Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Case Of The Blues - Part 1

One of the pitfalls of three of the four bedrooms in our house is the lack of overhead ceiling lighting.  For whatever reason the builders just never included it in their plans and they were never added after the fact.  (I’m guessing because they aren’t cheap to add through a pro – we’re talking about $300 per room!)  This results in both boys’ rooms and the guest room always having a bit of unintentional mood lighting going on because they’re currently only lit by one small 60 watt table top lamp. 

Why you ask?

Well, when we moved in we knew about the lack of overhead lights and knew we’d probably add them at some point so we didn’t want to invest in taller floor lamps since they can be pricy and it would be a cost we couldn’t recoup.  (We had ceiling fixtures in our old house.)  Given that, the boys’ rooms each got one decorative lamp from our previous master bedroom to tide them over.

Alas, we still haven’t gotten around to adding the ceiling lighting yet, but I figured it was high time to add some brightness to Holden’s room.  His room is south and west facing so in the mornings (especially as we head into fall) it can be pretty dark in there with the measly 60 watts.  Not to mention we have a few other factors working against us as well…

First up, there were decorative cornice boards left on the windows from the previous owners.  They were actually pretty cute and very creatively made with some fabric, PVC piping, and basic wall mounts, but they covered about 25% of each window blocking all that extra light.   Also, the lower three quarters of the walls were painted a darker-than-I’d-prefer blue tone which was capped off by some custom 6” oak trophy/memorabilia shelving that spanned the entire room.

 So here is my phased plan of attack:

PHASE 1 (this post)
•    Remove cornice boards
•    Remove 6” oak shelving
•    Patch all the holes on the walls from shelving as well as other misc. holes I spotted
•    Prime

PHASE 2 (currently in progress, will be posted later this week)
•    Paint; I’m thinking a soft blue-green or blue-gray tone
•    Remove old blinds (they were just getting old/dingy and were a mauvy color that I didn’t love)
•    Install new 2” faux wood white blinds
•    Add some new DIY artwork
•    Add re-homed floor lamp I just found in garage that was stored in the depths of our old basement (score!)

PHASE 3 (date TBD, probably a couple weeks)
•    Add new drapery rods above windows
•    Add new curtains
•    Add more new artwork
•    Add a cozy seating area for reading books; maybe a fun small bean bag or mini arm chair?
•    Spray paint floor lamp a fun color

So let's do this!  I got to work on Phase 1 and quickly removed the cornice boards and their mounting hardware and added them to the Restore donation pile.  Easy peasy.

Up next was the 6” shelving removal.  I removed them all - with some of Eric’s help for the stubborn pieces - by just tapping on their underside to pop them out of the wall mounts they were attached to.  I originally numbered and labeled them all because I was intending to store them in the basement so we could reuse them one day when Holden was old enough to be in sports and/or collect other items worthy of display shelves.  (For now, the shelves were just a decorating nightmare because you can only add so many small trinkets before it looks chaotic.  Because of that, I never even tried to decorate them – just stuck a few random things up there that I had no other home for.) 

In the end, Eric suggested we just Craigslist them for FREE to a new home.  So up went the CL post and by the next day they were in the hands of another local family who intended to put them in their school-aged son’s bedroom.  Since I buy a fair amount of stuff off on Craigslist it felt good to give a little something back to the ol’ CL community and see the shelves go to a good home versus a landfill.  If we find ourselves in need of them again one day, I’ll hunt down that other family and beg for them back I know a certain handy dandy guy that could whip some up rather easily. 

With those gone, it was time to patch the MANY holes in the walls from the shelving and cornice boards as well as other artwork holes that were put up over the years.  As much as patching about 80 holes (no lie) wasn’t super thrilling, in a really weird way it was fun to let my mind wonder about how much fun the previous owners’ kids probably had putting up their teenage posters and other miscellaneous finds over the years.  It was clear the room was enjoyed and I’m sure Holden will make his literal marks on it one day, too. 

Once all the holes were patched and sanded (I had to do two and even three coats for a couple of the holes), I could move on to priming.  Since there were some pretty hefty stains from general use over the years, I opted for Kilz brand primer to really block out anything from seeping through.  I rolled the primer on to the walls in the usual fashion and free handed the edges along the ceiling, baseboard, windows, and doors with my trusty 2” angled paint brush.  I had to use painter’s tape along the left side of the bedroom door and one closet door since they are butted up so closely against the nearest wall and there was no way to paint a one inch wide section next to the trim freehand…at least no way I know of!  The only way I’ve found to deal with this situation is to tape off the trim as thoroughly as possible, and then just gently shove (oxymoron?) your paint brush into that crevice and hope for the best.  It never looks pretty going on, but usually ends up just fine as long as you user thin coats of paint.

Also, I only primed the blue section of the walls.  No need of course to do the upper (already white) part.

Sebastian walked in after nap and said, “Oh, it looks so pretty, Mom!”  He’s my biggest painting fan which is pretty darn cute.  (Even when it’s only a prime coat!)

Total PHASE 1 Project Cost: $17

Screwdriver: $0, already had
Spackle (for nail holes): $0, already had
Spackle knife: $0, already had
Sand paper: $0, already had
Kilz primer: $17
Paint brush: $0, already had
Paint roller: $0, already had
Disposable paint tray liners: $0, already had
Painter’s tape: $0, already had

That’s a wrap for Phase 1.  Stay tuned for Phase 2 coming very soon!  Has anyone else ever topped patching 80+ nail holes in one room?


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