Dining room: from the windows to the walls
When we bought this house there were two rooms that needed the most work, the kitchen and the dining room. The dining room needed a complete aesthetic change and a new floor. I also wanted the dining room to be functional and not just a room with a big table that we never use.
We had a long way to go with this room.
First, we had to remove the wallpaper. It wasn't too bad because it was just a border along the chair rail. We weren't completely jaded because we had not even attempted to work on the back room in the kitchen yet. (Spoiler alert: it was terrible!) T used a combination of hot water and liquid fabric softener in a spray bottle. He sprayed the wall, the paper loosened, and it peeled right off. (This was not our experience in the kitchen.)
Next, we stained the trim. I am not a fan of the oak-looking brown color. In most of the house we painted the trim white, but since the dining room had trim on the floor boards, the chair rail, and crown molding, I wanted to keep the wood look. So I decided to stain it a darker brown. We bought some stain and some gel paint and were not really sure which would be best for this area. We tried a spot out and determined that using real stain was the best way to go.
How To Stain Trim
- Empty out the room or remove the trim. You will be sanding and it gets messy. For this room we hung plastic over the entryways and shrouded the furniture in sheets, in other rooms we removed the trim and re-hung it.
- Sand the finish off the old trim. You will want to use a 150 grain to take the old finish off and then use a 220 or 400 to smooth it out. For this step we used a random orbit sander. T said it was not easy to use on the curved edges so he had to go back in and do some more sanding once he got the majority of it done with the random orbit sander.
- Clean up the sanding mess. I underestimated (per usual) how much time sanding and cleaning up the sanding mess would take. I think it basically took an entire day. It seems like forever when you have a room of your house taped off.
- Tape off the trim if you are not going to remove it. (We decided not to because we knew we were going to paint the walls next.)
- Use some plastic gloves (double up because they rip) one one hand, get an old sock, apply stain to the trim.
- Repeat until you have reached your desired color.
- Use poly to finish it off and protect it from wear and tear. (Kids, dogs, drunk relatives, etc.)
We also eventually got rid of the light fixture. It was okay but not my favorite.
Here it is done and ready for baby M's baptism party.
This was the first room we really tackled. We didn't get to the floor until TWO years later. I never thought I could live with that carpet for two years. When we moved in M was just 4 months old. I scheduled her baptism for three weeks after we closed on this house. I wanted this room to be done for the huge party we had after the baptism. It's honestly unbelievable that we got it done, unpacked our entire house, and moved in. AND we had a four month old and a three year old! AND we each had full time jobs! We are crazy.
Check out the room now: