Master Bedroom Progress, Still Not Completion

The master bedroom.  The room that refuses to be completed.  Around the time I was working on the laundry room, I was waiting for bedroom stuff – the bed frame and the mattress.  Then, just like my laundry room ceiling light was surprise delivered, so was everything else.

I started the laundry room on a Thursday, my usual laundry day.  My mattress was scheduled to be delivered sometime Friday.  With a hurricane also scheduled to arrive that day, I took the Friday off work so I could get the mattress inside immediately instead of having it sit in the rain and become a big hurricane sponge.

Surprise, my mattress showed up Thursday.  Luckily it came between downpours and it got inside with no issue.  That’s 140 pounds of mattress now sitting in my staging area.  And I still had about 3 weeks before the bed frame would show up.


I kept my Friday off work and used the day to work on the laundry room, making great progress.  Saturday, I get a call from the furniture company delivering my bed frame.  Surprise, they’re coming tomorrow at 8 in the morning.  Uh, ok.  I have a washer and dryer blocking the door and crap scattered everywhere.  But I made it work.  I was at the point of getting ready to paint the ugly yellow paint in the laundry room when they showed up.  A short while later, I had an assembled bed in my master bedroom.

While it’s there, might as well install the mattress.  The GF and I hauled the mattress in and opened up the case.  The mattress is a Purple, the fancy new online-only mattress.  From the initial laydown on it, it’s a really nice product.  However, I can’t really sleep in there because I don’t have curtains.  I did take a short nap on it after work and was disturbed twice by neighbor children coming to the windows.  I think they were catching lizards on the window screen, but still, what the fuck.

To explain the chain of dependencies involved in beginning to actually use the master bedroom, it’s like this.  I couldn’t use the room until it was repainted.  After it was repainted, I couldn’t really use it until I moved my closet.  I couldn’t move the closet until I had the wardrobes.  Now with wardrobe frames installed, I still can’t fully use the closet until I have the drawers for the wardrobes.  Despite that, I couldn’t use the bedroom until I had a bed or a mattress.  Now that I have those, I can’t use it until I have curtains.  I have curtain rods on order and still have to buy curtains.  I also have to buy a comforter.  I still don’t have any nightstands.  At this point, the earliest I may be able to use the bedroom is next Wednesday.

Laundry Room Redo

In a burst of motivation, I decided to tackle the laundry room.  This involved scraping the ceiling, painting the ceiling and walls, replacing the light fixture and the outlets and switches.  I had a couple full days to work on it plus an extra evening.

While my laundry was in progress, I first disconnected the utility sink and removed it from the wall.  Behind it was more proof that the house has only ever been yellow.  Also, proof that the paint was the last thing to happen to the house.  I am somewhat amazed that the painting was done with all the fixtures and panels mounted on the wall.  That’s a lot of things to protect from paint.  but anyway, I think I’m doing things the right way by removing everything from the wall before painting.

After the sink was gone, the wire shelf was taken down and all the holes patched.  Eventually, I will be installing cabinets.  That may not happen for a little while, but it should be soon.

As my laundry was completed, I moved out the washer, then the dryer from the room.  Then I shut off the power and took the ceiling light down.  As I’ve mentioned before, the fluorescent light had a failing ballast, so it was dim, dim, dim.  I took a reading of the light output and got:


Pretty poor.  I wasn’t entirely sure how quickly I would get through this project, so I jumped online and ordered the ceiling light – a Pixi flatlight.  I also made a quick order for the Adorne switches, plates and outlets for the room.  I didn’t think I’d need the light for a while, so I ordered it with standard shipping, giving me almost a week to finish up.

This is what I started with:


The ceiling work went much better than expected.  I adjusted the garden spray and got much more water up there, which helped a lot in getting the popcorn down.  I also spent extra time scraping to reduce the amount of sanding.  Finally, I used a courser grit sandpaper to get the remaining bits off.


Priming was uneventful and worked well.  Priming the walls was pretty ok.  It wasn’t a full coverup of the yellow underneath, but it would be good enough for the paint+primer I had planned.

While that was drying, I headed out to Lowes and got the paint for the walls.  The paint was a very, very light yellow called Crisp Linen.  In hindsight, I was probably attracted by the name more than the color.  I did a quick cut-in with the paint and decided to take a break because annoyance was setting in.  I’m learning what my limits are.

Suddenly, the USPS delivers a package.  It’s my ceiling light.  It showed up four days early.  So I took the time to install it – poorly at first, then better the second time.  Still not as good as it should be, but that will be the third time.  The light output is pretty amazing.  Look at the difference:


1200 lux vs. 110 lux!  One of the things the new light did was expose what a poor color choice I had made.

All of the areas where I cut in looked terrible.  It’s a good thing I didn’t go any further with my painting.  Valspar has a guarantee that if you don’t love the color you picked, you can exchange it for another.  So I took the paint back to Lowes and said, “I hear Valspar has a ‘love your color or we’ll replace it’ guarantee.”  The cashier says, “Oh, we’ll take it back.” and without any explanation needed, I got the paint credited back to my credit card.

I purchased a new color, Sherwin Williams “Cay”, and immediately got it on the walls.  It covered extremely well.  While it was drying, it looked streaky as hell, but it dried solid and was a much more pleasing color then the urine yellow I had started with.

I reinstalled the slop sink and put new outlet covers in where I wasn’t going to update to Adorne.  I had purchased nice heavy-duty metal outlet frames and if I wasn’t going with Adorne, I would say these outlet covers look damn sharp against the blue.  I also secured the 220 outlet, which had seemingly stripped the screws holding it in.  Now the outlet is fully flush with the wall.


I then returned the washer and dryer to the room.  One issue I have with the dryer is the exhaust vent tubing.  You can see the exhaust port in the first above photo.  I have no idea why the original builder installed a 5” vent port.  A while ago, I fashioned a reducer that would fit inside the vent to provide me a standard 4” port.  While I’m putting the dryer back, I am also changing the venting from the dryer to semi-rigid.  The gist of this problem is the tubing and the vent port force the dryer away from the wall by a significant distance.  To be fair, the non-rigid tubing I was using before had a couple of bends that were really restricting the airflow.  So this venting design is proper, but it still kind of sucks.  I have a idea in mind where I can raise the dryer on a pedestal that will align the dryer output with the vent port.  Then I can make a straight-shot tubing connection and get the dryer nearly flush with the wall.  That can be for another post.

Master Bedroom Progress and Regress

It’s been a really drawn-out project, this first major room I’ve been redoing.  It started with the ceiling.  It’s a big ceiling.  Scraping off all the popcorn was a mess and a half.  And then the sanding of the leftovers was even worse.  I learned that I was using too fine of a sandpaper.  I was using 120 grit and I should probably have used my 80 grit instead.  So that took a lot longer than expected.

Then the patching.  I think I did a pretty poor job of patching, but since the ceiling is so high, it’s not going to be as noticeable.  Like previous attempts, I over patched, which required more sanding, then more patching, and on and on.  Around most of the edges, I was down to the tape and oddly, in many places, there was a gap between the wall and the ceiling.  I tried to fill those in with joint compound where I could.

Then the priming.  I used up what primer I had left, which covered about a third of the ceiling.  Then the next day, I went to Lowes to get more primer and was confused by what was there.  The oil based, low-odor primer I was looking at had a green label.  I was certain I had just finished a purple label can.  The purple label was a water-based primer.  Damn it.  I’d been using the wrong primer this whole time.

So I got the oil-based stuff and worked with it that night.  Let me tell you, there is a world of difference between the two.  Oil based is smelly (despite being “low odor”), runny (like raining down on me and everything else), and it separates in the can into oil and solids (lots of stirring).  But, the results of the oil based were significantly better, in my opinion.  It really requires a different technique, though.

We’re many days into this project and I just barely have the ceiling started.  I decide to prime the walls while waiting for some backup.  The latex primer I bought went on ok, but thin.  It muted the dark green well enough to paint over.

I finally get to the point of painting.  I have the help of my awesome GF this time and while she cuts in on the ceiling, I roll.  The results were decent.  We decided we needed another coat up there, which we would do after knocking out the walls.  The next morning, we tape up the ceiling and baseboards for protection and paint the walls.  The accent wall is a deep, dark blue and it took about three heavy coats to cover it.  The orange peel texture on the wall really worked against us there.  the other walls were a medium grey and they also took multiple coats because of the texture.  The results look great.  The room is shaping up, finally!

After drying, the GF does a quick test on the ceiling tape, resulting in disappointment.  The painters tape is pulling off the ceiling paint.  Oh well, it had to be retouched anyway.  A couple of days later, I go to remove the rest of the ceiling tape.  The tape is taking everything with it.  It’s pulling off ceiling paint, ceiling spackle, and wall paint.  It was leaving the ceiling in a total disaster.

To save the walls, I used an exacto knife to cut every tape seam in the room before pulling the tape off.  Some places where I didn’t cut well enough pulled the paint off anyway.  The ceiling now required a full repair, priming and painting.  Over the next weekend, I patched it up as best I could (which is not expert grade), and primed it.

Last night, I repainted the ceiling again and am hoping to call it complete.  I packed up everything in the room and swept the floor.  In preparation, I brought the ceiling fan in and will finish up the outlets shortly.  Then the bed and mattress get ordered and wardrobes purchased for the master closet.  Then I can rest.

Master Closet Nearing Completion

And the chosen layout is:


And that’s the first step.  The bigger task at hand is deciding how to lay out the shelves, drawers, etc, inside the wardrobe units.  Some things that have been decided:

  • Pants hangers in deep units are a waste of space.  Get a wide one for the 13” unit.
  • Similarly, you can’t hang shirts sideways in a shallow unit.  Get hanging rods for the 23” units.
  • 8-ft units are obscenely tall.  There needs to be a shelf at the highest level.

And that’s about the extent of what I could mentally process at one time.  I tried to come up with a design, even involving the Pax planner (which is very cool).  But in the end, I just bought the frames and some rods and top shelves.  I wanted to see the frames installed so I could give more consideration as to how I wanted to lay out the drawers and other shelves.

That might have been a very good idea, because the two frames that are perpendicular to each other might pose some problems with drawer pull-out depth – as in, I may not be able to extend the drawer completely.  So maybe simple shelves may be better there.  I still haven’t even committed the units to the wall yet with anchors, so I could potentially swap the wide and narrow 23” units before I’m done.