A few weeks ago, I posted about starting the next room on updating the house after doing a bathroom a few months ago. This room was a menagerie of woe, with horribly painted baby-blue walls and pink trim. It was the one room in the house that just looked bad. I can’t stress enough how badly painted the room was, with so much paint on things that shouldn’t have been painted, so many bad colors, so many holes in the wall and so many nails that had been painted over more than once. Since the house was built in 1990, this room has had been white, yellow, bright purple, hot pink, pink and two shades of blue. It felt very much like a twelve-year old had been given free reign with a paint roller and no supervision. Add worn-out carpeting, and this room was next up on the list to do.

First up was tearing out the carpeting, removing baseboards and tack strips and a whole day’s worth of removing old paint from the window frame, pulling painted over nails and filling holes.

Being me, this job wasn’t going to be done without painting the closet and ceiling, because having six difference shades of white on the ceiling in the house drives me nuts. Closets are no fun to paint. After some bonding primer and paint, the room looked like this. While I cut in around the ceiling by hand, I decided to try taping around the trim. That was a mistake. It may have been quicker, but the textured walls result in an inferior line than what I can do free hand. Cutting in by hand also lets me practice my zen...

The result was orders of magnitude better, even without a floor. All the outlets and light switches got replaced, and I even went fancy and did an outlet with USB ports for devices.


It took me several days to pull the trigger on a paint color for this room. Many samples were bought. This is the boldest color I’ve ever painted a room. While I like the result, especially once every thing was done, but doing it again I would probably go one shade lighter on the color.

Next up was the first of two trips for flooring. Of all places, Sam’s Club had the laminate flooring I ended up going with. 12mm thick, plus 2mm thick padding attached, AC4 commercial traffic rating, looks good and well under $2 sq/ft. Eventually, this will be everywhere in the house that doesn’t have tile. It turns out that 50 boxes of flooring for 1400lbs, plus the weight of the shell and couple of people works out to about the payload rating of the truck. All 92 boxes could’ve physically fit in the truck, were I willing to overload it by more than 50%... A week later, we did a second trip to get the rest of the flooring, preventing the possibility of not being able to find matching material down the road.


Over the next week after work, I put down a vapor barrier and laid out the floor. Part of me feels like a vapor barrier over a 28 year old slab in Southern New Mexico isn’t actually necessary, but I followed the directions and put one down anyway. The flooring was pretty easy to put down. It turns out the hardest part was making sure I wasn’t getting into a pattern for how joints lined up, and my brain apparently really likes to make patterns. After about a 1/3 the room, it really clicked for getting a feel for how the floor would lay out and how to deal with doorways.


The room got new hardware and a light filtering shade (this is the only window that looks out front, and the German Shepard doesn’t need to see everything that moves out side).

Eventually all the hardware in the house will be brushed nickle. The original stuff in the house was 1990tastic shiny brass, and for some reason the previous owner had replaced only about half of the hardware with oil-rubbed bronze stuff. It is weird. It is mismatched with the remaining original hardware, and the oil rubbed stuff isn’t period correct, doesn’t really go with the style of the house, and didn’t match with either her color scheme or ours.


After reinstalling the original baseboards, I decided I needed to add some quarter round to ensure that no gaps are visible should the floor shrink some in the winter. Finish carpentry is a bitch, and it felt like all the baseboard work took longer than it should have. I’m not satisfied with how the quarter round looks, so I’ll find a thinner molding for use in the rest of the house. I really only needed maybe a 1/4" more material to feel good about not seeing gaps in the future.

Again, taping along the wall was a mistake. I should’ve cut that in by hand.

Putting the closet doors on this morning, I found yet more pink paint left on something that shouldn’t have ever gotten paint on it. I spent some quality time with a razor blade and goof-off while watching the Italian Grand Prix this morning. Never go full pink.


Shelby approves of the final result.


Still outstanding are getting the cushion for in front of the window reupholstered and some simple curtains. I’m looking forward to when the rest of the house looks something like this. Going room by room, this will probably be my hobby for the rest of the year.