One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Let’s talk about walls. And my standards of ‘not so bad’.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before (if you’re new to this blog, then it’s sure to be a riveting story): we bought this house from some house flippers that covered all the plaster walls with drywall. The walls looked nice, but projected farther than the baseboards and it irked the hell out of me. A few years ago, I started removing drywall, room by room, to expose varying horrors underneath.

This guest room is the 7th room in the house that I’ve been repairing in earnest and for some reason, although I have gotten a pretty good handle on it, I felt serious avoidance to putting the work in. Like, I found all sorts of other activities to do instead of work on those walls. Working my actual job longer days, watching kids movies (Hocus Pocus for the win) and idk, my fucking taxes? Basically, anything seemed better.

I removed the drywall and screws, and introduced the room.

But not myself? Which should be the biggest indicator of who I am. My name is Madeline, I am not a designer or real blogger (as evidenced by my many posting faux pas) and I am renovating my 100+ year old home as a hobby. I do all these projects by myself because my husband has no interest in them. I love hyperbole and pink.

Now back to the room.

Last week I scraped off the faux finish. What I was left with was the room with the least amount of cracks on the ceiling and walls, although I was still gifted with some huge chunks of wall/ceiling missing, cracks and tons of screw holes. And a seriously growing hatred for all the previous owners. The worst. Whenever I would get my dusty clothes on and mix up some mud, I barely worked on it and would abandon the walls for wine and justifications that I still have weeks.

That is the beauty that is the One Room Challenge though. Thanks to Linda, from Calling it Home, for creating this event. And all the amazing and inspiring participants! I can’t give ya’ll an ugly and crumbling room and I am running out of time.

So I hunkered down and worked on those walls. Super crabby though. Like, don’t even fucking look at me wrong, Cat. I know you’ve been sleeping for the past 22 hours. And why am I not eating a whopper with cheese right now!?

I won’t give a full tutorial here on my process for repairing plaster – I wrote about that process previously or here, if interested.

Short version is remove crumbling plaster from cracks, patch large holes with drywall, fiberglass screen on all the cracks and holes, layer joint compound, another layer, probably some more and then sanddddddddd. The caveat is that you have to feel comfortable drinking wine with questionable chunks of plaster and dust.

I spent daysssssssss patching. The ceiling had some weird powdery substance on it? Like they thought about doing popcorn but then nah. I scraped off what I could, but it made it really difficult to apply the joint compound by sucking out the moisture asap and sucking up my life essence while it was at it.

And that’s where I’m at. Still.

I have to sand and then prime everything before I can even move on to the actual paint. I always follow that up with two coats of oil based primer (nothing better) and then two coats of latex primer. It’s proven to be the most efficient at reducing any flashing in the top coat. I think I do 4 coats? I can’t remember right now.

Even further insult is the paint on the trim is peeling off in some places and scaling in others, and it’s for sure lead paint underneath so I can’t just sand it smooth. Sooooooooooo stripping it will have to be done. And don’t eat the paint chips.

I went for a much needed run and then came home and painted on a layer of stripper. I didn’t even get out of my gym clothes, which is why I have so many ruined clothes piling up. The citristrip was on there to do most of the work while I was at work. At my actual paying job.

Which I just got back from, took these pictures and finished this post for the week 3 link up. Ahead of things, I am not.

I am exhausted and not sure if I’ll get everything that I want to do done in time.

On to the good news though? Even though the room still looks like shit, I ordered some pretty stuff for it and that’s starting to arrive.

Art work:

"form" - Art Print by Lauren Packard in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.

"rock in style" - Art Print by Lauren Packard in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.


This light fixture (in black) for next to the bed, and this rug.

I also purchased that rug for my dining room. I ordered the 9’x12′ and it came several inches too big and too big for my room. A quick google search and the internet was like ‘omg it’s so easy to fix!’ and I was like cool. LET ME TELL YOU, NOT FUCKING COOL. I feel it’s only right that someone on the internet is honest about it. It took me several hours to use a seam ripper to remove the braid, sew it back on in the right place and then a huge blister when cutting off the excess. And I stabbed myself a million times. I damned bled for that rug.

So, pray that when I unroll the one for this room, it’s the right size. Otherwise I’m going to have to burn the house down and live in a cave.

I found my kreg jig! But can’t find my respirator mask and had to buy a new one. WHO HAS THESE PROBLEMS.

All that’s left is:

  • Strip wood work
  • Sand walls
  • Prime
  • Prime
  • Prime?
  • Prime?
  • Get my life together
  • Paint
  • Build a bed and figure out how to upholster (I find this project intimidating)
  • Avoid a nervous breakdown
  • Put all the pretty stuff in there

3 weeks. Tears.

Head back to the link up for all the other people putting in work!


One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Procrastination is expensive and also my default setting

Welcome back!

To brush you up, the One Room Challenge is a bi-annual event that is hosted by Linda from Calling it Home which facilitates bloggers choosing a room in need of love and 5 weeks to share progress and then a reveal. It’s such a great opportunity to GET SHIT DONE, and there’s so much support from fellow participants. It gives me all the fuzzies.

As per my routine, I announced that I would complete this project in a short amount of time, then I went and did other things – not related to my project.

And there I was, minding my own avoidance business and I was like “Oh shit! The roman shades!”

You see, I purchased the last 4 1/2 yards of Rose Gold Regency fabric from Tonic Living (here’s the gold version) a few months ago, and then it sat in it’s packaging.

Sometimes (all the time) in my head, once I have made a decision about something in my brain, it’s done? But not actually in reality.

So I reached out to someone on Etsy about sending the fabric and having shades made, and the price was reasonable and I was like great! Then I went to purchase the listing and the estimated time was 6-8 weeks. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Some frantic emails and general begging/harassment later, and I was told she was too busy to rush my order, which is understandable. Unfortunately, this took some days, which cut into my time frame even more.

I reached out to someone else, and I got the quote and it was expensive. And a rush charge, and also, really expensive. For just the labor and lining.

I started emotionally sweating. I only have 4 weeks to ship the fabric to someone, have them sewn, shipped back to me and then hung.

And also, I am like real people poor. I am not like some people, with what-appears-to-be-infinite resources for home design. Not hating, just jealous.

No offense to the fabric, either, but it wasn’t going to be the focal point of the room or anything. So, did it seem worth it? Should I choose an alternative? That costs money too, and I already paid for the fabric.

On the other hand, I am also unwavering when I have made decisions.

So, guys, I bit that expensive bullet. I sent the fabric out yesterday, and I feel like it had better be sewn with angel’s tears or something.


After that whole sweat and stress inducing situation, I was like, Girl, you just spent all that money for roman shades and you haven’t done anything on those ugly ass fucking green walls. FOR SHAME ON YOU. AND ALSO GET YOURSELF UP THERE. YOU ARE SWEATY AND GROSS ALREADY. AND MAKE GOOD LIFE DECISIONS.

I went to inspect the walls. The faux finish added a weird texture and also made it hard to see any cracks in the plaster for repair. I grabbed one of those paint scraping tools and a big box of razor blades and started scraping.

idk who else’s ORC room literally shed its skin to reveal new walls underneath. So I’ve got that going for me.

Rare action shot!

It took about 10 hours to scrape off what I could. I plied my sister with a $4 bottle of wine and she helped! It gave me several blisters and claw hands, even still.

Somehow the faux finish protected the plaster from the drywall screws?! Miracles DO happen. They are in the best shape (pre-repair) of the whole house. Which is kind of a sad statement?

Next up will be patching! THEN PAINT!

I am exhausted just thinking about it. At least I have exciting weekend plans now!

In other productive updates, I ordered a light fixture for next to the bed. I ordered it from Greece though, so, it might not come in time? So that may not be a productive update? Why do I do these things?! Ya’ll, save me from myself.

I picked up a nice dresser off craigslist, which, I think I will refinish. If my body doesn’t have a violent reaction to the thought of more sanding.

I’m glad that I have something to show for myself and we aren’t sharing in my complete failure.

Make sure to head back to the link up for other rooms with likely more progress!


That one time I got a table saw and built my own furniture.

Oh, heyyyyyyyyy.

Are you sick of me yet?

Too bad. I wrote another post.

The post is a story about me. I’m very self involved.

So, a long time ago, I picked up a credenza from craigslist and modified it to make it a media console. Then, during the one room challenge when I did my living room, I made a different media console. I put some longer legs on the craigslist credenza and moved it into my dining room.

And that was fine, but that’s all. It was too deep and not long enough.

Then, one day, it wasn’t fine any longer.

I wrote down some scribbles for measurements, and went to Home Depot.

What felt like a very long time later, I left with:

  • Two 4′ x 8′ x 3/4″ Birch plywood boards (I would get maple – next time)
  • One 4′ x 8′ x 1/4″ sanded plywood board
  • One 4′ x 8′ x 3/4″ sanded plywood board (go ahead and get two now, save yourself a trip. My math is questionable.)
  • A table saw and a ginormous container of cabinet screws. And a slew of miscellaneous stuff. Naturally.

I ended up renting a Home Depot truck, because no way was I getting all that in the little Honda Civic.

Once I got everything loaded into the truck, drove home, unloaded, drove back to Home Depot to return the truck, drove home and THEN assembled the table saw: I took a nap. Continue reading “That one time I got a table saw and built my own furniture.”

One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Dark and cozy guest room

Well, damn. That was a long and unintended blog hiatus.

It was really more of an internet hiatus, if I’m being honest. It is depressing out there right now.

I seem to have two modes: On the couch with Netflix and wine or full blown DIY mania. I am 100% back on my bullshit.

I haven’t really been sure how to start, so, why not jump back in with a One room challenge?


If you are unfamiliar with the One Room (to rule them all) Challenge, it is a biannual blog link up party, created and hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. Participants choose a project, and then have 6 posts and 5 weeks to complete. It is an explode-your-house-ruin-relationships-and-lots-of-tears kind of thing. It’s pretty amazing.

Past reveals: Living room and daughter’s bedroom

And, I’m actually a little intimidated about doing the challenge this round? I waffled until the day of joining to decide if I wanted to. I’m feeling a little insecure, since there have been so many amazing reveals and I don’t think this one will be on that level.

So. Temper your expectations.

We can delve into my inadequacies another time.

I shared this room a few months ago on Instagram, with the intention of working on it. Then a surgery happened (I’m fine!) and after recovery, it stayed stalled while I worked on other projects.

It is an extra room in my house, for guests that haven’t minded living in squalor (shout out to my sister in law! Love you, girl). I feel like it’s about time to, idk, have it be more than a mattress on the floor and possible lead poisoning?

I removed all the drywall to expose the usual: thousands of cracks and screw holes, huge holes for electrical and crumbling plaster.


This thick faux finish metallic green paint on the walls?

OMG. Blessed.

Who were these mythical creatures that painted the walls in this house? Did they have a curse bestowed upon them to never finish painting a room, doomed to live with their failed intentions and 154563 shades of avocado?

Shit. Is the curse on me, too? That explains so much.



Scrape off the faux finish? It has a lot of texture and is peeling in some places.

Scrub off the crayon doodles from my kid. Ugh, when I found the “art” I couldn’t help but be horrified that MY amazing genetic offspring was ultimately such a generic cliché. We should probably blame her parents.

patch, patch, patch, patch, sand, prime, prime, paint, paint.

Maybe make a bedframe? We will have to see on this one. I seem to have lost my kregjig? Like, who even does that?

Then all the pretty stuff.

My ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere that is less…. how you say… ‘crack den’.


Make sure to follow along with all the sure-to-be-astounding transformations!