bedrooms Q&A's

May 11, 2010

Dear Debbie;

    I have a Bentwood Rocker that is pretty beat up and I’d like to refinish it in white to fit in with my bedroom. The seat and back is rattan and I don’t know if the paint will chip off? Is there a special paint or procedure?



Dear Leslie;

    Follow the same preparation for both pre-painted surfaces and the rattan back and seat that most likely have a sealer finish. Before painting, sand the wood and rattan lightly to rough up the surface so that paint will adhere. If you have sanded down to raw wood (on the frame or rattan) then apply a wood primer to seal the wood before you paint. The easiest way to paint rattan is with spray. A brush tends to leave globs of paint in the holes and cracks. Be sure to protect your work area as spray paint becomes airborne. Spray the front and let dry, then turn over and spray the back. Use thin coats to protect from drips, and apply two coats per side.


May 11, 2008

Dear Debbie;

    I am doing my bedroom and I was going to paint my walls red. I don’t want it to look dumb, and I want it to look like a teenager’s bedroom. What do you suggest I do with it?


Dear Adrienne;

    I had teenage boys, so in my personal experience the teenage bedroom look was piles of laundry, food crumbs and assorted pieces of sports equipment. However, I do know what you mean. You are looking for that special place between childhood and grownup that is distinctly you. It’s no different for any age really. Surround yourself with what excites you. Whether it’s the colour, or a particular theme (baseball, dance, music), this is your comfort zone, and you know best what that entails.
I get a lot of letters about red. Those who love it are passionate about it, and a whole room isn’t too much. I’ve said many times there is no right or wrong, it’s what feeds you, what you react to, and colour psychology only takes us so far, it gives us a general base from which to start.
When you are a child or teenager it’s necessary to get the OK from parents, but this will always be the case when you are sharing accommodation. And this is when compromise enters the scenario. Decorating isn’t permanent, it evolves and can be changed with relative ease.
Note: For the teen who is doing up a basement room and likes modern, funky furniture, a dresser or headboard can be transformed with paint and new hardware. Add pearl or metallic touches, paint a modern design, change the walls from white to a warm, pale sky blue, and think about fuchsia or lemon green for the accent wall. This will look very cool.


Dear Debbie;

I need help. The only wall I can put my bed in my bedroom has a slanted roof. This eliminates a tall headboard which I would love to have. I am not a fan of fabric on walls. Any ideas? I love your work.


Dear Yolande;

A slanted roof offers some imaginative decorative options. If you have no room for a headboard, but would like the look, then I suggest you create one with paint. This isn't difficult. Draw out the shape on the wall, overlapping the bed by four inches each side. Paint a favourite colour or even just a darker shade of what's on the wall. Then apply three coats of high gloss varnish. Add some overstuffed cushions and pillows and you have a visual headboard that will be contemporary and inexpensive. If the slant of the roof isn't too deep, you could also cut a headboard in two pieces to fit the slant, using plywood or fiberboard. Bevel the edges and paint the same as above.