Thursday, July 24, 2014

Playroom DIY Makeover: From ghetto garage to bright and bubbly playroom


Once upon a time, there was a breezeway.  It was ugly and looked like a garage and wasteland of junk.

I posted a fair amount about this room and my inspiration on the before post here.   Here's a little reminder of how it started.

I can't really explain HOW I had a vision for this room, but I did.  I knew from the onset, that it needed to be divided into three distinct areas because of the way the doors are situated.  There in the back you can see the door to the backyard.  To the right, you can see the door into the garage.  At the left you see two doors - to the front of the house and then into the house.  That leaves one area where I was standing to take the picture and two smaller areas to the left and right of the door at the back.

So I set off to work.

The walls:  

First I ripped down the pegboard behind the refrigerator.  Behind it was more wooden plank like you see on all the walls.  I think on Property Brothers I remember them calling this shiplap.  The planks weren't in HORRIBLE shape, but they also were not smooth, and the seams between them were not even.  I sanded the really rough spots and I used drywall patch to fill in some knots and really rough spots.  Why?  Well, because I was planning on painting it, and it is a good deal cheaper than wood putty.   You can see I did a lot of patching based on this small space.   After the patching was done (and had been sanded), I pulled out the caulk gun.  Every single space between every single board all the way around the room, got caulked.  It's a 370 square foot room, so it took a lot of caulk.  I totally lost count of how many tubes it took, but I'm going to say it was about 20 tubes of caulk total in finishing this room.  I used it in my finishing work as well, so it wasn't JUST in caulking the cracks.  Once the caulk had dried, I primed.  BUT, my first attempt with Kilz was a failure.  It just kept turning yellow.  I read up on it, and ended up buying oil based Bullseye.  Two gallons covered the whole room, and one coat did it for the most part, although some of the tough stains, like the black one you see here, took two coats of primer.

So at this point I had: 1. filled and sanded, 2. caulked, and 3. primed.  Obviously the next step was painting.  I chose Kilz Pro-X based on price and reviews.  The whole room got one coat of white paint, and WOW what a difference it made in how bright the room became!

Because I'm completely ADD when it comes to projects, I also started the ceiling, lights and flooring.  I'd get sick of doing one thing and try something else for awhile.

One big issue in this room was the ceiling.  It was jacked.  There were holes in the drywall, a hump, and random 2x4s sticking out of the ceiling.  We started by removing the 2x4s and making more holes. The hump we couldn't help much because there is an old flat roof on this section of the house, so a lot of solid wood exists above this.  Since we don't know how to drywall, I needed an alternative.  While I am not opposed to learning drywall, starting out with a ceiling did not sound fun.  In my massive amount of research before beginning this, I stumbled onto foam ceiling tiles.  All you do is glue them up.  These were the cheapest I found.   If I had to do it again, I'd probably have chosen something a little funkier, BUT at the same time I know this room is going to evolve.  So while it is mostly a playroom right now, it won't always be, so I went with a classic design.  The company suggests a specific type of glue, but we went with straight Liquid Nails and had no problems.  They look AMAZING compared to the gross ceiling that was there.

Once I got started on the ceiling, I realized we needed to get the lights in before I got much further.  We went with Hampton Bay track lights that were in stock at our local Home Depot.  At less than $50 apiece, they were a great deal, and between the two identical fixtures (and all the white in the room) they light up the room in an amazing way.

The floors you see here are vinyl planks from Lowe's.   They got great reviews, and we knew we needed something durable for this area.   The kids, despite lots of warnings, sill use this area to run from the front yard to backyard instead of going around.  Ugh!  And, in the winter, we knew we'd be sporting slushy, wet shoes coming in from the garage.  So, wood and carpeting were out.

It went down super easy.  Unlike the planks in our kitchen, these were simple peel and stick, so it went on fast.  To cut it all I needed was a straight edge and a utility knife.  You just score the top with the knife and it snaps right off.

 So at this point the room is coming along and looks like this.  I was already starting to load some pieces into the room.  Again, impatient and project squirrel-itis.  The two biggest issues left to contend with were the things you see in these two pictures.

To the left, you see problem one.  This used to be an exit that was filled in when the house was added onto.  Unfortunately that meant there were no wood planks there.  So, we needed a solution.  Luckily it didn't involve buying anything since we had a leftover panel from the board and batten project.  However, getting my husband to cut it was a project because he dislikes cutting the floppy stuff with the circular saw.  In his words, "it suuuuuucks."

Eventually, he relented and cut the piece for me, which didn't end up being as bad as he thought.  (It almost never is.)   Here you can see it in it's "raw" state.

And finished...

I painted it white,  and we trimmed it out.  I haven't decided whether I want to put up two shelves there, (I have two I took out of our utility closet when we put an organizer in.) or if I want to make some chalkboard paint in navy blue like the doors and make a big ole' chalkboard there.

Problem area two was this wall.  As you can see, it is plywood instead of the planks.  As you can also probably tell, it used to be the garage door before the two stall was added on the other side.  It is indented about 2" more than the rest of the wall, and the window is sadly small.

In looking at the off-centeredness of the window, I decided to put a chalkboard and cork board up next to the door to make the window look more centered.

As you see here in this finished picture, once I painted it, added the cork board squares and the chalkboard piece (from Home Depot), the window looked more centered.  Then I hung the curtain rod so that the left panel actually covers the beginning of that side indent.  (The indent on the other side is hidden by the trim put up around the cork/chalk boards.)  We did ultimately decide that we need another set of curtains.  We have the rod expanded to make the window look bigger (and to hide the wall as much as possible.)  Because of the way the curtains are arranged on the rod/brackets, they are not functional.  We need one panel on the outside of the bracket and another on the inside to make them function.  Luckily, they are $13 panels from Walmart, so buying another set won't break the bank.   While the lights seem to give them a pinkish tint, they are really a linen, grayish taupe color.


The last thing I did was paint all the doors to the exterior navy blue.  I contemplated white, but we have three kids, and I knew they'd be dirty all.the.time.  I figured I stood a better chance with the navy blue.  Plus, I had a lot of it left from Evan's room.

Bonus:  Evan loves putting notes and drawings up on the doors since they're steel doors that magnets stick to.






Here's a panoramic of the room standing at the front door.  Oh, the freezer didn't grow.  We bought a new refrigerator for the kitchen, so the old one came to this room and, we are selling the freezer.  I'd kind of love to get rid of the fridge altogether or maybe move it to the garage.  I guess time will tell.

While we had to tweak a few little things, the room ended up as I imagined - with three distinct areas.  I needed a craft area, so this is the natural solution until the basement is finished at least.  I would ultimately like to put a half-bathroom in that area.  The area on the other side of the door is the play kitchen (which I made for my son for Christmas one year) and table.  They also have art supplies over there so they can draw or color at the table, and there's a wire display for them to put the artwork up on.  Originally, we planned to keep our old kitchen table and put it there, but our five year old complained he couldn't play with the kitchen since it was in Lainey's room, and she sometimes doesn't let him in.  Then when I tried the table out over there, it just didn't work because I would have had to nix the cube shelving.  Anyone organizing with kids knows that you never nix the shelving.  The third and final area is the hangout space.  We have a little TV there for now because that's what we had.  We may replace it eventually, but it's not high on the budget list.  Mostly the kids play on the floor there.

Oh, I just realized you can see the one little spot I need to fix, the door to the garage.  I ended up with a weird gap, so I need to put a 1x2 header in that spot and paint it.  I don't know why I keep putting it off.


And standing at the back door.   You can see I painted the heater for the room as well.  (I used the high heat spray paint).  The top to my new crafting table is one half of a bifold door we replaced.  I didn't even cut it down.


Almost everything in this space came from somewhere in our old house.  I painted some things and covered others in contact paper, but it sure helped the budget being able to use things we already had.

While there's no artwork up yet, whatever goes up will be cheap.  ;)

Budget breakdown:
paint and primer:  $60
caulk: $50
ceiling tiles and liquid nails: $350
flooring: $400
trim/boards: $20
lights: $100
cork: $8
chalkboard: $10
curtains: $26 (will be $52)
futon: $200
rug: $60
vinyl for play table chairs: $12
Ottomans:  $60

That means I came in UNDER my $1500 budget.  Woohoo!




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