Believe it or not, I was actually a little sad that we couldn’t keep this fantastic specimen of 1940s wallpaper up in our bathroom. We know ultimately this room will need a pretty serious makeover and it might have been fun to get nostalgic every time we used the commode, but unfortunately the wall paper was covered in a layer of smoke and grime and some other sticky residue that I’m not sure I want to identify. So for those of you who were fans of the gold/pink tile combo, here is one last look at it:
Bathroom before: Gold foiled glory!
Luckily the wall paper came down easily- just pulled straight off the wall with no prep work required. There was another layer of glue that needed to be scrubbed off though- similar to KP’s room. We also had a fair amount of spackling that needed to happen. This bathroom has no vent and between that and possible ice dam damage there is some pretty soft spots in the ceiling. We’re hoping it holds up till we get the chance to do a proper makeover. For now this room is sporting a fresh coat of ultra-white on the walls.
Bathroom with a fresh coat of paint
It really tones down the pink tiles, don’t cha think? Don’t worry- replacing those gold blinds is still pretty high on our to do list!
Next up in the painting projects was our bedroom.
First we had to do some pretty serious prep work to get the room ready.
Before- Bedroom on move in day
Out went the carpet and down came the paneling, exposing a nice hardwood floor along with a wall of thick black adhesive.
Black adhesive behind the paneling
A few hours of sanding with the orbital sander and we had pretty smooth walls. The rest of the room took a good scrubbing and then we were ready to paint.
Once again the Original Killz primer was needed to help block any smoke residue from seeping out. Then a coat of Behr Grass Cloth in eggshell finish went on the walls and the trim and ceiling got a treatment of ultra-white.
Master bedroom with green walls and clean floor.
I really like using the ultra-white for trim and ceilings because I think it gives such a nice pop of freshness and contrast to the colored walls. Just our personal taste.
We debated about removing the popcorn from the ceiling, but ended up deciding it could stay for now. The popcorn finish isn’t exactly our personal taste and if we were putting it in from scratch we wouldn’t add it, but sometimes you just have to pick and choose where to put your ceiling scraping efforts.
Obviously, we still need to finish the heat registers, find a new light fixture, and hang some closet shelves.
Next up in the painting marathon was KP’s room. This room actually took the longest time of any room to prep for painting.
We started by peeling off the wallpaper. It actually came down pretty easy. It seemed to be a pretty high quality fabric type wall covering. Too bad years of smoke and neglect left it growse.
Wallpaper on KP's walls = nasty
Behind the wallpaper was a layer of glue. Hot soapy water, sponges, and elbow grease were required to get that off.
Layer of glue under the wall paper
In process; scrubbing off the glue
While we were at it, we decided to scrape the popcorn texture off the ceiling in this room. It wasn’t hard, but it was pretty messy. We put down plastic sheeting and then used spray bottles of warm water to wet the ceiling. Once the popcorn was wet enough we could scrape it off fairly easily. This left us and the room covered in a mud-like popcorn goop, but the ceiling looks great!
For this room we again primed with Original Killz primer and then put on a coat of Glidden Clear Blue Sky on the walls.
The trim and ceiling got the same ultra-white treatment as the trim in the rest of the house. We were given a hand-me-down dresser for KP, but it needed a little cosmetic work, so we used the same wall and trim paint to give her a custom colored dresser.
KP's room with a fresh coat of Blue Sky paint
Obviously, we still need to finish work on the heat registers, the electrical receptacles, the light fixture, and window coverings, but we think it looks pretty good.
What do you think?
Move in day
Here’s a little math equation for y’all:
Years of smoking inside the house
+ Several years without repainting the walls
– Any substantial cleaning
All the walls in the house need to be painted
Fortunately my parents were kind enough to spend an entire week helping us out or we would still be painting.
We decided to start in the living room/dining room which is basically one large room semi-divided with a large archway. As you can see from the before pictures, these walls were gross. Lots of smoke stains, water discolorations, and patches of patched plaster repairs that had never been painted over.
Because of the smoke residue, our only choice was to first attack the walls and ceilings with a thick layer of Original Killz primer. This stuff is pretty nasty- my advice is to ventilate the room as much as possible if you need to use this stuff. It did the trick though- no more nasty smoke smell/old people odor left here!
Even the priming made things look waaaayyy better.
Once the walls and ceilings had been primed it was time for the fun part- putting new color on the walls. We went with Glidden Antique Silver. In the store we thought it was gray with a tint of blue, but once it was on the walls we decided it was more of a blue with a tint of gray. We think it looks pretty darn good with the wood stain on all the doors, trim, and picture rail trim.
What do you think?
Painted dining room
Painted living room