Baby Room Remodel Idea
A big step in getting ready for a new baby is preparing the room. We decided to convert one of the spare bedrooms in our house into being the new baby room. It’s approximately 12’ x 12’ and you can see from this picture that has hardwood flooring, ceiling fan, and a window.
We installed the new ceiling fan
a few months ago. Here’s what the room looked like before we began. The walls were taupe, the wood frame around the window was painted white, while the baseboard and frame around the closet and door were a dark brown color.
The first step was to remove the old baseboard. We still have 200’+ of white baseboard that we bought from the Gibraltar home auction
It’s a nice touch to put in new baseboard, it really makes the room look more modern. So using a hammer, crowbar, and a couple of flat bladed screwdriver’s I was able to pry the old baseboard off the wall. You can see the different layers of paint on the top edge, which also added to it’s ugly look.
We decided that instead of having mixed matched brown and white trim we should just make everything white. The new baseboard was already white, but that meant we needed to paint the door trim then remove the closet doors and paint them white as well. The clear finish on the doors meant that it would require a few coats of white paint before the brown was invisible anymore.
Karrie had been looking for ideas on Pinterest. She ended up liking the idea of painting chevrons, or a zigzag pattern on one of the walls. We watched a few videos on how it should be done and then went started to work. The first step was to paint the wall white. That would also be the base course for the zigzag pattern.
Here’s what that wall looked like after two coats of white paint. It didn’t matter that we got too much paint on the walls to the left and right because we would be painting over those walls with a different color.
We also used that same white paint for the ceilings, doors and closet trim pieces. Again neatness was not an issue since all the walls would be repainted.
You can see from this picture the type of coverage that white paint had on the room door and closet doors. The closet doors in the back have had two coats of paint by this point, whereas the bedroom door has only had one coat.
Before we begin laying out our grid pattern on the walls, I measured the room and drew everything on AutoCAD. Then I drew several different chevron designs on the wall. I showed carried the different designs and let her pick the one she liked best.
To paint the zig-zag wall pattern you first have to create a grid on the wall. Then you basically connect the ‘+’ with angled lines. You don’t want the lines you draw for the grid pattern to be permanent so you use chalk, which can be wiped off later. Another tip that Karrie found was that instead of measuring every square, we could use a piece of cardboard as a template. Since every square on the wall was the same size the cardboard template could be traced in a repeating pattern vertically and horizontally. Once the cardboard was traced with chalk the intersection points were marked, Karrie was able to use green frog masking tape to lay out the zigzag chevron pattern. Since it’s important to have really crisp straight paint lines, we decided not to skimp and bought the expensive masking tape. It did a good job of not allowing the paint to bleed through.
Here’s a close-up of what the wall looked like at this point. You can see that we used yellow chalk to lay out the grid. The yellow chalk did a good job of being visible up close but not too dark that it would ruin the white paint as we wiped it off with a wet sponge.
Another tip we learned while doing this was to use a laser level. We were lucky enough to have a rotary laser level and this laser level which attaches to the wall. It helped us in getting a nice vertical and horizontal lines. We also realized that instead of tracing around the entire box, the intersection point is the only thing that we really needed.
Karrie decided to add another step in between the chalk lines and the masking tape. She used a straight edge and a pencil to draw the diagonal zigzag lines. This isn’t really needed but helped us to make sure the layout was correct.
Again here is what the wall looked like at this point. If we did this again we would skip the step of drawing the pencil lines, but since it was our first time we didn’t want to use the entire roll of tape before realizing that we screwed up.
While Karrie was working on that wall I started painting the other three. We picked this blue color for the other walls in the baby room.
By the end of day two we were already at this point. The first coat of blue paint on the walls and the zig-zag pattern was all laid out with tape.
You can see from this close-up, that the chalk marks were still on the walls. We would wipe it off before we started painting. Also Karrie wrote the letter ‘P’ in the areas where we would be painting gray.
Here is another close-up of the wall and door trim. Remember from the earlier picture where I painted all the door trim white then afterwards I put masking tape on the edge so the blue paint would be nice and straight. However after removing the masking tape it didn’t tear as nicely as I hoped. We were left with this horrible jagged at edge.
That’s when I remembered we had a special tool for painting corners and trim. It’s a red plastic pad with rollers on its edge, the rollers allow it to get close to the trim without leaving streaks. Next time i’ll have to remember to forget the masking tape and just use the red painting tool. It does a much better job and it’s a lot quicker, not having to tape everything off first.
While I was working on the trim Karrie began painting the gray chevron pattern. She found that using a small roller was the best tool.
It took some time to paint the entire wall since she had to go slowly and make sure not to roll over the 1 inch green masking tape.
Another close-up of what the wall, paint, and tape looked like. You can see that the critical edge is the inside one where we would peel the tape away.
This is what it looked like as we were finishing up the first coat of gray. We had to paint part of the cold air return cover as well since it landed the gray section of the wall. Luckily the outlet covers landed in the white portion so we left those white.
We put on the second coat before removing the masking tape. Then here’s what it looked like as we peeled away the green frog tape masking tape. You can see that the line was pretty crisp, although we still needed erase the chalk line and pencil lines.
After all the tape was removed, the chalk marks were wiped off, and the pencil lines were erased, this is what the wall looked like. You can see from here that only one small corner of the cold air return was painted white and one small corner of the coaxial cable cover was painted gray. The bottom of the wall was left rough because it would be covered up by white baseboard.
And here is what it looks like up close again.
Not all areas turned out perfect. Here was the very first corner we did. Obviously this needed a second coat of white paint to cover up a rough mark and pencil lines.
But when it was all done it looked really good. The contrast between the gray, white and blue walls looked a bit much when the room was empty, but with all the furniture in the room was perfect.
After all the painting was done it was time to add the white base board. The first few times I had to install baseboard I used a hand miter saw, a hammer, and a box of nails. It didn’t turn out very well and took a long time. But since then I’ve purchased a few nail guns, an air compressor, and the power of miter saw. These new tools make installing baseboard a whole lot easier. My cuts with a miter saw are much more precise and attaching the baseboard to the wall and nail gun’s takes just a few seconds.
Here was the first board I attached. In the corners you need to cut the boards at a 45° angle however at the door jam it just needs a straight cut.
Not all of the joints were perfect. Even though I cut them at 90° I’ve learned that the walls in our house are not 90°. Corners in our house range between 88° and 93°. That’s where spackling comes in. Another thing I’m really glad we did was install new outlets, switches, and cover plates. Instead of leaving the 50-year-old electrical plugs, we decided to switch them with new ones. We started doing this when we remodeled our family room
The great thing about replacing them is that they only cost only a few dollars, but make a huge difference. The outlets are only $.50 each, cover plates are even less, and the light switch is something like $1.00. But when you’re all done really makes the room look like new.
Here’s the new lights switch we put in. After making sure the power was turned off at the circuit breaker, I removed the old switch and screwed in wires to this new one. The whole process took about 3 minutes.
Here’s another finishing touch, putting sealant caulk along the baseboard edge. It’s these small details that make a lot of difference. Had we not done this you would have seen a black line running around the room at the top of the baseboard. But by adding the caulk it doesn’t show any seam at all.
And while we were spackling the corners of the baseboard we also filled in the nail holes. After the spackling dries you just need to use a slightly damp rag to wipe it flush. I used to use sandpaper but a damp rag is quicker, easier, and leaves no mess.
Depending on where you shop, curtains and curtain rods can be quite expensive. We learned this lesson after buying hundreds of dollars worth of curtain supplies at Bed Bath and Beyond. The prices there were crazy, everything was $30 or more. So if you needed 2 curtains and a curtain rod it would cost you close to $100. So instead of going there, this time we got curtains and a curtain rod at Homegoods. They don’t have the same variety and you never know what they will have in stock, but if you get lucky you can find something for 1/4 of the price. When hanging the brackets I try to attach screws directly into the studs. But sometimes that’s not possible and you have to use those plastic anchors.
The gray curtains on the outside were ones we took from our dining room. The sheer curtains center were once we got for around $10 from Homegoods. For a baby room we knew it was important to block out as much light as possible for when the baby sleeps during the day. With the dark gray curtains pulled shut it does a pretty good job of blocking the light.
Here’s what it looks like from a different angle showing zigzag wall and the baseboard.
We decided to assemble the crib and try to figure out where we were going to place it in the room. We got this Fisher-Price crib on sale at Meijer. It also came with a free changing table, which we have on the first floor.
It was slightly more complicated to set up than I thought it would be, but still only took about 45 minutes to put together.
Here it is about two thirds of the way through the assembly process. It seems sturdy enough, especially after adding the steel frame to the inner portion.
We ended up liking the crib in the center of the room. That gave us space on either side for a chair and other things.
Next we put in the wood dresser. It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but the dresser is a really nice one we got from Craigslist. The woman said she paid $300 for it new, but she was selling it for just $75.
Originally we figured that we would have to purchase an ordinary dresser and tried to make it work in the baby’s room. But we got super lucky with this one, it’s really nice and even has the platform to put a changing pad on top.
This is what the room looks like with a little more furniture in it. The basket on the left is for odds and ends, the rocking chair and nightstand are in the other corner. The rug in the center of the room is real nice and soft, we also got it fairly cheep at Homegoods. Both of the blankets in this picture are ones we made. The blanket on the chair was made by “knotting” together two pieces of fleece. That blanket was quite easy to make and only took about an hour. However the blanket on the crib took several weeks. First we had to look on YouTube to learn how to crochet. It’s made of two - 1 pound spools of yarn. We messed up a lot while making it but it turned out really nice.
Here’s another angle of the room as we were setting up. You can see that with all the furniture and curtains in the room the chevron wall isn’t as bold as it was when the room was empty.
We were both really happy with how the baby room turned out. I was expecting the whole process to take a few weeks, but it only took a total of five or six days. We worked all day on the weekend then at night after work. As people are giving us gifts and things for the baby room is filling up with lots more stuff. We might have to make shelves in the closet to hold everything.
The big day is now about three months away. Even though the room is done we still don’t feel like we’re ready.