Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dining Room Facelift: Part 1 - The Chair Rail

This is probably going to be a several part series because it'll be easier to break down all the work I'm putting into it.

When we first toured our house with my friend and real estate agent, Margie, I professed my hatred of the chair rail in the dining room. I also told her that if we bought the house, that chair rail was toast. Don't get me wrong, I think chair rail can look fantastic when it's paired with wainscoting but when it just runs a line around the room? Ugh, it's just an eyesore because it calls attention to itself by looking completely out of place.

So, I took it down.



And beneath it, I found the ugliest wall-paper ever.


I suppose that when the house was originally built it looked suitably colonial with the two patterns separated by a piece of stained wooden chair rail.

Except that the house was built in the late '80s and that wallpaper was in the wrong century. I guess one set of previous owners realized this and stripped the wallpaper from above and below the chair rail. Fortunately the wallpaper was easy to remove. It was the kind that can be peeled off and any remaining bits damped and scraped off.

The previous owners then painted the room a strange orange color that I personally think looks like puke. And then, then they decided to paint all the stained and varnished trim a high glossy white latex. Poorly. Removing the chair rail made fixing that part of the poorly painted trim situation easy.

The rest isn't quite so simple and will be part 2.