Living Room Update – From almost finished to totally undone.

I had hoped to be sharing the finished living room with you by now, that was the plan anyway. Before Christmas I painted the walls with two coats of Valspar Mountain Midnight, a dark green (that frustratingly photographs blue) It was a big step out of my white comfort zone, as well as a huge step away from my original Living Room Revamp plans

…but I’d come to the conclusion the room needed something to inject some soul into it and the colour really worked. Usually I love an all white backdrop, talked about in the blog I wrote Why all white, my reasons for almost all white walls. But in this room’s case, when it’s all white, it just feels like a room full of objects, it feels cluttered, disorderly and strangely disjointed.

Loved this photo, it really captured the feeling I wanted for the room.

The tones of the wood details within the room really suited the darker colour, it felt snug and instantly had more personality. But two coats weren’t enough, the paint had a tendency to mark quite easily too, probably due to how matt the finish was, I knew, post Christmas/ New Year, a third would be needed, but I didn’t mind really, I was happy with the depth of colour and the ultra matt finish suited our less than perfect walls.

Fast forward to March (January and February just blurred into unproductive hibernation), I popped to B&Q, bought another tin of the Valspar paint and set the next day aside as the get the room done day.

I would like to add at this point that I hate painting. Hate it.

So, Paint Day came and I decided to also do the ceiling. Now I get that that was a risk, a very dark colour, in a small room, that doesn’t have a particularly high ceiling. But it was just something I wanted to try. Partly because of the glorious Artex that I felt became more of a focus when the walls and ceiling were a different colour.

Because of said Artex, painting the ceiling is super hard work, you think it’s covered, then you move slightly to the side and realise the other side of the bumps have all evaded the paint. Exhausting, but I pushed through and did two coats on the ceiling and the third on the walls.

It was part way through painting that I realised something was up, the areas that were dry were just as shiny as the wet areas. I double checked the pot, I’d definitely asked for matt and the label stated it was just that. I finished the painting and decided to wait 12 hours, to let it completely dry.

It didn’t get better. The walls and ceiling were so shiny the light reflected off it and looked awful, every blemish on the walls stood out, the invisible blocked up doorway, where the Ercol sideboard is, was completely visible.

Just for the record, it’s incredibly difficult to capture the full extent of the hideousness, but Stu summed it up well. The living room now looked like ‘a seedy sex den’.

Photo taken the night after painting…
Light reflecting coving anyone?

Painting the Artex didn’t really work as a camouflage technique, now it was a lovely, shiny, ultra light reflecting focal point.

I did feel like having a cry, by this point I was supposed to be at the fun, staging/ accessorising part of a room revamp, instead I was in a much worse off place than before I’d started painting. All thanks to a £23 tin of Valspar.

I went back to B&Q, where they tested the paint against other matt paint brands and confirmed that it was much shinier than it should have been, they even suggested using the Valspar Eggshell as this was drying more matt. I explained the extent of the damage that one tin of paint had caused and the issue was escalated to the Valspar area rep. Long story short, I was informed Valspar would pay for a Decorator to sort the room, B&Q would cover the cost of the paint. I refused to use Valspar paint again, my confidence in the brand lost and B&Q agreed to Farrow&Ball. I was also asked to escalate the issue to B&Q Customer Services, so they could follow the correct procedure with Valspar. 2 weeks pass, I had had two decorators come and quote to sort the room, both of which couldn’t believe it wasn’t some kind of gloss paint that I had used. In this time I also decided to have the ceiling skimmed, as the whole episode was making me so miserable, so it was a treat to myself. Again, another professional who thought the ceiling had been painted with gloss.

Having the ceiling plastered fell on one of the coldest weekends of the year, we were advised not to light the fire for a day or two, to avoid the ceiling drying too quickly and cracking. You could actually see your own breath whilst sitting in there. Freezing.

I got back in contact with B&Q, to check on the progress of my case, desperate to move on and have a finished room. Only to be told that actually no, Valspar wouldn’t be taking any kind of responsibility what so ever, so it was kind of tough luck from their (Valspar’s) perspective, no concern what so ever that their product isn’t fit for purpose. I had heard of others having issues in the past, there was the whole cat wee smell debacle, but until now hadn’t had much concern, I’d used their paint a few times, happily answered questions from readers asking about what I used for Nancy’s room. I won’t be so positive again, it’s really not a risk worth taking if this is an acceptable outcome from using their paint.

B&Q, however, have been very helpful throughout, especially my local store team. They may stock Valspar, but it isn’t their product, despite this they’ve provided me with a Project Package, to help get the room back on track, which is much appreciated, considering the entire room needs priming before anything can begin to happen. It still means a lot of painting by me to undo the damage.

Cue much paint colour confusion, I find it really hard to choose and commit to a colour at the best of times, but when you have already found ‘the one’, which was perfect for the space, but now can’t have it, that’s beyond frustrating.

I’ll talk more about my paint selection process when I can share more positively about this room, for now I wanted to update all those that have followed my paint woes on my Instagram Stories and those messaging asking what the hold up is. I had wanted to hold off talking about it publicly, to allow time for those involved to do the right thing. That didn’t really happen.

I had to miss a deadline for photographing the room for a collaboration and now I just want this whole negative experience behind me. Our house isn’t huge, I’ve been living in the stress and disappointment for weeks now and it’s draining.

So, up yours crappy paint and here’s to a new plan, one I am even more excited about and hope to share more about with you soon.

44 Comments Add yours

  1. brightondebs says:

    Ooh love the new idea board so much better! It will be awesome 🙂

    1. Thank you, fingers crossed x

  2. Steph. says:

    What appalling service from valspar, I will give them a wide birth. I’ve used F&B and love their colours. Hope you get your beautiful home back to it’s former glory soon.

    1. Thank you Steph, such a shame but onwards to better things ♡

  3. Sophie says:

    That’s interesting – I painted my sons room in a dark Matt blue and it is also shiny – but due to life getting in the way I didn’t tackle it! Are you having to prime before painting over? What a pain! I may give in to the footie posters and deal with it another time!!

    1. Oh Sophie, was this recently? I’ve used Dulux Trade matt white to do a base coat now..

  4. Sophie says:

    Whoops didn’t mean dark Matt ( this sounds rather like someone who might visit your seedy sex den! ) dark matt!!

    1. Hahahaha!

  5. Yasmine Camilla says:

    It will be gorgeous when it’s all done and luckily we soon forget these things. I can’t believe how bday Valspar treated you and good on B&Q xx

    1. I have high hopes for the new version of the room, on to better things ♡

  6. Keira says:

    How awful for you, you’re right to talk about it in a blog post so that others can be wary of using valspar too. I think the new colour will look really fab tho… look forward to seeing it!

    1. Thank you Keira ♡

  7. Gillian Roe says:

    Interesting! I’ve long been a valspar fan because their depth of colour is superb but their dark matt paint does mark very easily (like, you just have to touch it with your fingertips) and the white in our kitchen actually comes off when you rub at a mark or splash with a damp cloth. Not very hardy. I don’t think I’d use it again. Such a shame for you as that colour is lush but I know you’ll make a success of that room. Xx

    1. I’m hearing many tales of Valspar woe tonight 😞

  8. Ella says:

    Oh Alice I really feel for you, what a nightmare. Even decorating one small room in the house makes me feel like everything is all chaotic, let alone the living room. I’m sure it’ll all be worth it in the end though. Really looking forward to seeing your new colour choice. Our front room is a duck egg blue but I’ve been thinking about a darker teal tone so look forward to pinching some ideas!

    1. Thank you Ella, it just feels like it’s gone on for soooo bloody long now!

  9. Andrea says:

    Well, if it’s any comfort it’s always good for those of us renovating to know that other people have disasters too! I am steering clear of Valspar too, I found it took a LOT of coats to get decent coverage and it does mark easily. A shame when there is such a range of colours. Look forward to the finished room

    1. It’s the range of colours that pulls you in!

      1. Andrea says:

        I know! And my experience was a quest for the perfect green as well!

      2. Hahahaha, green is such a tricky one.

  10. Eugenie Ryan says:

    Sorry found your story hilarious 😂😂😂
    I’m reading Mad about the House now and there is a chapter where Katie is talking about painting the small room dark and “go for gloss if you dare “. Only today was wondering how that would look. The picture of that lighting shining away on the ceiling made me laugh out lound🤣🤣🤣. I was considering Valspar for it’s affordable price for my project but went with Little Greene instead and I’m fully in love with the quality of there paint- Invisible Green and Whitening. How does your husband take all that? Mine is getting a bit nerky by now over the way we live for the last 8 weeks 3 kids one is 11 months old. Not easy to paint- clean- enjoy the process))
    Keep us updated please! Xx

    1. Glad to have provided some enteryisnment2 Eugenie! My husband just thinks I’m a bit ill, perhaps he’s not wrong. I can’t go a day without changing something!

  11. a tidy house says:

    Was the original paint for the first two coats matt? I have just purchased a tin of matt navy for my grandson’s room and I’m nervous now! I guess I will just test it first xx I had a tiling nightmare once so I know how desperate you are feeling xx

    1. Hello, yes, the first lot was very matt. Apparently they’ve changed something to do with the paint or mixing process since Christmas.

      1. a tidy house says:

        I do feel better for knowing that but I do feel that Valspar should have owned this mistake as it’s clear they mixed up your colour using the wrong base product! Your home is beautiful and I’m so excited to see the revamped revamp!! You can do this!!!! xx karrie xx

      2. Thank you lovely. Apparently it wasn’t the base product though, that’s just what the paint is like.

      3. a tidy house says:

        My daughter just painted her bathroom navy with their bathroom and kitchen paint and it looks very similar xx let’s hope you are smiling soon with your lovely new scheme xx

      4. ♡♡♡

  12. Margaret says:

    That’s such a shame. I took a risk and painted a sitting room in paint and paper library teal. Like you, it was a big move from the original pale walls. I’m so glad I did though because it looks so much better.

    1. It’s good to take risks, if only the paint had been ok!

  13. Nic says:

    Oh no, this really isn’t a great review for Valspar is it? I’m so sorry you’ve had so much hassle with them. I haven’t used their emulsion, painted furniture with some testers, but nothing massive. Really looking forward to the new room though, despite all the hassle. Also massive whoop! for B&Q providing excellent customer service again

    1. Thanks Nic, no and it would seem so many people have had big problems with them too 😞

  14. Sam says:

    Effing valspar! I’ve just painted my banisters and skirting boards in the hall way, all up the stairs and almost the whole of the upstairs landing with their satin interior wood white paint before realising that after two weeks the paint is still tacky. You can leave an indent in the paint. 😭 Never using valspar again!

    1. Oh no Sam, I’m so sorry to hear this. So many people seem to be having problems 😞

  15. wishvintage says:

    What a complete nightmare for you, how dreadfully stressful and sad but good for b&q who have behaved like gentlemen!

    1. Thank you, I collected my paint today. Now I have to find the time and energy to sort it.

  16. petra howard says:

    Love the mid century vibe of the room, I have some items from that period as well, love that little sideboard of yours. I had problems with valspar as well, I painted my frames and doors with the wood paint and it scratches so easily of..the cheaper B&Q wood paint was much better…

    1. Thanks Petra, I’m completely in love with my Ercol sideboard. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had issues too 😖

  17. ljfphotos says:

    Oh man I’ve only just read this. What a shame. I’ve been testing F&B colours, never tried Valspar. I don’t like the test patch from F&B so have just used Dulux and had them make the same colour from the photo of the paint. I’ve done that with another colour previously and was really happy. Shame on Valspar I hope your paint woes are over soon. xx

    1. Thank you very much, I can’t wait for it to just be looking nice again.

  18. Anne-Marie says:

    I think the new mood board looks much brighter. I saw that picture with the lady’s face a while ago and wanted it for my living room – now I can’t remember where I saw it, or the artist! Do you know where its from?

    1. Thanks Anne-Marie, I’ve painted the living room and it’s looking great. The print is Sasha by Sofia Bonati x

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