Pulling back the curtain on the nursery. Halfway.

If you keep tabs on me via Flickr or Facebook, you’ve seen the evidence popping up there already, but the nursery is finished.


We’re finished, but we can’t totally wrap things up and decorate just yet because I’m going to be using the attic access to take all the insulation out of the attic and blow in new stuff. So it’ll still be a dusty mess in the coming weeks. Not that it stopped me from mopping tonight and getting it all cleaned up, but whatever.

I took care of the last few finishing touches this morning after getting dressed for work (wearing my spacesuit!) and tonight, wrapping up the last and what’s been the most enjoyable part of this whole project: redoing the closet with new shelves.

That’s because like 99% of the work of these room projects involves scraping or sanding of some kind. Scrape the paint, scrape the wallpaper, apply the mud, sand the mud, scrape the paint off the trim, carefully scrape more paint off the trim, sand the trim, paint the trim. Rinse and repeat.

After moving my hand back and forth over various surfaces for the better part of 2 months, it was nice to get to do something else that required a little thought and brain work.

Before, the closet had one shelf way up high, with a clothes rod hanging below it. Back in the 2nd bedroom, I opted to paint over the wallpaper in the closet (who would really notice anyway?) and leave the shelves where they were at. (One more instance proving my recent hypothesis that every single project gets done better than the last one. More on that some other time.)

In here, I was thinking I’d do the same thing, but the closet was just so small that it seemed dumb not to try and scrape it down and redo the surfaces before painting. I guess I felt less pressure to finish by a certain day, since we still have 4 months before it needs to be totally done.

Nursery closet scraped 50%DSC_0028

Once I scraped it down and skimmed it out, I had this great blank slate to work with, so I did a little brainstorming to try and set up the closet in such a way that it would be useful now for a small child and then perhaps one day for a teenager (or pretty much anyone that wears clothes longer than 12 inches hanging from a rod.) The key seemed to be flexibility and having two locations where you could put a hanging rod, even though we’re only putting in one right now.

Here’s my rough sketch from my trusty house notebook that’s always with me.

I took the closet door off to strip it down, but after taking it off, we decided that it was silly to have a door on a closet that’s this shallow and narrow. Rachel is going to do something with a nice curtain instead. But that meant that the closet may often be open, so it was important to have a little detail on the shelf.

I got a new (40-year-old) router that belonged to Rachel’s grandfather for my birthday from her parents. I can’t remember ever using a router before, so I thought I’d break it out for the first time and see what I could do to make the shelves a little bit more interesting rather than just tossing in flat boring pieces of wood sitting on plain 1x supports.

Shelf building

I used 1x6s to make the supports for the two shelves that can or will have hanging rods below, and then trimmed some 1x4s in half or so to make supports just for the end for the shelf-only locations. Then I took the router and just put a nice bevel and curve on the bottom edge of the 1×6 supports. I put the same bevel in the front edge of the 1x12s that I used for shelving to make everything match and hopefully give the shelves a little character.


I put the last coat of paint on the shelves this morning before work so I could come home today and put them in, clean up and feel a bit of accomplishment. Here’s how it all turned out, with the closet rod installed on the bottom shelf.s


There’s still a tiny bit of work to do in here. I need to strip the transom itself, but I can do that down in the basement. And there’s a serious issue with the inside of the door jamb that I’m trying to figure out how to address without taking out the entire jamb, which also means resetting the transom. I think the door got kicked in at some point and demolished the jamb.


There are a few things that need a little touch up of paint, and I’ll be building a radiator box and some shelves in here, so we’ll still have some work to do in the coming month.

We’ve come a long way in here since Rachel first walked in the room that would one day be our little girl’s room, all the way back in September of 2010, wouldn’t you say?

Pre-closing: small bedroom

One last thing.

All throughout this process, I’ve been leaving notes on studs inside walls and behind things that maybe one day someone  will uncover and find read when they’re redoing this house long after our family is gone from here. But this room is special for us, and I did something different. Instead of writing to some future person I’ll never know, I wrote a short message to a future person that I will know soon. I wrote a message to my baby girl somewhere that I hope she’ll find one day.

There’s no picture of that, in case you’re wondering.

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