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10.15.2011

I NEED TO WASH MY HANDS

My 1950's brick house has stood in need of a few projects since I moved in here a year and half ago.  I love its sturdy plastered lightly textured walls, except for the dining room, kitchen and bathroom.  All three of those rooms had wallpaper in them at one point.  The tell-tale signs of painted over wallpaper adhesive and bits of it behind the outlet plates have been found.   Last Thanksgiving I painted the dining room and the living room walls, ceiling, trim, 3 window frames and five door openings.  It was a marathon painting weekend!  I hated doing it, but it looks great and modern now.  The adult kids of the couple that owned this house before me (previous owners were in their 90's) did a very quick and sloppy update paint job throughout the house, threw ceramic tile over top of linoleum, and tore all the carpet out revealing hardwood floors (they redid the floors-the only thing they did halfway decent!).  My husband and I remodelled the kitchen in the Spring making a 1950's kitchen look like current times.  It is beautiful.  We then proceeded, not more than a month or so after that big project, to tear off the back room of the house to create a beautiful patio with a privacy fence.  At the close of each project we usually say, "Ok, we are whipped!  No more projects till next year, or at least for awhile."  So we have this half finished updated house.  Moving from the garage (painted), to the kitchen, to the dining room and living room ends the asethetic updating leaving 2 bedrooms and the bathroom yet to do.  Both of us took a week of vacation to just stay home - having non-project things we both wanted to do.  We decided foolishly to paint and update our very small bathroom (we only have one) thinking this would be a quick two day project, allowing us plenty of time to get some other non-house related things done.  The bathroom is 4.5 feet by 6 feet.  The adult children had taken off wallpaper, painted the flat walls with flat paint without cleaning the goo off before painting:(  It literally looked like crap!  It had remained in a half started remodel state for months until I finished texturizing the ceiling recently.  One thing always leads to another doesn't it?  There was a large pedestal sink directly in front of the shower.  It was 23" in depth which left little room for you to exit the shower.  Now was the time to put something newer, smaller and more current in.  The medicine cabinet was circa 1950's and needed to go, along with the light which screamed SHINY CHROME!  To paint a room that small it's just easier to take out everything you can.  We had the paint for the bathroom - bought months and months ago.  It was called Damp Pumice (who the hell named that and why would that be attractive - and yet it was!) and was a sand finish paint.  Times had progressed from when I had created my own sand finish paint years ago by mixing literal sand into a gallon of paint.  You could now buy it emulsified together and for double the cost of a regular gallon of paint.  The walls needed their imperfections hidden and this was the best route sort of plastering to do that.  The can read, EASY TWO COAT COVERAGE.  Well, it was neither easy or done in two coats.  A coat of primer and THREE coats of sand finish DAMP PUMICE paint and 4 days later the bathroom was painted.  That paint required a minimum of 4 hours drying time before recoating, and the sand created sort of a paint barrage that flew everywhere when rolling.  Time had made me forget how horrible it was the first time I had used a sand finish paint.  Sort of like at 45 years of age I have sort of forgotten how painful child birth was!  My husband sanded, primed and painted all the cabinet and drawers, installed a new light and graciously went without a shower for a day as the mess was just too great in there!   The toilet tank was back on and we were ready to install the new sink and vanity we had purchased.  The final stretch was here, the last few things to do to finish this project that had now morphed into 4 full days.  Left to do was; set the sink, hang the mirror, finish the last bit of window and cabinet trim painting and then put on new handles.  The moment of truth arrived as we tried the cabinet we had purchased.  NO!!!!!  The vanity, beautiful wood and porcelain sink would not work as its pedestal leg rested on the floor vent.  Old houses have old criteria that sometimes is hard to match new modern sizes with.  We returned the sink/vanity sadly but with confidence that they might make that same one in a 30".  We needed 30" wide by no deeper than 18" due to size constraints.  It was a 5 hour store tour that led to lunch at Chipotles, me being grouchy, and us returning home empty handed.  We still have no sink in the bathroom.  It's a two step process to do anything in the bathroom - showering and then to the basement sink to shave or do your hair, going to the bathroom and then to the kitchen sink to wash your hands.  Frustration mounting in our search around the world for a vanity and sink to fit, I love what my husband said, "You know Jesus might have had the right idea with that whole picture and basin thing!".  

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