Friday, November 25, 2011

Color Changes or The Room Redecorating Project from HELL

I am certainly aware that running into problems when embarking on any household improvement is not uncommon. But I would, every single time, rather hear/read about these situations than experience them.

We undertook one of the simplest of household improvement projects on a Friday. As in Friday, November 11. This simple little project--painting a bedroom--quickly turned into the nightmare from hell. Not one single aspect of this two day project went anything less than totally, completely, entirely, wholly, fully, utterly AWRY.

All we had to do is spackle, sand, prime and paint. Simple, right? WRONG.

I remember having difficulty with that dark green paint that DoodleBug picked for that room years ago---she wanted it to resemble something out of Harry Potter. So, because she loves green she chose a dark green for the wall color.

It was darker than that in real life---the picture makes it look brighter than it actually was.

That paint fought us every step of the way. It's almost like it wouldn't adhere to the walls. It was a royal pain in the rear to paint that room but we did it. And she LOVED it and kept it like that all through high school.

Since she's been away at college going on three years now, I decided it was time to redecorate the room. I wanted to keep it in the green family (you know, in case DoodleBug moves back home after college/before finding a job) but lighten it up a bit. I enlisted the aid of Deanie and her Architecture/Interior Design degree and she came up with the color scheme.

We were ready for action.

The room was not.

We busied ourselves with cleaning old paint off the window and door trim---we let the girls help us paint that room so you can imagine how the trim looked--and Hubs noticed that the paint surrounding the trim had become gummy. Tacky. Sticky. So I pulled at it, just a bit, with my finger and guess what? That freaking paint came off like damp wallpaper.

We spackled and sanded--you can see the yellow that Deanie painted the room when Breezy went to college.

See that?! Just like freaking wall paper.
No problem. It was just the area around the trim, right?

Wrong again.

I had to peel that paint off of THREE $#%^ WALLS! T.H.R.E.E.

Why not the fourth wall? Because the paint on that fourth wall won't come off with a dang jack hammer that's why.

That's the wall that held onto that paint like there was no tomorrow!
There might have been much speculation and cursing before I asked the wonderful acrossthestreet neighbor (a contractor and all around nice guy) WTF?!  Apparently, there was either no primer or very bad primer used when the original paint was put on the walls 15 years before we bought the house. And so, after 4 or 5 coats since we've lived here (because the lovelies who shared that room had changing tastes as they grew up) the coats just peel off.

Lovely. And that one wall that the paint won't peel? That was the wall that I painted to resemble water (blue and green sponging technique) when Breezy was in her marine biology phase and the paint I used made some sort of difference. So the paint on that wall wasn't coming off.

The discovery of the peeling situation occurred AFTER we had spackled and sanded all four walls. Which meant that after I peeled those three walls, we had to spackle and sand AGAIN. And then prime. And then paint. UGH.

But, finally, we have a newly painted room! And it only took us 12 days!

Paint off, spackle on (again) and sanding complete (again).

Primer on and dry!
Tucker was unimpressed with the entire process.
Though he did offer a hand every once in awhile!
WAIT! What's that under the drop cloths?!

It's just me Mom!
The walls were finally primed! It was time to paint!

Wet paint!
Since Deanie thought we should try a beachie atmosphere in the room, Hubs discovered this old head board in the garage at his mother's house. But it had to be stripped and painted. Thanksgiving week. Good grief.

I already had to strip and paint this piece AND the bedside table. Why not add the headboard?

This is what we have so far. Tucker has already claimed it as his room.

The curtains are not up yet and I'm changing those blinds. BUT, not too shabby for a couple of empty nesters who ran into a crap ton of problems and didn't finish until the day before Thanksgiving, eh?

What did I learn? Never, and I mean NEVER, begin a project anywhere NEAR the holiday season! NEVER.



  1. The finished project is absolutely beautiful! Nice color! I am so sorry you had such a horrid time with those walls. Reminds me of a house we moved into years ago that had (unbeknownst to us) calcimine? on the walls, which means that no paint would adhere. It would simply peel off after a few hours. It took the same kind of work as yours. If I'd known ahead of time what we were getting into, I probably would have simply torn out the plaster and lath and started over by putting on new sheetrock first!

    It's warm here in Texas. Nice break with our daughter and SIL before diving into winter in WI.

    Have a good weekend! Tucker is soooo sweet!! How did he avoid painting with his tail?? I can see my dogs leaning up against a wall and transferring paint everywhere!

  2. Glad it's finally the color.

  3. Don't you hate it when a job that you think is going to take no time at all, ends up being a real pain in the b..!! I did smile when reading this post, but I can imagine that it didn't really give you and hubby much to smile about. What an absolute pain! It looks lovely now. I love the colour green and I really do love the colour of the headboard and bedside cabinet. Love the way that Tucker has claimed it for his own!!

  4. Wow, the room looks great!!

    But, you have scared the crap out of me. We are getting ready to paint a room that is currently Brown, chocolate and we are going to lighten it up. I figure it will be easy, I am scared, very scared!

  5. Holy Moly - what a transformation! I really like the new color, very soothing!

  6. Judy-I'm so glad y'all got to go to Texas! Our Texas gal is coming home on the 18th and I can't wait!!! Hubs absolutely considered ripping everything out and starting over with new sheet rock. Gladly, it didn't come to that but it was a royal PAIN! Tucker never got one bit on him or anything else. Unlike Hubs and myself who got it everywhere! LOL Safe travels home my friend!

    skinny-Thanks! We're glad too. LOL The color is so soft. Breezy and BestSonInLawEVER are staying in there this weekend and they love it!

    Diane- I do hate it when that happens. But, this time, I held it together and we did get it done. We didn't smile too much but, as we got closer to finishing we did. And we kept a good attitude. Well, most of the time. LOL Deanie did a great job picking out the colors- I can't do that. I always get something I hate. Nice to have a daughter who can though! Thanks!

    Lucy- Thanks! OMG I hope y'all do NOT have any trouble at all! It should be fine as long as you prep right! You can do it!!!

    Nicole- Thanks! You're right, it is soothing! I've got to head your way and see how things are going for you!

  7. It looks really great. But what a pain in the butt! It is the same at my house - every simple little project ends up morphing into a massive nightmare.

  8. I'm just glad you finally got it finished. But it sounds like you shoulda been on a episode of Renovation Realities on TLC.

  9. That's great advice! I'm planning to redo my daughter's graffiti-art covered bedroom walls before she comes home for at Christmas. Maybe I'd better get started on it now!

  10. Kim-Thanks! I know what you mean! Just once I'd love to have a project go smoothly! Maybe all those people who claim to have no issues are lying? LOL

    Michele-Maybe we should have been on Married Couples who are Committed During Home Renovations? LOL

    Kara-Indeed you should begin right away! And keep your fingers crossed! Good luck!

  11. Calling by to play catch up after completing our olive harvest, only to discover we are not the only ones who have been working hard! The hard work has paid off though love the new colour scheme.

  12. LLM-Thanks so much! Olives---how do you not eat instead of harvest? LOL

  13. love the little chest...
    sorry it was such a boogerbear to get done...
    bet you were exhausted for Thanksgiving...hope you were able to enjoy Turkey day

  14. This sounds like something that would happen to us. At least it turned out very nice!

  15. I love the final result - it's absolutely lovely! I'm sorry to hear about all the hard work, but it paid out well! I love the little chest.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Enjoy your Day!

  16. Oh Me oh My...I do hate when that happens. Seems like it happens way too much around these here parts! the final result is sheer tranquility! Love those Designing Daughters!


  17. I love the new colour you chose and think your redecorating job, although ending up being much bigger than you'd intended, has turned out so well! Definitely worth all the stress and trauma :)

  18. I cannot believe all that you had to do! The room looks beautiful, what a difference.

  19. The room looks fantastic. Will you stick to your pledge never to do a reno before a holiday? That's when we always end up doing ours LOL

    Love your combination of beachy colors. One of our bedrooms has the same colors only in reverse - sand-colored walls and green linens. Did I mention that you obviously have great taste?

  20. The new room looks beautiful. Why is it that paint never peels off the walls first? Remodeling is always a hassle, but worth it when the results are as good as yours!

  21. Hi Pam - I found you through a comment you made to Michele, the Bodacious Boomer.
    First, I love your blog - and admire that you did all that renovation work and THEN cooked Thanksgiving dinner!

    I'd like to add my request for the recipes for the gluten-free part of your meal please :-)

    Michele says 'hi' and I look forward to checking in again
    Janet NZ :-)

  22. Love the color! Love the room!
    Years ago, the day before we were having a party, my husband and I decided that the bathroom looked to plain and needed wallpaper. He pretty much did all the work himself since I was busy doing the last minute cooking and cleaning for the party. And who would have left our party thinking, "My their bathroom looks so plain! How can they live with themselves?"
    Glad you got yours done (or nearly)!

  23. skoots-I thought I would be exhausted for Thanksgiving but I started jogging in the mornings and I had those wonderful endorphins so it was all good! Thanks so much!

    Shirley- It's never an easy road, is it? Thanks- I thought it turned out nice too! Very soothing and, most importantly, it's OVER! LOL

    Eva- It was a pain but we are happy with the results! And with the fact that it's all done! Thanks!

    Sush- It really isn't ever easy, is it? Pretty sure that if it was, we'd think something dreadful was afoot! LOL

    Betty- My hubby hates it too. And he REALLY hates it when something like this happens! He was a bit cranky but it turned out fine. And we're all enjoying it! Even Tucker! LOL

    Desiree- Thank you so much! It did take forever and that old paint was a pain but we are happy now! And it really turned out nicely! Thank you so much!

    Debby- We couldn't believe it either. LOL Thanks so much!

    Stephanie- YES! I will stick to it, especially if I have to do all that dang cooking on top of everything! LOL What can I say---great minds, think alike! :)

    Darlene- I know, right?! It would be so much easier if it did! LOL Thanks!

    Janet- I'm so glad you stopped by! Don't you just love Michele?! How great is she!!! I will have to do a post about the recipes for everyone who is interested! Look for it sometime next week! Thanks!

    Laura- Oh gosh, I am laughing so hard! Really, who would have thought that? LOL Too funny! It's all about the timing, and ours is rarely good around here! Thanks so much!

  24. Your room turned out beautiful, truly beautiful!! All that work, WOW~~
    Want a story? We bought out house, Oct 88, the livingroom was to big (how can a livingroom be too big, it was just a few months since driving truck and we lived in a 8x8 box), anyways, we always host New Year eve and on Christmas Jim decided to build a new room off the livingroom, a 8x14 gun room. Before we even started that meant removing the woodstore, a new ceiling, new wallls, a door, paneling, carpet and .... why in the world he decided to do this and I let him I will never know but you know what, dinner was at 6, at 5:30 we finished it and had dinner on the table at 6. It is still there, amazing room with more fun guns and more but I will always remember that week.
    Have a blessed weekend Pam. Take care!!

  25. Julie-Why is it that we get our timing so dang wrong?! LOL Glad yours turned out great too!

  26. Groan.... At least you didn't give up, and ended up with a beautiful room at last. It made for a GOOD STORY.

  27. Oh my word! I like the new soft color though : ) Well done!

  28. Rosemary- I think that's the one good thing about doing it so close to a big holiday-we couldn't give up! LOL Thank you!

    Joyce- It was just hell girl! Thanks! I like it too. It looked good going on AND when it dried. Usually, if I chose the color, I end up hating it. Now, we just let Deanie decide! Thanks!

  29. You did a wonderful job! I hope Tucker will enjoy his room. Wendell wants to know if that's where he can stay if he visits. :)

  30. Oh- I forgot to tell you hubby's saying. He says that everything always takes twice as long and costs three times as much. Maybe that's 3x as long and 2x the price. Oh, well! You get the point!

  31. Patrice- Either way, the saying FITS! Tell Wendell that of course he can stay in the room! I think he'll love it...especially after I fill it with carrots! LOL

  32. Heathcliff, Bonny, Toby and the Rescue pupsNovember 27, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Please tell Tucker we'd love to play with him! We'll show him how to swim in the pool, too. It's easy once you know which side the steps are.

  33. He says GREAT! And sends lots of puppy hugs and kisses!

  34. When we moved into our house my daughters room was all dark green - the wood work, the ceiling - even the closet! It was like walking into a cave!

    I thought I would try to paint it yellow, but seriously underestimated the dark color of the green so that when I was done it kinda looked like loose boogers from a baby color - ew!

    We ended up having to hire a professional to fix it, and now almost 11 years later, that was my last painting project!

  35. I think it looks great!! Love the colors and I love that you were able to repurpose some old furniture.

  36. Biz- I think that, once we try to do these things by ourselves, we maybe can understand why painters charge so dang much money...LOL

    Jessica-Thanks girl! I love using the old furniture. Bedroom suits don't...well, suit me. LOL


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