Posted by John on January 14th, 2013
Hey guys! Slacked off the last couple days. Busier than average weekend with little project progress to show for it. Saturday we pretty much just hung out and did some necessary, yet un-blog-worthy cleaning. Anyone want to see a post on cleaning out a fridge? No? I didn’t think so. Sunday we headed up to NEPA to have a memorial mass and lunch in honor of my father’s passing. He’s been gone for five years now, which is completely crazy. Eventually I’d like to throw in some more personal posts, especially one about him. Funniest guy I ever met and missed very much. It’s tough making time for that kind of a tribute though. I’d want to do it properly and not just throw something together. Maybe later this year.
So now for something less depressing or still somewhat depressing depending upon how you look at it. Our daughter is nearly two. She’s growing up quick. Over the past several weeks it’s becoming more clear that maybe she could do with a bedroom change. We’ve transitioned her crib to a toddler bed and it’s nice, but it’s not ideal. When we painted and decorated the room, we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, so we kept the nursery neutral. We’d really like to get her into a room more suited to a little girl. Plus, if we get her a twin bed, we can keep her company until she falls asleep if she wakes us up crying or is reluctant to goto bed. It’s tough to do that with a toddler bed. Thus, some of the urgency.
We’re still working on the sitting room… in that we’re waiting for the electrical permit to be approved and we’ve been batting ideas back and forth. As far as the new bedroom for our daughter goes, there are a few things we’ve already decided. We’re going with a white Hemnes twin bed from Ikea… and that’s about it. We already have a small dresser from our guest room that we bought when we got married and we also just picked up a small round Hemnes nightstand. I don’t have any room pictures for you yet, it’s actually her playroom at the moment, but I do have some pics from our Pinterest account we can show you that illustrate some ideas we’re considering.
The paint: The whole room decor is Lisa’s call. As far as room color is concerned, she still wants to keep it neutral, but introduce a lot more girly features that really wouldn’t work in the nursery without a whole reboot. We’ve talked about a soft pink paint, but we both really like a greyish beige (greige?) like the photo above.
The walls: Who wants wainscoting in this room? This guy. Right now, this is the big decision for this room. Do we or don’t we. I’m not interested in spending 3 months on this room like we did the dining room, but I think I can pull something off in here relatively quick and much simpler. Lisa is not in favor of a bead board, but maybe a board and batten look. Board and batten tends to be very tall, 48″ or higher generally. I’m thinking something shorter since the room is for a little girl. Another option is the board and batten with the bead board as the panel. None of them should take very long, fingers crossed.
Built-ins: Ideally, we’d love to give this room some custom built-in shelves for all her books and displayable toys. The room has a nice double window that would look great with a cushioned seat under it. We’re a bit hesitant to add that feature until she’s old enough to truly understand gravity. Still, shelves on either side of the window would look awesome!
What do you think? What would you do? Do you go with the pink paint tones? Do you like a simple wainscoting idea? What are you up to?
Posted in Home Decor. Tagged in ,built-ins, decor, paint, wainscoting
Posted by John on December 29th, 2012
Didn’t I say I was taking the week off? Well, I am… except for this little guest post we wrote for Remodelaholic. If you’re a regular reader, then you’re already familiar with our wainscoting project. If not, head over and check it out. I tried to compress about a dozen posts on the wainscoting project into one with an emphasis on planning and sizing the layout… because that IS the hardest part of the process.
Big thanks to Cassity for having us! It’s a great way to close 2012 out.
Have a happy and joyous New Year!
-John and Lisa
Posted in Blogging,Home Decor. Tagged in ,guest post, wainscoting
Posted by John on August 20th, 2012
Finally. We’re done the dining room wainscoting project. Yep. All done. Well, except for some minor paint touch ups and a little bit of caulking. BUT, it’s on a 6″ section of doorway baseboard molding, so.. technically, it’s not really IN the dining room. So, like I said. We’re done. High five.
I don’t want to seem like we’re spiking the football here. We posted last week when we finished up the painting and we got a lot of very kind comments. I almost feel guilty posting about it again. Almost.
We started the planning for this project back in February with an intro post. We started the demolition and electrical work in March and April. The actual trim carpentry started on May 15. So, it took us about 6 months from planning to final brush stroke. Yikes. It was worth it. Here’s a more thorough wrap-up of the work that went into the dining room.
Our Dining Room Wainscoting Project, the Cliff’s Notes.
A year ago, the room was completely unpainted. We still have quite a few rooms in this builder boring state at the moment.
We started the upgrade process by adding some molding beneath the crown and painting it all semi-gloss white. Then we painted the room accessible beige by Sherwin Williams.
Then the rest of the process went like this…
- Removing the existing chair rail molding
- Adding a new outlet behind the buffet
- Planning the options, look and layout of the wainscoting
- Installing the poplar frame (1, 2, 3, 4)
- Adding the MDF panels
- Adding the bolection molding and capping
And now we’re all done…
You know you’re getting old when wainscoting is considered eye candy.
Couple things to note. See if you caught this. The dining room table is missing a chair. It was in another room when I was taking the pictures. Oops. Lisa noticed. I didn’t. Also, we’re going to be adding some additional decor items at some point and eventually replacing the cellular window shades. For now though, this is fine.
Any items you’re dying to remove from your to-do list?
Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects,Home Decor,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,before and after, decor, trim, wainscoting
Posted by John on August 13th, 2012
I was originally thinking about skipping all the posts on our dining room wainscoting until we were completely finished with it. Staged and all. However, it may be another week until it’s all buttoned back up, so I think I’ll just get on with it and show everyone where we’re at.
The last couple weeks we’ve been painting. A lot. We finally finished painting the wainscoting and this past weekend we finished painting the walls. We had hoped to avoid repainting all the accessible beige, but the touch ups were pretty visible, so we ended up repainting ALL of it.
One tip I learned from painting the large panels of the wainscoting is definitely worth sharing. I was getting some major streaking or flashing with the semi-gloss on some panels. You can see the brush strokes. For some reason it just wasn’t going on evenly. It was driving me mad.
To remedy this problem, I just used a small roller and applied a nice even coat just to the MDF panels and then used a dry brush to flatten it out. Worked like a charm.
Yesterday, I started adding the outlets. Since they are situated in the MDF panel part of the wall, the boxes need to be extended by 3/4.”
I was able to find outlet extenders at Home Depot. They come in varying sizes (1/4″, 1/2″, etc) and can be screwed right onto the existing boxes.
When installed, it brings the receptacle flush to the wall.
Here’s some shots of the room. We still have to finish up a few more outlets and add the oak quarter rounds to tie the walls to the floors. Then we’ll need to clean up and bring everything back in.
Can’t wait to be done with this already!! Late last week we were in DC for a couple days, which is why we skipped out on posting. We’ll be sharing some of our experiences with that trip later this week.
Do any painting this weekend? What are you looking forward to finishing?
Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects,Electrical. Tagged in ,electrical, painting, trim, wainscoting
Posted by John on July 24th, 2012
I think this is going to be the last progress post I write on the wainscoting until we’re finished. I’ll probably do one more post on how we replaced the window sill, but that will be it. We’re that close. Over the weekend we were finally able to prime the panels. Instead of brushing on all the required coats of paint, I thought we’d get a better result if we sprayed on the first two coats, which are the primer coats.
Before I get into the why’s and what’s of spray painting, I thought I’d post the last few photos of the dining room unpainted. Makes for a solid ‘before.’
There, that should do it.
Now, if you paint unfinished wood like this wainscoting, you typically need to apply several coats of paint to hide the darkness of the wood and to achieve your desired finish. Painting unfinished wood with a brush for all of those coats can end up giving you a goopy look with a lot of visible brush marks. After four coats of latex paint, it tends to do that. To avoid that look, you can spray paint the primer AND the paint or just spray on the primer and then brush on two coats of the finish paint. Get it? By reducing the amount of brushed on coats, you can get a smoother, more professional looking result. Why would you even bother to brush on any coats if you can spray them all? It’s useful if you want to match some existing paint in your home like trim or crown molding. It’s a perfect approach for built-ins.
For larger projects like our wainscoting, it’s a little impractical to use cans of spray paint. Not sure how many cans it would take, but I’m pretty sure it’d be a lot. Instead, we’re using an HVLP (high volume, low pressure) paint gun. You’ll also need an air source. You can use a large compressor, smaller pancake compressors don’t provide enough air. We’re using a turbine system, which provides air like a large compressor, but it’s very compact. They’re available used on ebay or craigslist for reasonable prices and they may be worth it if you’re planning on doing a LOT of spray painting. We picked our’s up when we built our first home’s kitchen cabinets. The paint guns are fairly inexpensive and there are a ton of used guns available.
I’ll get into more of the pro’s and con’s of spray painting in another post. For now, just trust me that it works pretty well. I used a Bulls Eye brand water based, low odor primer. I only bought a quart and was able to get one solid coat done.
We still have to do some light sanding after this primer coat and then we can actually apply the finish paint coats.
Here’s how spraying the primer on the wainscoting came out…
What’s been keeping you busy lately? Any projects dragging on?