Guest Bedroom Remodel: Part 1

Hi Everyone!

The time has finally come.  There is a solid, cold, layer of snow on the ground here in New England, putting my “Exterior Painting Project” on hold.  While my wrists are feeling grateful,  my neighbors are likely getting sick of looking at a half primed house.  Regardless, my painting project will need to be put on hold until Spring.

With that, I have turned my attention to our second floor.  With our new master addition being on the first floor, we have very few reasons to ever trek upstairs.  For the past two and a half years it has served as our storage unit.  How two people who never owned homes before managed to acquire so much junk, is beyond me.

If you haven’t checked out the “Our First Home” page, you may want to take a quick look.  Here is a picture of the 1st bedroom upstairs, i.e. The Blue Room, from before we closed on the house.

This room, the smaller of the two, has 70’s style wood paneling, popcorn ceilings, two drafty windows,  a faulty radiator and glorious red carpeting.

Ideally I would have liked to empty both upstairs bedrooms into the unfinished attic space; however, our 18 inch, solid memory foam mattress is not going anywhere.  I cried for hours and suffered many injuries getting that mattress up the stairs and into that bedroom.  I will be damned if it is going to get moved again.

So for this project it makes more sense for us to do one room and then move the stuff to the other side and complete the second room and hallway.  Last weekend I was finally able to get up there and start the demo phase.  I am not sure how much tearing down wood paneling constitutes “demolition”, but for the sake of this post let’s just pretend that I am a demolition master.


For this project I used a small crow bar, screwdriver, and hammer.  I found that it worked best to go around the room and remove all the upper trim, baseboards, window trim and outlet covers first.  Just be sure that when you are prying these off you don’t damage the walls or ceiling.  Thankfully the wood paneling acted as a support in most spots, but in those spots where there was bare drywall or ceiling, I simply slid a piece of wood behind the pry-bar.  This is a quick way to distribute the pressure out and prevent holes.


All-in-all,  with the help of my favorite pup, I made it through the room in less than an hour and only damaged one spot at the very end.  It is pretty standard with any project that I do….I get a little confident and then lose my patience.  Thankfully it should be pretty easy to fix.


The history behind the walls is one of my favorite parts of owning an older home.  Someone lived in this house for decades.  They raised their children here.  Their grandchildren played here.  They made thousands of memories in this place, and we got to uncover a bit of that with this remodel!  I did not include one picture with their names, but this artwork was complete by a 3rd and 4th grader in August 1973!

We are extremely fortunate that we found drywall under the wood paneling.   That will save us quite a bit of work.  We plan on teaching ourselves how to replace the windows (keep an eye out for that) and then we will finish the walls.  A messy task, but it will be worth it to have nice smooth walls!  There will likely also be some sanding of popcorn ceiling, we will see how I feel after the dusty hell of sanding mud off drywall 😉

I have a bit of clean-up to do, but here is a look at the “demo” outcome!


We have a long way to go, but I can’t wait for our first guest bedroom to be complete!  As always, stay tuned, I will do my best not to take months with an update!

Tip:  Make sure you wear protective equipment.  I opted to forgo the breathing mask, and I spent a day home sick from work, and then spent the rest of the week struggling to breath.  Sans dust-mite and mold allergy, it still is not a good idea.  Masks are affordable and will protect your throat and lungs!  The same goes for protective eye wear.  It is annoying, they fog up when you work up that sweat, but the second a rogue nail, splinter, or popcorn ceiling bit comes flying at your eyes, you will be grateful.

Have you completed a guest bedroom remodel?  I would love to see some inspiration in the comments section! 
Keep an eye out for my upcoming post “Upstairs Remodel: Part II”, and as always, if you want to stay up-to-date please follow Damsel With A Drill and subscribe to our email list.



1 Comment

  1. Joan Cameron

    February 2, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Nice job Laura! Can’t wait to see the transormation!

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