I love our upstairs bedroom. It has two windows on the south side and one on the west, so it is sunny most of the day. Sitting in bed, there is a small river view, especially lovely at sundown when the land is dark but the water shines silver. On warm summer days I can see boats sailing by and can even recognize a couple of the small rowboats. (Would post a picture but I can’t seem to capture what I see.)
Anyway, I have been working on this room for months, as you know from an earlier post. But at some point I had to stop because the acoustic ceiling needed to be removed and a blueboard with plaster ceiling installed. One room is not enough to bring the plasterer in so once the downstairs bedroom was ready for a new ceiling, we made a date — which turned out to be just two days before the blizzard I posted about earlier this month. Ray and Jason did a great job and then we left the ceiling dry for a week as the weather outside turned frigid.
From that point my job was to finish and paint all the walls so David could put up the two-piece crown molding he designed and routed (down in the dark cellar workroom) to coordinate with the existing molding around the windows. And just like the photo from last time, I faced walls in shambles though please make note of the newly plastered ceiling!
Working with wall board to fill large gaps, followed by plaster for deep holes and then layers of joint compound to fill smaller holes, it took me days to get a smooth wall since joint compound needs to dry and the walls were cold. In the meantime, I painted the ceiling with a brush, putting on two coats of matte linen white. It looks soft as velvet and has a warm glow.
Once the walls dried I gave them a hand sanding, followed by a priming. (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I do not use a paint roller. They leave a texture that I don’t think is right in an old house and I actually like painting with a brush — it’s meditative for me.) After that one top coat. I ended up going with a warm grey that seemed calmer and more elegant than the yellow I had been thinking of.
From there, work on the molding began — all 110 feet of it! Each piece had to be hand sanded, then primed, then sanded and wiped down, then topped with a first coat of linen white in satin. I listened to a lot of NPR and just kept sanding and painting, sanding and painting. When it was done, David put it all up with our wonderful nail gun and then I began the final finishing work.
You can’t just slap a coat of paint on the molding and be done. All the nail holes need to be filled and sanded. Then out comes the caulk gun to fill all the gaps between ceiling and molding, wall and molding and molding and molding — since none of our walls or ceiling are level or smooth. The caulk goes on last because it cannot be sanded.
Final steps were painting the trim with linen white and then putting second coat of grey on the walls. Of course the corner posts are not true vertical so sometimes you have to cheat the paint line a little to make things look straight. It all takes time and lots of patience. And here is what the molding and ceiling look like completed though the color is more like heavy cream.
Last step was to clean the wooden floor. It was already spotted from earlier work so I hadn’t used a drop cloth but the latex I used was pretty easy to scrub up — it was the old residue that required lots of elbow grease. It took two days, with lots of breaks, to get the floor looking decent.
And so I present, that same corner with walls, trim and ceiling completed…I promise the area behind the armoire is totally done too. I know it is not much to look at and that is the irony of a lot of the work on this house. Now it just looks normal or maybe shabby because the three vinyl windows still need to be replaced with old ones and all the trim needs to be scraped, patched, sanded and painted. In the meantime, I have natural linen for curtains all cut out and ready to be lined and hung. Once those are up, they will hide the windows until they get replaced in the spring. For me, this room is heaven. Sunny, calm and cozy. And who wouldn’t want to spend time in a room where the cat (Leo) matches the walls?
I end this post with a better set of images — before and after of another corner of the room. I hope they show that this ugly ducking bedroom is well on the way to becoming a swan.