After thoroughly cleaning the concrete floors, I painted them with an epoxy-based paint typically used for painting garage floors. I chose the tan color because it contrasts nicely with the dark green walls, yet it is light enough to see any fallen parts. I bought the paint at Lowe's home center for around $50. This photo was taken from the room's entrance.
Around the new stub wall, this shows the view going into what used to be the room's closet.
Following the path around leads to the walkway.
Through the walkway, this is the second bedroom/model railroad room.
The second room's painted walls and floor look really nice. Notice that I also had to cut off the window sill ledges so that the future cabinets are going to be flush up against the walls.
The last major project toward completing the room preparation was the new entry door. This is the "before" shot.
I decided to go all out on this and make it out of solid oak. The photo shows the room's entrance from the hallway. The Pennsylvania Railroad sign was installed in an area routed out so that it sat inset into the wood surface. The door frame took almost a week to build.
I added some nice detail into the frame using a router. I also added a door step because of the differences of floor materials (i.e. painted concrete on one side and carpet on the other. It makes for a professional-looking transition.
This is the view from within the room looking into the hallway.
I have installed the screen door. This is the same door I used for PCRR #3, but this time I built the door frame to fit this door. The purpose of the door is the same as it was with the last layout. I turned the door upside-down so that the glass part is on the bottom and the screen part is at the top. We have two cats, so the screen on the bottom wouldn't last too long. The glass keeps them out of the room, yet they can still look in to see what "Daddy" is doing. The screen portion at the top allows for plenty of airflow in and out of the room for the A/C. A solid door made that room too hot (keeping it closed to keep the cats out). I took this photo while taking a break installing the oak wood trim pieces everywhere to hide the screw heads and the unevennesses of the walls.
The room's entrance door frame has been stained with Minwax' Red Oak, followed by three coats of lacquer to protect the surface. I think this gives the room a very nice, warm feeling.
From inside the room, the door looks very striking next to the dark green wall. Now that the remodeling is done, I believe I have accomplished one of the goals - to have a finished, appealing room within which to build a nice model railroad. This was one of the things that bothered me about the last layout. I was so eager, then, to "get some track up" that I didn't take the proper time to finish the room. I tried, but finishing the room with the layout up is very difficult to do. I set out to do things differently this time. It takes more patience, but I can now much more easily resist the urge to "get some track up" - I have seen what it does if you don't resist that urge. The remodel took two months, but it was worth it.
A close-up view of the doorstep, which was also stained.
I am now officially beginning the work on the layout itself. First up are the 18 cabinets I am going to hang off of the ceiling to house the layout's lighting. Here are the source materials; several sheets of plywood and Masonite hardboard.
And here are all the plywood sheets cut up into strips for the cabinets.
These are the parts that make up one such cabinet.
I used biscuit joiners to build the four side panels and the one top panel.
Everything was assembled using wood glue only. Here the first lighting cabinet is waiting for the glue to dry.
And this is what it looks like when it is installed. It was custom made for this section of the wall.
I installed normal 4-foot fluorescent lighting fixtures on the inside of the lighting cabinets.
It was then just a matter of repeating the process. This photo shows the lighting cabinets installed around the new stub wall in the main layout room.
A skinnier set of such cabinets were built and are being installed in the walkway. I am using two long boards to hold them up before I could install them, because there was no way I could clamp them to the existing wall. I was doing all this work by myself, so the boards were my "helping hands".
The last thing I got done this month was build the first lighting cabinet for the second room. What was unique here was that I needed to trim the A/C vent just a little to get the cabinet to fit.