Playroom Alphabet Wall

dsc_0470When I set out to create a playroom fit for a king, I knew I wanted to create a colorful alphabet wall after seeing some ideas of it being used in nurseries on Pinterest.  And, I absolutely love how it turned out!

It is hard to shop around for all different style and sized letters so I bought the unfinished letters on Etsy.  Before painting them, I laid out the letters how I wanted them mounted on the wall.  This helped plan which color to paint which letters so that I wouldn’t end up with the same color too close to each other. This step actually sounds a lot easier than it was.  I painted them with acrylic paint that you can get from any craft store.  I also stained a couple of letters.  The painting/staining did take some time as you have to do multiple coats and get all of the edges covered.

To mount the letters, I didn’t want to mount them directly to the wall because I didn’t want a million little nail holes in our newly finished basement walls, so we decided to mount the letters to plywood and then mount the plywood to the wall.  I used 1/4 plywood and added moulding around the edge to create a framed look.  I painted the plywood and the moulding the same color as the wall, Benjamin Moore White Dove.  I then used liquid nails to attach the letters to the plywood.  Once that was dry, my husband mounted the entire board to the wall.

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A Playroom Fit for a King

I recently shared my finished basement dreams and, as promised, here are the details on Part 1 of the project. We wanted Henry to have a playroom that he will love and where he will be free to do whatever he wants.  And, let’s be honest, the OCD in me wanted a room to contain all of his toys so that they don’t take over my family room.

As a reminder, here is what the finished area of our basement looked like before…

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Playroom (from listing photo)

I absolutely love how it turned out and I hope Henry will love it too as he gets older and plays down there every day.  Here is a list of the updates we made:

  • Expanded the room about 5 ft in length, adding about 65 sq. ft. We also added another entry that will lead to the laundry/mud room.  There will be a sliding barn door between the two rooms once Part 2 of the project is completed…can’t wait!

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    New Playroom Wall

  • Added a storage closet.  We still need to add some shelving in there, but we are waiting on a good sale because I didn’t realize how expensive it can get.
  • Replaced the windows.  The old ones were painted shut so they weren’t very useful.
  • Replaced the carpet.  We went with this Stainmaster carpet from Lowes.  We also went with the upgraded pad and I’m glad we did because you spend a lot of time on the floor with a baby.
  • Boxed in the support post with cedar wood planks.  These are stained with Miniwax walnut stain.
  • Painted.  The walls are painted Benjamin Moore White Dove.  I wanted to keep it light since it is a basement and it doesn’t get too much natural light despite having windows.  We also painted a chalkboard wall.  It has been a big hit with other kids that have visited so far, but Henry is still too little to enjoy it. Hopefully he remembers he can only write on one wall!
  • Created a craft nook.  I still want to add some wall storage to hold crayons, markers, pencils, etc and a way to display art.  I like these FINTORP containers from IKEA and these magnetic containers from the Container Store.  Since Henry isn’t quite doing crafts yet, I have a little time to finish up this area.

Although there are still some finishing touches that need to be done, I’m going to call Part 1 finished!  Here are some pictures during the project.

…and the finished product!

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Painting Knotty Pine

I recently shared with you our dramatic office makeover.  Part of that makeover included painting the built-ins and covering up the knots that were bleeding through.  Pine is a soft wood that often shows many dark and deep knots.  These will show through if you just try painting without priming first, even with several coats of paint.  We used Kilz Premium, which is a primer, sealer and stain blocker to help prevent this from happening again.

IMG_1045Below are the steps to getting these annoying knots from showing through…

  • Sand the surface just to scuff up the surface.
  • Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to clean off any dust from sanding.
  • Apply the Kilz Premium according to the manufacturers instructions.  Prime the entire surface to ensure a uniform appearance of the topcoat.
  • Let it dry overnight before applying a second coat.  If the knots are still bleeding through you may want to apply an additional coat.
  • Once the final coat is completely dry, apply the paint of your choice.  I used Benjamin Moore’s Regal Select in eggshell finish in Yorktowne Green.

Here are some before and after pictures.  The built-ins are looking much better these days!

Knotty Pine - LiveDineParty

Before

Knotty Pine - LiveDineParty

Before

After two coats of Kilz

After two coats of Kilz

The finished product