Thursday, July 5, 2007

Renovating Bedroom #2

My son has been extremely patient with our schedule in renovating the house. A week ago, we did our daughter's room and now it's time to take care of his room. His room is slightly smaller and also has a smaller closet. Luckily, he has a lot less crap in his room than she had. The morning of July 4, we emptied his room and got ready to renovate it. His room had the original hardwood floor already exposed, and it's in good enough condition that we don't want to mess it up. The original closet bar and shelving was removed, along with the doors and electrical plates. Dig the horrible blue paint in the closet. It's bad in the closet, but it must have been worse on the walls of the room. Yes, all the walls were at one time painted this shade of blue!

Here's a minor irritation for me. The outlets in the house are all grounded outlets, but there are at least two different styles in use. The thing which really gets me is that some outlets have the grounding plug towards the bottom of the outlet, but most are what I consider upside-down. I'm guessing that these were installed for some reason by the previous owner because they are installed with the wires shoved into the push clamps on the back of the outlet. I'd think that most qualified electricians would go "old-school" on it and bend the wire to use the standard screw lug. I used to use the push-clamps until I found the wires slipping out during the installation. No thanks, I'll take the extra time to do it right. (The previous statement was in no means meant to infer that I actually do things right at any given time on any given project)

I'm damn-well afraid of screwing up the existing hardwood floors with paint and texture spraying, so I went overboard to protect them. First was a large paper drop-cloth, followed by the tape and paper edging to protect the base molding and trim. The trim paper was taped down on all seams onto the main paper drop cloth. On top of this I placed a plastic drop cloth, and taped it down around the edges. Yeah, I know paper and plastic drop cloths aren't extremely sturdy. Since I'm the only one who goes into the room until it's painted, I'm not too worried. If I had people in there to help, it'd be covered with a heavier drop cloth. Either way, it's now completely covered.

Not only was the floor covered tightly, the door frame and window molding were also covered in a way that would make sure they were safe. During this process I came to a conclusion regarding painter's tape. BUY GOOD QUALITY TAPE. The blue tape in these pictures is the standard 3M tape you can get at HD, Menards, etc. The stuff works well and sticks until you want to remove it. No surprises, no mess. The purple stuff is tape that isn't worth it's weight in goat carp. This stuff is sold under the "Pro Painter's Plus" name, and was cheap (yeah, I'll admit it). It works OK in taping down the flat seams of paper on the floor, but even on something simple like taping the perimeter of the window frame it shows how bad the quality sucks. The ends won't stick down and the edges keep lifting. As I type this, I throw out the remaining rolls of this crap.

Part of the incentive we gave the kids when it came time to leave the only house they had ever known to move into a fixer-upper was that we would allow them to pick their own room paint colors. Well, we told them that they could pick the color, but we got to pick the shade of that color. That explains the color in my daughter's room. No matter what shade we picked, I'd hate it. Oh well, I don't have to look at it every day. When it comes time to sell this house, we'll paint over it. My son had originally wanted blue for his room, but then changed his mind and picked green. I'm good with that, as we wanted more "earth tones" for the house anyway. He asked for what I consider a lime-green color, which I just couldn't bring myself to allowing. I asked him if he'd rather have more of an "army green" instead, which he loved the idea of (he's 6, so that was almost a given). I have a couple of large color rings from Sherwin Williams and we settled on a couple of different shades. We'll do an accent wall in a slightly darker color than the main room. Which shades? I don't know yet. I'll know when I go to the paint store Friday night. For people choosing a number of different colors for a renovation, I strongly recommend spending $20-30 or so to get these color rings. It really makes picking colors less of a gamble.

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