Monday, June 10, 2013

The Great Townhouse Project of 2013 - Week 3

Thanks for hanging in here with me as I process this townhouse renovation. I promise I'll write about other stuff this summer, but for now, I want to record my progress. This seems as good a place as any to do that.


Remember how I said the garage at the townhouse was full of miscellaneous "stuff"? And when I say "full" I mean stuffedcrammedpacked. I'd like to call the "stuff" something else because it truly was a bunch of trash, but since I'm a lady I'll keep those words to myself.

Let's just say I wasn't reeeaaal happy with the previous renters who left that little "problem" to me. Oh, they tried. They called the Salvation Army who came one day and took five straight-backed chairs exactly. 

Didn't even make a dent.

It made me want to cry.

So, when Jenn was here, she encouraged me to call 1-800-GotJunk to come take the "stuff" away. Those dear boys showed up early Monday morning and left me with this.

Isn't it beautiful?

Week 3 was off to a good start.

After my heroes left I got going on the second bedroom, which was painted a kind of brownish-tan color. Ugh. Even the ceiling was that color--particularly bad because it took two coats to cover the ceiling. 

Knowing how difficult it was going to be to cover that brown color, I decided to prime the walls. Good move. The priming wasn't that hard (although it did leave me with a nasty headache), and the paint covered just fine in one coat. 

So here's what happened in Week 3.

"Master" bedroom got primed and painted, including the trim.

 And the closet.

And this sweetie showed up one day. 

Do you know Glenda? Do you read Glenda's blog

You should, on both counts. This dear friend is so amazing and sweet and full of energy and laughter and I just love her. 

She called one day to ask if I needed help--um, yeah!--and, since her husband was coming to town for a meeting one day last week, she tagged along. 

Glenda told me that she's not a great painter, but she really likes to clean. Was there something she could clean in the house? Again, yeah

Who does that? Who volunteers to clean the filthiest piece of college housing on the planet?

Glenda does. And, boy, does she do great work. She went to town on one of the bathrooms that, frankly, I was kind of scared to even go into. And by the end of the afternoon, the place wasn't quite so scary.

I truly think there are not enough jewels to put in that woman's crown for what she did for me.

And the encouragement she brought at just the right time was incredible since I wasn't quite sure how I was going to work on the black abyss that was that bathroom. 


The next day I got out the primer again and started to take care of that scary bathroom. (Here's a picture of the brownish color that covered not only the walls--oh no!--but also the ceiling.)

Oh, and B replaced a lightbulb in the overhead fan. You'd be amazed at what a huge difference a little light makes. That bathroom is really coming along now--my goal is to finish painting it this week.

The week seemed to be moving along pretty well, and I was feeling kinda sassy about the progress I was making, until I walked in on Friday morning and found this.

Our friend and handyman, Ken, had been repairing some drywall and ceilings and had come over to do the sanding. When I walked in and found a thick coating of dust all over everything, I just about had a breakdown.

But I took a deep breath (not too deep), grabbed a broom, and started sweeping. I probably should have worn a mask, and if I have lung problems ten years from now you'll know why. The dust! Oh my goodness. The dust.

I knew it would be bad--I had lived through remodeling before--but I just wasn't prepared for how discouraged it would make me. I mean, I thought we were making progress, but this seemed to be a huge setback.

(Don't you love the beautiful '80s chandelier? It's going. One of these days.)

(And notice all the spackle marks on the wall behind the lamp. The living room is a disaster.)

The worst part is that Ken isn't even finished with the sanding he has to do! In the end I decided to just sweep the floor and wait until Ken was finished before I actually wipe down the walls and everything else. (Crossing my fingers that he will finish sanding today.)

I felt like the dust was a small setback, but I couldn't let it get me down for long--there was just too much to do. So on Saturday I grabbed a paint roller again and kept moving. 

Kate came over to help me with the ceiling on the "master" bathroom while I primed the hallway and staircase. (Another potential setback--I can't reach the highest point of the staircase because I don't have a scaffold and I'm terrified of ladders, but Ken says he can help me with that. I'm choosing not to focus on the setbacks right now.)

So on Saturday I was back to feeling good about things. Obviously, it's a roller coaster, this project. One day I'm feeling good, the next I walk in and find dust everywhere. But what I know is that I can't quit. Girls are coming to live there in August, and I need it to be ready for them.

Not just ready, but beautiful

So let's recap everything that happened during Week 3:

- Garage emptied (woo hoo!).

- Master bedroom primed. 

- Master bedroom painted, including the trim.

- Master bathroom cleaned (by the darling Glenda).

- Master bathroom primed and ceiling painted (by my dear Kate). 

- Living room ceiling sanded.

- Upstairs hallway primed.

What I haven't even mentioned yet is all the work that B and the girls have done in the basement. Since I'm mainly working upstairs, I haven't really been down in the basement that much, but let's just say his work has involved mouse poop, dryer lint, and stray thongs.

Yes, you read that right.

It's funny, when I list it all out like that I can see that progress is really happening. Real progress. It might not be as quick as I'd like it to be, but as long as I keep working and don't let the setbacks get to me, things will move along.

And I can't discount the help I'm getting from others, which is so critical because I could not do this on my own.

Hmmmm. I think there might be a pretty big spiritual lesson in there somewhere.

Mulling it all over today. 

While I paint.


  1. Oh my goodness, I relate to your feeling of discouragement with the dust. Just went through renos and the dust is what broke me down every time! Good luck with the rest. The results will be worth it!

  2. Wow! You're going to town.

    I'm going to go down and help my K paint at our house next week while I'm on "vacation" from early morning taxi service when A is at camp.

    I'm dreading it because painting really wipes me out. But the finished product will be worth it as yours is proving to be as well!

  3. GO GLENDA!!! She's such a lovely and dear woman. How good of her to help you and to encourage you like that! Now THAT'S a sweet friend!! :)

    You're cookin' with Crisco now, Shelly!

  4. Thanks, Susanne! So great to hear from you--did you post pictures of your renovation?

    Hang in there, Linda. It will be worth it. :)

    You're such an encouragement, Richella. And, you're right--Glenda is such a good friend. :)

  5. so lovely to read about Glenda and her helping hands who made a disheartening situation a little less so.