Sunday, February 3, 2013

And the Guest Room Progresses

Happiness is a project complete! 

And boy, are my knees happy that the flooring in the spare room is done.   As am I! 

The poor spare room has been under renovations for a year and a half.  Admittedly, I have been picking away at it.  Now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I think it’s time to abandon picking and start getting’ her done!  The looming deadline for completion isn’t conducive to procrastination anyway.

In seven short weeks this year’s round of house guests will begin with my niece coming to stay with me while her parents are away.  My daughter and grandchildren will also be here around the same time.  The Ostara bunny will be dropping in for the first time in ages and ages and there will be feasting and egg hunts and fires and labyrinth walks and a general celebratory welcoming of Spring.  A functioning spare bedroom is going to come in handy.

It all started in October of 2011 when I had the bright notion of fixing up the spare room, getting rid of the painted over wall paper, the old carpeting and bringing it into the 21st century.  I thought that it would be a relatively simple renovation that would be done in a few months (even picking away at it). 

Wallpaper had been painted over with a bright green latex.
It took weeks to steam it all off.
Under the 35-year-old carpet was this nightmare!  
As it was, it took weeks to steam the wallpaper off the walls only to discover that the wall was in terrible shape and getting it to a paintable state was not going to be easy.  I finally had the brilliant idea to texture the walls.  Never having done that before, I had no idea that it would involve several tedious steps of preparation to achieve.  Before I could even think about working on the walls, though, I had to pull up the carpeting.  What lay beneath it was a veritable nightmare!  There was no way that I could just lay new flooring over it.  It was a mess.  I wanted to cry.

Having reached and passed the Rubicon, I had no choice but to carry on.  So I filled and sanded, and filled and sanded.  And filled and sanded some more.  Every time I thought that I had found and fixed all the bad spots, I’d turn around and find some more.  For such a little room, the walls were unbearably mangled.  Even now, there are a couple of nasty spots in the closet that I now plan to cleverly hide with a well-placed closet organizer. 

Once I’d had my fill of the filling and sanding, I had to prime the walls – with oil-based primer!  Yuck!  I hate working with oil-based paint.  Finally I could start applying the texture.  It went really well and I was thoroughly pleased with the results.  But then I had to prime again.  With more oil-based primer.  More yuck. 

At last, I could put some colour on the walls.  I chose Sassafras, a delightful medium green to match the stitching on the incredibly fun and funky blanket from India that I bought just for the spare room.   Painting the textured wall took forever.  And a lot of paint.  I really don’t mind painting at all, but this was proving to be an enormous job.  I was beginning to think that the retro 70’s look wasn’t so bad after all.

I wasn’t at all sure that I liked the colour of the walls.  It was darker than I anticipated, much better suited to a feature wall than to an entire room.  I turned out the light, shut the door and decided to sleep on it. 
After a good night’s sleep, the colour didn’t seem all that bad.  Once the flooring was in and the trim on and some curtains up, it would be fine.  Right?

This brought me to the flooring.  The only way to solve the problem with the horrible mess was to install a sub-floor right over the top of the whole thing.  Two and a half hours and four sheets of Enstrong later, I had accomplished just that.  It looked more like a jigsaw puzzle with all the weird angles and notches and my not-so-steady hand at cutting, but it was way, way better than what was there originally.  On to the flooring itself.

I chose Drop and Done vinyl flooring.  What a fabulous product this stuff is!  You just put it in place and that’s it. 

Honestly, though, another six hours on my hands and knees measuring and cutting and fitting was enough to know that this is definitely not a career my wrists and knees could ever be paid enough to do.  I ache all over.
Much - MUCH! - better.

But what a happy ache it is!  The floor looks great and the paint looks fantastic with it. 

There is one minor hurdle in getting through the next step, though.  I don’t quite have enough money to buy my mitre saw to cut the trim with.  So, I’ll have find one to borrow for now.   


  1. Wow - fabulous job! And isn't that vinyl flooring just the best! We put it in the trailer this year, and love it!


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