(This is a continuation of the saga of my bathroom remodel. See here for Part One.)
The 50 hours of scraping stucco off my bathroom walls did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm. (That alone sums my entire spring break.) I was undeterred despite underestimating the task. I had two friends come in from out of town who also helped me scrape. To quote the one who was in from Los Angeles, “If you don’t spent Spring Break helping a good friend scrape her popcorn ceiling, what are you even doing with your life?”
Even the severe limitations on my time the following week – further delaying my project – didn’t shake me. I had to work in 30-40 minute increments now that school was back in session. It wasn’t easy, but I made the best of every opportunity I had. I had scraped the wretched, painful texture off the walls. Scraping the popcorn off the ceiling was a breeze after the walls! The following week I learned to skim coat the walls. I first began the skim coat to repair the walls, as they were pretty damaged. I later concluded that skim was the way to go after all the work I had invested in making smooth walls. There was no way I would reapply texture after investing so much time in removing texture!
Friday night after two straight days of not having even 30 minutes to breathe – let alone work on the bathroom – I fell apart over the smallest obstacle. I had picked up my special order sander attachment for my shopvac earlier that day and when I finally sat down to set it up I discovered I still needed nuts, bolts, and a bucket. None of which was included with my attachment. I was defeated. This is it, I conceded. This is how the project ends. You win, Universe. Well played.
Projects have a way of spiraling. They take longer than planned, cost more than budgeted, and cause you to expand beyond your original vision. I knew all of this before I started. I thought I had demonstrated flexibility with every surprise that came along. Surely I was handling everything with poise and patience. Or I was, of course, until I needed nuts and bolts.
The project was over. I needed nuts and bolts. This was a mountain insurmountable.
I tried to hold myself together while my toddler shrieked in my face so loudly that my ears rang. (It was because I had committed the unforgivable offense, I had given him the banana he requested.) But in my mind the refrain repeated: This is it. This is how I end. You win, Universe. Well played.
Fortunately it was a Friday night so my husband was in town. “Let’s go back to the store. Let’s do this.” I listened to the voice of reason. I even had the presence of mind to grab the instruction manual so we wouldn’t miss anything else. It was only after we arrived that I realized I had grabbed the wrong manual so we had to guess at the sizes of nuts and bolts. We still couldn’t settle on a paint colour because we still couldn’t agree on what to do about the countertop (which was not included in the original plan, of course.) So that would mean returning to the hardware store again. Delaying the project again. Our toddler ate popcorn off the floor as we purchased our nuts and bolts. I was still unconvinced this project would ever progress.
After I finally assembled the sander attachment I pushed bedtime to an irresponsible hour so I could finally try it out. I began to sand the bathroom walls, a messy, noisy project, an hour after I should have put my children to bed. (You can send my parenting awards directly to my home. I also accept cash honorariums.) I concluded that my good wall will be beautiful in the end but that the first wall I had skimmed would need at least one more skim coat before I could consider sanding. After all that drama over nuts and bolts I wasn’t even ready for this next step.
On my way to bed that night, at nearly midnight, and trying hard to not feel defeated, I remembered I had half a gallon of paint left over from painting the kitchen in 2012. I decided to start painting the hallway. At midnight. Because, sure, what I needed was another project. For the rest of the weekend I didn’t set foot in the hall bathroom except to store the paint for the hallway. I wasn’t cheating on the bathroom with the hallway. The bathroom and I were on a break.