Teen Boy's Closet: How to Patch Walls & Carpet! And Undo a Room of Painted Stripes!

Teen Boy's Closet: How to Patch Walls & Carpet! And Undo a Room of Painted Stripes!

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Happy Valentine’s Day my dear readers!

I am so excited to celebrate this day of looooove with family and friends and a trip to the hardware store! Plus, there isn’t much better than an excuse to decorate everything with hearts and eat cupcakes and chocolate candy all day, can we all agree on that?

Although we all know that marriage can be filled with highs and lows, Bryan and I are so thankful to be toasting to today with giant cheek-to-cheek grins and all the heart eyes. But things are definitely getting a little patchy over here, not with our marriage, but with our son’s closet update. And although that typically sounds like a negative thing, in this case, it is good! Very good! We tackled patching both the wall and the carpet and I wanted to share how we did both.

When we last left off, we had removed a portion of our son’s closet wall in order to widen the opening and make additional room for a tower of drawers and shelves. With the closet wing walls in place, it really limited usable space as well as our storage options. His bedroom measures 9 feet wide by 13 feet long, so we need every inch of the closet possible. We opened the closet to a 4 ft opening, which we will eventually conceal with a sliding door.

That wall removal left us with a bit of a repair job ahead of us; both the wall and carpet were now incomplete and in need of patching. And of course, our personal goal was to make it look like the new closet design was seamless and original to the room.

We started with the wall, and thanks to the mud dry time, it took us a few days to complete. That said, I learned so much from these different pieces of the room puzzle and I would feel completely confident tackling any one of these tasks completely on my own down the road. Bryan and I took these on together and he taught me a few of his learned tricks, but I can’t stress enough that YOU CAN DO THESE THINGS TOO!

Let’s flashback to the room after we carefully removed the closet wing wall:

Materials Used:

  • Tape Measure
  • Utility Knife
  • Painter’s Plastic | Foam Core Board (to protect floor)
  • UltraLight 1/2″ Sheetrock
  • 1 1/4″ Drywall Screws
  • Pre-Mixed Joint Compound
  • Sheetrock Joint Tape
  • Mud Pan
  • 6″ Joint Knife and 12″ Taping Knife
  • Drywall Sanding Sheets and Hand Sander 
  • Spray Texture
  • Paint | Sanding Respirator Mask
S T E P   O N E
We double checked that we had enough proper backing (we did) and cut the sheetrock to size using a utility knife, patching it in using drywall screws. It is important to measure and cut the pieces to fit as snug as possible to reduce the risk of any cracking down the road.

S T E P   T W O

Next step is to tape the seams. There are muds that you can purchase and mix yourself, however, we opted to purchase a premixed version to save some time. This was a good option for us because we were just patching a single wall (and have a couple other small patch jobs to tackle in the near future), vs. an entire room or home of new sheetrock.

The mud can generally be used straight out of the bucket, but to apply the tape it should actually be mixed with a bit of water to thin it out some. We mixed the mud with water in a small mud pan with the 6″ joint knife.

The knife also doubles as a quick way to cut the joint tape, which we measured to length and then ran through the mud by lightly pressing down on the tape with the handle of the knife.

Stick the tape to the wall and run the knife down the tape, smoothing out any of the mud that seeps out. We found it worked best to completely coat the back of the tape (without over-doing it) to create a tight seal from top to bottom. This is only the first coat, so the current focus is on affixing and smoothing out the tape over the joints, then carefully scraping clean any excess mud.

Let the mud dry for 24 hours prior to moving on to the next step.


S T E P   T H R E E

Day two and day three is simply re-applying the mud over the tape/seams and fanning it out further and further to the surrounding walls with a wider taping knife (10″ – 12″). This helps to smooth and level out the patched areas.

It is important to sand with fine drywall sanding pads between each coat and to also wait a full 24 hours between each application.

S T E P   F O U R

We have textured walls, so this was an added step for us that may not always apply. The newly patched area was sanded nice and smooth, yet the rest of our walls were covered in the oh-so-lovely orange peel texture years ago when we built. WHY!?! As much as I wish we could redo all the walls flat, it just doesn’t make sense.

So we picked up a can of spray texture to blend the new wall area with the existing. Before we got started we stapled down painter’s plastic to protect the carpet and everything nearby. We also used a piece of poster board to practice using the spray texture and to find the proper nozzle setting based on the amount of texture we wanted to add.

Masks on and windows opened, we sprayed in a swooping motion up and down the wall until it was covered to our liking (keeping the can about 18″-24″ away from the wall while spraying).

Tip: The finer the nozzle is closed, the grittier and sandier the finish will look. The more open the nozzle, the larger the speckles will be and the more depth of texture you will achieve.

We allowed the texture to dry completely for a few hours, and I decided that it was a little too rough in comparison to the painted-quite-a-few-times surrounding walls, so I knocked it down just a smidge with an ultra-fine sanding pad.

And that is how we patched the wall! It is like it was never there to begin with!

But how about that carpet?

Materials Used:

  • Tape Measure
  • Utility Knife
  • Carpet Tape
  • Rug Pad
  • Carpet Remnant | Sample
  • Scissors
S T E P   O N E
The first step is to hunt down your carpet remnants. And when you can’t find them, start panicking.
I know we saved some from our carpet installation years ago, but they are probably in some deep, dark corner of the attic. There is no way someone who loves to organize could possibly have misplaced them… 
So we took a trip to Home Depot where we originally purchased our carpet, and they were able to look up our order and tell us exactly what carpet we installed. Which was super fantastic because then we were able to go online and order a few sample pieces of the same carpet for a $1 each!
Not always ideal, but hey! It totally worked! It is also important to note we are working with a frieze style carpet which is wonderfully forgiving in these situations. It is a thicker, plush carpet with a bit of a wild twist weave; perfect for reducing the signs of stains and patch jobs!
S T E P   T W O
We measured the opening on the floor and then measured the back of the carpet, drawing a line with a pencil to indicate our cuts.
We used a utility knife to score and cut the backside of the carpet. We found it was best to make sure both the existing carpet and the new piece were cut as cleanly and straight as possible. It also helped to cut it just tad bit wider than the initial measurement. (This reduces the risk of a visible seam. Also, you can always cut it smaller but you can’t make it grow.)
We placed the piece down for a dry fit.
This is when we realized that the surrounding carpet had a carpet pad installed under it, and the new piece was dipping down a bit without it. So, we were resourceful in cutting a small piece of rug pad from a pad we already owned (removed from an inconspicuous area of rug pad located under a rug which was located under a piece of furniture).
S T E P   T H R E E
Vacuum area to remove any carpet scraps, dust or random debris.
S T E P   F O U R
To affix the rug pad, we put down a strip of the double-sided, mega adhesive carpet tape.
Then placed the rug pad over the top.
More tape, this time going in the opposite direction and placed a bit under the existing carpet.

And finally, put down the cut piece(s)!
S T E P   F I V E
We firmly pressed the new carpet into place and did our best to introduce and blend the new and old strands. We noticed a few random strands and mismatched heights that we took care of with a sharp pair of scissors.
Then I stood back, closed my eyes and crossed my fingers…

I was so ecstatic to open my eyes and not see anything noticeable about our fix! I was pretty nervous because this was the first time we have attempted this type of DIY. And as much as I want to give ourselves all of the credit, I will admit that the carpet type probably played a large role in the outcome. We have already vacuumed it a few times and it is NOT moving! Whew!

And finally, how did we get rid of those stripes that I once worked so hard to get just right? I wish I could say it was a quick and painless process, but that just wouldn’t be true.

Materials Used:

  • Medium Grit Sanding Block
  • Paint | Sanding Respirator Mask
  • Safety Glasses
  • A Strong Arm
  • Damp Rag
  • Ambition
  • High-Density Roller Cover
S T E P   O N E
Do your research and prep your body and mind. I did a little Google searching for best solutions for removing stripes specifically from textured walls, and quickly learned three things:
1) Don’t use a power sander because it will burn down the texture and make it even more evident that something was there.

2) The more stripes, the longer it will take (obviously). An entire room could take multiple hours of hand sanding. Ugh.

3) With textured walls, a high-density roller cover will be helpful in concealing the previous stripe lines when applying the new paint color. That was a bit of good news and the one and only time I was actually grateful to have orange peeled walls.

If you need a quick reminder that your arms are not in great shape, sand an entire room of stripes. Oh, and because you want real and we are in a judgment-free friend zone, here I am wearing my lovely mask and feeling thrilled with how I was spending a weekend morning.

Why the mask? Because otherwise you will eat dust and have crusty boogs. I also recommend grabbing a pair of safety glasses. I added those to the mix a bit too late in the game.

S T E P   T W O

Sand each and every stripe line in a circular motion with a medium grit sanding block or paper. I wish I could pretend that this part was fun or worth my inability to use my right hand for the following two days, but it took about 3 hours total time for the entire room and was less than enjoyable.

S T E P   T H R E E

Use a damp rag to wipe down the wall from top to bottom and remove all of the dust you just spent hours of your life creating.

S T E P   F O U R

Using a high-density roller cover designed for semi-rough surfaces, paint over previous stripes and feel a variety of emotions. I did two thick coats with Behr’s Marquee interior paint in an eggshell finish, color matched to Sherwin William’s Nebulous White. I was happy with the coverage of the lighter color and the stripes essentially vanished beneath the new paint.

So there you have it, a patched wall, patched carpet, and undoing a room full of painted stripes!

We have accomplished so much and come so far (we even assembled that IKEA piece and painted the ceiling), but still have a bit more to do to wrap up the entire project. Up next on the list is to trim out the closet and room with new baseboards, install new door and window jams, casing, and crown moulding. The outlets and switches still need to be upgraded to white, we are also replacing the old light fixture which was no longer functioning. The remainder of the closet needs to be finished; we are adding drawer hardware, two hanging bars, an upper shelf, then trimming it all out to look nice and finished. Also re-hanging the window treatments at the correct height, building some shelves for above the desk, organizing the new closet, building and installing a sliding door, and making up the room to give our guy a fresh new space. We have a few other unfinished rooms and projects, but this was moved to the top of our priority list for a couple of reasons, and I am determined to see it through to the finish line before seeing a squirrel and working on anything else. Wish me luck!

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