One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Blank slate and good vibes

It’s week 3 of the One Room Challenge and I am feeling goooooood. I mean, sore AF and I killed way too many brain cells with spray paint and oil based primer fumes, but good all the same!

If you’re new to this challenge, Linda from Calling it Home hosts this event twice a year. Bloggers get to choose a room to work on, post the progress once a week for 6 weeks and link up to her site. If you’re someone like me, and can drag a simple project out for 6 months, this is super helpful to getting shit done.

I chose to turn our current guest room into a big girl room for my 5 year old daughter. This way, she can stay in her room, none the wiser that this is a surprise room for her.

I’m so excited to do this for her. She has been so patient and understanding of the house renovations, the chaos, the dust over the past 3 years. She really deserves her own space (free of the dust and chaos.)

This is where my challenge started.IMG_1144


Shudders. So. We bought this 100+ house from some flippers, who purchased it from an elderly woman that had lived there for a very long time and did not do proper upkeep. Or do any updates, as evidenced by the pink/avocado green/pale yellow/6 wallpapers in 1 room/massive holes, etc.

The house flippers’ solution to this was to cover all the surfaces with drywall. Great in theory, but it stuck out 1/2″ at the bottom of the walls where the baseboards were flush with the plaster walls and the window casing was close to being recessed. This probably wouldn’t bother the average person, but when it comes to freaking out about miniscule details, I am exceptionally above average.

I have been going from room to room in the house, forcefully removing the drywall, patching holes and cracks in the original plaster walls/ceiling, sanding, priming and painting.

This is the 6th room I’ve done so far – only 5 more to go. Le sigh.


Next time I start a project and think ‘oh, this won’t be so bad!’, I need ya’ll to remind me that I don’t know shit. kthxbye.

For my pitiful 2nd week post, I had only removed the screws and washed the walls and half heartedly patched holes.

That’s when I discovered this little gem:IMG_3955

It brought so much happiness to my life.

Showing up to the ORC challenge linking party with my hands empty was enough humiliation that I was finally motivated to finish repairing the walls this past week. Although, everyone was so kind of absolve me of my guilt and shame. WHO KNEW THE INTERNET WAS SO NICE?! It makes me want to go sit in a cardboard box of fuzzy kittens and let them climb on me.

I painted out the vinyl windows with some black satin Krylon fusion spray paint and the radiator in matte black. ‘Cause, why not?

Then, armed with 1/4″ drywall, 3 bags of DuraBond/Easy Sand 90 joint compound and 3 rolls of fiberglass window screen – I got down to it.

I addressed the deep holes initially. Those jerks are the ones that need countless coats to build up.

For the ginormous hole next to the light switch, I took some extra lath and screwed it to other pieces of lath for some support and strength.DSC_1197

Then I covered it up with a newspaper – done!DSC_1198

JK. I wish.

I used that to make a general template, cut out said template of 1/4″ drywall and then screwed the drywall to the lath. It doesn’t have to be perfect ’cause it will be filled/smoothed out with the joint compound.DSC_1200 DSC_1201 DSC_1204 DSC_1205 DSC_1206

After it was secured, I covered it with a big square of the screen and gave a once over coat.DSC_1207

The first coat is always the DuraBond, it’s super strong, but a bitch to sand – so I use it sparingly. This will go in the screw holes and the deep holes with mesh screen.

I cut the screen in to long strips, and use those for the thousands of tiny cracks in the walls/ceiling.

To protect my brain from the trauma of the next 3-6 coats, I went in to some sort of fugue state. When I came to, all the holes and cracks were smoothed out.IMG_1213 IMG_1214 IMG_1215 IMG_1225


The sanding wasn’t so bad, actually! It took about 4 hours with an orbital sander and 220 grit. I just kept telling myself that it will all be better once I get the walls primed.

AND PRIMED!IMG_1227 IMG_1230 IMG_1229 IMG_1232 IMG_1234

So, so, so much better.

Can you be kind enough to not notice that I missed a WHOLE portion of the wall with primer? I only realized when I was taking these pictures.

And here’s a bonus picture of my daughter popping in and crying because I asked her to wear sweat pants for T ball practice and she wants to wear a skirt:IMG_1233

What huge gaping hole in the wall and ceiling!? You must have had a nightmare. Shhhh. It’s over now.IMG_1228

That first coat is the oil based primer, which in my opinion is absolutely necessary with so much new mud. It’s the best to seal it up and prevent flashing. That joint compound be THIRSTY and will drink up primer like nobody’s business.

PSA – A deep hair conditioner will keep the oil based primer from sticking to your hair, and coconut oil is excellent for removing the oil based primer on your paint splattered face. Otherwise it sticks like a sonabitch. I didn’t mind the paint all over my body. I am currently at work looking like a mess and no fucks are given.

The next coat will be latex primer, then two top coats – I still haven’t picked out a paint color. I couldn’t focus on a new color until that other pink wasn’t assaulting my eyes.

Question. How do black, pale pink and dark green play together? Yes, no?


My lucent lighshop sputnik arrived and is beautiful.IMG_3965

BUT NOT ONLY THAT. Sarah sent me a message on instagram and let me know that her shop could make me the black sconce (that I never got a response on from a different shop.)

My daughter asked me the other day if I ordered that light that she chose out, and I had to tell her that I wasn’t able to yet. She took it all in stride, because her skills for coping with disappointment are on point – which makes me think I need to reflect on how often I disappoint her. Now at least I won’t disappoint her with this!

They are just the sweetest, ever, and prove that customer service still exists.

As it turned out, the ceiling joist was JUST IN THE RIGHT PLACE for a hanging chair. Why, oh why didn’t I write down the exact location though!? I mean, it was right there in front of my face, and now I’ll have to search for it since it’s all smooth and primed.


I happened to pop over onto Serena and Lily’s shop this past weekend and saw there was a 20% off code and I could apply it to the rattan hanging chair! I was putting off ordering the chair because the item description page said ‘5-7 days’, when I checked out though, it said 2-4 weeks. I got anxious and sent Brit from House Updated a message asking how long it took for her to get it. She was so sweet to respond and told me it took about a week. I got an email about 3 days after I ordered and it will be delivered on Friday! Squeals! CH27-01_5

I waffled, but ultimately chose the natural finish.

Rug and textiles will get selected? Bedding seems to be a tough one for me. I want it to be pretty, but, she’s a 5 year old and doesn’t need $200 Egyptian cotton/silk sheets.

SOOOOO basically, I got $100 off my chair, the ceiling fixture is here and sconce for my daughter is on order and the walls are fresher than a mutha.

This weekend is for painting, cleaning, electrical updates and playing at the park.

Make sure to check out all the amazing work the other bloggers are doing!





21 Replies to “One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Blank slate and good vibes”

  1. WHOA!!!! That’s some progress! I have been there, sister. While I LOVE plaster walls (I’m serious. I love them) they require some skillz to get right. And you’ve got ’em! Go you! This is going to be fun to follow, since you actually bit of a PROJECT, and not some “I’ll just re-decorate my son’s room” thing like somone I know. Cheers – and here’s to paint in the hair and manicures that are now… Not manicures anymore.

    1. Stephanie, for a little bit there I was feeling guilty because I didn’t think this room would be difficult enough to count for the ORC. LOLz. I’m so glad that you appreciate plaster walls! Most people give me ‘she’s crazy’ eyes when I tell them what I’m doing. Thanks for following along! It really helps me keep on keeping on.

  2. You rock! That’s some serious work! I think your color scheme sounds perfect. Pale pink and green would be lovely. When I painted my daughter’s room, I was so jealous of how soothing the pale pink paint color was. I still want to curl up in her room (except that I would have to move a ton of legos and markers out of the way to even enter her room.)
    Oil on your skin will take care of the rest of the paint as well. You’re doing great!

    1. My daughter’s ‘play room’ is like that. It looks like a horde of small children went on a rampage in a toy store. Then she wants to look me straight in the eyes and tell me she has nothing to play with.

  3. Wow! The transformation of those walls is incredible. We’ve had to repair our fair share of plaster walls in our house but nothing like those – so impressive! Love that you took the time to ditch the old drywall and revive the plaster. Can’t believe you handled all that so quickly. And now onto the fun part – like that light fixture!

    1. Oh, Brit. It sure did not feel quick while I was doing it. You’re so right though, it’s the best when you get past the dusty and dirty part and start to make things pretty.

  4. WOW! You are a champ my friend, now that is a lot of work. Kudo’s to you!

    Your accessories look fantastic and I can not WAIT to see that hanging chair in action. Good luck!

    Lauren | Lovely Decor

  5. Thanks for leaving a comment. I think dark green and light pink will be lovely. You did a hella lot of work in that room this week, good for you! Will be following.

    1. Yes, Mila! When it’s all done and knowing that I worked really hard for it is very satisfying. I know that you understand! I just hope our kids properly appreciate the effort.

  6. Hey Madeline, I already said I bow down to you and the patching and restoring the plaster walls….I am still trying to get my head around ripping off drywall and that is only the START of the process…( and I totally understand the joy if that little daisy flower note..! ha!) I have had my stalwart father/son duo helping me that I work with on as many projects as I can in my design work with clients….but I am DONE with the DIY….you ROCK, girl!! I am so excited to see the room with that fabric come together!! ( p.s. My younger son was supposed to get a redecorated room when he got started high school….he’s 24 now and living in DC…. thankfully he does NOT hate me!)
    So much soft pink and blush now out there, but your combination is my absolute FAVORITE rendition.

    1. Meredith, if I had such an awesome team to help, I would be done with DIY too! You are so, so kind to comment. I hope it all actually comes together in the end! I’m reading about your progress right now. Super awesome.

  7. If there is a prize given at the end of the ORC, hands down, gurl **YOU WIN**
    Have Mercy. The outlet switch, drywall and template is a work of art.
    I am so glad I found your blog today.
    Tonight , I will be reading your entire site.
    Your daughter is going to LOVE that bedroom !

    1. You are the sweetest, thank you so much for saying that. It’s all about winging it in my household!

    1. Gurrrrrl, thank you! After working on this room and painting my dining room, my body is ’bout ready to quit on me. It’s these sweet comments that help make it worth it. And Netflix tonight!

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