Paint and Tile!


I used to think painting was the worst thing in the world. I was OK with the part that came before——spackling a few holes, a little sanding, maybe cleaning the walls a little——and I liked the part that came after, when the room was painted. But the actual process of painting——the endless cutting-in, the rolling, the paint drips and splatters and going to sleep with dried paint in my hair and under my finger nails——those were all things I dreaded.

But by the time I finally filled all the holes with patching compound and filled the gaps with caulk and de-greased and de-caulked and got through all the prep work in my kitchen, painting kind of felt like fun arts-n-crafts time? Like a nice way to kick back and relax? Maybe I actually like painting? Maybe I’m going through a very confusing identity crisis? Maybe my whole perception of reality has been irrevocably altered?


If you’ve read my blog for a while, you might have noticed that I’m a very firm believer in buying good paint, which for me has always meant Benjamin Moore. It’s what my mom always used in our house growing up, and it’s what I’ve always used by myself, save for once making the enormous mistake of using really cheap paint at a friend’s house and discovering sometime around my 4th or 5th coat that quality really does make a huge difference when it comes to coverage, adhesion, durability, and the final result looking good. From then on, I just accepted that my future would be composed of $40-$50 gallons of paint, and that was that. That’s more or less OK when you’re looking at a small apartment with a landlord willing to cover $20/gallon, but it sort of blows when you’re looking at a whole house of walls, doors, and moldings literally begging and pleading to be repaired and freshly painted.

So, when Ace Hardware offered to let me try out their new-ish brand of paint and primer in one, Clark + Kensington, I decided to take the chance. I warned them that my allegiance was elsewhere, and that it’s my policy to always give honest reviews and they’d have to be as OK with me not liking the paint as they were sure that I would, and they agreed. So confident. So sure of themselves.

Real talk: this paint is dope. I was really expecting it to be pretty mediocre, but I found it to be pretty much on-par with the Aura line of Benjamin Moore paints——which is quite an endorsement, because that’s some fancy paint—— except about $30 per gallon instead of over $60. This is hard for me to say, but…I think I’m converted!

The paint can also be color-matched to several different brands (including Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball), but I wanted to check out the Clark + Kensington colors for myself! And by colors, I mean various shades of black and white. You know how I do.


As usual, I started by cutting in the ceiling. This was a massive pain in the tuchus because the seams in the sheetrock on the ceiling are covered in those thin wooden strips rather than taped and mudded, so all of that needed to be painted by hand. I used a regular roller for the panels in between.

Check out how gross that ceiling is. It is the most gross.


With the ceiling all painted with two coats of Designer White in Flat Enamel (which is a pre-mixed off-the-shelf white, which I’m using on the moldings and upper cabinets, too), we started in on the walls and cabinets! I’ll save the cabinet painting for another post, but this was about the stage when I started to get really excited about the kitchen. It was also a period of sort of non-stop marathon crazy work in here, which is why this photo was taken at like 2 in the morning and everything is a total disaster.

I stayed up super late painting, and in the morning….



There really is nothing better than fresh paint.

I know this picture might not look like much since obviously the doors and moldings still need to be painted, and I didn’t paint the backsplashes, but getting the walls over with was an incredible feeling. I used a color called Casablanca on the walls, which is an extremely pale grey. Obviously it reads as very white, but it’s different enough from the ceiling and molding to give the room a little more dimension than if everything was the same shade.


Words can’t even describe, y’all.


That night, my friend Nora and I also put in the first row of tiles! Sorry about the horrendous nighttime iPhone shots. These are just plain old American Olean white 3×6 subway tiles from Lowes, which are super cheap at about $.22/tile. I know it might seem silly to install tile backsplashes in a kitchen that we aren’t planning to keep forever, but I already had the thinset and black grout from tiling my kitchen in the apartment, so for about $100 for all of the tile, it seemed like a really worthwhile aesthetic and functional upgrade to just go for it. Also, Nora wanted to learn to tile, and I believe in being a gracious host by making my friends work super hard until the wee hours of the morning in July with no A/C in exchange for letting them sleep on a shitty air mattress and cook for me. That’s just manners.

Since I just did a whole tutorial on tiling backsplashes (here and here), it didn’t seem necessary to rehash the whole process again, especially since I would have done a few things differently if it needed to last forever. Obviously, I didn’t paint the backsplashes or really prep them at all first (in a perfect world, I wouldn’t be using drywall as backing at all!), and I barely planned out how the tile would run before just slapping them on the walls. And yes, I used cardboard and stir sticks to hold up my first row instead of something more rigid and precise. And yes, I started the tiles at the top edge of the base cabinets, not the countertops, because with the height of the upper cabinets, this was the best way to cover the most surface area of the backsplashes with tile without having a huge weird gap at the top, if that makes sense. So yeah. It’s not perfect, but it’s still going to look totally fine when everything is done. “Totally fine” is kind of this room’s guiding principle, lest you haven’t noticed.


I’m just including this picture because I got smart and bought myself a stirring attachment for my drill to mix the thinset and grout. CHANGED. MY. LIFE. Stirring thinset with a paint stick or a spoon or whatever is really difficult and tiring (you’re supposed to mix for 5 minutes, let it sit, then mix it again for 5 more minutes), and this handy attachment just takes all of that work away. FYI.


The next day, after the bottom row had time to harden up, we mixed up more thinset and got back to work! I really should have planned this so that the end of the run (where it meets the vertical trim pieces, not the corner) would be composed of full and half-tiles instead of these weird in-between fraction tiles, but I didn’t do that. Oh well. Again, with everything done and grouted and the room complete, it’ll be fine. I’m just pointing it out because I’m human and I make mistakes and mistakes are bound to happen, and now I know better! (and my bathroom/future kitchen tiling will be PERFECTION. Mark my words. I know things now.)



First I thought I’d do the subway tile level all the way around the room (so the backsplashes and this sink area would all have the same number of rows of tile), but then that seemed a little too dinky for here. Then I thought maybe I’d take the tile all the way to the ceiling (well, to the bottom of the big hollow soffit over the sink, anyway) in this sink area, but that had a whole mess of complications I won’t bore you with, including maybe just looking weird. Then I used the super-professional method of eyeballing it until the proportions seemed right, which is why there are more tiles here than the other areas of the kitchen. Science!

Overall, there was just a ton of fudging and making it work and eventually throwing my arms up with a hearty GOOD ENOUGH! in this area around the sink. Trying to get tiles to line up on three wonky walls with the sink and the window molding was just…not going to happen. With everything painted, caulked, and grouted, though…well, you know what I’m going to say already. It’s going to be totally fine. Nice, even. I promise!

This post is in partnership with Ace Hardware.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 7.30.13
    Kimberly said:

    It’s looking SO GOOD. I’m very nearly breathless anticipating the final reveal. Also, please give us a budget breakdown, if you don’t mind, when the kitchen makeover is complete. I can’t believe how much you’ve improved so far with “just” paint (and a million hours of labor, natch).

    • 7.30.13
      Daniel said:

      Yes, I’ll definitely do a budget breakdown! It’s helpful for me to keep careful track of that stuff, too. I’ve kept every receipt, so it should be super duper accurate!

  2. 7.30.13
    Dana said:

    I recently tried Clark + Kensington and, my oh my!, I was super impressed too!! I used Besalt (an Ace paint color) on the upper half of my dining room walls (the lower horizontal planking is white) and it is a great dark color…sort of black/charcoal. Your kitchen is coming along so great. I can’t believe what you’ve accomplished already. Must be those busy-body dogs of yours ;)

    • 7.30.13
      Daniel said:

      It’s so nice, right?? I’m glad you liked it too! Your dining room looks great! I’ll have to keep that color in mind…

  3. 7.30.13

    I just found your blog recently, but wanted to let you know how much I love your writing – and I am SO excited to see what you do with this house. When I see a new post of yours pop up in my reader, I literally say “YIPPEE!” out loud (and yes, I claim to be a grown-up human). Then I click over to read it here, because I think this is helpful in blog-land??? What do I know, I have a blog that only my mom reads. Anyway, keep up the amazing work!

    • 7.30.13
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Katy! And welcome!

      (I don’t even know how those reader stats work! I’m dumb about that stuff.)

    • 7.30.13
      Laurie said:

      Katy – I read your blog, too — and I’m dying to know how the space over your bed worked out!

      Daniel, I am loving your kitchen posts, I, too, said, “Yippee!” when I saw you had a new post up – I saw it on FB where I follow you! I can’t wait to see more!

    • 8.4.13

      Laurie! You have inspired me and I will update tomorrow. I have scads of pictures, just need to get the post together. Long story short, we ripped off a bunch of drywall and did a pocket door. Still need to sand and paint, so it’s not quite done, but it is awesome!

  4. 7.30.13

    My kitchen would like to ask your kitchen to prom.

    • 7.30.13
      Daniel said:

      Hot pink corsage, pls.

    • 7.31.13

      I hope your kitchen puts out.

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:


  5. 7.30.13
    Sarah said:

    I love the way you write, I love the way you decorate. I am so excited every time you post to see where this house is going!

    All best things always xx

  6. 7.30.13
    Alicia said:

    Yay! Amazing! Can’t wait to see more.

    What’s your favorite caffeine supply, again?

    • 7.30.13
      Daniel said:


    • 7.30.13
      Shannon said:

      HAHAHAHAHA. I just peed

  7. 7.30.13
    Steph said:

    I’m always tickled when I read about the high cost of renovating materials on US-based blogs, because any dece brand of paint in AU is at least $70 for a 4L tin and it sucks. (Isn’t it great when people come onto your blog just to complain about their stupid problems?)

    As always, each progress update you post looks far, far better than the before. All that work is paying off, it’s definitely starting to look like YOUR space.

  8. 7.30.13
    C said:

    Angels indeed.

    New reader, and I’m in love. This house is so sad, and is going to be so wonderful, and you make me laugh out loud, and you may or may not have convinced me to paint my cabinets dark.

    Steph, don’t complain too much or I’ll ask your boss to pay you a US wage and a US heating bill and you won’t be able to afford food any more.

  9. 7.30.13
    Nora said:

    I totes loled. You’re the most gracious host ever. I’m always happy to be to your hausfrau. xo

    • 7.30.13
      Amanda said:

      Any time you need a stand-in, I am so available! Keep up the good work Daniel, love what you’ve done with the place.

  10. 7.30.13
    Shannon said:

    YESSSS!!! I’ve been refreshing your page all day like a creepie waiting for a new post! Looks absolutely fabulous!

  11. 7.30.13
    Darcy said:

    I am in love! It seems like every blog I read decided to up and get a new house at the exact same time. Out of all of these bloggers, slowly and steadily making over their new digs, I am the most obsessed with this transformation. Endless love for you and your paint choices and your writing style. Cannot wait to watch this house evolve!

  12. 7.30.13
    alice said:

    I see a book deal in your future. Not only can the man renovate, he can write like nobody’s business. My favorite line today was “massive pain in the tuchus”. I am easily amused (ie: tuchus references), but you have a very honest way of writing while still getting across a lot of information. Looking forward to reading about your journey.

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:

      Well, shucks, Alice. :)

  13. 7.30.13

    The word “dope” is probably the most underrated adjective in the English speaking world.

    Room is looking good. The tile looks pretty sweet.

  14. 7.30.13
    Emily said:

    This is looks fantastic! I’m in love with your and Max’s new home and look forward to the progress reports. Best of luck to you both!

  15. 7.30.13

    Holy wow. What a difference! Just the ceiling alone is jaw-droppingly better. It must be such a relief to see your hard work have such noticeable results!

    What are all the paint colors you’re using? You said the ceiling is a different color than the wall? Love the dark on the cabinets, super classy.

    My local Ace franchise gives away a quart of Clark + Kensington per customer every so often–I’m stoked because I want to paint our bathroom, and their next promotion is this Saturday! Now to round up lots of friends to go in one at a time and get a quart for “themselves.” ;)

    • 7.30.13
      Daniel said:

      That’s good to know about the free paint!!

      Here ya go…

      Walls: Casablanca (flat enamel)
      Ceiling: Designer White (flat enamel)
      Moldings/upper cabinets/doors: Designer White (satin enamel)
      Base Cabinets: Arabian Night (satin enamel)

  16. 7.30.13
    Rob said:

    TOTALLY FABULOUS……….YOU, MAX, MEKKO AND LINUS………AND…….the kitchen!!!!!!

    Keep at it young man…….you have got what it takes!!!!!

  17. 7.30.13
    Jesse said:

    Gorgeous! I love it. I really like the dark cabinets against the white. Very pretty. I’ve been unsure what to do with ours and this gives me new ideas.. I noticed you painted your heater, too?

  18. 7.30.13
    Ashley said:

    oh i am so excited to see what this kitchen looks like when it’s “done”. This weekend I totally reached the “it’s fine” barrier–NO ONE WILL CARE IF THE CEILING SEAM IS PERFECT GOD I JUST WANT TO BURN THIS ROOM DOWN. Yeah so it’s done and I just won’t look too closely whenever I happen to be staring at the ceiling….
    Just to echo what every one else is saying–I love your writing style. Sometimes I imagine we’re RL friends–I need a good decorating gay in my life. :)

  19. 7.30.13
    Cat said:

    Have been refreshing the page frequently and am very happy to see that your kitchen looks totally fine, indeed.

  20. 7.30.13
    LaDonna said:

    I’m so excited! It seems like the improvements are happening so fast, maybe because I’m not doing any of the work. I thought we’d have to wait months to see you paint and tile the kitchen.

  21. 7.30.13

    Thanks! Arabian Night, what an exciting name. I secretly want to be the person who comes up with all the paint names.

    • 7.31.13
      Leith said:

      Yes – Arabian Nights got me too. Now I have that song (you can tell I have kids) from the movie Aladdin in my head… Arabian niiiiiiights….

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:

      Ha! Normally I choose paint colors by narrowing down to 2 or 3 options and then picking the one with the best name. It’s all very profesh.

  22. 7.30.13
    k said:

    Total loiterer here. How do you cut the tiles?

    • 7.30.13
      Daniel said:

      I mentioned that in this post, but I use a simple score and snap tile cutter (this one!). It’s really easy to use and is really all you need for straight cuts!

  23. 7.30.13
    McConnell said:

    Exciting! I like the subtle difference between the light grey wall and the white light fixture. I can’t wait to see the cabinets.

  24. 7.30.13

    Ughh, you literally make me want to go out right now buy some paint and tile and do the damn thing to like my kitchen or bathroom. Dear Daniel, can we be friends so you can teach me how to tile too? LOL. I can cook and slipping on air mattress is something I can definitely do. Lol. But yes, the kitchen is coming along so nicely. Can’t wait to see how everything looks once finished.


  25. 7.30.13
    CM said:

    I so look forward to these posts… Since I gave up cable a while back and no longer have my HGTV fix, I come here and boy is it good. haha! It’s looking AMAZING! Can’t wait until it’s done :)

  26. 7.30.13
    Lewis said:

    I totally hear the angels singing. This looks a million times better. What a lucky house.

  27. 7.30.13
    Tara said:

    Thank you for giving us your honest opinion of this paint. I too have been a loyal Benjamin Moore user, but have a large room to paint soon (I’m assuming it will take at least 2 gallons of paint to do properly) and was feeling actual pain about spending that much money (I’m a frugal person, what can I say). I might actually have to prime first, so add that cost in, and, well, it is kind of disheartening. Can you tell me, do you think this paint is good enough to go ahead without priming? With Benjamin Moore, I’ve found that you can sometimes skip the dreaded priming step, while some other (cough), cheaper paints, you’re stuck priming. I know, I know, there are many factors to consider, but I really cannot tell you how much I hate priming. I have a tan colored room right now, and want to go with a light grey.

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:

      The color specialists at Ace (or wherever you end up buying paint!) are probably better equipped to answer this than I am, but I think you could definitely get away without priming. You’re going to do two coats of paint regardless, but from MY experience with this paint, the coverage is great. There were areas of the room where the walls were really discolored and DARK, and it covered in 2 coats, no problem! I guess if you’re really worried, you could always paint a small wall or just a section with two coats and see if it’s enough?

  28. 7.30.13
    Anya said:

    Paint is a miracle anti-depressant to many a sad room. I can hear your house breathe a huge sigh of relief every time you post your progress. Your house will be AMAZING!

    And yes Clark & Kensington is FANTASTIC paint I am a recent convert too!

  29. 7.30.13
    Kelly said:

    Wow! I mean I know paint can do a lot, but that’s a huge difference. We have a local Ace store, I’ll have to check out the line of paint, since I LOVE saving where I can.

    I’m a recent newcomer to your blog, and I have to say thank you. I’ve been sick, and when I’m not sleeping I’ve been catching up on your archives. So much good stuff. So, thank you for making the time pass faster and certainly with more laughs.

  30. 7.30.13
    Kitty A. said:

    Daniel, if you weren’t young, cool, gay, and engaged and I weren’t old, dorky, hetero, and married, I think we could really have a good thing. Too much? You remind me of a younger, more handy David Sedaris and that is my very best compliment because he is the most astute, most hilarious writer ever. Oh and I might need to give the C & K paint a try. Most blogger recommendations are tainted by money, but I truly believe you would totally take Ace’s money and trash talk their paint, so yours actually means something. Okay, I’m going to take my crazy talk and excessive adverbs and sneak away. When you take out the restraining order, don’t forget the second S in my last name. ;-)

    • 7.31.13
      Nancy said:


  31. 7.30.13
    Anna T said:

    You don’t need to make any excuses! You get to do your temp kitchen overhaul HOW YOU WANT! Making it look clean and functional is the big deal with a fixer, right? It was so bad before you could have closed your eyes and lobbed tiles at the wall until they stuck like spaghetti and it still would look 1000% better. I am super impressed. I am stoked to see it all finished.

    Also, awesome that you tried new paint. I love the paint + primer products. When my mother repainted her whole great room about 2 years ago, I got to play designer, and because of your and Anna D.’s long term commitment to certain shades of Benjamin Moore, I went to my B Moore store for color chips. But then in my research, I checked the Consumer Reports indoor paint ratings, and they test not only things like consistency, color matching, adhesion to the wall, number of coats, etc, but also how durable the paint is against dirt, nicks, cleaning, and fading in the sunlight. Behr, the Home Depot brand, was very highly rated in every finish category, often winning out! I was shocked. So we got the Behr paint-and-primer in one product… and covered dark denim blue paint with a pearl grey in 2 coats. I loved it and I am going to check CR every time I paint again.

  32. 7.30.13
    Gillianne said:

    OMG whatever you’re on, pass it my way! We have the simplest refresh painting to do and can’t keep the motivation flames lit. Thanks soooo much for the visual reminder about the staggering power of paint. In your kitchen–does your house have a name?–angels sang and the heavens opened and goodness descended on feathery brushstrokes. I can tell you watched “The Swan”; you’re like the entire support team rolled into one wiry dude on a mission of beautification (subway tiles sure look like Da Vinci porcelain veneers to me ;D). Can’t wait to see the reveal with painted cabinets. Someday, you and Max should write a book….

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:

      The name of my house is Gay Gardens!


  33. 7.30.13
    caitb said:

    I arrived to your site via DesignSponge and now can’t pass a day without checking in. You give me hope! (And maybe occasionally make me snort coffee out my nose, much to the confusion of my coworkers – in a good way, you know?) Our 101-year-old kitchen has also undergone some Frankenstein-ish “updates” over the years and I’ve been struggling to come to terms with good enough. I think I might just need more paint!

  34. 7.30.13
    LP said:

    wow! you are a home-renovation MACHINE! I love painting; I even love the prep work. I would come help if it wouldn’t be totally weird to have a random stranger from the internet walk into your house and start taping and painting.

    love the photo with Mekko. I think she’s wondering where her dropcloth is.

  35. 7.30.13

    I’ll cook and tile for you. :)

  36. 7.30.13

    Daniel, please come over and make my kitchen look pretty with tile and stuff. I can bribe you with singing dogs and amazing ice coffee.

    I love Clark & Kensington paint. The only challenge is that ACE never seems to be open at 10 pm which seems to be the witching hour for paint buying.

    Random Question: have you had a problem with a white mildew looking stuff on your Fiddle Leaf plant?

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:

      Singing dogs??? Video pls.

      No, I haven’t!! I’m sorry!

  37. 7.30.13
    Diane said:

    This is so much fun. I make myself wait a week to check for updates and it’s so hard not to peek. I’m thrilled at the new paint source. I’ve always used Ben. Moore but my budget doesn’t allow for it these days. I will definitely try the Clark and Kensington.

  38. 7.30.13
    Elaine in Laguna said:

    Wow. The house is becoming a home! Quickly! Awesome work in old house-it’s summer-no AC-battling conditions. Animal! It’s looking great. But seriously, keep yourselves hydrated! Oh, I’m going to check out this paint, if it can be found on the West Coast. Thanks for the handy review!

  39. 7.30.13
    Colleen said:

    I am beyond thrilled that I stumbled across your blog. Recently I realized that I hadn’t read it for a while, and was so surprised when I discovered your latest adventure. You really make magic happen with your renovations and I literally can’t wait for each new post! Plus, your writing style cracks me up. Carry on!

  40. 7.30.13
    Jemma said:

    My two year old daughter was just pulling my hand then pushing my legs, saying ‘Mummy come back in the living room!’ so I gave in, but not for long. I couldn’t resist! I put Peppa Pig on the iPad and scampered back to my computer to read this post. I fucking love this blog… maybe more than my own kid! Great work Daniel.

  41. 7.30.13
    tess said:

    Glorious paint job! Oh, those late night marathons. One time at 2 am I had to hang my foolish dizzy head out the window in January ‘cuz the fumes got to me, then back to work.

    Yeah, I like BM too, the puddinglike consistency and yummy colors. Just for kicks I’m using a brush only for our living room. A gallon on Jade Garden set me back about 45$ but still cheaper than traveling to see the teal waters of the Caribeean.

  42. 7.30.13
    Kirsty said:

    Daniel – wow!! I got to the 5th picture down and did a double take – this is your kitchen?!?! It’s looking great and everything you do is a huge improvement. I have to admit, I was struggling to see through the original state of it, but obviously you have the vision and the hard work is paying off. Can’t wait to see more…

  43. 7.31.13
    Fat Cat said:

    I haven’t dared doing any tiling on my own yet, but seeing Anna and you go at it like champs… I’m so very tempted !
    And yes, those mornings when you get to admire for the first time all the hard work you did late the night before… so exhilarating ! Almost as much as sex, chocolate and X-Files ;-)

  44. 7.31.13
    Jack said:

    Dude! Looks like every thing is going in the white direction! (I may have used that pun before)

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:

      You have! A good pun is timeless, though. :)

    • 7.31.13
      Jack said:

      So is white paint!

  45. 7.31.13
    Mom said:

    Haven’t commented in awhile but so impressed with you, your vision, your WRITING!, and the wonderful person that is you. I do hope that someday, somewhere you’ll decide to venture off the black/white color scale into something representing an actual color closer to like the rainbow. Was it me? Did I wake you up too many nights for late night stargazing at the black sky with white stars? Oh, and stay off the meth-not amused. Caffeine can concur all. LOVE.

  46. 7.31.13
    Luna said:

    Hey there Daniel’s MOM, thanks again for inventing Daniel.

  47. 7.31.13
    Jay said:

    I cannot get over the difference, Daniel.

    And, your Mom is awesome.

  48. 7.31.13

    Love it and am totally jealous, wish I was up to painting and tiling our kitchen!

  49. 7.31.13
    Thel said:

    Daniel, it’s really exciting to see the transformation in progress, and the way you’re going about revealing the different stages makes the whole process logical and easy to follow.

    One of the things that impressed me most about you right from the beginning is your ability to have a vision, but the flexibility to deal with whatever a situation throws up, and the common sense to know when something is ‘good enough’.

    I know you’re a perfectionist, and I am too, but I find the tiling ‘mistakes’ you made in the corners do not bother me aesthetically one bit – it all looks just the way it should be. That’s when you allow your intuition to take over (as you did when tiling to the higher level at the sink). My only concern: BLACK grout? I know you used this in your apartment, but have you tried GREY grout? I have subway tiling in my flat (chosen by the engineer in charge of the whole building renovation, I assume – luckily) and the grout is grey, which I find very sympathetic.

    I do love this colour scheme though, and love the open look of the doorless cabinets. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    How nice of Mekko to keep you company into the middle of the night. I take it Linus was in bed by 8 pm . . .

  50. 7.31.13
    S@sha said:

    At this rate you may even convert me to liking that sink alcove, which I pretty much thought was impossible due to the fact that it leaves your stove hanging 3′ feet out into the middle of the kitchen. Looks great. (As usual).

  51. 7.31.13
    Camille said:

    Daniel, your progress looks amaaazing! Seriously, kudos. The paint makes all the difference. Looking forward to more updates!

  52. 7.31.13
    Mary Lou said:

    Wowser this stuff is getting done! It is like watching a time lapse sequence. What a transformation! Fabu!

  53. 7.31.13
    sherry said:

    My uncle whose been painting his entire life, and who owns a professional painting service uses BM unless a client specifically requests another brand. When he first started, BM was pretty much considered the ONLY worthwhile paint. He still prefers them mostly due to a mix of habit and years of being able to depend on them and well, they still make a great product. He’d also be the first to tell you the paint game has changed and the difference between BM and other major brands (SW, behr, valspar ect.) are minimal if anything these days. All this to say, I totally believe you when you say that paint it pretty comparable!

    The kitchen is looking amazing! I am forever amazed by the transformation of a space some white paint can make. I’m dying to see the finished product! You really can’t post fast enough for me (and it seems like pretty much everyone else.)

  54. 7.31.13
    Nicole said:

    Hi Daniel –
    I’m a fairly new reader who has randomly checked in over the last year or so. But lately, I’ve been checking your site EVERY. DAY. for updates (even though I KNOW there are only going to be 1-2 a week). I’m loving seeing what you’re doing with the house! Keep up the great work and amazing sense of humor!

  55. 7.31.13
    Jaclyn said:

    So glad to hear a glowing review of the C+K paint. I’ve been a diehard Valspar girl because I LOVE the Signature Paint + Primer…amazing coverage! But I’ve found they don’t match that well to Farrow & Ball, so my question to you is, do you know if Ace actually uses the pigment recipes for Farrow + Ball or would they just get the color from scanning your Farrow + Ball swatch with the spectrophotometer?

    And I give you endless praise for keeping up the blog posts whilst home improving! My sad little blog hasn’t been touched since I bought my house 6 months ago. :(

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:

      I don’t know, sorry!! I was assuming they used the color codes, but I could be wrong!

    • 8.1.13
      runswithscissors said:

      I work at Ace and tint paint. We will occasionally use the spectrophotometer if someone brings in a chip with no name or cloth etc. I agree, it’s not always the most accurate especially if the chip is old, streaked, dirty or the cloth has variations.
      However if you have the actual color name or number from any other paint line we can match it exactly. The “formula: (the actual amounts of tint base) will differ from the original as it is adapted by the computer to work with Ace (Clark & Kensington or Royal) bases. But if I make you Farrow & Ball Down Pipe in Clark & Kensington for example, you will not be able to tell the difference :)

  56. 7.31.13

    Amazing what some paint and elbow grease will do! Huge improvement already. I’m inspired (and not much inspires me these days…)

  57. 7.31.13
    Lisette said:

    I have two words for you: YOU. RULE.

  58. 7.31.13
    Cec said:

    It’s funny, I have been a long time occasional reader of your blog, but with this new house project, I am totally glued to your blog. Your assessments, your approach, your voice — so good!

  59. 7.31.13
    Rachael said:

    Daniel! Did you see Nicole Curtis linked to your last blog post? Whoa!

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:

      Yes! I’m freaking out!!

  60. 7.31.13
    Kate said:

    Holy Hell. Apparently I had been living under a rock and totally missed your whole transition to home ownership. I just spent an hour catching up and it’s all amazing. Congratulations! I love your house and am so excited to see it all come together. You’ve done so much already and it looks so good!

  61. 7.31.13
    Jen said:

    I live in a hippie city where there are no big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes. I have to drive one city over for those, but I can walk to my local Ace Hardware outpost. I have to say that I’ve really come to love that place. The staff are consistent and knowledgeable, and there is so much random stuff there. Case in point, about half of the basement part of the store is full of model building kits, and all the related paraphernalia. It’s kind of wild, actually. Next time I have to paint, I’ll try the Clark & Kensington brand.

    As for your kitchen, I can’t wait to see the final reveal. I know that sink nook isn’t exactly the most efficient layout, but I think it’s going to be so damn cute when you’re done with it!

    • 7.31.13
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Jen! And I agree–one of the reasons I was really excited to work with Ace is because I’ve always had such great experiences in their stores and with their staff! Glad to hear I’m not the only one. :)

  62. 7.31.13
    Marta said:

    Wow. This kitchen – the whole house! – will look FANTASTIC.
    I can’t wait to see exactly what you’ll do with it.

  63. 7.31.13
    Heather said:

    I grabbed a can of Glidden on sale a couple of months ago – I wanted to do an accent wall in our bedroom to help with staging our house for sale, and I wanted to do it on a budget. The Glidden went on beautifully, was no-VOC, and the color (I matched a Moore color) came out great. I liked it better even than the Behr I usually get from Home Depot, which I’ve used and liked for years. Hooray for affordable paint! Your kitchen is looking really good! I can’t believe how much you’ve done already. :)

  64. 7.31.13
    Kristin said:

    Hey Daniel – nice feature (and cute portrait) in Dwell. Fun to be reading and see you along the way.

    • 8.1.13
      Daniel said:

      Thank you!

  65. 7.31.13
    kay* said:

    I, like everyone else, love what you’ve done so far – paint can be SO transformative (as you’ve proven). And while I, like everyone else, can’t wait to see what the finished kitchen will look like, I am thoroughly enjoying the process. I love seeing it come along step by step. So I’m conflicted…I want to see “the after” but I don’t want the “during” to end!

  66. 8.1.13
    Jordana said:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I love the direction in which this is going…

  67. 8.1.13
    Karoline said:

    Amazing what a huge difference paint can make, it looks so good! If you ever feel like a trip to Norway during the renovation, you’re more than welcome to come over here and clean, spackle and sand the walls in my new apartment – that’s the part I hate. But I LOVE the painting part. You can do my walls and I’ll do yours!

  68. 8.1.13

    O.M.G. OMG!!!!!!!

  69. 8.1.13

    Ha! Im the total opposite of you! I looooove the painting process-espeically the edging, but I really dislike the prepping aspect of it (and, of course, the clean-up process)

  70. 8.9.13
    Angela said:

    Can we hire you to do our subway tile? I think you make it look easier than it is.

  71. 8.9.13
    Angela said:

    Q2: did you really use black grout or was a version of dark grey?


  72. 8.13.13
    Bibi said:

    That attachment for the drill makes me think I don’t need an immersion blender after all.. :-)

  73. 8.25.13
    Ang said:

    That black radiator is fab!

  74. 6.6.14
    Erin said:


    About to embark upon my own kitchen-cabinet painting adventure and using your fab kitchen as inspiration! But I’m a bit confused: I was not able to find the color “Casablanca” (or “Casa blanca” for that matter) in the Clark and Kensington paints section! I even had the guy at Ace look it up on his computer and he couldn’t find it.

    I am in Southern California, and he did mention sometimes there are regional differences, but do you have any idea what gives?

    Many thanks, and keep posting fabulousness!

    • 6.7.14
      Daniel said:

      I have no idea!! I’m sorry! :(

    • 7.15.14
      M said:

      Ace Colors for Your Life – Casa Blanca E59. Took me two trips but tot worth it ; )