Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sitting Room Transformation - Part I

Every now and again we detour away from the cute kid photos and venture back into what this blog was originally intended to be - house related (hence the blog title)!  Today is one of those days and I've been so excited to share our new master bedroom sitting room transformation, but life has been crazy these past few weeks.  So, here goes... 

You may recall that earlier in August,  I became a google addict/Pinterest maniac on the topic of board & batten and wrote a bit about my desire to use the wall treatment somewhere in our house.  I was obsessed with the look and managed to convince Nick that it would look perfect on the big blank canvas of a wall that was in our master bedroom sitting area.  The wall was just calling for some love and attention!  This area has been relatively neglected during the 2+ years that we've lived in the house.  The only time it got any use was back when Georgia was just a baby and we kept her over there because she was such a noisy little sleeper!

Since that time, it's been mostly an empty space.  Once we moved Georgia's rocker into her bedroom, it's lacked any real furniture except a random table, desk and chair.  Since Georgia is up while Nick gets ready in the morning, we had most recently used it as a play space for her to occupy herself without getting into trouble.  It was close enough to hear/see what she was doing, but far enough away for her to be independent and play by herself for a few minutes in the morning.

We finally decided it was time to do "something" with the space, so Nick and I went furniture shopping a few weeks back and picked out a few new pieces for the room.  The only issue is that we both agreed they would look better with a white wall behind them (all part of my master plan!) verse our Benjamin Moore gray walls.  The furniture delivery date was set, so we had one week to get our buns in motion!

The master bedroom sitting room wall - BEFORE pic (with Georgia's play kitchen still hanging out)

When we were thinking about the project, the first thing we had to decide was how tall we wanted the treatment to be on the wall.  Our bedroom ceilings are pretty high, so we thought we'd go up about two-thirds of the way to the ceiling.  We decided that even numbers were our friend since lots of measurements were going to be involved in this project, so we decided to use 6 feet up from the baseboard as our starting point.  The second main issue was figuring out what to do about the baseboard.  We didn't want to rip it out, but we knew the boards/slats were going to be much thicker than than bottom board and we didn't want to have to deal with angling the boards or tapering them into the current baseboard.  So, while we were in Home Depot, we decided to add extra molding to the baseboards to make them thicker and much more easier to work with for us newbies.

We also had to decide how far apart we wanted our vertical boards.  After eyeballing the electrical outlets (and knowing we wanted to avoid involving them in any way/shape/form) and looking at pictures online, we decided to put about 15-16 inches between our boards.  We had to know this before the Home Depot trip so we would know how much wood we would need to purchase.  

Finally, we had to figure out what we wanted to do about capping the vertical boards.  Initially, we thought we might just put a horizontal board across or some decorative molding, but Nick thought a thicker shelf might be the perfect space to put some pictures or decorations in the room.  He was soooo right!  

On Saturday morning, we headed off to Home Depot to get all of our supplies.  We ended up purchasing:
 9 - primed 1x3.5 mdf boards (to serve as our vertical slats) 
2 -  primed 1x1 mdf boards (to add to the baseboard)
1 -  long piece of primed chair rail molding
1 - 1x3.5 primed pine board (to serve as our shelf)
Lots of painter's caulk, wood glue, sandpaper and nails.  

We had the guys at Home Depot trim down the 9 mdf boards to save us time, as well as to make sure they were all the correct length.  Having Home Depot cut the boards was a fabulous tip that many people recommended online and we fully agree.  

Of course, just as we were about to walk out of Home Depot, we realized that we forgot to bring our white paint sample with us.  We had decided to paint the wall and boards the same color as all the other woodwork in the house and our builder had given us a sample to use for touch-ups when we moved in back in 2011.  So, back to Home Depot I went after unloading our first carload of materials while Nick started the work.  Home Depot didn't carry our specific paint brand, but was able to color match our builder's sample to their paint/primer product.

Once I got back from the second Home Depot trip, the first step was to prime and paint the wall where the treatment was going to go up...

We taped off the area where we were going to be working - 6 feet up from the baseboard

Since painting is a "quiet" activity, it coincided with Georgia's naptime. 

An atypical sight in our house - usually Papa Kevin is the official house painter!!!

After several coats of primer/paint, the wall looked ready for some wood!

From here on out, you're going to have to excuse the horrible pictures, but we were using lots of extra lighting since this project went into the night hours!

Next, Nick installed the "extra" baseboard (the 1x1 mdf boards) approximately 1 inch up from our original baseboard.  Before installing it, he had to cut the boards to size to fit the wall.  He used a miter box and hand saw to cut the ends of the boards at a 45 degree angle so the seam would overlap in the middle of the wall.  He was super excited to get to use the nail gun that came with the air compressor I gave him for Christmas a few years ago.  I'm fairly certain that was the only reason he even agreed to get into this project with me!

We were pretty psyched about the idea for the extra base board because tapering off 9 different pieces of wood sounded extreme and a huge pain!  I'm sure we could have gotten Home Depot to do the cuts for us and lots of people had done it online with success, but we decided this look worked better for us.

Installed and ready to serve as the new base for all the wood slats

The next part moved so fast.... Nick cut a piece of wood to the exact length of the space we wanted between the slats so that we would be exact in our spacing.  Our "spacer" worked great.  I applied the glue and Nick nailed in the slats as we worked our way down the wall.  I did a quick check with a level before Nick would fire up the nail gun and down the wall we went...

It was at this point that I may have made some comments about us getting in over our heads because it just didn't look all that great.  It was definite progress, but there were huge gaps between the wood and the wall, lots of nail holes and lots of patching that was needed.  Nick talked me off the ledge and convinced me that all would be okay once we caulked everything and sanded it all down.  

All the slats up on the wall!

At this point, we were ready to cap off the top with our chair rail molding.  Nick had measured the wall, checked it twice and then checked it again before we went to Home Depot.  Again, we had the guys there cut down the piece of molding so it perfectly fit the wall.

We (aka - I) weren't entirely convinced about adding the additional shelf on top, so we decided to start caulking and filling holes without it.  It was also getting late and Georgia was heading to bed, so we needed to move to a more "quiet" activity for the next few hours.  I'll admit - this was NOT my favorite part of the project.  However, I became one with my caulk gun and ruined a perfectly good gel manicure in the name of house design advancement.  We then sanded and painted everything over again.

At this point, we had a debate as to whether to use a roller on the boards and wall or just the paint brush.  We tried both out and decided that we preferred the paint brush strokes over the roller, especially on the boards.  Nick actually went back and re-sanded a few parts again and put on another coat of paint because several of the boards really needed it.  At the conclusion of the project, Nick determined that if we were ever going to do something like this again, we would use wood putty to fill in the large holes, sand it down and then put the caulk to fill in the seams.

Filling holes, filling holes, filling holes

My dream wall was looking a tad beat up at this point with lots of caulk and wood putty!

We called it a night at this point and decided we'd look at everything with a new set of eyes in the morning.  I had signed up to run a 5K on Sunday morning, so it was time to shower and order a pizza before catching some well earned sleep after a long day!

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