Friday, May 16, 2008

Going bold in the bathroom

That's not what I meant. Get your minds out of the gutter.

My mom and my sister got to hear the story on Thursday when we had our weekly (weakly?) get together. They knew from phone calls that the Bathroom Remodel had reached epic proportions and was culminating in a crescendo with the Painting of the Walls.

It all started the day after John sprayed the texture on the drywall. We stood back admiring how good it looked and were just amazed at how splattering a hopperful of mud onto a flat surface, then letting it almost dry but knocking the tops off the bumps before it was hard could possibly result in anything esthetically appealing. That's when the question was posed to me: What color are we going to paint it?

I'm thinking Butter Cream or Linen Ivory or something along those lines. I had no idea that John was thinking more like Looking Directly Into The Sun Yellow, or Glow In The Dark Butter Cup.

It reminded me of when our son (who is now 9) was a baby. He remained hairless for nearly 2 years, so the issue of what sort of hairstyle he would have never came up in conversation. When he got his first haircut, however, John instructed "Don't let them cut the back. Just the sides, top and front. Let the back grow." My kid was going to have a mullet! I had no clue that was coming. Over the last several years the lady who cuts his hair and I figured out how we would gradually do away with the mullet and John would be none the wiser. Inching it up a little at a time, with each new haircut, our son now has a head of hair that approaches normal and the jokes about the Mississippi Mud Flap, Tennessee Mudslide, etc. had all but stopped.

Gradually undoing the yellowness of the bathroom may be a bit harder.

After discussing shades of yellow...mine being "Lighter than margarine?" and his reply being "No, way darker than that...more like a golden color," he went outside and came back in momentarily with his hands cupped as if he'd just caught a moth and wanted to show it to me.

It wasn't a moth, tho, it was a blossom off of my begonia that is struggling to survive and could have done without the added torture. John was cupping it in his hand and pointing to a particular petal and saying "THAT'S the yellow I meant!"

I said "sure, that looks really nice on a blossom that's less than an inch you really think it will look good spread all over the walls? That's a LOT of yellow, ya know."

"It'll be aw-right." Famous last words. Like the redneck that says "here, hold my beer a minute and watch this, ya'll," I could see that my bathroom was about to die a horrible death before it ever had a chance to be reborn.

When he asked what I thought about trim color I knew I'd better speak up or it would just be the icing on the hideous cake. "Butter Cream". Something sort of Antique White, not a tan, but not a yellow, and not a white. I remembered a cabinet we have that is that color and told him so.

"That cabinet that Larry gave us? With the trim I took off of it?"

"Yeah! That's the one. That color!"

He goes out of the room and leaves me holding a begonia blossom. He comes back momentarily with a 2 foot section of the trim I was talking about.

"Hold the flower up to it and let's see how it's going to look." (Is he serious??)

Here we are squinting, standing in the bathroom, holding up a piece of trim and a flower at arm's length and trying to image it on every flat surface in the room. I had some serious doubts.

"Yeah, that'll look good," he said. "Here's the Home Depot card. Hurry back."

So off I go. Why I let him make ME be the one to do this stuff is beyond me and always the question I am pondering when I'm on my way to go do some errand I got roped into. I walk into Home Depot looking like a total idiot with my begonia blossom on my upright palm and my trim tucked under my other arm.

Luckily there's nobody in the paint department. Not even an employee.

I grab color swatches and start trying to come close. I matched the piece of trim on the first try. The begonia was a bit more challenging.

I should have marked which petal it was that he was insistent upon. I knew it was one of the darker ones, but the problem was that the blossom was starting to wilt and was turning darker all over from being banged around and crumpled in my pocket on the trip to the store.

I choose a petal, grab a swatch and start comparing. I find several shades that do, indeed, match, but even on the swatch card (which is only several times larger than the flower itself), the yellow is bright and just too much. I couldn't imagine it on the wall.

I go a few shades lighter, all the while trying to imagine if lighter would be brighter, or if darker would be brighter. I figure anything closer to white has got to be better.

Luckily, when someone comes to help me it is a strange hippy lady who seems to love my choices and thinks it's "far out" that I brought in a flower to match. She mixes my paint and, after a short discussion at the checkout counter about how the trim was actually mine to begin with, I'm on my way.

I get the 3 cans of paint (2 of the bright yellow and 1 of the trim) plus all the brushes, rollers, trays, rags, drop clothes etc. home and we are once again standing in the bathroom. He said "I guess start with the ceiling."

I say "in the trim color, right?"

"No! I want the ceiling to match the walls!"

I didn't say it but I wanted to..."There won't be anyplace in here for someone to look in order to give their eyes a break from the visual assault."

I paint the ceiling. MAN is it yellow!

He comes in to grab a brush and get the corners for me. He's thoughtful like that.

I admit, I did say I like to paint. It's my fault. I know he loathes it.

That was Saturday.

Sunday came and he helps me set up to do the walls. Three of the walls are short due to partially being covered with tile for the shower/bath area. The fourth wall is over 12 feet long. John, being ever so thoughtful (2 days in a row!) brought me a piece of plastic shelving that was 2 feet high and roughly 3'x5' so that I could stand on it to reach the upper part of the walls. Then he was off to go play poker because that's what he does on Sundays.

I did the short walls first, fearing the long wall due to my balance issues. I was fine as long as I could hold onto an adjacent wall while painting the one directly in front of me. I could even look up and see what I was doing.

When I got to the long wall, from about 2 feet from the first adjacent wall to 2 feet away from the other one (what's that leave? about an eight foot expanse in the middle?) I was wobble legged. Only because I knew that if I looked up I would get disoriented and dizzy and that there was nothing to grab onto.

I could have rivaled Lucy in my antics to stay upright. Just so you get the image...there I am, with an old t-shirt pulled over my head as if I was going to put it on, but decided to take it back off and it got stuck coming off my head, with the shirt covering my hair and trailing down my back. (I pay a LOT to get my hair colored and YELLOW is not the color I want to pay for). Anyhow, I have my shirt on my head and my body pressed tightly against the wall with my cheek scraping it as I try to look up to see where the heck my paint roller is wildly swiping...or if I'm even making contact at all.

I slide down the wall in order to feel around for the paint tray and get another roller full. By the time I got off that 2 foot pedestal of death, I am weak all over. My arms are tired, my neck hurts, my legs are wobbly, and my left arm and cheek are yellow. Whoops.

I go out of the room and take a break. When I come back I can see that my brand new jacuzzi corner garden tub is no longer white. It's glowing yellow. Not from having paint on it, but from what I call the Buttercup Effect. Remember when we were kids and we'd pick buttercups and hold them under each other's chins to "see if we like butter"?

Surprisingly, when John came home, he didn't freak out over the degree of yellow. I'm guessing it's a macho thing. "I picked that color, therefore it MUST be the perfect color."

I figured I would hear "It's way too did you screw up color matching that begonia??!"

He did concede that it was a lot of yellow but said that once it's toned down with the trim color on the door, baseboards, crown molding, vanity, and medicine cabinet, it won't be nearly so yellow.

I'm not so sure I agree, and I wasn't sure the WOW factor would ever wear off.

Then I get my weekly email newsletter from HGTV about Bath Design...and the picture accompanying the article titled "Hip Bold Bath Colors" was one of a room that could have been my bathroom's twin. Except for everything in the photo but the walls.

The bathroom, which has been in various stages of remodeling for over a year now, is nowhere near complete. We still have to install the vanity, the marble counter top, the vessel sink, and the medicine cabinet. (I say "we" the same way John says "we" painted.) If it were really up to me, it'd have been done about 9 months ago. I guess you can't rush perfection...or John.

For those of you hoping this was going to some way be about Fingolimod, I will interject that it must be doing a phenomenal job with my MS if I am able to accomplish such a feat as painting my bathroom. A year ago I wouldn't have attempted it.

Monday will be my 9 month checkup for the trial...I'll have more news for you then.

Until Monday, if you look toward the southeastern US and see a glow, call me and I'll go close the blinds in the bathroom.


  1. Did you ever guess that your hubbie would be so "hip" in his color choices? btw, great job doing all that work.

  2. First, I am reading Diane's blog and I blow water out my nose (something she wrote tickled me)...then I get to the END of your blog and read about closing the blinds and I INHALE said water. Conclusion? Reading blogs is dangerous to my health!

    Linda D. in Seattle

  3. Step away from the water, Linda.

    I make sure all beverages are well out of reach when I read your blog...for the same reason. :-)

  4. LOL, Jeri! I chuckled all the way through. Does John read your blog, by the way??
    I must say, I was a bit skeptical about the yellowness of the paint-job, but when I saw the photo I immediately wanted a yellow bathroom :-)
    It is so fantastic that you were able to do the painting yourself. Awesome, actually.

  5. Maggie, to answer your question, no, John does NOT read my blog because he can't understand my need to share things like my yellow bathroom with the rest of the world. However, if he did read my blog I wouldn't change one word of if. He knows when I'm poking fun. :-)

  6. I've always been fond of yellow, but lots of folks aren't. I once ordered softball uniforms for my team - yellow, with black lettering. You'd have thought I asked them to wear pink with ribbons in their hair.

    Contest up over at my place. Prize is 10 (crummy) CDs, listening to which will make any color seem absolutely hideous. Why not come over and take at shot at taking them off of my hands... that is, winning them? :-)

  7. Dang it Jeri, I'm all the way across the state and was wondering where that blinding light was coming from!


    I'm sure it will look great once everything is in place. I'm so glad you were able to tackle a project like this. You've come a long way and I'm so happy for you!

    Hugs :)


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