Pro Spotlight: A Well Made MudroomMarch 23, 2021
Today on The Perfect Finish we’re excited to spotlight Christy from Oak Hill Millworks. She is an all-around design and DIY pro, with exceptional skill in woodworking. KILZ® Primer was key in her incredible mudroom renovation project, read on to learn more!
Did you know that a well-made mudroom can change your mindset? – Christy, Oak Hill Millworks
Hey there! I’m Christy, owner of Oak Hill Millworks, a creative venture based in the greater Pittsburgh area that aims to educate, entertain, & empower. Most of the topics I focus on have to do with woodworking & DIY, which is why we’re here! I want to share with you how I used tried & true KILZ primer to help drive my recent mudroom remodel home. KILZ is a brand that I have used since I can remember. My grandfather was a cabinet maker and he himself endorsed KILZ brand primer. It’s just one of those brands you can rely on, you know what I mean? And honestly… with how problematic life has been over the past year with so many unknowns, using KILZ is a simple solution in my mind.
Speaking of problems, my old mudroom and I did NOT get along. It was all function and no form. It still had plaster and wood lath from the 1950’s – I knew it was going to require brand new drywall and some new built-ins for me to be really happy with the remodel. I knew I would have some unknowns to contend with because remodeling an older home can come with surprises like unlevel floors, out of square walls, and insufficient wiring. When KILZ offered to help out by sending me their primer & paint, I knew I was in good hands because like I said, with so many unknowns, it’s reassuring to have something you can depend on.
Day 1 was #demoday! I did my best Chip Gaines impression and just ran straight through the old wall. Noooo, I didn’t do that. After all, our living room wall was on the other side so I had to be pretty careful with the removal of the old plaster and lath boards. I even saved a bunch of the wood lath because I want to make something out of it to pay homage to the old mudroom. I had to remove the existing bench that held a lot of our shoes but just was a total eyesore. I removed old baseboard and trim around the door, did A LOT of cleaning, and began to prep for building the new mudroom from the studs up. Here’s what it used to look like.
After the new drywall was in, I installed my newly built bench and gave the walls an aesthetic facelift by adding board & batten. An important step to remember when doing any sort of DIY house project with wood, whether it is trim or moldings, is that you are going to need a quality acrylic based caulking to fill in any seams before you prime. Careful when selecting one – most are silicone based, which primer won’t adhere to as well. And just one more hot tip here even though this is not a blog post about caulk but I care about your sanity so I gotta say it: don’t go wild and cut a large opening for the caulk to come out of. The smaller the opening, the easier it will be to lay a nice bead of caulk down with a smoother finish. One less thing to worry about.
When it was time to prime, I felt like I could finally relax. I’m telling you, using a brand like KILZ is like lounging into your favorite spot on the couch… it just feels right. Yes, this is the homestretch of your project if you’re looking into paints and primers. But make no mistake, you need to finish strong! Laying a solid foundation for your paint is of the utmost importance. And I can’t stress this enough…. Take the time to prep your space properly by laying down some inexpensive plastic drop sheets and using a quality painter’s tape to protect trim, baseboards, or whatever is nearby that you don’t want to get paint on. It – takes – time. It’s not fun! But your paint job will be better because of it and you’ll be happier in the long run.
Have you ever used drywall primer before? Just a heads up, it is going to be thicker than you might expect it to be. I will say though, I have worked with thicker primers/paints and they have been somewhat unpleasant to work with because they are too thick and therefor difficult to roll on. I thought the viscosity of KILZ Drywall was just right and it was my first time using that specific primer so I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly it coated the fresh drywall. I did two coats with fantastic coverage and that’s impressive for brand new drywall that tends to absorb the primer. And if you are wondering if your roller matters…. It does. I’ll let you know in the Q & A at the end!
After the drywall got its first coat on, I grabbed KILZ 3® Premium primer and went to work beginning to prime the face frame of the new bench. A great primer like KILZ 3 Premium can make your DIY project a successful one, especially if you are using a knotty wood like pine. Knots in pine can release resins over time that can actually penetrate a layer of paint and leave you with an unattractive yellowish stain if you don’t use a sealing primer like KILZ to lay a proper foundation for your paint.
My next goal was to “trim out” the board & batten. This is when you use a brush to get into the corners and tighter spaces that a roller won’t reach. I like to trim out a few spots and then use my roller to fill in and slightly overlap where the brush left off. If you can manage to get the rolling going while the part you trimmed out is still wet, they will blend more seamlessly than it would if the brushed-on paint dries before you have a chance to roll the rest.
The primers both dried very quickly and allowed me to get to painting in just over an hour from when I applied the primer! It was incredibly helpful to be able to start AND finish priming and painting this room in a single day. I made sure to roll on the True White paint on the drywall first so that any accidental splatters would land on a primed bench below rather than a freshly painted one. If you don’t know this trick yet, you can always stick your roller in a bag or wrap it in foil and then put it in your refrigerator to keep the paint from drying if you need to take a short break.
In three weeks, I had completely demolished the old room, rebuilt it, and given it new purpose. Instead of a messy drop-spot for our coats and shoes, my mudroom was transforming into a transition place. It was time to begin painting and I was growing more excited by the minute seeing my vision come to life. I had seen the new 1905 Green color from the Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines® paint line and knew I had to have it for the board and batten and everything below it. All the things! I was gonna paint the town… green.
You see, when you take the time to properly prepare and design a space, you can redefine it. A mudroom can be more than just the designated place to kick off shoes and hang jackets – I believe it can be the room that shifts your mindset upon coming home Returning home to our old mudroom made me irritable because it was often cluttered and wasn’t my style. My new mudroom with freshly painted walls and customized to my liking all the sudden feels like a room with purpose. I don’t know about you but when I come home to clutter, my mindset tends to immediately be more on the negative side. It’s incredible what paint & primer can do to transform a space, and ultimately, your mindset.
Quick Tips from Christy:
Q: I thought primer was just to cover up dark paint colors before painting with a new, lighter color. Do I really have to prime?
A: Yes. You do. Primers lay a foundation that is multi-purpose. Primer is not just to make the aesthetics of your paint more pleasing. Although this is true, you should primarily view primer as a sealant.
Q: A sealant?
A: Yep, something that seals another material like drywall or wood. KILZ brand primers come in a variety of types to serve specific substrates. For me, I needed a primer specific to coating new drywall. Drywall has zero protection against moisture and, in fact, is engineered in such a way that can actually make it pretty susceptible to attracting water. Priming with KILZ Drywall primer is going to protect your drywall from moisture. If we’re talking about wood, using KILZ 3 Premium can seal in tannins and resins that are naturally found in wood to lock them in so that they don’t bleed through your topcoat.
Q: Why is the moisture such a big deal?
A: Materials like drywall & wood are porous in nature. This literally means that if not sealed properly, they can take on water. What’s the big deal, you ask? Sometimes this is a really sneaky amount of water that you have no idea is accumulating in a space. Over time, water can grow mold… and I’m a nurse too so I’ll try not to bore you with the health implications here but mold can be extremely dangerous for people with breathing conditions like asthma.
Q: Does roller type/nap matter?
A: Yes, it does, and I’m not the type of person to buy the insurance plan for my cell phone if that gives you any indication on whether or not you can trust me when I say this: roller quality is real and you need to spend the couple extra bucks for the higher quality roller. A ½” nap will work in most interior painting applications.
Q: What’s one benefit of priming with KILZ that most people don’t think of?
A: A layer of primer beneath paint actually makes your topcoat more durable! With a young family, my walls see a lot of action. Sports bags get chucked at them, shoes get kicked off, and lots and lots of hands touch the walls. Durability is something that my paint needs to have!
Alright, there ya have it. Hope this was empowering, entertaining, or educational for you! Please reach out to me on Instagram at @oakhillmillworks with any other questions you might have. I’ll always do my best to help.
Always remember to refer to our website kilz.com or product back labels for additional information on which primer is right for your project and detailed instructions on how to apply our products.