Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fixing Up the Guest Bedroom

Our new house was built in 1947 and hasn't been updated much since then, so we are excited to start doing a bit of simple remodeling this summer. 

In an earlier post I showed some pictures of us painting the living room. We still haven't quite managed to apply the second coat of paint in the living room because we took a break while we tackled the guest bedroom. I'm sure we'll get to it at some point though. We have several guests coming up to visit this summer and the first, Woodley's college friend Adam, arrived this past Monday so the guest bedroom was a high priority.

About two weeks ago we started working on the guest bedroom, with the goal of getting it done in time for Adam's arrival. We knew we had to work quickly. Above is a picture of the room before we bought the house. The family who owned it previously removed the furniture before we moved in so, when we started working on the room, it really looked more like the picture below. (In actuality, the picture below is the corner bedroom on the other side of the house but it features the same paint job and linoleum floor as the guest bedroom.)

For once, I actually had a very clear vision in my mind of what I wanted the guest bedroom to look like when we finished painting and decorating it. I thought it would be nice to use a fairly rich blue wall color with bright white trim and decor which would stand out nicely next to the blue. 

Our first step was to find the perfect shades of blue and white for the walls. The white was fairly easy to locate, we picked the brightest, whitest one we could find (Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore). 

The blue was quite a bit more challenging. We visited 2 paint stores and got 6 tester quarts and a bunch of sample sheets featuring different shades we liked. After painting the blues onto the walls in several places, we realized we liked a couple of colors that were on the tester sheets (we didn't have real samples of those colors made before because they were too expensive). So we went back to the paint store and got two more samples (Overcast and Blueberry Popover by Philadelphia Paints). The first 6 we tested are on the bottom of the photo below and the last 2 are on the top.

After painting on those new samples we decided that they weren't quite right either so we mixed them together and created our very own shade of blue! (Which can be seen around and below the window in the photo below.) We then took a dried sample of that new shade back to the paint store and they matched it perfectly. We were now ready to start painting!

First we painted the ceiling white and then excitedly started in on the blue. It was so much fun to see the room transform right before our eyes!

Once we finished with 2 coats of white paint on the ceiling and 2 coats of blue paint on the walls we were ready to think about the trim. We knew it had been painted with oil paint in the past and we planned to continue using oil paint in the future. We also knew we needed to rough it up a bit before we started painting the next coat so that the paint would stick properly. However, since our house is so old, we figured the previous coat was very likely lead based paint and we were hesitant to start sanding it and breathing in the possibly lead based paint dust. 

My mom told us about "liquid sandpaper," a product that you can rub into the paint and which roughs it up without creating any dust. We decided to try it and got our first bottle. We dutifully rubbed it on, following the directions exactly, but the paint was just as shiny as before. We figured it might have just been that brand of liquid sandpaper so we bought another and tried again. Still, our trim paint was just as smooth and shiny as before. At that point we were a bit disheartened and stopped for several days. However, Woodley didn't give up but found a 3rd product to try along with some new rougher red rags. I had kind of given up on the project at this point so Woodley spent a few hours testing it out. To our great surprise and joy it actually seemed to work! The red dye from the rags came off and left a slightly pinkish hue behind but we could tell that it was actually de-glossing the paint. In the morning we rubbed on a second coat, just to be sure, and then we finally set about painting the trim white!

Here's a picture with the de-glossing liquid rubbed into the trim. 

Although it was a lot of work painting the trim, it made a big difference! 

The next area we needed to tackle was the floor. We decided to try using locking engineered hardwood flooring since it seemed pretty easy to install and wasn't too expensive. In the photo below, Woodley is filling some holes in the linoleum with spackle and we have laid down the plastic sheeting that helps cushion the floating floor.  

I don't yet have any more photos of the process so I'll have to take more photos of the room later today to show off the rest of the work we did on the room. I just love how it is coming together!


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