Good day, Sunroom!

There’s really no excuse – it’s been five months. The explanation however, is I went back to college to earn a second degree and there just weren’t enough hours in the day for everything. But work on the house continues. Our pace is about to pick up – the snow has melted, tulips are in bloom and it’s getting warmer.

finally!

finally!

Good news! We finished renovating the sunroom. This room was scary and dark with its plywood paneling and bad curtains. We created a cozy family space. The centerpiece of the room is the 1929 thick paneled ceiling.

the only "before" picture I have of the dark sunroom - think I was in shock about the amount of work needing to be done

the only “before” picture I have of the dark sunroom – think I was in shock about the amount of work needing to be done

Of the two of us, I’m the one who always wants to rush through prep work before painting. Can’t help it, I love playing with color. But I have learned to slow down and prep. Take the time to do the job right. Prep ANY surface before you paint.

We began by washing the ceiling and walls with Murphy’s Oil Soap.  I removed a lot of picture hangers and the odd nail from the walls, repaired holes and caulked the paneling seams as well as other odd spaces. The wood sill of the large picture window was sanded and re-stained to complement the ceiling.

The ceiling received a well deserved rubbing of lemon oil. The old window trim was in very bad shape – we replaced it.

installing new window trim after painting the walls

installing new window trim after painting the walls

Time to prime. Just thought of a slogan, “Wait to paint, take time to prime”. Ok, that’s dumb.

Kilz, the best primer.

Kilz, we’ve tried them all, this is the best

The prime coat took a LONG time.  The rough texture of the plywood and that inconvenient black groove in the paneling were a pain in the shoulder, it all had to be brushed. So I corralled my son to do this part. Thank you, corralled son.

you just have to prime

you just have to prime

Corralled son.

corralled son

“FrogTape” is our preferred paint tape. No bleed through when you press down on the edges as you apply it, and easily removed.

Those inconvenient black grooves.

inconvenient black grooves

We also primed the floorboard radiator cover. I had to turn off the heat in the room while doing this part because the cast iron of the radiator cover was so warm the paint dried on contact!

like new radiator covers

like new radiator covers

We think this room was originally a 3-season room, like other homes of the same era in our neighborhood. There are exterior French doors opening into it from the dining room and what we think are remnants of the former exterior steps on one outside wall. At some point, the room was converted.

While working on the radiator covers we discovered the original walls were made with the same thick paneling as the ceiling. Give us a very large sum of money and we’ll return this room back to her original beauty!

Why would you ever cover up gorgeous inch-and-a-half thick paneling with icky quarter-inch thick plywood?

Why would you ever cover up gorgeous inch-and-a-half thick paneling with icky quarter-inch thick plywood?

The paint color we used is Sherwin Williams Duration Home, “SunDew”. The window trim is the same color, toned down to 25% saturation. That’s a great way to stay in the same color scheme. We chose not to trim in white thinking it would create too stark of a look. Matte for the walls, semi-gloss for the window trim.

Sherwin-Williams and FrogTape, worth every penny!

Sherwin-Williams and FrogTape, worth every penny!

My husband changed out the outlet covers to the solid brass plates we purchased from House of Antique Hardware.  We “hid” the TV/WiFi cords in one of those cord sleeves, painted it too.

Before

before

after replacing with House of Antique Hardware brass outlet plates

after replacing with House of Antique Hardware brass outlet plates

The paneling now stands out against the warm tone on the walls.

Love it!

Love it!

We installed cordless cellular shades and gauzy drapes on brass drapery rods. Pineapple finials are perfect symbols of the hospitality of this space.

sunroom drapery rods with pineapple finial

sunroom drapery rods with pineapple finial

So we now have a cozy space where we can relax. We’ll get the rest of the house to the same place soon enough.

warm and cozy, it's us

warm and cozy, it’s us

I need to say a word about the blue step stool. This stool has been through every remodeling project in all our homes. We actually rescued it from a dumpster – it only needed new rubber “feet”. There is a bit of every paint color we’ve used, drywall compound and caulk on this souvenir of our remodeling/DIY journey. Thirty years of honey-do’s and “how do I do that?”. We’ve been through so much together. Love ya blue step stool.

I love this stool!

the one and only blue step stool

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