Monday, June 24, 2013

The Great Townhouse Project of 2013 - Week 5

First, let me apologize for the quality of the photos I've been using for this series. I'm basically grabbing my phone at the end of each day, snapping a few shots of the work I've done, and heading home. It's really just to help me remember. Even with that, I don't remember exactly what I did when. Hopefully, one of these days when the project is finished (Lordwilling!) I'll remember to bring a "real" camera with me and take some decent photos. 

Until then, please bear with me.


So, in preparation for writing this post, I decided to jot down everything I did each day this week.

It's no wonder I'm tired! My goodness! As I looked through the list, I could not believe how much I got done this week.

Let's just say I'm motivated.

But the week was not without some breakdowns. I'm ashamed to say, I had some moments I'd rather not repeat this week.


After Glenda's help on Friday, I returned to a sparkly-clean kitchen and a renewed motivation. My reward is looming (I'll tell you about that one day soon)--July 18 is coming!--and I felt like I could plow through the next four weeks.

So on Monday, since there was very little I could do upstairs, I decided it was time to tackle the living room. I started with primer.


Have I mentioned how much I hate primer?

Thank goodness I was motivated because I finished priming the living room (which was painted a shade I like to call Almost-Vomit), the small bathroom

(lovely green and gold sponge painting from the '90s),

and the basement stairwell (a shade of green that harkened back to the 1950s that the builder must have had left over).

I went home with a headache, but happy to have started on the first floor . . . finally.

[Monday also required a bit of a sad detour as I had to go over to the missionary furlough homes to check out our current residents. They have lived in our unit for three years, and I'm so sad to see them go, but wish them the Lord's richest blessings as they head back to the mission field this fall.]

[And, yes, for those of you at home keeping score, I now have two units to prepare for new tenants over the next three and a half weeks.]

[Yes, I think I'm crazy, too.]


On Tuesday I moved on to ceilings. Ceilings are hard. They give you a stiff neck, an aching back, and sore arms.

Ceilings are especially hard when the lighting isn't very good.

When I went back to survey my work the next day I found a 2'x2' section that I had completely missed in the living room. That's what bad lighting will do for you.

The good news is, I finished the living room, kitchen, half bath, and basement stairwell.

And I have no pictures to show for it because who wants to look at a plain, white ceiling?

I came home exhausted, made dinner (don't ask me what we ate, I don't remember), and then made a critical tactical error: I went back to the townhouse with B after dinner.

Unfortunately, I wasn't in the best frame of mind to work after the day I had already put in, and, well, let's just call it like it was--I was crabby. I didn't want to be there, but I also didn't want to refuse my husband's offer to help, so I went.

Big mistake. And I'll leave it at that.

One awesome thing happened though--B tackled a job I was just too scared to do: he moved the refrigerator.

**Squeemish alert: look away if you don't want to see what was behind the refrigerator.**

Many kudos to my dearest for cleaning behind the refrigerator.


Wednesday was a big day because I finally got to put a new color on the living room walls. I was so ready to close the chapter on the Almost-Vomit and turn a new page in the life of our townhouse.

Seems Manchester Tan was just the ticket. I painted and painted and painted some more and got the living room done.

As well as the basement stairwell.

Another productive day in the neighborhood!


Continuing with the Manchester Tan theme (and because I had bought a 5-gallon bucket of the stuff), I headed down to the basement and made the quick, executive decision that the basement would be the same color as the living room.

And the basement was finished fairly quickly.

I sure like the Manchester Tan a whole lot better than the Lemon Yellow that was down there before.

Lemon Yellow

Manchester Tan

What do you think?

That evening B headed over to get some things done, but I made the mistake of sitting down after dinner. Once I did that, it was all over. I couldn't move.

I begged off on Thursday.


By Friday I was getting pretty tired (sensing a theme here?), but I carried on. Thank the Lord, my motivation was continuing.

Since most of the walls were done, and because I needed a break from the paint roller, I decided to work on trim. There was still a little trim work that needed to be finished upstairs, so I worked on that, then moved into the living room.

Good progress on trim on Friday.

And I'm thrilled to report that the upstairs is almost done. (I just need to get up the courage to face a sort-of-halfway-nasty bathroom that isn't quite there yet. All will be well.)


By Saturday my own motivation was lagging, so it took my husband to grab me by the hand and get me going again. We decided to put in a few hours on Saturday morning/afternoon.

I had not yet painted the windows in the living room--I guess I was putting them off because windows are tedious and difficult--so I decided I'd do those on Saturday morning.

Check the windows off the list!

Lunchtime came and I was starving. This is where I tell you about the best new booth at the French Market this year: The Jolly Posh. They serve up traditional banger sandwiches just like they make in England, and they are so delicious! B and I had shared a banger sandwich earlier this summer, and we loved it, so we decided to make that our lunch.

A delicious reward.

After lunch, I was pretty much ready to pack it in, but B was still going strong. When I started to suggest that we be finished for the day, he said, "Really? I thought we could work for another hour or so."

That was just the kick in the pants I needed.

After that I collapsed in a heap and B had to drag me home.

Funny thing was, we had tickets to the theater on Saturday night, so I had to scrape a week's worth of paint off my fingernails before we left.

(Seriously, that is so embarrassing. I've been walking around like that all week.)

So let's summarize, shall we?

On Monday morning, I had not yet started on the first floor or basement. By Saturday, the first floor was finished (except for the kitchen) and the basement more than halfway done.

I really have to give credit to my helpers. As you already know, B has given this as much time as he can. And Julia has given me a few hours almost every day--she's becoming a great painter!

Next week is going to show huge changes. I can't wait! Hopefully by the next post I'll really feel like we're nearing the end.


And in the meantime . . .


  1. Wow and wow. I can't believe you got that much painting done in one week. It is a good thing you have a reward coming up. (I will keep your secret.)

    Shelly, you are amazing.


  2. Great work, Shelly! I know you have more to do (and your standards will be high since your dearest will live there!), but it's really looking like a cheerful little place to be. :-)

  3. Thanks, Glenda. I really think your help made a huge difference. Really!

    Kristin, I love how you describe it--a cheerful little place to be. That's exactly what I want it to be!

  4. Good for you. One day of painting and I need a week to recover.
    It looks great!

  5. It's looking good! So fun!

  6. Great color you chose. That is a lot of painting in a week! Hubby brought home a new product a couple weeks ago because we, too, have ceilings to do. It's a ceiling paint that goes on pink but dries to white so you can see exactly where it's going on. Wonderful stuff. Not sure of the brand name but worth it to look into.

  7. LOVE seeing and hearing about your project! Wow! We have been painting the trim on our house the last two weeks. BIG JOB. 24 windows, two porches, etc. etc. I feel your pain. But it's so great to see the progress and the change!Love you!

  8. I kinda like the Jackson Pollock fingernails. Just booked flights for a short :( visit to see Torunn, but hope to see you too.
    Wed 16 July - 20 July... I know you are headed somewhere on the 18th, but maybe we can go for a walk on the 16th or 17th.
    Keep up the good work on the townhouse.
    Wish I could come help. Colette