Our 1940 Farmhouse – Upstairs Guest Bedroom Makeover

We have been living in our new home for three months. We have been super busy with all of our projects and moving.  We left the last upstairs bedroom untouched for sometime as it was not needed immediately.  This is a rectangular upstairs bedroom with a closet built into the attic space that was mentioned in an earlier post. This will be our guest bedroom which will not be used often, except when Jon’s son stays with us during the summer. It was a relief that we did not have the pressure to fix it right away as this room was in the worst shape of all rooms in the entire house. But we had the realization a few weeks ago that Nolan would be here in a month and we had not done anything but close the door!

Makeover Upstairs Bedroom in a 1940's Farmhouse
1940’s Farmhouse Upstairs Guest Bedroom Makeover

Although this room would be used by a teenage boy during the summer, I still wanted it to have the country look without being too modern. I had my mind set on a quilt of some type to go along with the lovely antique sleigh bed that was left in the home when we bought it.  Most of the quilts I found were really expensive or really floral/feminine. I finally found this simple gray and white striped quilt that I felt would suit my wants as well as his. It was also crisp and bright which would do well to lighten the room. Once I found the quilt I matched it with a basic cotton/poly ruffled bed skirt with split corners and gray microfiber sheets.

Once the quilt had been chosen, I went with a gray semi-gloss for the walls and ceiling and the same slight off-white Valspar Signature semi-gloss for the trim.  The ceiling in this room is angled just like the ceiling in Sarah’s turquoise bedroom which I found to be difficult to keep a nice clean line with the ceiling and walls two different colors. Thus I went with a gray that I didn’t think would be too dark for both. I chose a charcoal gray for the chimney mainly to make sure we could adequately cover the dark stains, but it also adds a nice accent to the room.

The walls, trim, ceiling, and doors were varying shades of dingy off-white with many areas of dark stains. This room has the most repairs required in the sheetrock and seams and also needed molding replaced.  The chimney and ceiling had obvious stains of a previous water leak although with several instances of rain we never witnessed any moisture there ourselves.  But to be sure we had the professional chimney inspector/repairman seal it properly on the roof when he installed our chimney liner and fireplace insert at the end of last year.  There was no structural damage from the leak. Luckily, it was only cosmetic and just looked nasty.  It looked so nasty, that I hesitated to show before pictures.  Jon spackled and repaired before I painting.

I cleaned the whole room multiple times and spent much time cleaning the chimney. Once it was as clean as it was going to get I applied multiple coats of Kilz Interior Latex Primer to the chimney, ceiling, and nearby walls. I have always thought Kilz would cover anything, but I must say I was surprised at how many coats it required. It took 5 coats on the stained ceiling and walls and 6 or 7 (I lost count) coats on the chimney.  The chimney still had a faint stain showing through the Kilz at the top, but I ran out of primer. I hedged my bets that the charcoal gray would be dark enough to cover the remaining. If I had it to do all over again, I would do further research and choose a different primer.  Thankfully, it only took two coats of the charcoal gray paint and a third round just touching up spots on the chimney.  I was finally pleased with the outcome. I actually forgot just how bad it looked until I went back to my before pictures!

Before and After of Ceiling and Chimney Water Stain Repair
Ceiling and Chimney Water Stain Repair Before and After

We adored the antique bedroom furniture that was in this room when we bought it. Overall, it was in good shape and was a true matching set. I hope to some day do a little research and find out what period and type it is. I am a lover of old things, but not an antique aficionado.  Here is a close-up of the emblem on the furniture.

Flower Basket Design on Antique Bedroom Furniture Suite
Flower Basket Design on Antique Bedroom Furniture Suite

The vanity piece is in the worst condition. The mirror was not attached. Jon mounted it properly. All of the furniture cleaned up nicely, but the vanity has more damage. The vanity is intact structurally and all the drawers open and close smoothly. The finish on the wood along the mirror frame is chipped. The mirror has black spots and streaks where the silver backing has deteriorated due to age and probably moisture. I have done some rudimentary research on antique furniture and mirrors. I am quite torn on whether I should attempt to repair it or leave it as it is. There is the true re-silvering process which looks really involved. There is also Krylon Looking Glass Silver Paint that I have seen in multiple DIY posts to repair mirrors or make a mirrored look on regular glass. Somethings I have read say do not try to “fix” the antique furniture as it ruins its value. For now it will remain as it is.

Black Spots on Antique Vanity Mirror
Black Spots on Antique Vanity Mirror

This room has a low ceiling and just had a light bulb with a pull chain. We settled on an aged bronze ceiling fan with a different light kit than the other bedroom.  Since there was no light switch on the wall near the door, Jon also installed the fan with a handheld ceiling fan remote. These remotes come in various styles and options, but we went with a basic remote that can simply turn the lights and fan off and on. The remote comes with a wall mount that Jon mounted on the wall near the door at a typical convenient light switch location. This works nicely and is so much easier than trying to pull wires through the ceiling (across studs in the opposite direction) to a light switch across the room. Then there is the added convenience of a remote that can be taken to the bed at bedtime.

Ceiling Fan/Light Remote Alternative to Pulling Electrical Wire in Old Home
Handheld Ceiling Fan/Light Remote (Alternative to Running Electrical Wire)

This room did have one 2 prong outlet. However, we wanted a second outlet on the wall near the chest of drawers so that he can plug in a TV/Xbox.  Even with wireless, there needs to be wires for electricity. Jon pulled wires from the ceiling light before installing the ceiling fan through the ceiling down into the closet. There he added a pull chain light inside the closet near the closet door.  From the new light he then ran the wire for a new outlet in the bedroom. I assisted with getting that wire pulled through the ceiling to the closet as it is near impossible to do by oneself.  Jon also had to take several of the tongue and groove beaded boards off of the closet walls to be able to access everything to pull the wire through.  He also switched out the existing 2 prong outlet with a new 3 prong outlet. He worked very hard to modernize this space to make it more usable.

The room has wood floors that have several coats of paint on them.  As much as we’d love to strip and redo the floors, it is just too big of a project right now. So, I found an 8×10 black and gray area rug with the same pattern of the other bedroom that really went great with the color of the room, the dark ceiling fan, and the chest of drawers.  When we first rolled it out we had to let it lay for several days for it to lay nice and flat.

Black and Gray Abstract Modern Area Rug
Black and Gray Modern Area Rug

The matching antique chest of drawers sits nicely in the corner of the room.  The drawers also open and close smoothly in the chest of drawers.

Antique 5-drawer Chest
Antique Chest of Drawers

I just love how crisp, bright, and inviting the room now is. This room was by far in the worst condition and I am so blessedly surprised at how well it turned out!

1940 Farmhouse Upstairs Bedroom Redo
Upstairs Farmhouse Bedroom Makeover

Our 1940 Farmhouse Series:
Our 1940 Farmhouse
Our 1940 Farmhouse – Bedroom 1
Our 1940 Farmhouse – “Sitting Room” (Office)
Our 1940 Farmhouse – Upstairs Bedroom Makeover
Our 1940 Farmhouse – Game Room Makeover
Our 1940 Farmhouse – Upstairs Guest Bedroom Makeover

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