Restoration of the Second Bedroom

When we bought the house the second bedroom was the most frightening in the house by far:

The walls were pretty dirty with the soot that must have been bellowing out of the old oil furnace, and there were lots of water stains as well.   In the last picture above you can see the the wallpaper was peeling at the base of the wall, and underneath it I found V-groove wainscotting running vertically all the way from floor to ceiling.  There was only two coats of paint on the original wooden walls, so the wallpaper was likely added at some point in the 20s or 30s.  The ceiling consisted of a sandwich of wallpaper, drywall, and then the original ceiling which is V-groove boards identical to the walls.  The whole room is solid wood!  I decided to restore the room to its original glory by first stripping everything back to the original wood:

The wallpaper came off fairly easy, but the little bits of cardboard that remained on the walls all needed to be scraped off.  The most recent coat of paint (probably 80 years old at least) was also painting, so it needed to be scraped as well.  I tested the paint for lead — unsurprisingly it was positive — and I used all the necessary precautions to remove it.  Once I had them scraped down I carried out a significant amount of repair work to the walls where holes had been made for electrical fixtures over the years.   We had the all the floors scheduled to be refinished right around the time that I finished priming everything; below are some photos of the floor progression:

After the floors had a chance to cure I covered them up with Ramboard so that I could protect them while I painted the final coat and started the trim work.  I painted the walls and ceiling an ivory white, and I used an off-white for the trim.  For the baseboards I used a two-part build up consisting of a 7″ finger-joint pine baseboard with a solid fir base cap on top.  I routed a rabbet onto the top of the baseboard to house the base cap.  Once everything was primed and painted it looked like a solid piece.


Where the walls meet the ceiling there is a gap, so the room needed a crown moulding as well.  There was a small crown originally, but it was an odd profile and was pretty beat up.  I chose a standard 4 3/8″ crown profile to keep it simple, and pulled out my calculator to sort out the math on the vaulted ceiling.  For my first crown project it was definitely a challenge: where the vaulted sections met up with the horizontal sections required some mental gymnastics.  Everything seem to work out pretty well though:

The window casings will go up once I’ve restored the windows in the spring.  The room is now back to being my workshop while I finish up the bathroom and kitchen!


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