Dads by Design

Husbands. Dads. Sharing Our (Mis)Adventures in Home Renovation and Parenthood.

The Power of Gray(skull) Compels You: Our Family Room Goes Gray

As promised, we painted our family room and dining space gray too. Just like our living room. The results are a bit more dramatic in person, but you might not be able to tell in the photos 1) because the overhead lighting in our house is pretty awful right now and 2) I really need something better than an iPhone to take photos.

Anyway, here are the before.  More beige! (Yuck.) You’ll notice how the previous owners painted the support beam dark brown. Why they’d call attention to a feature like that, I’ll never know.

Before Gray

After Gray

Now, time for the gray.

We painted the spaces the same gray as our living room: Behr’s White Metal Marquee.

I know what you’re thinking, brown carpet and that paint?! Yes, it’s not the best match, but we really hated those beige walls. That carpet won’t be here forever either. (Neither will our blasé furniture, but that’s a post for another day in the future.)

Before we painted, we once again used Zinsser Bin Advanced Synthetic Shellac Primer like we did in our bathroom (I sound like a commercial now). I wanted to make sure we covered the ugly dark brown beam in one coat. Plus the beam was never properly sanded so the primer would help cover some of the wood grain. (Yes, I guess we’re lazy too since we didn’t want to sand it either.)

And here’s the after, which don’t do the room or the paint justice because the lighting is SO poor. (I also blame winter and it getting dark so early. Is it almost June yet?)

I am just SO happy the support beam is so much less noticeable on first glance now!


I once had a dream that all the art in my house would be art that I created. That’s not so much a dream anymore. However our dining area is full of pictures that I took while I was taking photography classes all throughout high school and college. You wouldn’t be able to tell that I once had any photography skills based on these terrible photos of our house though. I might need a refresher course. 🙂

Brian’s wall of nerd art is on full display here.

A few projects down. Up next, painting the kitchen.


What a Difference a Gray Makes: Painting Our Living Room


Kitchen Update: From Navajo Sand to Basic Brown


  1. Sandra Barron

    That is lovely

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