Posts Tagged ‘Dining Room’

The crown molding project is finished!  It’s painted, the rooms are back together, and it came out great:

It’s very exciting.

Also exciting:

Daffodils.  Happy first day of spring!  I can’t wait til we see these outside, and not just ACS’ Daffodil Days!


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Ever since we redid the dining room, and ripped out the dark stained oak quarter round “crown molding,” the top of the dining room has looked a little naked.  Not that we missed the quarter round, but chair rail and baseboard molding with no crown looked a little bottom heavy.  So this weekend we installed new 2-5/8″ crown molding not only in the dining room, but also in the adjoining living room.

In any event, I always thought it was sort of funny when real estate listings included “crown molding” in the same list of bullet points as… central air, dishwasher, attached garage, wood burning fireplace, that sort of thing.  It’s just a piece of oak, pine, composite, or whatever, right?

I think I get it now.

The first order of business was getting them home.

We bought 16 foot lengths, so that only two of the walls would need joints (the long living room walls are 18′ and change).  They rode home plastic wrapped together in a bundle and strapped to the Forester roof racks, overhanging the car on both ends.  More than the usual amount of luck was involved in getting them home in one piece.

Instead of doing mitered corners, one end of each piece was coped and filed to lay against the piece that would be behind it.  This is clearly above and beyond what I’d have been able to do, but we had woodworking assistance in for the weekend (thanks dad!) and with that, (almost) all things are possible.

Blue painter’s tape marked the studs to place the nails:

We also used Liquid Nails on the edge along the walls, so that we’d be sure that the house could someday fall down, but the rectangles of crown molding would remain.

Much to their chagrin, Chip & Guinness weren’t invited to the crown molding installation party.

Next up came the caulking:  Sherwin Williams’ Sher-Max for the lifetime guarantee.  Cracking caulk on molding is no fun later.

From a distance, it looks pretty great!  Up close too, although the need for paint over the primer becomes a little more obvious:

Then it was onward to repeat in the living room.  There were a few challenges there that made it more difficult than the dining room.  The walls weren’t quite as true, opposite ends of the room were 2″ off of being symmetrical, and with 18′ walls, we had two joints to do.  The wall over the bay window was a little bowed, too, so everything took a few more hands.By Sunday morning, it all came together, and we had all 8 walls done.  Once they’re painted, the joints should fade away quite nicely.

The biscuit joiner may or may not have been overkill, but that joint is going no place.

Next up, and firmly planted in the back 75% of the weekend, was painting.  Whew, finally!  First with ceiling white over the caulk and upper edge of the molding and ceiling, then our trim color of choice, SW Alabaster in semi-gloss, over the trim (and down the wall a little).  I’ll touch up the Sea Salt color once the trim is done.

There are more layers of painting here than I really planned on, but this way we know that no caulk will peek out between edges of paint.  We’ll (I’ll) continue painting throughout the week.

We also cut some of the trim pieces for the future crown molding in the foyer.  Guinness isn’t entirely sure about this prospect:

But with a chair rail to go with it in the foyer and up the stairs, it’ll look great.

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As I posted last spring, our collection of dining chairs has been a little mismatched and worn.  We had 4 with faded velvet upholstered seats in generally good condition, and 3 with vinyl seat covers (2 red and 1 white), and at least their fair share of cracks and chips in the wood:

…neither of which matched each other or in here:

especially post re-decoration.  We also had two smaller maple dining chairs without any seat coverings.

I bought fabric to redo the chairs back when we were picking out paint and curtains, and finally got around to recovering them for the holidays.  The figure-8 chairs were fine with just a fabric swap.  The other 3 needed a little more work in addition to the new fabric:  they needed new foam padding, a few wood repairs, and a paint job to hide the repairs.

The sanding, repairing, sanding, priming, and painting went smoothly enough.  It was just a huge time sink.  I used adhesion primer and satin finish enamel, and did it with a brush for corners, and a 2″ foam roller for straight pieces.  Each coat took about an hour per chair.

For the seats, rather than upholstery tacks, we stapled the material to the underside of the seats.  We ended up needing to go with smaller sized staples (smaller gauge and shorter) to get them sunken in far enough, but it wasn’t hard.  Having 2 people helped too – one to stretch the new material over the padding and seat, the other to staple it down.  You want it to be as tight as possible to avoid creases when people sit on it later.

The end result was pretty exciting:  something I could allege in vague terms looks like a “set” of 7 chairs!

Whee!  And I didn’t actually buy any of them!  Awesome.

I confess I cheated, and only got to one coat of black satin finish enamel before the holidays.  The chairs had to be pressed into service, so I put them back together as they were.  I’ll need to take them apart for a 2nd coat after the holidays.  I discovered that I would’ve needed to do it anyway, though, because I think I need to do a coat or two of polyurethane over the paint.  There were a couple spots where the black paint left marks on my newly painted white chair rail and molding, so I obviously need to add a protective coat to keep that from being an ongoing issue.

All in all, though, it was one of those “why didn’t I do this sooner?” kinds of projects.  Pretty good bang for the buck (and the effort!).

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After several weeks of hard work, the living & dining rooms are finished!  (Well, for now, like everything else in the house!)  It turned out that the project was starting to drag, as projects do, so I used my favorite incentive to finish up:  we invited guests to dinner for Sunday afternoon.  It works two ways — one, the dining room had to be put back together again in time, and two, I got to sit back and relax with friends after my hard work.  So, on to the pictures of the finished project!

The color of the walls changes quite a lot with the light – just as much in real life as in the photos.

We are so thrilled with how it’s come out so far.  Now, as I mentioned, we aren’t quite completely finished yet.  I may do another coat of semi-gloss on some of the trim.  The baseboard molding has 2 coats, but the chair rail and window trim only have one.  They might benefit from another.  We pulled down the thin stained oak crown molding, and are planning to do new, wider white-painted crown molding in both rooms eventually.  We probably won’t tackle that until after Christmas.  I also need to re-cover the seats of my dining chairs (and paint the 3 spares that are currently out in the garage), which will hopefully happen before Christmas.  In the longer term, the living room is also pretty clearly underwhelmed with furniture – but better that than packed to the gills.  For now, though, I’m resting on my laurels.

Just for funsies, here’s what the rooms looked like when we offered to buy the house in May 2008:

Whoa.  Talk about dark, and packed to capacity!

As far as the making of the makeover, it was just a lot of methodical work.  First the wallpaper came down in the dining room, and I went to town with the spackle and sandpaper, then primer.  Then I pulled the green carpet up from the tack strips, and cut an inch or two off each edge with a utility knife so I could get to the molding, all the way to the subflooring.

We decided that the navy blue couch that we’d inherited and the valences that came with the house wouldn’t be part of the redone rooms.

Habitat ReStore picked up the couch.  The valences were listed for free on Craig’s List, and within 12 hours we’d gotten about as many calls, including one at 7:15 the next morning!  As soon as they were picked up, I deleted the CL posting out of self defense.  Truly, people will take anything (and gladly!) if it’s free.

The molding was sanded and primed prior to wall painting, so I could be fairly reckless with the primer.  Once everything was primed, I got a quick glimpse of what it would look like all in white:

All white rooms are the sorts of things that look like such a good idea in a magazine, but in practice, the first time I entertained, I would inevitably do the accidental honors of dousing the room with a glass of cabernet.  No, white is not a good idea.

Then the walls were painted, followed by the trim.  The carpet was installed after the baseboard molding was finished, and the rest was underway.  We finished up with curtain rod installation Saturday night.

So that’s the finished deal!  For anyone who’s interested in details like paint shades, that’s all below.

Thanks for visiting!

Paint:  Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, SW6204 (living room; above dining room chair rail); Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay, SW6206 (dining room below chair rail); Sherwin Williams Alabaster, SW7008 (trim).  Duration in matte for walls, Pro Classic in semi-gloss for trim.

Flooring:  Shaw Habana in Ecru

Window Treatments:  Country Curtains’ Moire Stripe in Mist.

Window Treatment Hardware:  Bed Bath & Beyond Oak Leaf.

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We still have some more trim painting to do around the doorways & dining room  windows, but we’re making big strides!  Since the bay window isn’t going to be painted, it’s ready for the new window treatments.  I can’t wait to see how they look!

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Dining room painting

I’m beat, so I’ll keep this brief.  Check out my dining room wall:Yesssss.  Out with the wall paper, cream paint, and stained oak trim, and in with the gray-greens and white trim.

After 2 full days of solo painting this weekend (my taller half was out of town), I’ve finished the walls in the living & dining room and have a first coat of enamel on about half of the trim in those two rooms.  Maybe two thirds of it.  All of the baseboard trim, which is the most important from the carpet installation perspective.

The rooms look like a tornado went through, so we’ll save real “afters” for later — but I had to put something up to show for the tired shoulders!

On that note, I’m way behind on postings — the family room has recessed lighting now, and the Craig’s List end tables are finished.  I’ve just been so busy doing that I haven’t been posting.  I’ll catch up soon(ish).  For now, I’m off to rest!

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I’m waving the white flag.  After two weeks of staring at these colors, I can’t decide.  Please help – vote in the poll below!

The pictures, couch, and fabric swatches on the back of the couch are all staying in the room.  (The fabric will cover dining chair seats.)


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