One day not too long ago i picked at a loose seam of my kitchen wallpaper. . . OOPS!!! i tore some off. . .i kept tearing. . now i've done it - no turning back cuz i'm tearing off more and more and it looks good and ugly now, i am now commited to the process of change . . .ooh that means work!! I knew it was time. . i guess i had been in a state of lazy denial. I kept talking myself out of it, so I put up with the 'little house on the prairie' wallpaper, little wee brown flowers. . looked like Laura Ingalls church dress! WHAT WAS I THINKING WHEN I BOUGHT THIS STUFF?! When we moved into our little 'fixer upper' house 22 years ago, the entire house was just disgusting beyond words. . but we were young, it was affordable and our little Linds was 9 months old and our apartment was exploding with her toys and baby paraphenalia, we needed a house! We used to walk past the little house ALL THE TIME. . wishing and praying and hoping that we'd move in there one day. . and we did!!! When we went to sign the papers at the lawyer's office, we got the goosebumps. The former owners had the same names as we did!!! We looked at each other and said "This was meant to happen". We moved in and began our never ending renovation odyssey. I think that Lindsay was about 3 i had put up with the kitchen long enough. . we transformed our 1950s red and white kitchen into an 80s 'country kitchen' with wood and wallpaper, we sprung for a new counter and new flooring. We were so excited to have something nice. We had stripped the cupboard doors, and found this bizarre wood grain, the likes of which we'd never seen, however i wanted natural wood and we were too poor to buy brand new cupboards, so we lived with the SILLY , icky wood grain.
We got busy raising our girls and went on to fix many others things that begged to be fixed. But it was great, cuz we were working hard together to make it better. Draw any spiritual or life-lesson parallels you'd like here. . i always tend to see everything like that anyway. Yeah, i know, spiritualizing house renovations. . what can I say? I can spiritualize garbage day!!
So, back to the 21st century here. . the precious Holly Hobbie kitchen is rapidly becoming history, the lace garage sale curtains have landed in the garbage. . sometimes it feels good to get rid of old, worn out stuff. I want the new kitchen to be sleek but warm. My friend Linda says that your kitchen is the heart of your house. . so ours is having some 'open heart surgery'! I dreamed this up on my own! I'm hoping that everything works out?! The walls are a warm brown, with wooden wainscotting, the trim is fresh white. . buhbye almond!!! The flooring will be taupe or dark grey, preferably something resembling slate. . brushed nickel door pulls and knobs, fixtures, all that. . the wood ceiling stays, cuz Robbie and I made it and its gorgeous. . new light fixtures, something funky. . Dark bamboo roman blinds are on order. High gloss mini tiles (probably dark brown) for the back splash, i've never had a back splash before. I'm jazzed about that.
We began the gargantuan job. . . and we soaked the walls with a power sprayer, we sweated and scraped that retarded backing off the walls, it yielded 1 centimeter at a time and left behind tacky, stubborn glue. . which we had to scrub off the walls with steel wool, underneath all this gunge, we encountered the peeling grossness of ill-applied latex over oil basecoat *which made us think dark thoughts against the painter, whomever it might have been -- possibly one of our namesakes??* GAH!!! What a hideous job. . we slaved at that. . So, after patching and sanding, etc. . Rob rolled on a linen-coloured base, how beautiful!!!!
Here's where it gets interesting. . .
I'm "Ms Confident" . . i decide to make a glaze. . which was easy and gloopy, and very fun, kinda felt like a kindergarten with the fingerpaints! Rob's watching, he decided to stir. . i measured. He was getting set to go out, cuz he did the base coat, the faux finishing was my department. . i was cool with that. . fair's fair. "Start behind the stove" sez Rob. . of course, i thought, smart. . . little did we know! I dunk my lint free rag into the brown goop. . . I hunker down behind the stove and begin swirling the glaze onto the pristine, pale wall. UH OH. . . . that doesn't look good. . . I tell myself that its okay, i'll get the hang of it. . I do some more circular motions with the glaze. . . I'm starting to get that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach. Desperation sets in. . . i'm swirling, and Rob's looking silently over my shoulder. oh this is not good. . . I begin to get very upset and even panicky. . my vision, my lovely vision is becoming a chocolate brown nightmare!!! I'm asking Rob to consult the internet site i have bookmarked. . he's re-reading the directions and then he tells me "oh, use a damp cloth, Kathy." Okay, i get another cloth and dampen it and AHHHHH its taking the flipping glaze right off the walls in garish, smeary white circles. Okay, now i'm freaking out!!! I decide that we must move to another technique. Rob's looking up 'frottage'. . . which we'd done before (roll on your glaze, take it off the crumpled plastic wrap, paper, whatever). So, Rob comes in to help me wipe the stupid, crappy circles off of the wall. . and I get up quickly and CRACK. . . my head meets the pointed end of the overhead cupboard! I yell "JESUS!" *I really wasn't swearing. . it was the first word that came out of my mouth! in a reverent painter's cry for divine intervention??* as if i half expected him to have some sympathy for my plight.. . . more than likely he's laughing his head off watching me sitting on my rear end with my painty gloved hands up in the air to keep from touching other objects. . i'm bawling my eyes out from the pain of my throbbing head. . and Rob's got to lift me up. . and I'm saying "I'm such a moron. . . i ruined your painting. . . i suck. . " Rob's consoling me and tell me that I don't suck. . Then I wail in my high-pitched 'crying voice' : "This looks like monkeys came in and smeared sh*@ all over the walls!!" The horrid half circles of smeary brown paint teased my "Ms Confidence" and chased her away. . . Rob says "Well, i wasn't gonna say anything, but I'm glad you think so." . . . i can laugh about it now!
Thank God for back-up plans and for plastic wrap!!! We wiped off as much of the mistake as we could and Rob decided to help me do the whole thing. . i love him!!! and together we corrected the boo boo, so that you would never know it was ever there. . . ahhhh, that's better. We rolled the glaze on and dabbed it off with giant wads of Glad wrap. . . oh, the Man from Glad would be a bit peeved to see such waste, but still i think he'd be proud of us! You know what? the kitchen walls look fantastic!!! I had to take some extra strength tylenol for the big lump on my noggin but the walls, the walls are amazingly, goldenly warm brown. . they look like they have this 'texture'. I love them. . I can't wait to do the rest of the room!!! p.s. my head still hurts, and when i touch it i laugh out loud thinking about monkeys.