Need creative ideas for wall- and floorcoverings
August 10, 2006 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Home Improvement Filter: I'm trying to decide on a new floorcovering and I need creative ideas for wall paint as well.

I'm getting ready to finish a bedroom in my house. The drywall has been mudded and sanded and now it's the fun part - choosing the wall and floor coverings. Here are some of the details:

The bedroom is approx. 12' x 15'.
The house is an older house, built around 1920.
The rest of the house has finished hardwood floors but the current floor in the bedroom to be finished is a yucky old linoleum and for some reason the original hardwood has been removed underneath (or was never there); there's just regular floorboard under the linoleum.
This bedroom will be used as a nursery for probably the next 2 years.

I'm looking for ideas for floorcoverings that are fairly easy to install (but cost isn't an issue). I'm especially interested in cork flooring but I don't know anyone who's ever used it. Also being considered would be carpet tile but suggestions for other "alternative" floorcoverings are appreciated.

We'll also be painting the walls and I'd like to do something somewhat creative with them too. What are some good resources for textured paint techniques or other creative wallcoverings?
posted by mezzanayne to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Some friends of ours used Flor carpet tiles in their house and they look and feel terrific.
posted by padraigin at 9:59 AM on August 10, 2006

Best answer: Regarding painting techniques - I'd suggest your local public library for a wealth of information (free, even). There are a few basic techniques, with variation on the themes:
1. Ragging on - adding color to already painted walls, usually in some sort of "interesting" way (i.e. with a rag, sponge, plastic bag, etc). May be repeated with different colors to acheive a desired effect.
2. Ragging off - taking away color from a freshly painted surface. This is usually done by using a glaze of some kind, which is painted on and then taken off (ragged off) while still wet. You work small portions of the wall at one time, and again, often use some kind of special brush, a rag, etc. This technique generally happens over a base coat color of some kind.
3. Texture - such as "venetian plaster", or just spray-on.
This is an underlying texture that can be applied to the surface prior to painting. Generally speaking, textured walls don't lend themselves to further 'fancy' treatment (those faux finishes are supposed mimic the texture!). That's just a general rule though.
For our bathroom, my husband used both ragging on and ragging off, and about six colors of green to do it - it looks fabulous, but it took a lot of labor (it's a small room).
Here's some cost-saving tips for you:
1. Fancy glazes are not necessary, so long as you are confident in your color-mixing abilities (call out the inner artist!). Just ask for a quart of base, and then get some small batches of strongly colored paints and start mixing. Base is the same thing as 'glaze' and is (or should be) cheap. Rodda Paints will sell pints of paint in any color - and is a great resource when you're trying to figure out what to paint a room.
2. "Stippling brushes" - save your money here too - just buy 3-4 cheapo bristle paint brushes, cut of the handles and screw 'em together: eh voila - a stippling brush for about $4! You can throw it away when you're done.
3. Use the plain glaze if you want a shiny finish to your paint job - it will go on sorta milky, but will dry clear.
Have fun!
posted by dbmcd at 10:52 AM on August 10, 2006

I'll second the Flor tiles. As for textured paint: all I can say is, if you're doing it yourself, expect it to take twice as long and twice as much paint as you think it is going to. At least that was my experience, and I wasn't even trying to do anything fancy.
posted by spilon at 2:37 PM on August 10, 2006

Sponge-painting is neat and produces some beautiful effects.

Consider painting one wall with glow-in-the-dark paint. This can be used for entertainment purposes later - imagine kids, a slow strobe light, and lots of posing to produce odd silhouettes.

There's also magnetic wall paint for an undercoat so you can stick things to the wall.
posted by adipocere at 4:41 PM on August 10, 2006

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