One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Let’s talk about walls. And my standards of ‘not so bad’.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before (if you’re new to this blog, then it’s sure to be a riveting story): we bought this house from some house flippers that covered all the plaster walls with drywall. The walls looked nice, but projected farther than the baseboards and it irked the hell out of me. A few years ago, I started removing drywall, room by room, to expose varying horrors underneath.

This guest room is the 7th room in the house that I’ve been repairing in earnest and for some reason, although I have gotten a pretty good handle on it, I felt serious avoidance to putting the work in. Like, I found all sorts of other activities to do instead of work on those walls. Working my actual job longer days, watching kids movies (Hocus Pocus for the win) and idk, my fucking taxes? Basically, anything seemed better.

I removed the drywall and screws, and introduced the room.

But not myself? Which should be the biggest indicator of who I am. My name is Madeline, I am not a designer or real blogger (as evidenced by my many posting faux pas) and I am renovating my 100+ year old home as a hobby. I do all these projects by myself because my husband has no interest in them. I love hyperbole and pink.

Now back to the room.

Last week I scraped off the faux finish. What I was left with was the room with the least amount of cracks on the ceiling and walls, although I was still gifted with some huge chunks of wall/ceiling missing, cracks and tons of screw holes. And a seriously growing hatred for all the previous owners. The worst. Whenever I would get my dusty clothes on and mix up some mud, I barely worked on it and would abandon the walls for wine and justifications that I still have weeks.

That is the beauty that is the One Room Challenge though. Thanks to Linda, from Calling it Home, for creating this event. And all the amazing and inspiring participants! I can’t give ya’ll an ugly and crumbling room and I am running out of time.

So I hunkered down and worked on those walls. Super crabby though. Like, don’t even fucking look at me wrong, Cat. I know you’ve been sleeping for the past 22 hours. And why am I not eating a whopper with cheese right now!?

I won’t give a full tutorial here on my process for repairing plaster – I wrote about that process previously or here, if interested.

Short version is remove crumbling plaster from cracks, patch large holes with drywall, fiberglass screen on all the cracks and holes, layer joint compound, another layer, probably some more and then sanddddddddd. The caveat is that you have to feel comfortable drinking wine with questionable chunks of plaster and dust.

I spent daysssssssss patching. The ceiling had some weird powdery substance on it? Like they thought about doing popcorn but then nah. I scraped off what I could, but it made it really difficult to apply the joint compound by sucking out the moisture asap and sucking up my life essence while it was at it.

And that’s where I’m at. Still.

I have to sand and then prime everything before I can even move on to the actual paint. I always follow that up with two coats of oil based primer (nothing better) and then two coats of latex primer. It’s proven to be the most efficient at reducing any flashing in the top coat. I think I do 4 coats? I can’t remember right now.

Even further insult is the paint on the trim is peeling off in some places and scaling in others, and it’s for sure lead paint underneath so I can’t just sand it smooth. Sooooooooooo stripping it will have to be done. And don’t eat the paint chips.

I went for a much needed run and then came home and painted on a layer of stripper. I didn’t even get out of my gym clothes, which is why I have so many ruined clothes piling up. The citristrip was on there to do most of the work while I was at work. At my actual paying job.

Which I just got back from, took these pictures and finished this post for the week 3 link up. Ahead of things, I am not.

I am exhausted and not sure if I’ll get everything that I want to do done in time.

On to the good news though? Even though the room still looks like shit, I ordered some pretty stuff for it and that’s starting to arrive.

Art work:

"form" - Art Print by Lauren Packard in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.

"rock in style" - Art Print by Lauren Packard in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.


This light fixture (in black) for next to the bed, and this rug.

I also purchased that rug for my dining room. I ordered the 9’x12′ and it came several inches too big and too big for my room. A quick google search and the internet was like ‘omg it’s so easy to fix!’ and I was like cool. LET ME TELL YOU, NOT FUCKING COOL. I feel it’s only right that someone on the internet is honest about it. It took me several hours to use a seam ripper to remove the braid, sew it back on in the right place and then a huge blister when cutting off the excess. And I stabbed myself a million times. I damned bled for that rug.

So, pray that when I unroll the one for this room, it’s the right size. Otherwise I’m going to have to burn the house down and live in a cave.

I found my kreg jig! But can’t find my respirator mask and had to buy a new one. WHO HAS THESE PROBLEMS.

All that’s left is:

  • Strip wood work
  • Sand walls
  • Prime
  • Prime
  • Prime?
  • Prime?
  • Get my life together
  • Paint
  • Build a bed and figure out how to upholster (I find this project intimidating)
  • Avoid a nervous breakdown
  • Put all the pretty stuff in there

3 weeks. Tears.

Head back to the link up for all the other people putting in work!


16 Replies to “One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Let’s talk about walls. And my standards of ‘not so bad’.”

    1. THE WORST. I keep trying to tell myself that it will look beautiful soon?! I survive on false hope tho.

  1. You had me at chunky wine. 😉 Seriously though, the amount of love you are pouring into your home is so impressive. I always think that I have serious DIY skillz and then I read your posts. <3

    1. Girl, you do have serious DIY skillz. And I would probably make a deal with the devil at this point to upholster a bed frame! And sand those walls. How much do you think my soul is worth?!

  2. Ugh lead paint…we have it in our condo too…we removed the lead covered molding in the living room, ignored it in the bedroom bc I was pregnant at the time, and now I think with the kitchen…I think we’ll be ignoring it again. We will see what happens.
    The room is going to look amazing!! So worth the effort—and upholstering—get yourself a staple gun and go to town!! It’s fun stuff ?

    1. I would definitely ignore it, if it wasn’t already peeling. I totally support you ignoring yours. At least I don’t have to strip it down to bare wood!
      I just ordered a pneumatic one! Wish you were closer to do it for me, all the same.

  3. so many good and funny quotes in this post because I can totally relate. And gosh, the lead paint on the trim…#soblessed 😉 I dread when we have to tackle our lead-encrusted trim.
    Looks like a ton done again this week and you’re so close to painting! Progress is progress!

    1. Thank you Kelly. I think around this time is when I mentally breakdown and my posts get incoherent. And you’re right, progress is progress.

  4. Omg, nightmare! You are doing such a good job. Wish I could zip over and help you. Everything goes faster with more than one person working.

    1. Thanks Allison! But I hadn’t even started stripping the trim. Done now!
      And it’s funny you mention the sippy cup! I finally wised up and used a water bottle lol.

  5. omg, stripping the trim and four coats of primer before painting? Gah. I thought I had it bad with the million miles of varnished honey oak trim I will be sanding in my entire house, if I ever get the use of my arm back.

    More wine! You can do it!

    1. I think I was high on fumes when I said 4 coats? It must be 1 of oil based primer and then 1 of latex primer. 4 coats in total with 2 top coats. Are you staining the oak or painting it?

      1. All of the baseboards, windows, doors, door trim, kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities are honey oak. (All the floors are red oak. Not enough oak in this house.) It is in every room. I’m hoping that painting the baseboards and door trim white will lighten up some of the country wood look we have going on. I’d love to paint the windows but they are also cheap terrible windows with six-over-six muntins and painting 22 windows will take me 10 years. It will be forever before I finish sanding off all the baseboards and door trim anyways, at which point honey oak will be back in style, probably.

        1. I have oak trim in my house and didn’t strip it before painting. I put a good coat of oil base primer on them, then a coat of latex and then top coat. Worked out great! I mean, you totally CAN strip them down if that’s what your heart desires, and I’ll support you.

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