Time to buy a bed

Posted by Steve on Sun, 06/03/2007 - 10:15pm

I can't freakin' believe it. All my tools are back in the shop where they belong, the paint's up, the room is clean, the nine-month saga of the master bedroom renovation.... so OVER!

Okay, there are still a few things left to do: the cabinet drawers and doors, the hallway stained glass windows, the doorknobs. I'll get around to it.

Over the last few weeks I've been finishing up the hallway, the two closets and my outside plantings. There's always a sense of closure when I lay that second coat of paint, especially after a nine month project. I used a wedgewood blue matte finish. It was down to that, salmon or a pale yellow. I couldn't decide so I just closed my eyes and picked one. I like it. It's sorta weird in these shots because the camera makes it look lighter than it really is.

If you haven't followed the saga of the bedroom renovation, this is all new work, not woodwork refinishing. I tried to keep it period though and with the possible exception of the floor, I think it works. No sheetrock and clamshell moulding here!

It's time to reflect back on the lessons I learned. At the top of the list is, don't use engineered floors if you have big, energetic dogs. The floors already look like they're five years old (I'll post some shots later). The engineered floors held up well in my office but I have a plastic chair mat and there's not enough room in there for the dogs to get nuts. I really should have gone with solid hardwood flooring, which would have been cheaper anyway.

Secondly, I'm not sorry that I built that curved plaster corner on the closet. I'd never done one before and I think it's a nice detail. But, man, between the plaster, the baseboard complexities and the cedar paneling inside the closet, I probably spent two weeks just dealing with the annoying geometry.

This room was orginally two bedrooms. The smaller one on the left was probably intended as the baby's room. I converted its doorway into a window opening so the hallway will get light from the south-facing window in that room. It will get a pair of stained glass windows.

Yeah, I know I need door knobs. I actually ordered a whole bunch of amber knobs, locksets and brass plates five years ago but I dropped one on a tile floor, shattering it. No spares either. And now I can't find the company I got them from.

The cedar closet turned out pretty well, even if I can't hold a camera level. What you can't discern from the shot is that there's a six foot wide cedar shoe rack at the bottom/back of the closet.

What you also can't tell from the shot is that closet is actually quite a bit wider than it looks. It extends three feet beyond that intersecting wall, where the old closet used to be, and it's 'L' shaped. My neighbor, Betsy, calls that 'L' my "panic room" but it managed to fit all my retired musical gear, including two huge speaker cabinets.

I've been referring to this project as my master bedroom renovation but it also included the hallway and an existing walk-through closet (also cedar). The hallway walls only have primer on them because my next project is to rebuild the funky and crumbling skylight over the stairs. I'll be breaking out the stained glass tools for that. It's also a bit involved because the only way I can work on the skylight is to build a temporary scaffold.


Posted by JAMES BENGOUGH (not verified) on

how did you remove all the layers of paint off all the interior doors
my home is all painted under id say 8 layers each of paint . I did attempt to heat gun and strip down a bedroom doors but it is just a mess that door is on the porch forever... that bedroom still dose not have a door. if your woodwork was painted how did you remove all paint... what kind of wood is that it glows fantastic color.....the forum is a great resouce I have followed your advice several times so I thank you as well as cs and mellissa you guys have helped me on several projects so far....now all that knob and tube is cut off and removed my attic is done all new insulation I had to remove a prev po idea of insulation it was packing peanuts about 35 bags worth what a pain.... this po had removed most origional woodwork except in one room and a closet... i'm glad that in your place all that woodwork looks intact..you have a house to be proud of .....jb 90 year old house in progress

Posted by Steve on

I had six doors in this renovation, not counting the cabinet doors. However, five of them were either new doors or doors which I'd stripped a couple of years ago. I did the heat gun route first. That removed like 80% of the paint. Then I moved over to chemical stripper (Klean Strip). I wrote an article about my approach to woodwork stripping over on Old House Web which has more detail about it.

The doors are red oak. Actually, I've replaced virtually all of the woodwork in this house. All the wood you see in the bedroom reno for instance is brand new stuff, except for the entry and single closet door.

Posted by james bengough (not verified) on

Hey Steve

still you deserve a vacation amazing work all over... fantastic web set up. as I read more I was amazed that all the woodwork was made in your shop. unreal I had no idea that red oak would look so amazing. I was hearbroken in my house since all orig chesnut wood was removed by prev idiot po. where does one find quality red oak like you did. im in southern new jersey did you purchase such at a specialty wood supply or a big box place.. jb my renovations have slowed way down since suprise of twins wife no longer allowing any renovations ie dust woodworking... not sure when I can start again,, but I would love to do the wall waincotting like you did. would that work in a space like a living room tv area. I have done some furniture building also kayak building but attempting wall work might be a far reach for me but man your results deserve to be in some magazine. publish a renovation coffee table book ie before and after shots.. wow jb......

Posted by Steve on

most of the raw red oak in the bedroom renovation came from the Brooklyn Lowes store. Some of it came from Dykes Lumber as did the plywood and casing (which was the only store-bought moulding used). But, Lowes' raw red oak is nicer than the stuff I get from Dykes. It's Weyerhauser and is so clean, straight and uniform that I wouldn't be surprised if the boards came individually shrink-wrapped.

I can only imagine what new twins would do to my productivity on the house. I know that two new dogs slowed it down considerably and I only have to walk them.

Wainscotting is actually pretty easy. No fancy joinery, no laminating. It's basically just half-by rails/stiles glued/brad nailed to plywood with a cap of some sort and optional bolection (or inlaid panel) moulding.

Thanks for the kind words too.

It looks fantastic - bet you're ready for a nice long rest in a big comfy bed now that it's over with. The curved corner is a great detail, and what fun is a project without a totally pain-in-the-ass challenge?

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on

This is superb, what a great job! It turned out great. Good wood work and good choice of color.

Quick question - what is that little platform on the right bottom corner of the second picture? Any functionality or were you dealing with wires or some other issue? Just curious....

Posted by Steve on

You spotted that, eh? Drat.

Yeah, it's to cover the steam pipe connection running to the radiator under the middle window. The vertical riser elbow is under it. It's packed with fiberglass insulation to protect the wood.

Posted by Sara (not verified) on

I just have to say I love the final outcome of your master bedroom. I like how you did the curved wall in your bedroom by your closet. I have own a row home in the Historic Pullman Neighboor hood here in Chicago. In my living room I have an air lock for the entry and it has a curved wall similar to the one you did in your bedroom. Over the years I can see poor repair jobs coving any moulding that is there. When it comes time to reno that I will have an idea what to do.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by jdizon on

i have a rack (like a shelf) its wire and has 3 little shelves. i think it could probably hold like 20 pairs of shoes!!!! it really nice and sturdy (i sit on it and it holds me) i just keep it on the flore in the closet it dosent take up much space either. i think i got it at target or walmart.i hope this helps!! =) phoenix closet design