constructing the castle

033Two years ago we started working toward finishing our attic.  Our goal was a big playroom for the family and an office our six year old son could use as a bedroom.  We started out by adding a dormer and skylights in 2011.  In 2012 we started work on the interior.  We told our son about the new bedroom in June and told him he could have any decorating scheme he wanted.  He asked for dragons.  We suggested making a castle room for the prince with dragon decorations. He loved the idea and work started.

039My wife painted the walls to look like stonework and the ceiling to look like wood. She and I made a pair of fake windows looking out over a volcano with dragons flying around. The area behind the knee walls is insulated like the rest of the room, so he can use that as play space.  In addition, we put his mattress in one of them.  There is a door within his closet leading to one of the crawl spaces so it is like a secret tunnel.

015My wife made the stonework by dipping a mason sponge in paint and pressing it against the wall.  She made the boards for the ceiling using a tool designed for that purpose, similar to this one.

We built the fake windows from MDF, Azek, and 1×3 pine boards.  The front is MDF with a couple of arches cut out.  The inside of the arches is made from Azek we bent into that shape.  That was a bit of an adventure. Bending Azek is usually done with an expensive heat blanket.  We don’t have one of those and weren’t about to spend the money on one.  First, my wife tried using a normal electric blanket, but it wasn’t getting hot enough.  Then I tried using a torch at a very low temperature.  DO NOT USE A TORCH!  Not only is it a pain in the neck, but the Azek released all sorts of fumes.  Finally we used a heat gun.  That worked.  The unit stands up because we attached some board to the back that mate with a lip on the wall behind the fake windows.

You can browse through this gallery to see the room being built and decorated by clicking the small arrows on either side of the photos.  You can see a slideshow by moving your mouse down to the word Thumbnails and clicking the Slideshow option that appears.

Photos of the castle room

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