Before and After: A “Dungeon” Bedroom Gets a Sweet Two-Day Refresh

published Sep 30, 2020
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About this before & after
Home Type
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Rental Friendly
Before: room with white and dark gray walls and orange ceiling
Credit: Ginger Pennington Chapman

Yes, furniture is important, but there’s a lot to be said for how painted walls can define the look of a room. Take, for example, this bedroom in Ginger Pennington Chapman’s house. After existing as a rental home for 25 years, this house needed some TLC—especially in this bedroom, which had dark brown floors that had been stained over and over again splattered with white paint, plus two dark navy walls and a “horrible rust red” ceiling.

“My twin toddlers are going to be moving into this room and I wanted them to feel like it was a magical space,” Ginger says. It would take some serious work to take this bedroom from scary to charming.

Credit: Ginger Pennington Chapman

“The process of cleaning this spider-webby room and then painting the walls and ceiling white took a full day in itself,” Ginger says, and once she saw the white walls the floor started to look extra bad by comparison. “I decided I had to do something within my tiny budget,” she says. “I refinished it in my own way by mixing together two interior paint colors, a putty and a white, and painting it on in the direction of the wood. After it dried, I rubbed an actual wood stain on top of that and let it sink in. When that dried, I topped the whole thing with a polyurethane water-based sealant and the floor was so much better!”

Credit: Ginger Pennington Chapman

Ginger let her twins choose the colors they wanted to use in the space: a cotton-candy blue, sunny yellow, light purple, and pale pink. Ginger decided to free-form the design. “I taped out a pattern onto the walls without a plan, just a feeling,” she says. “Then I planned which color would go where by sticking a dot of paint on each shape.”

Credit: Ginger Pennington Chapman

Filling in the taped-off portions didn’t take long, and Ginger was able to finish the whole room—top to bottom—in just two days. The sweet color palette, combined with the newly refinished floor, makes this room look bigger and brighter—and way more suited to two toddlers.

Credit: Ginger Pennington Chapman

“I love how the new pattern is playful and brightens the room, while drawing the eye up and making it feel less like a dungeon,” Ginger says. “I love the fact that the floor looks like a place I wouldn’t mind sitting and playing with Legos.”

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