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I bought the tinted primer back when we were preparing to paint the master bedroom because I thought it would help us do fewer coats of the dark paint we were using, but then the primer wasn’t as dark as I’d wanted so we skipped straight to painting and only needed to do one coat anyway and were very pleased.And then we put the tinted primer in the basement to confuse our future selves. We used Benjamin Moore’s “Chantilly Lace” in eggshell finish, which is what Naomi has in her home and also what we used in our basement gym.

The motivation for the project is that Sam’s younger sister is thinking about coming to live with us for a bit starting at the end of the summer, and I didn’t think the current state of the guest room was doing us any favors in enticing her: I mean, it’s not so bad. But it also has a lot of pink flowery contact paper. It was like a reprise of the stairwell makeover, except this time at least I had Sam’s help plus the help of a poor unsuspecting friend who foolishly offered to come over to assist. The reason it took so long is that all the walls are either textured wood or board-and-batten which means that even rolling was very tedious and much of it had to be done with a regular old paintbrush.

• The shelves in the cabinets are not in good shape.

• The kitchen is much darker than it appears in these photographs (I pushed up the light to help you see the details). Overall, this kitchen has a lot in common with other Before/After kitchens we show you.

Some acquaintances are about to buy a new (to them) home, one that has been in the hands of one owner since the 50s.

They invited me over to give some opinions on the kitchen, and as soon as I saw it, it felt familiar. I realized it felt just like Betty Draper's kitchen on This kitchen is so much like Betty Draper's, and while it was the height of piney, woodsy suburban chic back in the 60s, that look doesn't translate well into the present.

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