Bedroom Renovation Project #1

The other day I posted about our bedroom renovation project. We had ripped up the carpet, pulled up the plywood covering the floor underneath, and stripped wallpaper and painted the walls.

Old wallpaper and brown leaky chimney

If I forgot to mention it, we had asbestos testing done on all of the walls in our house before any wallpaper was scraped. I had 3 samples professionally taken. Then I copied our professional’s work and tested the rest of the walls. It just involves taking a piece of the wall layers, placing them in sealed plastic bags, filling out some forms and sending them off to a testing lab. They all came up negative! Asbestos can be found in plaster, and in vinyl floors (we found some in those – but that’s for another day).

Nasty old brown carpet – still more to tear up in the rest of the upstairs!

Then we cleaned out the closet, and removed the rest of the furniture and contents from the room.

The room before – the chimney stain was only just beginning – see top left.

The fun work has finished. (Was there fun work?) Well, I enjoy the reveal. Like when we stripped the wallpaper, filled the holes and put on fresh new paint. Like when we pulled up the plywood covering the floor, and then there was actually pine flooring underneath.

Old pine floor under thick plywood, under carpet

Next came some boring and unpleasant work. We had the roof around the chimney caulked, and the wall patched and repainted, some nasty sticky brown stain bled through the new paint. We may not have solved the problem. We will see, but we applied some sealer over the spots where the stain came through. We researched which would be the best primer or sealer to put over the stain – and then I bought the on-sale primer -Zinsser Bin Primer Sealer. “High performance white-pigmented shellac. Best sealer for new wood, wallboard, cured plaster and all porous surfaces. Blocks out all stains, water marks, knots, sap streaks, wood tannins, graffiti, grease, crayon, etc. Seals smoke & fire damage, permanently sealing off odour. Interior Only. Fastest dry time, can be topcoated in 45 minutes. Use with oil or latex paints.” That sounded promising – and I was able to purchase just a one litre tin. It went on smoothly – and dried in the promised 45 minutes – but I needed 3 coats before I stopped seeing the stain bleed through again. Maybe it was just that the primer – although white – was meant to be transparent and didn’t cover the brown colour. Finally, I applied a new top coat of paint.

Guess what? So far so good. No more sticky stain has bled through the new paint yet – AND – we have had a fair bit of rain. Keep your fingers crossed please!

The paint colour was supposed to be the lightest grey with a touch of blue. I am trying to use a warm off-white throughout the house to keep it neutral. In the bedrooms, I’m keeping as close to off-white as possible – but with a bit of colour. As this room is for one of the boys potentially – I stuck to blue-grey. Unfortunately, in some lighting – it looks a tad too baby blue. Not always, but sometimes.

Then, we patched and painted the original trim. It’a not the 10″ stuff in the downstairs, this is only about 7″, but worth keeping.

Original 7″ baseboards needed a lot of filler and paint

Then the really big, nasty job. We sanded the pine floor – with masks, just using an orbital sander. We felt that a big heavy rental floor sander might shake the ceiling below too much. The dust was everywhere, but after a lot of vacuuming and sweeping and a few days of settling it’s all good. We left the surface fairly rough, because we want to have an old barnboard type of look with lots of texture. Then we applied minwax stains – I used Golden Pecan with a bit of Cherry.

Golden Pecan

Then after a few days of drying we applied Minwax Polyshades again in Pecan over the whole floor.

Minwax® PolyShades® enhances wood grain by combining beautiful rich stain color and long-lasting polyurethane protection in one easy step. It can also be used over polyurethane finishes, so you can change the color of your finished wood, without removing the existing finish.” We applied 2 coats in satin. It had a 6 hour drying time, and voila – finished!

It turns out that the most unpleasant and difficult job was trying to re-hang the heavy wooden door. The hinges had torn out of the wall, so we had to fill the old nail holes with some wooden dowels, fill with wood-glue, and then redrill the hinge screws. Three trips to the hardware store, buying different types of screws and wall plugs, and finally it was the wooden dowels and glue that worked.

Wood dowels for in the old holes in the door frame
Wood glue around the dowels to fill in the rest of the holes
Filling the holes
Stuffing in those dowels

All we have left to do is the less interesting work of applying quarter-round molding to around the floor, painting the window and closet, and hanging a new blind. Oh, and it would be nice to buy some furniture, but that can wait ’til we see what we need.

The floor – after
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So there, it is. A simple 9 by 12 foot bedroom in a 126 year old house. Floor uncovered, sanded, stained and sealed. Wallpaper stripped, stains sealed, walls painted, trim filled, scraped and painted, and ready to go. Just a few more details, and then some character seriously needed.

I hope you liked this reno story. I plan to post once per room completion, in between my regular posts.

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