Saturday, April 28, 2012

Project: Guest Room Revamp

My latest big project was brought on by the imminent arrival of three weekends of company, back-to-back.  Of course, the one room that we really hadn't touched since moving in happened to be the guest room.  So the weekend after I finished the big stair project, with two weekends before the arrival of our first weekend of company, I decided to tackle what used to be the master bedroom (when the old owners were here).  

You may be thinking, "I'm sure it was fine and your awesome family that was visiting wouldn't have minded a bit if you hadn't revamped it before they got there." (So maybe that isn't verbatim what you're thinking, but it's probably along those lines, right?) Anyway, let me tell you - it was not fine.  First off, it had been painted the same boring beige prior to it going on the market. No biggie, right? Boring colors aren't the end of the world (nothing against those of you who willingly choose beige as a paint color... ahem).  Second, this guy really, really liked paneling (more evidence here, and here) - you'll see in the pictures below that he managed to build even more window boxes made of paneling. THEN - not only are there window boxes made of paneling in the room, but the contractor who painted the room prior to us buying it, reinstalled the window boxes upside down! So now we have upside-down window boxes made of paneling. Le' sigh.  And, if that wasn't bad enough, we had the itty-bitty-teensy-weensy problem of the paint actively peeling itself off the wall.  Yes - without my help there were actually two spots that had peeled down to the original drywall.

So, as you can see, I had no choice but to tackle this problem child.

Here are the "Before" pictures - which really aren't actually "before" since I had already prepped the room.  But you get the idea.  That white arrow is showing you one of the spots where the paint had peeled away already (the other was behind the door).

So after a few deep breaths, I took my handy dandy putty knife and slipped it under the edge of that first hole... and started peeling. It came off like a sunburn - pieces here and there, a swath there, and then a whole damn section in 10 seconds.  And it just kept. going. I didn't stop peeling for 2 days. Seriously. I ended up almost completely exposing the east wall. Ugh. Needless to say, there was a little cursing going on.

Unfortunately, the more drywall I exposed, the more I ended up having to patch! There was probably 4 or 5 layers of paint on there, so the edges where I peeled paint away were really ragged and there was an obvious lip that couldn't be just painted over.  So over the course of the next week - mostly after work - I patched and sanded, then patched and sanded some more, and then patched and sanded again.  There aren't any pictures of that stage because the room was so dusty that I didn't want to take my baby camera in there! I mean, whenever I left the room I had to head straight outside and knock the dust out of my hair and clothes before I took my mask and safety glasses off. So yeah - no pictures.

Instead - allow me to give you a visual so you can imagine it.

I patched. I sanded. I repeated. And then I kept repeating until I couldn't take it anymore. Then I primed.

(I should have been a novelist.)

 Can you tell that this wall was what started the whole project? 
If you look really, really closely, you can see the outline of the huge patch under the layer of primer. You can also see my patching/sanding clothes on the chair - they're not allowed out of the room.

After allowing the layer of primer to dry overnight, I hit Home Depot and chatted up my favorite paint guy (yes - he's mine. He even asks me how my projects are going each time I see him. No I don't care that he probably says that to everyone. Moving on...). Did you all know that Home Depot is no longer carrying Martha Stewart paint?! I was a bit miffed since we had our heart set on her Tahini for the room.  My paint guy said they could give me the same color in Glidden - but I've never been a Glidden fan... so I sweetly asked him to color match it for me in Behr (which is apparently 'against the rules')... but a few more smiles and jokes later (and after his supervisor walked away) I successfully walked out with two gallons. :)

I started painting around 1 p.m. on Sunday - and finished up at 7 p.m.  A lot of that time was because I tried a new technique called 'cutting in' that I learned from Sherry over on  I have to say I was SOOO pleased at how well it turned out! I definitely ended up with much cleaner lines than I would have had with taping everything off. Plus the lines in this house aren't straight - they're kinda wavy, so trying to tape things off has always been a pain in the a$$ anyway!  I did start to get faster at it towards the end of the second round, but overall it was definitely the most time consuming part... but, like I said, the results were worth it!

And now, for the big 'Ta Da' moment!


 I'm SO loving how it makes the white trim POP!

TA DAAAAAAAA! The view from the doorway.

And, as always - the before and after!

I'm pretty darn pleased with the result! The yellow is so SUNNY! And so HAPPY! And it magically works with the quilt we already had (whoot!)!

Despite the swearing and hatred that I had for this room during the actual revamp, it's actually my favorite room in the house now! Sometimes when I get home from work, I'll take my book in there, curl up in the rocking chair (which was a $30 garage sale find), and prop my feet up on the bed (the frame was actually a dumpster find that my dad refinished), and just take a few minutes to enjoy the sunny, happy room.  

AND - after 4 weekends of company (3 back-to-back, and then one after a down weekend), I can happily pronounce the room a total and complete success!! It still obviously needs to be finished off with some pictures and window treatments, but if any of you out there have ever done a huge drywall patching project out there, you'll know why I'm hesitant to put any new holes in those damn walls.  So, until then, we're living with it as-is. :)

I'll leave you with this one last picture - my new favorite view!
The view from the living room. How perfect is that?! Love it!


  1. Very Lovely Chels :)

  2. Thanks Britt. You should come check it out in person! :)

  3. I LOVE that color! I may just steal it for one of our rooms! Great job!

  4. I'm in love with that quilt!

  5. I followed you over from a comment on YHL and have been admiring all your projects! Just wanted to say keep up the great work and I LOVE that rocking chair and lamp, gorgeous :)

    1. Hi Elizabeth - thank you so much! I think you just gave me the extra oomph I needed to get up and finish up a project that I've been staring at, but avoiding all week!