Friday, January 30, 2015

Dining room transformation

It's hard to believe we have lived in our house for almost a year now. We have had so many changes and still working on some future plans.  This is what our dining room looked like the day we moved in. The chandelier was beautiful but way to big, I was able to sell it on Craigslist for quite a bit of money because it was real crystal. I remember I was able to buy a new light and use the rest for other lighting.
This picture was from a couple months ago. I painted it a light beige initially but it never looked right with my gray Revere Pewter walls, so I just decided to paint it all RP since my house is so open it looks better all being the same color in the entrance. It looks much better in my brain when I look at it now so I am happy. Next I wanted wainscoting under the existing chair rail, let me say it was the biggest pain ever. We did not want to remove the existing chair rail thinking it would be easier, save money, and wouldn't ruin the wall after removal. Once the plan was made we discovered the wall was uneven in certain spots amongst other issues. Rob and I had a few words about all of this, lol. We weren't really mad it was just very time consuming it took almost a month of figuring out how to do the molding, what would look best, and then all the finishing work. On top of our normal day to day life, it was a mess.

I initially thought maybe it would be easier just to do faux painted walls with board and batten. Since we live in TX textured walls are the norm, can I tell you I'm not a fan!! Maybe I am not used to them but I really don't like textured walls but for us to remove them all would be ton's of work so I'm hoping in time just to deal with them. They are not horrible just lightly textured. I talked to the Home Depot guy he told me to sand the walls to get the texture off. So after a day of sanding and killing my arms I was skeptical. I painted one section it still looked textured and defiantly not like real wainscoting. I figured since we are going through all this work we need to do it right. So we bought all the thin wood paneling for the back, cut around outlets and got to work. We bought the thinnest  paneling because buying thicker would mean removing the base boards, see nothing is as simple as blogs make it look. After using a nail gun and glue some of the boards seemed not tight on the wall because the paneling was so thin the nails would not grab it, fun times for sure!!
 We decided to go with frame looking boxes instead of board and batten look since I wanted my dining to look a little more traditional.  This took forever, Rob must really love me because he had to keep sanding spots because the wall was slightly uneven and the paneling would not fit in certain areas under the chair rail. Let's just say Pinterest makes all this stuff look easy, the problem is that they don't always show the odd things like what do you do with a curved wall at the end of molding or unique areas where molding can't fit etc.. 
In the end it turned out great!! After priming, caulking and painting...I love it. I do have one seam that was a pain in the you know what.. but all in all it looks good.
 Under the chair rail I added more molding to cover uneven gaping. Caulk is your best friend when you do woodworking or at least for beginners like us. Adding the molding made it look a lot more finished and not with unnatural amounts of caulk under the chair rail. To the right is my seam from hell. I think what happened is that the wood paneling was pushed to tight next to the other one, and it left a little bump. When you sand this material it just falls apart like paper. Then when I caulked it it never would lay even with spackle and all my other tricks. During the day you don't see it to bad and in the evening not at all but I see it of course. 

Then it was onto making the boxes and measuring the sizes and how big and how much space in between, lots of work!! If you have curved walls and don't know how to end your molding I came up with just adding a piece of molding going straight down. It looks really good and a natural end point. I hope this helps someone(: You can see it below left of the cabinet.
 I love this little cabinet it's one of my favorite pieces that I thrifted a few years ago.  I hate covering up my molding but I love this little cabinet.  
There are so many great tutorials on pinterest, but I have found that each home is different and different problems arise. So glad this is over but I love the results.
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  1. Well done, it looks fabulous!! I am smitten with that dog print ;)

  2. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I know what you mean about the weird textured walls that are normal here! Just...odd... :-P


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