It’s been long enough. Time for another house update! Sorry for the delay. After pushing so hard before we moved in and then doing the little things to help us settle in, we were not in any mood to take on larger projects. But we had a deadline – visitors! Nothing like having company to motivate you to get things done. And so two weeks of craziness ensued.
The guest room before…
Cooper called it “The Pirate Room” because he thought the ships on the wallpaper were pirate ships. There were also muskets and fowl. Either way, it was U-G-L-Y! In the first picture you can see the glue coming through the wallpaper too. It was just hideous, and when we bought the house, we knew this would have to be one of the first rooms done.
This room became my baby. I stripped wallpaper over a two-week period. If I got off work early, I’d come home and strip wallpaper. If I had an hour free in the evening, I’d strip wallpaper. If I had time between loads of laundry, I’d strip wallpaper. I tried a new removal process this time, and while it took longer, it was not as frustrating. And I really felt it was more efficient. We bought a Scunci Steamer several years ago. We never used it. EVER. We tried to sell it at several yard sales. It never sold. Must have been fate because after reading Young House Love’s steamy foyer blog, I figured it couldn’t hurt to use our own steamer that we couldn’t seem to part with. The Scunci Steamer is very small, so it runs out of water pretty quickly. I could usually completely remove one strip of wallpaper per refill. I did not score the wallpaper as we had done in the kids’ rooms, and I think that helped the paper come off in larger pieces. I also used no chemicals in the guest room. Just hot water. Once I got all the wallpaper removed, I went back over all the walls with hot water and Dawn soap to get the last of the glue residue off. Then it was ready for primer.
It was an ugly mess! The worst part is that as I was taking down the wallpaper, I noticed we were having the same ceiling problems we had in Cooper’s room. As it got wet, you could just wipe the paint off. I knew that normal latex paint would not stick to it since we found out the hard way upstairs. I asked the guy at Benjamin Moore, and he said it is most likely calcimine paint. The easy cure besides removing it all is to use an oil-based primer. Time to open the windows and go for it! Then it was finally time for the real paint.
I knew I wanted a lavender room. It was stuck in my head as the perfect color for a guest room. But finding the right purple can be quite a task.
The three lavenders I originally tested were (from left to right) Violet Dusk, Misty Memories and Violet Mist (all Benjamin Moore paints.) The Violet Dusk had too much pink in it. Misty Memories had too much blue in it. I loved Violet Mist but I wanted it a touch lighter. I ended up asking to have it lightened by 25%. Once I got it on all the walls, I knew it was going to be exactly what I wanted. Perfecto!
So after 2 weeks of stripping wallpaper and one very busy weekend of priming, painting, and styling, we officially had a guest room…
We still need more art for the walls and a few throw pillows for the bed, but I love how it turned out. The bed is from IKEA, and the rest of the furniture are antiques from Jeremy’s parents. I especially love that we painted the shelf unit to make it look more built-in than it already was. I had originally wanted to paint the built-in drawers too, but since the wood matches the rest of the furniture, we decided that could be put off. My mom and Jeremy’s parents have already slept in there and all have loved how comfortable it feels. That is exactly what I wanted – a true guest room for our favorite guests! So don’t be shy! Come visit and see what we love about Rhode Island!