixtures. The wallpaper had a beautiful black and white scallop pattern, with a hint of silver, subtly whisked through it, so that when the light caught it, it would sparkle a bit. The phone camera did not pick up those details.

The customer did a wonderful job matching the style of the tiles and fixtures to the design in the wallpaper. Instead of trying to "modernize" the bathroom she picked a paper that flattered the existing look.

So, when we were done "ooooing & aghhhhing" over the paper we moved into the difficulty of getting it onto the ceiling and the walls.

 It's a good thing Maggie and love each other so much, because wallpapering a ceiling together can really test a friendship! There is a lot of stretching and manipulating of ones body. Positions that when you're 44, don't come as easily to you as when you were 24. So, when you have one foot braced on the corner of a tub and the other wedged in between the toilet and the wall (like Spiderman)...things can become a little testy. 

But after a few choice words, some loud huffs and painful arm cramps, we managed to get the complicated strips into place, and move onto the walls.

There were a couple nice things about this bathroom besides its cosmetics too. We only had to work in half sheets for the remaining walls (the bottom half was tiles). Someone else had prepped the walls for us, so all we had to do was come in and paper and there was no wallpapering around a toilet! Not just for "obvious" reasons but papering around a toilet can be difficult. 

We did have a couple tricky spots on the walls but Maggie is an expert when it comes to working around fixtures. On this wall she had to tackle a couple sconces and a mirror but she did it with ease.

Maggie uses a straight edge to get a nice crisp edge. She then uses a new blade to cut the paper. A new razor blade is probably your most important tool when wallpapering. A dull blade can do so much damage and make your job so difficult. Do yourself a favor and invest in a new box of blades before you start, we do.

We also have an extra bucket of paste with us at all times too. Although, many papers are "prepasted" it doesn't always mean that there is anough glue to hold it in place. There are many factors that can affect the workability of the glue (the age of the paper, were it's been stored, etc...) so we suggest always having a little jar of extra glue for those seems or corners that just don't want to lay right.

Contractor's Tip: In a bathroom you may want to use a bit more glue because the moisture/steam tends to make the paper expand & contract, causing the paper to peel faster then it would in other areas of your home. Put some extra glue in a paint tray and roll a thin coat on the prepaired walls with a regular, small nap roller, before appling the paper. This will create an even more durable bond.  It's also good to keep some extra glue on hand as well, just incase a seem or corner starts to peel away in the future. This way you can easily & quickly glue it back down before it becomes a bigger problem.

So, did you like this transformation? Do you think the paper brough a little classy ambiance to the space or would you have gone another direction?  And how do you feel about wallpaper on the ceiling?

Mary & Maggie

Moroccan Stenciled Steps

These were the stairs before we started
As you can see we painted 2 sets blue, 2 sets white and so on....

The customer had ordered 4 Moroccan styled stencils that we would do in alternating colors.

The first day we just did the blue steps. It took us awhile to get a groove going.

We realized quickly that we needed to cut the stencils down so they fit the steps. This cut down on our painting time (and fussing with the stencil time).

Two of the stencils had very thin lines so, when we were finished stenciling we had to go back with a fine paintbrush and touch up where the paint bled underneath the stencil.

The finished piece was beautiful! We were just as excited as she was! I might even do this in my own home I liked the finished product so much.

I must admit, our backs are killing us (sitting on a small step, twisted around isn't comfortable)! Maggie's shoulder had the funkiest spasm going on all day and my carpal tunnel is flaring up, but it was so worth it!


Wallpaper Take Down

In all the years as 2 Women and a Paintbrush we’ve taken down a lot of wallpaper! It can be a challenge. Usually, the walls haven’t been properly prepped, which makes the take down difficult, but Maggie and I are always up for the challenge.

The hard thing to determine when we go on an estimate, especially if the homeowner is not the person who put up the paper, is how many layers there are and how the paper was installed. Pretty much it’s a guessing game; we never really know what we’re getting into until we start peeling.

Sure, we can guess. If the paper is peeling back, maybe we can see if there is another layer, but really we don’t get the whole gist of it until we are up to our knees in paper.

Once we peeled back the first layer we quickly discovered there was a second one. The first one came off fairly easy, but the second, oh the second, took a lot of patience.

Fortunately, there was not a lot of repair work on this wall.

We sealed it with a Zinsser clear sealer, because it locks in any leftover glue residue or paper fibers and fills in small nicks.

We left it to dry overnight, came back the next day and started painting.

The end result was amazing! When we are in the midst of the takedown it’s hard to imagine it’s going to look so fresh and clean.

Our next phase is a wonderful Moroccan stencil on the stairs in Navy Blue and White. We will be altering the steps in color (Navy with a white stencil & White with a Navy stencil) and 4 stencils. It’s sure to be amazing, so you’ll have to stay tuned!