reno fails

Something Old Meet Something Blue

Below is a tale of a rather unfortunate plight that had befallen me during renovation season. I do, admittedly, push my luck to the edge of the precipice far too often… recklessly stepping on its fingers, one at a time, as they cling for dear life. My luck … Well, it pushes back sometimes.

But alas, let us begin at this plight’s innocent birth.

The previous night, the stars aligned allowing a genius plan to collide with a rare healthy dose of motivation. Oh, heck yes! Pinterest addicts ain’t got nothing on me. Awkward bathroom, aka: project ugly duckling, will transform into a beautiful swan by my own hands!

Demolition ensues in the form of trim removal. Interestingly enough, there is a lot of trim in my oddly huge bathroom due, in large, to the fact that the previous DYI-er opted to forego the sleek, modern taped and mudded corners for a simpler, more traditional (and frustrating for me) corner trim. 22 pieces later, I have half the room de-trimmed. Half. Motivation slightly waning, I have adjusted the initial plan to include only painting the south and east facing walls. Marvelous, plan B means the de-trimming requirements have been satisfied and I can rest up for the big paint day!

I nearly choked on the creative energy flooding the air that morning. Calling in sick niggled at being a viable option, if only my ridiculous conscience would get on board. Silly work ethic! My next artistic fix would have to wait until lunch hour when I could indulge in a quick hit of selecting the perfect paint in the optimal finish. The winning shade: Yarmouth Blue. Excitement mounts. Why can’t it be home time?!

Being able to see into the future would be so convenient sometimes. I could have just walked away, left my luck tucked in its cozy nook and washed my hands of the whole plan. I could have left well enough alone.


Proudly, I journey home after a full exhausting work day of suppressing my design prowess. The formalities of feeding my family finally dispensed with, I can continue the bathroom transformation process. Prepping the wall. I hate prepping. It requires patience. Patience means I can’t put the paint on the wall yet. But it’s dying to be on the wall for all the world to see!!

Fine, I’ll prep.

Proper, no shortcut prep. Wash the walls, tape the edges, tape the tub, find a container for all the billions of cleaners we never use that are taking up shelves space, clear off the shelves… Uuugghh… There always seems to be one more thing to do! Remove the shelves …well, in a bit…Maybe I’ll just start painting the edge of the first wall. Just to see what it looks like. Yes, of course … My genius has been spot on all day!

I pop the lid off the brand new gallon of Yarmouth Blue, breaking the smooth creamy surface with clean bristles. With excited trepidation, I guide the saturated brush along the first edge of the wall…. The color stunning! So fresh and crisp! This is even cooler than I imagined!

The paint can sitting on the porcelain lid of the toilet tank at the perfect height for efficient and swift wall coverage, I make it back to that corner with the wretched shelves in short order.

Fine, I will finish taking out the shelves. Where are my minions when I need them??

With each strangely secured section removed, I see that the back portion of drywall has not even been screwed in. My curiosity has me poking about in the corner when, at long last, a minion appears.

“Mom, what are you doing?”

I explain that it’s an adventure renovating someone else’s renos … You never know what you’ll come across. He leans, with great interest, into the corner to observe like a bright young Padawan eager to soak in wisdom.

Things become slightly blurred at this point. Due to us both possessing gangly limbs, it is unclear which one made that awkward movement …. That fateful lurch … The proximate cause of damage. Each working at getting an expert view of the corner, each one standing on either side of the toilet… Suddenly a sickeningly tinny thud as the paint can slides off the toilet tank lid and bounces off the toilet and onto the floor, spewing forth a fountain of blue on the entire journey down.

One gallon. One entire gallon, save for that beautiful test edge, of Yarmouth Blue running down my toilet, across my immensely large 8 foot length of bathroom floor and then up my pedestal sink.

In times like this, some might panic. Some might freak right out. Some might see this as a calamity.
But hubby was outside.

I urged my minion to flee from the scene and stared for a second at how cool the blue looked across the floor, then my Mennonite frugal flair took charge and reminded my muscles to get moving because we are not buying another gallon of paint! Armed with a clean dust pan, I start scooping up gobs of paint and carefully pouring it back in the nearly empty can.
This feels productive. Yes, I see progress here! Scoop, pour, scoop pour. Uh-oh…. The familiar sound of hinges announcing entry tells me that hubby has found his way in.

Hmmmm, this is inconvenient… I really had hoped to weave this tale for him in a more fictional fashion. As a “hey, it’s all good now, but you know what happened earlier?!”

Not so.
Caught blue-handed.

Perspective is a funny thing… While I revel in great joy at the amount of Yarmouth Blue I am rescuing, hubby is failing to see humor or joy or anything besides what I can only assume is a faint shade of red. You see, the bathroom floor is one of the only floors in our entire house that is not being replaced in the overhaul. So Mr. Glass Half Empty is far more intent on rescuing the faded old cream vinyl with the blue square pattern…. On a side note, having the 2 blues in such close proximity makes me want to high five myself for the keen color matching.

My man is not so much in the high-five mood right now so, in guilt ridden silence, I work alongside him armed with thick rolls of quilted paper towel. Three quarters of a gallon of paint having been slopped back into the can, one dust pan at a time, the task of cleaning up that old vinyl begins.

If you can imagine a steam roller taking a wrong turn and crashing a crowded Smurf party, you have just envisioned my crime scene. I sensed by my hubby’s tone and demeanor that perhaps I should be taking this more seriously. After all, who knows how many Smurfs had to die to make one gallon of blue paint??

Is it weird that I feel we should be bringing out the bottles of bleach??

My pride really wanted me to handle this on my own, it was my mess. But, time being of the essence, hubby joined me on all fours and we swiftly scrubbed before the paint dried. All in all, it was humbling and humorous. I’ve learned to embrace my tendency towards less than graceful movements, but the fallout can be more far reaching than I’d like to admit. I surely do appreciate hubby’s patience on this front!

I’m sure that there are bushels of wisdom that could be reaped from this entire catastrophe, but there’s one fact that shine through the brightest.

My old vinyl bathroom floor has never been so clean.