One Room Challenge Fall 2017: My progress is an even UGLIER room than last week.

My finger prints are gone and I’m starting my career as a bank robber. Or perhaps a jewel thief.

I’m pretty much going to have to if I want to keep bankrolling these projects.

It’s week 4 of the One Room Challenge, created and hosted by Linda of Calling it Home, and this week has been tough. All the kind words of encouragement are what keep me going though, and that’s why I’m so appreciative of the challenge. THANK YOU!

Where it started: Here’s where I left it last week:

I am so, so tired and discouraged and I’ve either been wearing the same gross project clothes or the same sweater for several days because I’m too tired to care and I haven’t had a chance to do laundry. I have layers of paint under all my nails, blisters and super sore muscles. Project dust always makes me break out. I’ve been waking up at 3:00 am to double check my calendar on how much time I have and thinking about what needs to be finished. My alarm goes off at 6:00 am, so, that ain’t cool.

My body keeps threatening an ugly cry when I’m at work. Body, you fucking traitor.

To catch you up on what led me to this disastrous state: I previously showed the room I was working on, made fool hardy claims of ease, repaired the walls (much to my chagrin) and decided to strip the woodwork.


JK. Even if you tried to stop me, I’d still do it.

The woodwork in the room had started peeling paint in large chunks and had that crocodile texture that is common with lead paint and I didn’t want to repaint it if it was just going to look ugly still. So I painted on a layer of citristrip, instantly regretting my life decisions, and scraped, and then another layer and more scraping and then more scraping, more citristrip ad nauseum. Then it all had to be scrubbed with TSP solution to remove the residue. Then scraped and wet sanded a little more. It is a lot for one person.

It took me probably close to 30 hours? Likely longer. It was gross, and sticky and kept burning through my gloves and now my fingertips are freakishly smooth and swollen. My phone isn’t recognizing my fingers most of the time and that’s annoying.

And I got into a fight with my husband. He tried helping me and I could tell that he was super cranky about it after like 20 minutes so I just told him to quit. Plus, he was doing a shit job, and if I thought I somehow had a huge personality change, nope, I am still a control freak. So he happily abandoned me to it.


I damn near lost it.

I am super high strung, but I only get crabby like 4 times a year and neither of us handles it very well.

ANYWAYS. I got a chocolate cupcake out of it and he cleaned the room for me. So I feel like I came out on top.

This door. This door has seen some shit.

It took me 4 full layers of stripper and scraping to get to this point. 5 or 6 in some places. Why are there so many holes for locks? And so much general damage to it? WAS THERE AN EXORCISM IN THIS ROOM?! My guess is angsty teenager, but I can’t be sure it wasn’t a demon possessed teenager in need of an exorcism.

Well, after all my hard work on this door, I decided to splurge on some new door hardware.

Baby girl, you is getting a make over.

Door hardware is super expensive, guys. Plus, I have 4 doors that need it. So, it adds up and it took me a long time to decide what I wanted to replace the super cheap hardware currently there.

I decided to go with the bevel edge plate and the octagonal crystal knob from Rejuvenation Hardware. I used them for my front door in my vestibule and they are so lovely. I ordered them in the lacquered brass but removed the lacquer using boiling water because I like the tone of the lacquered brass better than the unlacquered but don’t mind if it tarnishes? Because I can’t seem to make anything simple.

These doors are original to the house, which means they have a mortised lock, with a farther back set and a thicker spindle than is standard. I’ve used this lock from House of Antique Hardware and it’s just what these doors need. I hope. Someone did something hinky in the strikebox place.

After the wood was stripped and not sticky anymore, I sanded down the walls in preparation for paint with my orbital sander and 220 grit.

Ceiling looks better.

You guys, I didn’t think it would work to connect my shop vac to my sander because it never fit right, even when I purchased a connecter thing. But there was some random tube in the room that I don’t even know what it goes to? BUT IT FIT (MOSTLY) ON BOTH SIDES AND OMG IT WAS AMAZING. I super duct taped it to make sure it all stayed connected. It was hardly dusty when I sanded and that cuts my clean up time down significantly.

Then I patched some more in places that I missed, or that it didn’t adhere to that fucking ceiling. Then sanded some more. And then I scraped at the wood some more. And scraped out the god damn non-paintable silicone caulk THAT SOMEONE THOUGHT WAS A GOOD IDEA FOR THE WINDOWS.

Everything still has to be thoroughly vacuumed and washed for paint prep. I think cleaning up is my least favorite part.

It seems that I, too, have been possessed by that pimply-demon-angsty-teen spirit, I embraced it and went full on emo and listened to Taking back Sunday radio on my Pandora. Oh, high school. Thank god you are over.

Enough tears. Now, on to some positive aspects!

The art work arrived and I framed it.

Framing is also super expensive. Framebridge wanted like $150 or something for each one and Minted wanted to charge $100 and reduce the image size several inches if I wanted a mat. I was like miss me with that and I found an alternative.

I ordered the 16×16 full bleed prints and then frames only from in size 21×21 (to allow for a mat) for $60 each. I happened to have 2 24×24 sheets of acrylic (I know how ridiculous that sounds. Like it’s just normal to have acrylic sheets around). It was from when I mounted some art in my dining room and ultimately went with a larger size. I used my plastic cutter to cut the acrylic down to 21×21 and then cut some cardboard for the back. Then I went to Hobby Lobby (twice. Got to take advantage of that 40% off coupon!) and had some simple mats cut. The mats were $16 pre discount, so a little over $10 for each mat (I had the dimensions done 15 1/4″ inside and 21″ outside.) $70 for framing each one is more bearable.


And I picked up this mirror. Like these walls are anywhere close to being ready for art.infinity 36" round brass wall mirror

I ordered it online and had it sent to the store so I could save $30 on shipping. I hope the people in CB2 parking lot enjoyed watching me get that huge box into my car, with two carseats back there. And I have no idea how I did it. It was some sort of sorcery. When I tried to get it OUT, the geometry didn’t make sense at all?! I had to open the box in my back seat and pull the mirror out.

All that’s left is to replace the missing baseboard, paint everything (lol no big), build the bed (I kind of have to figure this one out – I don’t have another frame alternative!) and then install everything.

I just read the news that we are getting a week extension. I am feeling mixed feelings about it. I am so thankful for an extra week, but I hate the reason why it’s happening.

I can’t believe that it’s been 3 weeks and this is all I have to show. I still might quit, close the door and ban everyone from the East Wing a la The Beast.

As seems to be the trend, I took all these photos quickly after work and then posted. Forgive me for that and send me all the good vibes for progress this week!

You can also follow along on instagram (tealandgray), I’ve been posting a  lot over there. Well, ‘a lot’ for me.

Make sure to head back to the link up and give support! It is so helpful.


19 Replies to “One Room Challenge Fall 2017: My progress is an even UGLIER room than last week.”

  1. Oh my, but I feel for you! I do all the repairs on our home but I’m nowhere near brave enough to share anything with people, let alone have a time limit! You’ve done an incredible job and your husband deserved to get in trouble. Why are they so clueless?! I’m glad you got something chocolate out of it. When you’re done with this room you need a huge chocolate palace to luxuriate in until the next challenge sucks you in. I’ll be waiting for your return.

    1. You should share! I would definitely read ?
      Omg. We can’t ever work together on this stuff. Our hgtv show would turn real housewives dramatic super fast. And I get taken out to dinner and bottomless drinks when I’m done!

  2. Well, it’s definitely not uglier. Sorry but those green walls were worse. 😉 It looks like you can start painting soon! Hooray! And may I just say your trim and doors are gorgeous! It will be pretty soon!

    1. Aw c’mon Emy. The green walls gave the ambiance that you were slowly being strangled by a snake. That’s cozy right there.
      The detail is so pretty! It was covered up with so much paint that it got lost. It’s also what took so long to strip down.

  3. That scenario with your hubby was an exact performance of what sometimes goes on here with our projects. Oh. my. goodness. I got all tense just reading about it! lol.
    That door! My gosh. Highschool punk music is totally necessary when you’re so worn out that you need angst to give you energy. Word.
    I sympathize with your fingers and anxiousness and muscle aches so much. You’re grinding out a ton in such a short time all by yourself! You’re one tenacious and strong lady! The fact that you knocked out all that nasty paint so fast – dang!
    Kudos, my friend. I know when you’re in the trenches it’s slow, but seeing your progress each week is leaving me amazed. This room is gonna kick butt!

    1. Kelly, when I think about it, my eyes narrow and I start to seethe again. I told him that I was going to wait 15 years and then poison him over it, when he least suspects it. I’m a joy to be married to, I’m sure.
      And THANK YOU so much for your words. It’s so true, when you’re in it all you can see is what’s not done yet. ❤️

  4. Holy cannoli, the amount of work you put into these rooms is nuts. The room is not uglier, its looking tons better.

    I also am loath to allow my husband to do small detail work. Building dressers and moving furniture, yes, anything involving paint, no.

    Can’t wait to see the room painted!

    1. He is banned from that room. Thank god my husband does all the dishes and takes out the trash. Otherwise, I just don’t know. You’re fortunate that you have a dresser-building-furniture-moving spouse! Hopefully paint this weekend.

  5. Wow, just…I can’t even. This is so much work! You are a warrior. But you can see it will be worth it. The door casing and molding is so pretty. Well done!

    1. Thanks Erin! The detail is beautiful, so I think I have no choice but to put some gloss paint on it.

  6. OMG, I just found you and I love your style! My hubs is great most of the time but when he doesn’t want to do it, he too does a shit job. I get crabby way more than 4 times a year so yours lucks out there. hahaha Way to take on such a project and even though you haven’t painted yet I can see the finish line. Luckily painting is easy, you already did all the hard stuff! And yes I suspect an angst ridden teen as I have one of those now and ugh is all I can say. Can’t wait for your adventures next week.

  7. Madeline you’re a hoot! I laughed so hard reading about the hubs help. Like the saying, “the same thing that makes you laugh, can make you cry.” Keep going – I’m enjoying your hard work, dedication and body tormenting journey!!! xo

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