DIY · Reno

Spare Room Renovation

Hi All,

So when we bought our home we had this beautiful spare room that was clearly decorated for a young son.


So many issues with this room! The wallpaper border, the dated sponge painted walls, and the old drab carpet. Definitely not the style that we are going for, considering we are young and have no children. So, this means that we now have to rip out the carpet, take down the wallpaper, sand the sponge paint and paint over this lovely decor.

Here's the room with all the furniture taken out
Here’s the room with all the furniture taken out


So we took down the shelf that was up, ripped out the carpet and took down the wallpaper. The carpet was a pretty dusty mess, with the foam underlay and the staples everywhere. The good news was it was really easy to take out and doesn’t require any skill – other than trying to not cut yourself on all of the nails and staples.

I was concerned that the wallpaper was going to be a tedious, ugly, messy task. It was actually way easier to take off than I thought.

Wallpaper Removal Tools:

  1. spray bottle
  2. white vinegar
  3. hot water
  4. 6 inch putty knife

I took a spray bottle, boiled some water and added a healthy amount of white vinegar to the bottle. I ripped off the wallpaper first, it came off super easy but left behind the wallpaper glue. From here I sprayed the glue with the vinegar & water and waited about a minute and then took a 6 inch putty knife and scraped the glue off. It came off really easy! It only took about 30 minutes to take off all the glue around the room which was significantly shorter than I had planned.

As you can see, we also took off the baseboards. They are also quite easy to take off. We made sure that we kept them intact and in good condition so we can reuse them

Baseboard Removal Tools:

  1. utility knife
  2. 6 inch putty knife

To take them off, take a utility knife and score the top of the baseboard so it cuts the caulking that holds the top of the baseboard to the wall. It will also cut off any paint that may be on the baseboard from previous years of walls being painted. Once you run the knife across the top of the baseboard over the entire wall, wedge the putty knife in between the wall and the baseboard. Start from a corner and slowly work your way down the wall. Once the putty knife is wedged behind the wall, give it a little push toward you. Be gentle and you will need some patience for this in order to not break the wood.

Baseboard Face Lift Tools:

  1. hammer to remove nails
  2. wood filler
  3. can of paint
  4. paint brush

Once the board is out, take out the nails from the boards and any that might be left in the wall. Use the wood filler to fill in the holes from the original nails. Once the wood filler dries, paint the baseboards in your colour of choice. We repainted ours white which gave them a face lift because it really brightened them up. We rested the baseboards on paint cans to keep them up in the air while we painted.

For the sponge paint, we used an electric sander and just quickly went over the paint to get rid of the texture so it wouldn’t be seen through the paint. We then primed the walls to help fill in the walls, and then painted over the blue and white.

Freshly painted walls
Freshly painted walls

Once we were done painting, it was time to prep the floors for the new laminate. We vacuumed the floor, swept it up, removed any staples that were missed, and nailed down the floor anywhere that was creaking when you stepped on it. From here we layer down the underlay and were ready to start with the laminate.

Tools to Lay Laminate:

  1. jig saw (we used this one. 4 amps is enough power, and Black & Decker replacement blades are easy to find)
  2. measuring tape
  3. pen
  4. painters tape (helps keep the laminate from chipping when you make your cuts)
  5. hand saw for door trim

This is the first time we have ever done laminate in our lives. It definitely is not as easy as it seems. The first thing you have to learn is how to properly lock the pieces in together, if you don’t do it right the pieces don’t lie flat together, they rock on the floor. Learning how to lock them into place to be flat took a bit of practice. From there, we started laying down the rows. We decided to lay the boards in this direction because the boards ran directly into the closet. It made it a lot easier to do the closet because the boards went straight in. The closet is a tricky area to work on so running the boards this direction helped make it an easier project. The first few rows are definitely the hardest. And we started on the side with the door, so we had to cut around the door trim very quickly in the process.

First night laying laminate
First night laying laminate

The picture is a little dark, but you can see the starting process. The 6 rows you can see in the picture took us ALL EVENING the first night. We may have been slower than the average person, but it definitely surprised us how much work it took ensuring that the boards were locked in properly and that there were no gaps anywhere.

Further progress
Further progress

Finally we started getting rolling. Once you get the hang of it and finish all doors and closets, it’s really quick to get the boards in. Make sure when you make the cuts that you have the finished side of the board facing down. We measured and placed painters tapes along the cut lines. The tape helps keep the finished side of the board from chipping.

It was super exciting to get the last board in and see the final product. Once you have placed in the final boards you can put the baseboards back on. We don’t have a nail gun so we nailed the baseboards on with just a hammer and some finishing nails. I am super excited about how good the room looks, and I decided to make it into my little home gym.


Voila! All in a couple nights work!

Thanks for stopping by!



4 thoughts on “Spare Room Renovation

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