That’s better

Just a brief powder room peek.

Our experiment with metallic (copper-colored) paint didn’t work. The space is so small with a lot of trim, and apparently the treatment works better when you can make long strokes with the special roller instead of trying to work with a brush in small nooks and crannies. We were afraid it wouldn’t cover, so we never did the second metallic coat. Plus the color was just too dark and felt oppressive. So that was 2 base coats and 1 top coat of metallic paint (at $18 a QUART!) down the drain.

We have a small paint store in our basement, so I went shopping and found a simple “Heavy Cream” (from the kitchen ceiling) that works fine on the walls and ceiling. Matches the floor tile pretty well. We still have a couple bells & whistles planned for the walls, but at least this is a better base to work with than the copper.

Yes, paint is relatively cheap (except at $18 a quart) — but the labor is a killer. By the time I’m done putting the final coat on, I will have painted those little walls 7 times. Won’t be the first time we’ve painted and repainted and repainted. The kitchen had 3 different wall colors — plus we started out by painting all the woodwork white before we changed it all to cream. (Did I mention I hate painting woodwork worst of all? My next house will have stained trim — just like every house I’ve owned prior to this one.) We also tried 3 colors in the bathroom before landing on the current one as the lesser evil — not something we ever really liked, and lately we’ve started talking about repainting it. It’s been, what, 3 whole years? You know you’re in trouble when you have to start doing things over before you’re even close to getting everything done once.

On an unrelated note, we bought a cute (inexpensive) bistro set for our new patio area out back a couple weeks ago (20% off at Big Lots) and assembled it today while waiting for the paint to dry. Of course, the patio is still covered in snow. But since we’ve been battling chronic fatigue syndrome (the powder room strain) for months now, a raging bout of spring fever is a welcome change of pace.

Color is my day-long obsession, joy, and torment.
~ Claude Monet

Halfway? Maybe.

We were at our neighbor’s yesterday for a delicious “Irish feast” as she called it — corned beef, cabbage, taters, & carrots; colcannon (decadent mashed potatoes); baked potato soup — it was soooo good. Her sister-in-law gave everyone a glass shamrock “favor.” Pitt managed to eke out (more like eek out) a tournament win. I drank apple wine from an Eastern PA winery (an amazing shade of lime jello green), and ate way too much dessert.

We almost didn’t go, though, because it meant leaving our DIY projects in process and losing several precious hours of work time. We’re making progress on the powder room, but it’s slow going. Both of us are so tired of it (Mike especially, as he does the majority of the work). Our neighbor even asked, “So, are you going to throw a bathroom party when you’re done?” “Sure, ” I said. “Everyone can come on over and have a tour — and a flush.” (As it will be “one of” the world’s smallest powder rooms, akin to a phone booth, it’ll be a very quick tour.)

Here’s where we are…doesn’t look like much, but we really have come a long way. So far, we’ve:

  • Remodeled the kitchen, which allowed us to move the refrigerator that used to occupy half the powder room space
  • Researched and found small fixtures, without which the project couldn’t happen
  • Stripped off plaster and lathe from walls & ceiling (multistep, multimess process)
  • Plumbed for sink and toilet
  • Installed plywood underfloor
  • Installed electrical for exhaust fan, light, and outlet
  • Framed out, insulated, and installed 3 walls

(Sorry for the funny angle. I have to take this from outside the house, while holding the storm door open and keeping the cats from getting out. This is looking toward the powder room door. The front hall is beyond that door. We won’t have this view ever again once we get the last wall up.)


We’re far away from being able to party in it. We still have the fourth wall to install, ceiling to install, electrical to finish, platform to build to raise standard-height toilet to “comfort” height, trim to add (kind of elaborate), everything to be stained/painted, floor tile to install, more trim, fixtures to install… it’ll be a while yet.

So, as much as I can’t wait for the weather to get warm and stay warm, it better stay uncomfortably cool for a while longer yet. Otherwise neither of us will be able to stand to be indoors, laboring in what will be a 38″ x 45″ space. Especially not when there’s a big, bad, beautiful sunroom to be built out of what still looks like this (the ground has sunk so much where we had to dig it up for the sewer repair that Mike’s had to re-prop the porch up three different times).


But…it’s all progress. We’ll get there.

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you
get tired of doing the hard work you already did.
~ Newt Gingrich