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hyunelan2 12-22-2009 02:21 PM

Dining room renovation + Tray ceiling
Well, rewind 4 months and I came home from my first night of grad-school to find a puddle on my dining room floor. The toilet in the master bath had leaked and ran onto the ceiling, pooling water in several locations.

What I SHOULD have done is just cut out the bad spots, put in some drywall patches, and repainted the ceiling. Underestimating how much time grad-school was going to take, I took on much longer of a project than I anticipated.

What I did, was start with what I should have done, and went further:

First, I built some ladder-frames out of 2x4 and 1x4 boards. I build them on the ground, then put them into position and shot nails into the studs in the wall and ceiling.

I ran 12/2 Romex to 2 sides of room, for recessed lighting. I added an outlet on the face of the "tray" for what will be cove lighting. I replaced the simple switch with a 3-switch version that fit into the existing double-box.
The switches work the chandelier, the recessed lighting, and the outlet for the cove lighting.

Drywall begins and lights are installed:

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hyunelan2 12-22-2009 02:21 PM

The super-suck part of the job, drywall finishing:

Then, mid-project, I had to stop and put everything back together for Thanksgiving. Though unfinished, I would envision what it might look like:

Post Thanksgiving, back to work finally finishing the drywall all the way:
I had to lower the cold-air return ^^^
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hyunelan2 12-22-2009 02:22 PM

Which brings me to last weekend. On Friday night after work, I primed the ceiling and 2 walls... ran out of primer, doh. Saturday I primed the remaining walls and Sunday I painted.

The color on the walls did not match the color sample :furious:. It was supposed to be "iced tea" - like a brownish color. It turned out to be burnt-orange. My dining room looks like a muscle car. Too late to undo, this needs to get done. I might eventually put a faux finish over it, a glaze or something of another color to break up the orange.

Here you can see the taller baseboard I will be putting up. I also have the crown molding that will be going along the bottom of the tray's face. Behind the molding will sit white rope-light. The bottom edge of the molding will have a piece of colonial molding to help close any gaps on the bottom (hard to explain, future pics will show better). I haven't decided whether or not to put a lower level of crown on the wall and lower ceiling... which means I'll need to lower the cold air return, again.

For one more insult, the room decided to allow me to put a hole in the wall under the window, when I was trying to pull the old baseboard, held on with the longest trim-nails I have ever seen.

You can also see how orange the color is... it was supposed to be closer to the color of those curtains.

So, that's where I am at currently. I just pulled the tape during my lunch-hour. Suck. The paint didn't bond very well to the primer, and the tape pulled a lot of it down. So, there are a lot of touchups to do.

My list for completion:

  • touch up the paint
  • paint the baseboard, and crown molding (semi-gloss white)
  • repaint window trim (semi-gloss white)
  • Install baseboard
  • Put furniture back in there, so it can be out of the living room for Christmas
  • Install crown and colonial molding along the tray edge, caulk, touch up paint.
  • Put rope light behind crown molding
  • Buy and install a new chandelier
  • Case the entries into the kitchen and livingroom with some molding
  • Never go in this room again

Lessons learned:
Glidden primer sucks. It's the first time I ever primed a room before painting. Even though I followed the directions for curing time and time before painting, the paint really has not bonded well with the primer. On my second coat on the walls, there were parts that the first coat of paint pulled off the wall and onto the roller. I had to put it on kind-of thick to keep this from happening. Now there are some sags due to that, which I will need to sand and touch up, but that's for a later time.

I have also decided that when I finish my basement (might be the next project), I will hang the drywall, and then call a professional. Not because I cannot finish it, but because I HATE mudding and sanding. I'll pay someone to do that, and while they're at it, they can prime and paint too. Much likely to get done faster than the 4 months it took me to do this project.

I have lived in this house almost 7 months. 4 of those months this room was under construction... way too ambitious of a project for the available time I had to work on it.

firehawkmph 12-22-2009 06:32 PM

You're learning, both at and away from school. Looks like your project is turning out nice. I would add a chair rail molding to your list. I would also put a crown below your tray, maybe a little smaller than what your putting up above.
I am not sure why you had the paint problems. Sounds like not enough drying time in between coats. When in doubt, let it sit for another day. If you were trying to put multiple coats on in the same day, that usually isn't a good idea. I like Sherwin Williams paint products. I have been using them for over 30 years and they have served me well.
Mike Hawkins:)

Itsdanf 12-22-2009 07:02 PM

Nothing wrong with burnt orange color if you're from 'round these parts. Hook Em Horns! :)

Good job on the project. It's something I've thought of doing in one of my rooms, but 8' ceilings don't leave a lot of extra space for dropping down a trey.

Looking forward to seeing the molding up.

hyunelan2 12-23-2009 07:01 AM


Originally Posted by firehawkmph (Post 370924)
I would add a chair rail molding to your list. I would also put a crown below your tray, maybe a little smaller than what your putting up above.

My wife and I did talk about a chair-rail. I'm going to put up what I have, and then judge what it needs after that. We did also talk about wainscot, like I put in my foyer, but it might be a bit much - not sure. We considered doing the picture frame molding both above and below a chair rail also - I've seen that in a lot of dining room pictures online.

I do like the suggestion of using a smaller piece of crown in the lower corner, that will help it to not look too 'busy' up there.

chrisn 12-29-2009 04:36 AM

You said you used Gliden primer, what did you use for a finish ?Just curious.

hyunelan2 12-29-2009 08:22 AM

After further review, I don't think it was the primer - but the paint. {Puts on flamesuit}, I was working off a home depot gift card... so you can guess what brand the paint was (behr). I know there are MANY, MANY, MANY people that hate Behr paint. I used it to paint my entire last house, and some of this house, and never had an issue with it. In fact I liked it. In this room however, I have experienced every complaint that anyone has had with Behr. Perhaps it was the finish. I used satin in this room, but primarily use eggshell and flat finishes.

The base and shoe is installed, the crown and lip are up on the tray, cove lighting is in, and 3/4 of the crown is up on the lower part of the ceiling. I hope to finish that shortly, and will probably have some new pictures up soon.

jpsmith 12-29-2009 01:18 PM

I, too, had used nothing but Behr for every room in my house and never had any issues. My rooms are or have been painted various shades of green, yellow, tan, and blue. The performance of the paint was acceptable in all those rooms. But when we did our kitchen in "autumn maple," a deep red color, man what a nightmare. It took six coats to get decent coverage. It still came out kind of iffy. I've since read that red paint is the worst for coverage. I've also since painted something with Sherwin Williams paint and man what a difference. I don't think I'll use Behr again. In the past I thought Behr was acceptable and it was, but only because I hadn't used anything better.

hyunelan2 12-29-2009 07:37 PM

Here are some pictures of where it stands right now. Tomorrow I will need to paint the moulding, where I caulked today. Other than that, we want to change the chandelier and maybe some new curtains. I also want to put some casing around the entryways, but that's for another project.

chrisn 12-30-2009 03:39 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Might I suggest NOT using the Behr for the trim? I do have experience with their supposedly best quality trim paint in semi gloss and it took 3 coats of white to cover already primed trim.I use this.

jpsmith 12-30-2009 07:20 AM

You should be quite proud of both your work and the tasteful elegance with which the room is presented. Great job!

jbraun 12-30-2009 07:38 AM

Wow, really great job. This is actually something that I want to do as well. Although, I am with you. Framed and drywall then leave the taping and painting to others. Could you post a photo showing what you used for the base molding, I am assuming it is two/three pieces?? It is very nice.

As for paint, I have been managing property for over 10 years. Benjamin Moore has always worked without fail. I recently had a 1 hour long talk with my paint guy (been selling paint for 25 years). I guess Ben Moore recently (last few years) upgraded all their lines. So the Super Spec (which used to be just so-so) is now what the Regal Finish was and the Regal Finish is just a lot better (not sure what that means??) Anyway, we have begun using the Super Spec (to save a little money) on several project and I have to say, for the money it looks very nice and goes on well. If you don't mind the money the Regal is still the way to go though.

hyunelan2 12-30-2009 08:57 AM

Thanks for the positive comments. For the painting the moulding -yeah, I've had the same gallon of Behr semi-gloss that I've been using for moulding since I bought the house. 3 coats seems about right - I paint 2 coats while it's in full length, prior to installation. Then cut, install, and caulk. Then, a final coat after that (which is where I am today).

The base is a 1-piece base & cap combo from HD, it runs $1.69/ft. Obviously there is a piece of shoe attached on the bottom edge ($.37/ft) for a total of $2.06 per linear foot. I used this in the hallway/foyer wainscot project, and my wife and I liked it so much that we started replacing all the plain 3" base with it, just a little-bit at a time. I would go poor/crazy changing all the base in the house all at once.

Here is a picture from their website. Later, when I go down to the basement, I'll take a picture of each kind of moulding I used (total of 5 different pieces on the project).

ponch37300 12-30-2009 01:25 PM

Looks great. I to switched to sherwin williams paint and have had nothing but good results with it. More expensive but it's worth it to skip the headaches.

I used to hate finishing to but it seems the more I do it the more I like it, or don't like it less! I've learned some things along the way and also read a lot on finishing tips and seems the more I do it the easier it gets. Now my least favorite part of it is cleaning up all the tools!

What sized can lights did you use and how much clearance did you have in the soffit?

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