Tag Archives: paint

Guest Bedroom Makeover

I finally got around to taking some pictures of the guest bedroom we’ve been working on. We love the way it turned out – it looks so bright and inviting now and I think our guests will appreciate it. We just need to recruit some visitors to stay with us!

For the past year this room has been a storage area for extra flooring scraps and random boxes, and in anticipation of painting, the electrical plates were all removed and there were some smears of potential paint colors up on one wall. There was also an old dingy comforter and some mismatched blankets, which looked even more dingy in the awful CFL light from the old ceiling fan.

I never took a great before picture, but here’s a super-before picture, from our first night in the house:

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And here’s the old ceiling fan – which we managed to sell for $20 to a weirdly-eager buyer on craigslist:


So for this makeover, we painted the walls a light blue-purple color (Cool Mist by Valspar – leftover paint from our office room), gave the floor and door trim and window sill a fresh coat of white, got a new bed spread and pillows, and updated the ceiling fan. I don’t consider clearing out clutter to really be part of a ‘makeover’, but we did that as well and after all our hard work this was probably what made the biggest difference in this room. We also moved a desk in here for sitting at or putting a suitcase on. Here’s the finished room:




And a closeup of the new fan ($69 at Home Depot). This fan was a smaller width than the old fan (42″ vs 52″) and it fits this tiny room much better:


We’re still waiting to get our final shipment of blinds to update the window blind, and I’ve been stalking craigslist for a pair of little side tables that need redoing for either side of the bed.

This past weekend we installed 5 other blinds that the store had sizes for in stock and laid out a design for our backyard flower garden and started trenching the ground to put a wood border in. We also put new toilet seats on our upstairs toilets (I don’t ever want to see/smell 18 years of crusted pee from removing an old toilet seat again!). You know what happened the last time we replaced a toilet seat for the downstairs bathroom – the entire room was demo-ed down to the subfloor that very afternoon. We restrained ourselves this time, but I’m itching to start our master bathroom renovation this summer!

Hallway Painting & More Garden News

This past weekend Nik was away looking dapper at the Kentucky Derby at a bachelor party…


so I was left on my own at home with a long list of things to do. We just bought a couple gallons of paint (light gray-beige) for the hallway when Ace was having a buy one get one free sale on paint. This is a challenging project we’ve been avoiding because our stairwell has a 2-story tall wall on one side and we weren’t quite sure how to reach all the way up there or cut in right next to the ceiling. I got started on Saturday by cutting in around the doorways upstairs (apparently there are SIX doors which took forever!), and then decided that was enough paint for one day.


I moved outside to tackle the next job of the weekend, which was finishing lining the wood on our garden with the garden liner fabric, further churning the clay and leveling it out, and adding the soil and composted manure we bought. This seemed to be going well, and I was walking all over the garden, in and out, and I got all the liner stapled in…and then the productivity gods decided I was making too much progress and sent THIS to make an appearance:


So that was the end of me working on the garden for the weekend. That thing was at least a good 2″. Ugh. I slowed him down with some spray and then he got the shovel which was gory and gross, and my neighbor may have seen me dancing around the yard afterwards trying to get the heebie jeebies out of me.

So on Sunday, I stayed safely inside for the morning and early afternoon and did another coat with the paint brush to cut in all those doorways and then I got a coat of paint rolled on all the walls. I was able to use the extender pole to reach over the second floor banister to get to the 2 story wall, and I then taped a paint brush to the pole and painstakingly cut in where that wall met the ceiling. It took forever…but I think it came out pretty well. Once Nik came home, we were noticing the big wall looks a little patchy, and we have about 3/4 gallon left so we might roll on another coat, which shouldn’t take too long. The old walls were that plain, boring, contractor’s paint, and as I was painting I noticed how dirty they were – scuffs and marks everywhere. It looks so much nicer with a crisp coat of fresh paint.

Once Nik returned, we had some free time Tuesday evening so I encouraged him to go work on the spider infested garden. He was able to finish churning the clay and mixed in the garden soil.IMG_2617

After he had stomped around the garden a sufficient amount and I was convinced there were no lurking monsters, I cautiously approached and helped him mount the deer netting. We used the staple gun to attach it to the base boards and each of the poles.



I think we’ll buy some long strips of velcro to put on the two front panels at the bottom and going up that middle pole (they’re just tied with twine now), and that way we can access the full length of the garden while hopefully keeping out critters on the bottom. I also picked up a couple more bags of dirt to add since it’s a little low, but it’s almost time to plant!

Within minutes of pretty much completing this backyard garden, I went inside and checked my email. And guess what?? The garden we have wanted to put in our side yard for months since the sun there is much better FINALLY got approved by the HOA. We put this application in way back in February, and it’s gotten denied over and over again and we finally built this backyard garden assuming they’d never agree to let us do the side yard garden, and literally as we were putting the final touches on it, the side garden was approved. The irony kills me…but we’re still very happy because we know all our plants won’t fit in this first garden anyway. But building this second garden will now take up at least another weekend, pushing our kitchen reno back which we still haven’t started…it really never ends!

Demolition and Painting!

Initially, our priorities for projects before moving (which will happen in about 2 and a half weeks!!) were painting and new floors. We bought all our paint, got our floors ordered, and obtained a bunch of extra stuff that would be needed for projects from Lowes:


Then Nik’s curiosity got the better of him and he HAD to find out what was inside this little shelf that sits right in our front door entryway, butted up against the stairwell wall:

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Was it empty space? Were there pipes under it? He used the dremel tool to cut a small hole in the top so we could peer in, figuring we could just patch it if something important was under there.

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But it was empty (this pic is inside the hole)!

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Thus began the whole “When you give a mouse a cookie, he asks for milk…” process. Now that we knew it was useless space, and we had dreamed about opening up the stairwell wall behind it, a simple trip over to the house to begin painting resulted in a wall being ripped down to the studs:

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We didn’t just do this project unadvised, we did get an engineer consultation in which he explained how to safely construct a load bearing header since this is a support wall, even though we were just opening up a few feet. Nik and I graduated last week with our Ph.D.s (finally living up to our blog name, which is spelled rePHurbisheD for a reason =)  ), so both of our parents were in town ready to help on the house. Nik finished ripping out the frame for the shelf, and Nik and his dad, Mike, spent most of Saturday building the temporary support to hold up the ceiling while the studs were removed.

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They also built the header beam out of 2 2×8’s.

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Then most of Sunday they worked on installing the header and support column. My dad, Greg, also chipped in for the header installation, but for the most part just offered sage advice from his lawn chair stationed in the living room sipping a beer. They finally got it in and it looks great!

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My mom and dad worked on many other projects around the house that I’ll write about once we get to the yard post (hint: we gained about 15 feet of usable yard after all the work they did on some unruly shrubbery!). On Monday and Tuesday, Nik and his dad worked on building a stud frame for the new drywall that will be hung:

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I can’t believe how much more open the space feels – before it was crowded, especially with that space-consuming built in shelf, and now you can see through to the dining room from all parts of the living room. It looks amazing! And it will look even better once we figure out how we want to design our small section of stairs, and how to decorate the column at the end of the stairs. But that will be for a later post!


So you’ve probably gotten a glimpse at the colors we chose for downstairs walls. The living room is a light gray-blue color called Rising Tide and we’re thinking this color will extend up the stairs and be used in the upstairs hallway eventually.

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For the dining room we selected a dark blue-green color called Prussian Cadet. The bottom half of the dining room will be painted in our white trim color (Ultra White), and we’ll be adding a chair rail and decorative wainscoting panels (design to be decided). The kitchen will be a later project for this house, so we haven’t selected a color for in there yet.

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We also repainted ALL the ceilings in both floors of this house (except for the upstairs hallway since parts of that are unreachable, and we might need to hire help to get to all parts of that). What a difference a fresh coat of white ceiling paint looks…I thought we’d have trouble seeing where we’d painted, but it was always very obvious! We went through 5 gallons of ceiling paint, and I have to say my back and I are very glad that project is behind us.


As for upstairs, we picked a muted yellow color for our master bedroom, and a second bedroom if we have enough left over. It’s called Lemon Sorbet. And then we picked a blue-lavender color for 2 other bedrooms called Cool Mist or something like that. It’s a little bluer than I had wanted but it works for bedrooms. Besides the ceilings, only 1 bedroom upstairs has gotten paint so far which Nik’s mom Karen worked on tirelessly…so this is still in progress!

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The rest of the weekend Nik’s parents helped with other projects around the house, and we got the carpets ripped up downstairs in preparation for our floors which finally came in.

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The floors are sitting in the living room acclimating to the air as we speak, so once we get all our baseboards painted with a fresh coat we can get started on those. I love the wood, and I can’t wait to walk on the new floors! I’ll write about them in a later post.

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Ok…I’ve written about enough for today! Next time I’ll write about all the yard/garage/deck work that our parents did while they were in town. I don’t think any hired contractor would work as hard as the 4 of them did while they were here!

Gray and White Dresser

Our next dresser was purchased for $50, and it was a bit larger than we had thought because it barely fit in Nik’s car. It was also super heavy! We finally got this clunker in the door, and decided that although it was quite solid, a lot of the wood wasn’t in great shape for sanding and staining. We decided paint would do the job.

IMG_0310         IMG_0315IMG_0313We sanded it to rough everything up, then primed everything. We had some gray paint left over from Nik’s desk project, but I decided an entire dresser in gray would be very monotone. I thought white trim on the raised areas of the drawers would add some character to the piece. After a long time applying and removing painter’s tape, we finished.

IMG_0393We experimented with sealing this piece with furniture wax, since wax can be successful over flat paint. Wax needs the porousness of flat paint to be able to get into it and cure and seal. Overall, it worked decently. We cleaned up the hardware and put it back on. We sold this dresser for $160.

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