The first real “project” I did in our house was painting the paneling down the hallway. I guess, technically, M’s nursery was the first, but that was more of a necessity, not just a redecorating project, since we had to convert the home office into his space. This hallway was lined with some awful 70’s laminate paneling, which unfortunately wrapped all the way around into the kitchen, and it simply had to go!
Don’t mind the cat, she was exploring. And although it’s terrible photo quality, this was the only picture I could find of the hallway before I started in on it! All the paneling got a quick wipe down, I filled all of the nail holes from when it was installed, sanded it smooth and gave it two coats of primer (Kilz Premium to the rescue, it’s the only primer I use now!) and three coats of Valspar’s Bright White paint in semi-gloss. This was the first real project I had done that helped me realize the power in a simple coat of paint. I can’t believe how much brighter and wider the space looks now! The walls got a fresh coat of paint, Valspar’s Lyndhurst Stone in eggshell. This wall runs all the way down into the kitchen with no separation point, so we kept the same neutral base to it, since we hadn’t made plans for the kitchen yet.
A few of the frames were old ones that I had grabbed from around the house, but the majority of them came from Ikea, along with that awesome mirror at the end of the hall. I had originally planned on doing white frames to mesh with the new white trim, but ultimately decided the black frames had more of a pop to them, and I don’t regret it for a second! Every time we head to Chicago to see family, we stop by Ikea and grab a few more frames. Maybe one of these days I’ll have the walls completely filled. And maybe one of these days I’ll finally get the hardwood floors refinished…
I loved it so much, I decided to recreate it outside of M’s room. It was a fairly easy project, I’d say the most time consuming part was filling all of the seams from the paneling. I just turned on some music one afternoon, sat down on the floor with a tub of wood filler and just used my finger to smear the filler on and fill all of the grooves. After it was dry, I got the best arm workout of my life and sanded it all by hand. I gave it another coat of primer to cover up the gloss finish and give the chalkboard paint something to stick to, and then applied four thin, even coats of chalkboard paint. The can recommends letting it cure for at least 24 hours, so I gave it two days before priming the board with chalk. And the rest is history! M loves his chalkboard wall, he draws on it all the time. And we love to decorate it for the holiday! He had so much fun with it this past Christmas. I drew a giant Christmas tree shape on there and let him go to town “decorating” it. After seeing how much fun this chalkboard wall is, I’m starting to think about making a huge chalkboard to hang on the big, empty wall in the kitchen. Oh the possibilities!