Future Office..Er, Hallway…I Mean Office

I don’t know if was the best idea to put the office– possibly the most cluttered area of the house, second to  the workshop, of course– positioned wide open to the great room and kitchen, and in the middle of a hallway.

The “hallway” part was a fun little side effect of putting the porch/outdoor kitchen on the back of the house and wanting it accessible to the main areas of the house.


Because I’ve now hauled the computer to three different locations in the house and am seriously considering having it permanently attached to my body (that’s called an iPhone, right?) I decided to spend some time getting the office into shape.  You might have seen me drowning in paint samples some color options last week, and while I’ve narrowed it down to the one, most of my evenings up to this point have been spent with fun tasks like texturing the walls and painting the ceiling.


Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve contracted the first reported case of painters shoulder. It’s kind of like tennis elbow but you get it when you insist on pushing the roller into the ceiling so hard that you’re in danger of shoving it right up into the attic. It’s like I think the paint is going to stick better if I push harder, and I don’t know why my brain can’t convince my body otherwise.

If you’re wondering, yes, I still have a completely unfinished bathroom I should be working on but I’m still having a mental block over the concrete counters, and I can’t bring myself to work on the tile yet. Texturing and painting the office walls seemed like a quick win to boost my confidence.

The good news is that I have the “wall finishing” thing down to a science now.

Step 1: Texture walls. (Here’s a quick tutorial.) Unfortunately it’s hard to get the feel for how these look in person, but here’s an example from the master bath.


Step 2: Paint ceiling. Not my favorite job, but it’s better to get it done before there is color on the walls. Here are my favorite painting tools.


  • I love this Handy Pail because of its handle and throw-away liners.
  • The short angle brush is the one you hear all DIYers raving about on the Internet, and they’re totally right. It’s an awesome edging brush and the only paintbrush I consistently clean when I’m finished with it. ( I wrap the rest of them in foil with the intention of cleaning them at some vague point in the future, which ends up being approximately never.)
  • The utility bench is one like this and it is hands-down the best tool for the job. I used a stool or step ladder for years, but this thing is the perfect height and you can do a much larger area before needing to get down and move it.

Also, when I “cut in” the ceiling, I actually just paint a couple of inches down onto the walls. Since its flat ceiling paint, I don’t bother cutting in the primer on the walls to save myself some time. Any of you painting purists might gasp in horror–there is a difference between primer and flat paint– but it hasn’t caused me any problems yet. I would definitely do this differently in a garage, basement, or on any wall that has already been painted.

Step 3: Prime walls. I use a basic latex primer on virgin drywall. For basement walls or anything with a glossy finish I’d use an oil-based primer.

Step 4: Paint! Finally the fun part, I’m hoping to get there sometime this weekend. I still have at least one more morning of waking up with white paint freckles all over my face.

The good news is, this might be the perfect excuse to DIY a new computer desk… I’m thinking maybe a cross between this…

and this..

3 Responses

  1. That desk should make for a very interesting “cross over”. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  2. On the desk, depends on how you write. I started writing with a pencil and then making a typed copy. Now I compose at the keyboard, print out copy, edit, back to the keyboard. I have a desk I refinished some forty years ago, but when I remodel this study, it’s history. What will now work best for me is a simple cantilevered countertop that juts out from the wall. That way I can roll my chair up to it, edit for a few minutes, then it’s back to the computer.

  3. Painting ceilings. Maybe the worst job ever. I painted our wood board ceiling in the kitchen and swore that from then on it was going to be one of those jobs that I hire someone to do. Walls I can handle. Ceilings. Ugh.

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