We Bought a Farmhouse

stories of renovation, home decor inspiration & sprinkles of country life

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Guest Room Part I: The Construction

I can finally say, come be our guest!

Not that people haven't come to visit us since moving in, but they've been sleeping in storage facilities that seemed to have once resembled something that looked like a bedroom. Friends and family that came to stay with us would wake up with a lovely view of the sunrise over our tree farm, clouded by silhouettes of 2x4's, storage boxes and the distinct fragrance of saw dust. So once our bathroom was done, we were desperate to get the guest room complete as well, since they sit back to back to one another. And also because it was getting a little ridiculous to clear out our lumbar supply each time we had overnight company.

This is the room we took a chunk out of to install the guest bathroom and laundry closet, so it's smaller than when we first moved in. Those two projects changed the shape of this room from square-ish to an L. I was worried, at first, that we made the guest room too small, and maybe it would have been better to eliminate the room completely and just make a really big bathroom and laundry room instead. But once we actually laid it out I realized it was still plenty of space for guests to be comfortable. It's definitely quaint (tiny is more accurate). But really, it's a place with a bed and room for a few suitcases, which is all people really need when they come to stay. Plus, we have another bedroom that will eventually be converted into a guest room as well, and this space could potentially be Josh's office someday. So basically, the size is actually rather perfect as a bonus room/den.

Anyhoo, let's go back to the start of the project. 

Josh tore down the plaster and lathe walls in this room back when he did the bathroom space demo work. While we installed our bathroom, the guest room became a literal construction site. There was tons of lumbar everywhere, and it was filthy. Josh set up his saw and work station in there. Screws and nails were all over the floors. It was a disaster. So Step 1 was just cleaning some of it out so that we could at least walk inside.

The guest room when we started the bathroom reno, which was on the other side of this wall.

Step 2, my friends, was refinishing the floors. I did a whole separate post about this here.

When I last left you with the floors, we hadn't yet sealed them. We used a professional grade polyurethane from Bona Traffic and followed the instructions to a T. This product is really highly-rated online, and requires you to put down three coats of product. But, it was worth it to protect all the hard work that was put into these. Only time will tell how well this will last through the years, but so far, we're pretty thrilled with the results. The best thing about this product, for me, was the it was pretty clear - as in, no yellow tint. I knew that the poly would darken the natural wood a bit, but what I didn't want was for them to become too yellow or red. This product didn't do that, and darkened them to the perfect hue of rich, but natural, pine. 

You can see the color difference once the poly was applied
(the bottom right is the raw wood without poly).

Josh started to drywall and tape once the floors were in (but not yet sealed). While Josh wrapped up the taping and sanding, I started to sand, prime and paint all the shiplap planks we had cut at Home Depot. I really wanted faux shiplap on the back wall (where the bed headboard will go) and we used 3/8 in plywood to make it happen. We've done this in our bathroom and mudroom, and loved the way it turned out. We always have Home Depot cut the plywood for us because they don't charge much for each cut, and it saves us so much time (plus, when they do it, they have better tools, and it comes out way better). 

The room after the drywall was ready for painting.
After doing the mudroom and bathroom faux shiplap walls, we learned a thing or two. For me, the biggest pain is actually painting them. Getting in between each plank to paint the top and bottom of each piece while attached to the wall is beyond tedious and it takes what seems a lifetime to finish. I had to use a tiny little art brush from a craft store to do it in our other rooms, and I was miserable through the entire process. So this time, I decided to prime and paint them before putting them up on the walls, and then just doing a touch-up layer with a big roller once they were up. This was a much better process, and what I would recommend to anyone who wants to do a similar project. 

Painting the sides of the planks with a roller before attaching them to the wall was so much easier
than trying to paint them after installation. 

The plywood shiplap pieces ready to go!

I decided I also wanted to prime and paint the whole room, including the wall where the shiplap would go, before we installed the plywood planks. And once that was done, we started to install the planks to create the faux shiplap accent wall.

When our contractor installed all the plumbing and electrical for our bathroom next door, we had him hardwire this room for a ceiling light fixture as well. So, we were finally able to install a ceiling fan/light combo in here, which was such a great feeling. None of the bedrooms in this house were hardwired for ceiling lights, so we have to do this in each room we remodel. 

After that, we just had to cut, prime and paint the new trim for the door, windows, floor and ceiling, and drill and paint the door. Once the room is painted, we always feel like we're so close, and we're always so surprised when the trim work ends up taking another few weeks. But, it's always worth the wait in the end. For the door, we bought a slab door, and I decided  to paint it the same color as the room. I was originally going to stain it a walnut color, but with the warmth of the pine floors, I decided it would flow better if it was just plain white. We're still waiting on the door knob, but it's the same one we used on our kitchen doors. This knob is a special order, and we always wait until the last minute to order it, and it never comes before we actually finish a room.

Once we finished caulking the trim work, and felt confident that the floors were completely cured, it was my favorite day - move in day. Stay tuned for how I'm decking this room out for the holidays. 


  1. Can I come stay in that pretty room Sam? When I think back to what that house looked like when you purchased it, it is amazing all that you and Josh have done to make it your home. Hats off to two talented people.

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