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The Back Door

A polka-dot makeover made this teen realize the value of hard work.


Photos by Elma Dornberger

Back-Door-5My name is Fiona Dornberger and I am 13. Last summer, when I was 12, I decided that I was going to remodel my bedroom. I was expecting lots of changes in the fall with a new school and a new soccer club. A change at home seemed like the right thing to do.

I was playing with a friend who had recently redone her bedroom for the third or fourth time and it gave me the idea that I wanted to do the same. The west wall of my room had been yellow since I was 7 years old and I thought it would be fun to have a different design.

I knew I wanted polka dots, but the colors were hard to pick. At first I wanted green and purple but as I thought about it more, it wasn’t something I wanted to live with every day. Then when I was shopping at Target, I saw a fuzzy blue blanket. I loved the color of it! I didn’t connect the color of the blanket to the wall of my room until a few weeks later, and then BANG! I had it.Back-Door-3

It took a while to find a blue paint that would look nice in my room, so I tested a couple of colors on my wall, a greenish blue and a more ordinary blue. I chose the greenish one. I also spent time looking at white paint to complement the blue I had chosen.

I wanted two walls to be blue with white polka dots and two walls to be white with blue polka dots, but when I painted the first wall blue I decided that two blue walls would make the room seem too small.

The next thing I did was to paint the yellow wall white. Then I stuck three different sizes of paper party plates on the wall to represent the polka dots. Using a compass, I drew circles around the paper plates. I taped over the edge of the circles using masking tape.

Back-Door-4Next, with an x-acto knife, I cut on the line of the circle that was showing through the tape and lifted off the inside tape, leaving a perfect mask. After that, I painted the inside of the circles blue. When the paint dried, I pulled off the remaining tape, revealing beautiful polka dots!

At first, it took longer to paint the polka dots (four or five per day), but as it progressed I was able to paint almost an entire wall in one day.

In the beginning, I was very excited to start painting. But after the first week, I found that it wasn’t as fun anymore. I began to get tired and while I was painting the white polka dots on the blue wall, I felt like giving up, but I didn’t.

Next came rearranging the furniture. I emptied a lot of old things out of my room so it was neater. I moved my desk from the south wall to the north wall and the head of my bed from the west wall to the north wall. I moved one of my bookcases as well.

Back-Door-2I always feel very proud when I walk into my room now. People might think that there are too many polka dots, but actually there aren’t. I think it’s all worth the work I put into it. It’s fun to lie in bed and think that I painted my room all by myself (with a little help from my dad).

I hope I inspire other kids to redo their rooms, too. And I think after it’s finished, it’s totally worth it!

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