Despite my lack of blog posting, I have been a busy bee working on the house.
I wanted to focus on creating cozy bedroom spaces that were (almost) completely finished so that we could have nice retreat from the chaos of the rest of the house.
When I first moved in, everything (EVERYTHING) was painted a yellowish flesh-tone. The floors were in decent shape, but very dry and in need of some love. The doors were a weird grayish/greenish wood finish.
First things first, I wanted to deal with plastering the ceiling in the bedroom. The ceiling was covered with ugly old ceiling tiles. I applied mesh tape to the seams and then plastered with the pre-mixed wall mud from Home Depot. I was unable to get the ceiling perfectly flat, so I just went for a subtle texture. The subtle texture also helped to disguise the seams between the ceiling tiles.
I had to apply two coats of mud, waiting a few days between coats for it dry (Seattle is a little chilly and damp). Between each coat, I knocked down the high plaster spots.
I also removed all the old curtain hardware, patched holes and replastered some cracks in the walls.
Once the ceiling was plastered and dry, I painted everything flat white. The ceilings, the walls were both painted flat white. The trim and doors were painted the same Behr Ultra White, but this time in semi-gloss.
Then, to perk the floors back up I applied a coat of Restore-a-Finish in dark oak, which is a little darker than the current color on the floors, but it helped disguises scratches better than the golden oak color. I applied the Restore-a-Finish with steel wool, and rubbed with the grain to help clean the floor. I wiped off excess Restore-a-Finish with a rag. Next, I applied a generous layer of Howard’s Feed n’ Wax. It’s a slightly citrus smelling wax, and I really like this stuff. You apply it generously with a rag, and then come back twenty minutes later to wipe off the excess. I actually ended up buffing and wiping the floors down twice after apply the Feed n’ Wax, because the rags kept coming off with residual Restore-a-Finish. After the second buffing/wiping, the floors looked pretty darned good. This whole process took quite a long time, and I really wish I had invested in knee pads before undertaking this project. You live, you learn.
Oh, also, my dad installed both quarter-round and picture molding (not pictured, likely because I am lazy). The quarter round was added where the baseboards meet the floors because there had been carpet, and the area right next to the baseboards was in rough shape. The quarter-round hides the imperfections and just makes everything look so much better and more finished. That was also painted semi-gloss white. Everything was caulked for a seamless look before painting. I also painted the door white, also not pictured.
The picture molding was added to mimic real picture molding in the living and dining rooms. This house is plaster and lathe, which means that if you start putting nails in the walls willy-nilly to hang art (FYI, I like to hang art willy-nilly. It’s the only way I know how.), you will screw up your walls pretty quickly. So I wanted to use caution. The bedroom picture molding is not true picture molding because it doesn’t hold picture rail hooks, but the plan was that you could nail into the picture molding and use that to hang pictures, without putting holes directly in the delicate plaster. So far it’s working.
Both the front and back bedrooms (the two bedrooms on the main floor) received all of this treatment. Except the back bedroom – the ceiling plaster was almost perfect in there, so I didn’t plaster over any ugly ceiling tiles.
I still need to get some yellow curtains – they will be so bright and cheery. I also intend to replace the single-pane windows and to add trim to the windows as well. I believe there used to be beautiful window trim, but the previous owner removed the original trim in the 1950s or 60s to make it more modern (when he redid the kitchen), which is truly a shame. I bet is was gorgeous, craftsman style. Tear.
But at this point, I am so happy with how the ceiling turned out. I also love how white and fresh this bedroom feels. The white walls and ceiling, with the white doors and white bedding. It just makes me so happy. I added a little bit of black and a tiny bit of color, and the crisp white of it all just hits all the right buttons.
So that’s the latest update for you, dear readers, complete with unmade bed shot, so you get the idea.
Stay posted as I slowly get more things finished around the house.