Tristan’s Big Boy Room – Part One: The Paint

With our little one’s anticipated arrival in January, our projects around the house have focused on preparing for baby.

Our home’s layout has 4 bedrooms with two of those bedrooms downstairs, and two (including the master) upstairs, which is the main living level. I jokingly refer to the downstairs, which has two bedrooms, a bath, the playroom and the room that will someday be our office/crafty space, as the “forgotten wing.” This is mostly because I tend to neglect cleaning down there and we only really spend time in the playroom.

All of that’s about to change.

The bedroom where Tristan currently sleeps is slated to become the nursery, since it is next to the master, and Tristan will be moving downstairs to his “big boy room.” We want to make this change well ahead of baby’s arrival so that Tristan doesn’t feel pushed out and also because our home’s previous owner left us a fair amount of work to get the would-be nursery into shape for a baby.

I started working on the big boy room in mid-July (2 whole months ago!) but due to our hurricane-related power outage and some other things we had planned I didn’t get things done as fast as I had hoped. Never mind, trying to paint only during nap time hours since a 2-year-old and paint do not mix.

I finally finished painting last week and I’m working on the finishing touches in the room now. Curtains should be hung this weekend and I just need to track down a dresser so we can move Tristan down there.

I’m most excited about the built-in bookcase which I think has really transformed with a few coats of paint! The bookcase was truly awful. It appeared to only have a coat of primer on it with knots bleeding through. On the bottom of one shelf was a nasty burn mark like somebody had burned a candle on the shelf below it. It took us two coats of Kilz Primer (which I had to wait for Shane to do, since it was not VOC-free like the paint) and two coats of high-gloss paint to make it pretty! Covering up the awful wood-tone trim was the best move!

I apparently didn’t get a true before photo of the bookcase when we moved in, but there’s a partial when I started painting the accent color on the back of the bookcase. I’ve actually already styled the shelves and Tristan has been playing with his stuff down there.

Here are the before photos. I swear these don’t do justice. The previous owner left all kinds of stuff to be removed from the walls and ceiling (glow in the dark stars that must have been 15 years old) and plenty of holes that needed spackle.


The partial before of the bookcase:


Funny story: I actually sent the above photo to my parents asking for advice about painting the support piece under the shelves. My mom replies asking what the paint colors are, since they looked familiar. I told her they were “Wave Crest” on the wall and “Blue Fox” on the bookcase, both by Behr. Apparently, she used the exact same colors in their master suite! This apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I guess. (Although we chose “Wave Crest” mostly on the name – it’s the meaning of Tristan’s Hawaiian middle name, and was too perfect).

When he caught me snapping a few pictures of his new room, Tristan insisted on posing. Here are the after paint photos:




It feels so good to finally get some color on the walls in this house of white! I’m kind of jealous of Tristan’s new room, but the next room to get some paint will be the nursery.

I hope to be back soon with the final reveal pics of Tristan’s big boy room!


3 thoughts on “Tristan’s Big Boy Room – Part One: The Paint

  1. We just moved and my husband finds it crazy how long it’s taking me to paint. Our walls have chair moulding, so I’ve just been doing one half per nap time. And then trying to keep his little hands away from wet paint! I’m totally feeling you on this one!

    • I had a close call one afternoon when my son woke up a bit early from his nap. It was about to get real dicey when luckily my husband pulled in the driveway! It’s not just him either; I had a cat walking around with wet paint on her tail after she decided to see what I was up to.

  2. Pingback: Tristan’s Big Boy Room Part Two: 80% Completion | Home By Hanley

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