At long last, unveiling the second bedroom

It only took me a solid three months of work, but the second bedroom is finally finished, save for the decoration and final touches. But the walls are done and painted, the new trim is in place, and the furniture is back in there after being jammed into the small bedroom with everything else for far too long.

Let me just pause for a minute, pour myself a Fat Tire and take it all in.

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Man, I had no idea that this was going to take so long. Like I’ve said before, somehow the same job that took me a week or two in our bedroom before we moved in, took me 3 months in this one. Granted, I wasn’t working every day for 8 hours after work like last November, but I was working long nights sometimes and most weekends at some point. And yet this project seemed to drag on forever.

Here’s a quick rundown of the major things that had to be done in here.

  • All 4 walls scraped down through several layers of paint and wallpaper to bare plaster.
  • Cracks filled, taped and mudded over.
  • Plaster walls skim-coated smooth.
  • Baseboards and trim pulled off and replaced, toe moulding pulled off and reinstalled later
  • Electrical conduit pulled off of wall and ceiling and moved inside wall, new baseboard receptacle added in series to existing baseboard socket.
  • All damaged plaster to be either patched or replaced with new drywall
  • New drywall ceiling put over plaster ceiling.

It took me the better part of a month (or 28 Atlanta Braves games on the radio via my phone) to get the walls stripped bare. After that, every time I thought I had the cracks covered over, I’d sand them down and discover a new place that needed work. And back out came the joint compound. Same thing when I skimmed the walls. Every day for a week or two I thought I’d be finished with mud, only to drag it back out again the next night.

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Bedroom wall skimmed

After finishing the walls, I had to wait for an electrician to handle the few electrical things I needed before I could finish up. The ceiling fan was hooked up to conduit that ran back along the ceiling to the south wall and down to a receptacle, mounted on the wall instead of in it. So we had to remove the conduit, hide the wires and put the socket in the wall.

Plaster conduit

On the other side of the room, there was only one socket, located in the baseboard of the west wall. Since I was taking the baseboards off, I had the electrician install a new receptacle behind the baseboard on the north wall and run it in a series to the existing baseboard socket. That gave us 3 total for the room. This required chiseling out the plaster behind the baseboards around the wall to the new socket location, where the bricks of the party wall had to be cut into to have space for the box.

Baseboard socket

Once we got the electrical stuff done, I had 3 of the 4 walls finished with primer and ready for paint. I was waiting to work on the 4th wall because the plaster was already in bad shape and we had to damage it further to replace all that ugly conduit. Once I got started on repairing the plaster, I quickly reached the conclusion that the plaster was just not worth saving. But plaster is much better for sound attenuation than drywall, so I splurged for soundproofing drywall for that wall that separates this room from the 3rd bedroom. When I do that room, I’ll do the same and put insulation in the wall between the two rooms to try and prevent our children from killing one another one day.

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Then we went to North Carolina last week and came back to a room with the drywall installed on the ceiling and that bare lathe wall. I was going to do the wall myself but we needed to paint when we got back, so I added that to the two ceilings I had Melvin coming to do. After that, I just had to prep for painting by making sure that all the seams were sanded down and ready to prime and paint.

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We got most of the room painted last Sunday right after getting back from North Carolina. Through the rest of this last week, we finished painting and got everything except the new baseboards and trim finished. We chose a light grey for the walls in here, initially settling on a darker shade of grey before deciding that it would be just a tad too dark. And paint typically seems to go on a little darker than the paint cards anyway. We love the color. Also, we paint the ceilings with the same wall color because the helps to hide the crookedness of the ceiling/wall line from house settling and such from being so noticeable. When you have that hard edge of a white ceiling hitting a color, any variations off of true will be easily seen from across the room.

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The last and most enjoyable part for me was cutting and installing the new baseboards and trim. That meant I had an excuse to use my brand new chop saw and my pal Justin’s brad nailer, and the more power tools on a job the more fun it is. I learned a lot about doing trim — especially the over trim that covers the baseboards — but I’ll share that another time. Once I nailed them in, I had to fill the holes with putty, sand and then touch up with our Polar Bear white paint. I saved the toe moulding that went in when our floors were refinished last year, which went back on without a hitch. Everything came out looking pretty nice.

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Ok, enough of the details already! You’re not interested in all of this muckety muck! You want to see the finished product! Here’s a before/after from our first walkthrough of the house in September 2010 to today.

Pre-closing: guest bedroom
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Voila!

I’m waiting on a piece for the ceiling fan that was broken before I can install it, which will hopefully arrive before Friday when my brother and sister-in-law and our three nieces get here. He’s running the Marine Corps Marathon Sunday — his first marathon — and this weekend has been the deadline in the back of our mind since we started scraping the first bit of paint off the wall in July.

There’s still a long way to go with decorating the room, which I’ll save for Rachel to talk about. But the bedspread is going to be the color scheme that will tie everything together. A little black and white with a terrific shade of green thrown in that you might be able to see, similar to the vase on the bedside table.

Anyway, the big project of the summer and fall is essentially complete. I felt such a release last night when we got the furniture moved back in that was almost emotional. All I’d been thinking of for 3 months has been this project and it was finally complete. I had a beer and sat on the bed and enjoyed the moment for bit.

Just for a bit, though. Because I have another bedroom to start in a few weeks. Onward!

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