I’m going to start today’s post off with the obligatory end-of-August, “Oh my goodness, the summer just flew by!” exclamation. Because, oh my goodness, you guys – where did it go?!
Remember when we were kids and summer basically felt like an extra year? There was the school year and the summer year, and summer days seemed to be twice as long as regular days…
And then somewhere along the line someone decided that adults don’t get to experience summer the same way kids do, and to make up for the long summers we enjoyed when we were young, they’ll fly by faster and faster until *blink* it’s almost September. #conspiracytheories
It really only feels like yesterday that I was sharing Phase 1 of my garage makeover withe Ace Hardware with you guys, but in fact, it was already five weeks ago!
And quite honestly, I wrapped up Phase 1 right before the wave of 100+ degree heat poured over Texas, so I’ve procrastinated a bit on finishing Phase 2 due to the siren call of the sweat-free, air-conditioned great indoors.
But it’s here at last and I’ve officially checked the last item off of my garage makeover [mental] to-do list – getting one length of wall set up as my go-to photography staging area for my vintage furniture finds!
If you’re thinking that set-up looks a little familiar, it’s true, at the beginning of the summer I did slap some leftover gray paint up on the wall…
But I also spent tons of time Photoshopping the backdrop because *this* is what it looked like in real life:
Here, let me helpfully point out all my beefs with this wall:
I know, I know, it’s a garage wall – I’m lucky to have finished drywall in here! But this drywall was more like… terrain. Ridges, holes, dents, dings, lumpy hills of poor patch jobs.
As an acknowledged and unrepentant perfectionist, that wall was my arch-nemesis – the one thing standing in the way of me and my perfectly-appointed photography backdrop.
So off to Ace Hardware I went, to pick up a few supplies to tackle my lumpy bumpy wall situation…
Step 1: Joint Compound
The first thing I did was attack the wall with a little bit of joint compound… or a lot…
It’s a lot like icing a cake (and yes, I did develop a craving for vanilla frosting over the course of my labors) – I smeared the joint compound onto the wall with a small scraper and did my best to fill holes and level off uneven areas.
Step 2: Sponge Sanding
The back of the joint compound container suggested sanding with a damp sponge – what a game changer! I let the joint compound on the wall dry the recommended amount of time, then used a large tiling sponge, lightly dampened to go over all the areas of joint compound. It really helped to create a seamless transition between the patches and the wall!
I actually repeated steps 1 and 2 again to get the smoothest possible surface. (Gently reminding myself that it was a garage wall, after all.)
Step 3: Painting
Because the garage gets such strong light with the garage door open, I wanted to use an even darker color for the photography backdrop, so I chose a soft black, Black Chiffon by Clark+Kensington, and had it mixed in a gallon of Flat (Non-Glare) Clark+Kensington Paint and Primer.
A few coats later (I had some finish issues thanks to the heat causing the paint to dry too quickly on me), and my backdrop was finally done!
Backdrop >> One chair >> Two chairs >> Photography Lighting!
So even after all that work, you can see that there are some seams in the wall that still show through. I tried my hardest and just couldn’t make everything completely smooth.
But… it’s a garage wall… I can only justify spending so much time on a 10-foot section of wall when I can spend ten seconds in Photoshop dragging a healing brush over those areas if/when it really bothers me in photos…
If only I had one of those for real life!
Step 4: Lighting
The last challenge in setting up this little photography area was to try to combat the strong light pouring in from the open garage door to the right, and the deep shadows on the left.
I used two spring clamps to clip two screen doors (that I had removed from the sliding door in our kitchen) in the opening to help diffuse the light. It totally does the trick and is easy to set up and take down!
And two photography lights set up to the left help brighten up the shadows.
And voila! One garage photography set up, perfect for impromptu baby sister photo shoots…
So let’s hear it – is there a project you’ve been putting off tackling? My friends at Ace Hardware want to help! You can enter to win a $100 Ace Hardware gift card through the Rafflecopter widget below…
What’s next on your to-do list?
|I couldn’t be more excited to be a member of the Ace Bloggers panel this year and to partner with Ace on this post! Ace Hardware provided me with the materials for this project and I was also compensated for my time and this post. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.|
cassie @ primitive & proper says
i LOVE this! love the color you chose, and i happen to love the furniture you used as examples, and the baby sister!
Haha, she really completed the vignette, right? 🙂 I’ve been hanging onto those chairs for a while now… They are going to be hard to let go!!!
Ellen from Ask Away says
OMG we have so much to do at our new house. i really hope i win! i’m so glad i found your blog!
XO Ellen from Ask Away
Oh yay! Good luck, Ellen!
That’s an amazing change! I don’t have a garage, but my basement rivals your before pics so that’s where I’d be cleaning out and reorganizing!
Thanks Guerrina! It feels so good to have it all organized now… Wishing you the best of luck! 🙂
What fun! This color is lovely and the smooth backdrop will be great for photographs!
Thank you Kim! It’s definitely a huge improvement! And finally having a dedicated space for furniture photography will save me so much time!
chris aka monkey says
wow that was a lot of compound lol looking good, we live in a rural small town but we have an ace just down the street with helpful hardware men xx
Haha, it really was! That wall was such a disaster! Lucky to have an Ace so close to you – I’ve always had extremely helpful experiences with them too!
So jealous of your photography wall! What a great idea. Now that I’ve totally abandoned the idea that I’ll ever be able to park an actual car in my garage (with the trailer in the driveway, there’s not enough room for one to get in and out), I might actually be able to do this 🙂
Trisha D. @Black and White Obsession says
Squeal! This girl has been impatiently waiting to see the final reveal and boy oh boy did you NAIL it!! I had to giggle-snort at ALL those blotches of joint compound. Really dig the whole look. Where did you get those photography lights?
Lovely! I need to do this, perfect wall color. If you saw my garage you would freak…lol.
Linda @ It All Started With Paint says
Looks amazing … and I’m so jealous that you have your very own photography studio! 🙂
Katja | Shift Ctrl Art says
What a great set up. I love that as a photography backdrop. What an amazing space to have for photography. Not jealous AT ALL 🙂 😀
Amy W says
Ha, I love the effort you’ve put into your garage… and yet totally jealous! What a great photography space. Do you love your umbrella lights? I have been thinking about getting some because my new work space is in a basement with NO natural light. Boo.
Girl, you have me wishing for a garage! BTW…I love that Credenza! Are you going to bring that in the house?
Lovely! Very nice backdrop for staging. Can I make a suggestion? Get a piece of baseboard molding in whatever you like, wood or white. Set it there or adhere it with double sided foam tape. Even though it’s not very obvious now. That would totally make it room like. White even comes in vinyl, so if you want to attach it and leave it there you won’t have to worry if it gets wet.
Ooh, that’s a fantastic idea! I love it!
Corinna - A Designer At Home says
Those delicious chairs paired with delicious rug against that beautiful wall color are TO DIE FOR.
Thank you so much Corinna!
Kimberly Duran says
Oh I so wish we had a garage but I just know within 3.4 seconds it would end up looking exactly like your ‘before’ photo!! lol You’ve done an amazing job and I love the photography set up – such a good idea! xxx
What a great staging set up!!!