The Project I Can’t Seem to Finish

by jessicaturner on April 25, 2014

Remember in September when I decided to surprise Matthew and have two of our bathrooms remodeled?

Well the downstairs, half bath has stayed in a very unfinished state since then.

Seven months.

That’s awful.

But I can explain… sort of. It started with the fact that I didn’t pick out paint before doing the remodel. Had I picked out the paint, I think we would be in a different state. As in, we would have a finished bathroom.

I mean, this is what it was.

Green tile that looked like it belonged in a bank. An early 80s, dark brown vanity. Floral wallpaper. A toilet with a wood seat. Hideous, hideous, hideous.

And this is what it is now.

Beautiful tile. Amazing fixtures generously provided by Moen.

Beadboard (that needs to be painted). A new sink and new doors for the vanity (also needs to be painted – again).

So we are just talking paint. But paint is hard.

I knew I wanted to paint the bathroom grey, but I needed to pick a grey for the vanity first. I bought Annie Sloan chalk paint to paint the vanity and mirror. And then I painted, but it was a bad decision.

Lesson: never use Annie Sloan in a bathroom with kids.

Within 2 weeks of waxing it all, there were spots everything. Kid toothpaste and chapstick and who knows what else. (See the marks all over the drawers?)

By this time though I was in the thick of the survey for my book, Matthew was on book deadline and the holidays commenced. After the holidays I started working 7 days a month for three months (full-time job + book writing = no days off).

The thought of starting over, figuring out a different paint or varnish, etc. was overwhelming.

And 6 months later, the cabinets are worse.

So here we are, the end of April and I still have a stark white bathroom staring at me. I’m knee deep in book edits, but I can’t ignore it any longer. I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about my house, which I attribute to receiving my friend The Nester’s new book The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful.

After reading more than half of it in one sitting last Friday night, I woke up Saturday morning and created a gallery wall in our living room. I then worked on it some more Sunday afternoon. It inspired me to really embrace my home where it is, but also go ahead and make nail holes, paint, experiment and make it US.

So this week I am all about the bathroom. I know it won’t take that long to paint. I just need to pick out that darn grey paint!

This weekend I am getting it done. Buying the paint, painting and making it beautiful.

The hardest part is done.

The hideous green tile is gone, as is the clamshell sink and gold fixtures.

In their place are beautiful Moen fixtures and perfect white tile. I know that this bathroom is going to be fantastic. I just need to paint it.

I promise I will show you the finished bath next month.

In the mean time, will you tell me about an unfinished project in your house? Or recommend some good grey paint colors? Or just leave some words of encouragement? Because seriously, I need it all.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Sloan April 25, 2014 at 8:49 am

Wow! I can’t believe how much bigger it looks already. I painted a wall Dior Gray by Benjamin Moore and it looks like it is similar to the Annie Sloan color you used.


Lisa April 25, 2014 at 9:38 am

You know even though it isn’t completely done, it is leaps and bounds better than it was. It will come together. Hang in there. :)


Melissa @ The Inspired Room April 25, 2014 at 10:17 am

Oh that is frustrating about the paint. :-( But the rest of the bathroom is looking great! Your cabinet color looks like my kitchen cabinet color! It took me months to decide on a color (and a plan for my kitchen) but I’ve learned sometimes slowing down a bit pays off — not only in the project results but also my sanity heheh! So give yourself some grace in all you are working on, it will all come together beautifully in time! xoxo


jessicaturner April 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Coming from you, that means a lot. Thanks, friend. xoxo


Nanette R April 25, 2014 at 12:44 pm

I’m getting the itch to do some painting in my home and ran across this blogpost by DecorChick.
You might like some of her greys.


jessicaturner April 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Thanks for sharing!


Barb April 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm

You have the basics done, and it looks beautiful. I would go and just pick 3 or 4 grays that you like and then narrow it down. Don’t give yourself too many choices. The thing with paint and a house you actually live in is it will have to be redone in a couple years, so even if you don’t absolutely love it, you will still like it better than the white and you can change it in a couple of years. Just go to the grays, take a couple that grab you, then decide. Tell yourself the hardest part is done and celebrate what you have already done! Good luck!


jessicaturner April 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Yes, anything will be better than the white unfinished beadboard.


Theresa W April 25, 2014 at 1:01 pm

You have a great start, some projects just take longer than others :) I really love Sherwin Williams Passive. I’ve used it in 3 rooms and it’s just beautiful in all lighting situations. It’s definately a grey (not gray-blue or grey-green) but has a slightly blue undertone. Good luck and have fun!


jessicaturner April 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I looked this up on google images and am going to stop at SW on my way home to pick up a sample. It might be right!


Paula April 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm

We just built a house and I have several rooms that aren’t decorated yet. I’m intimidated by then! I feel like it has to be perfect since the house is new. ; ) Crazy, I know.

The bathroom looks great. I LOVE that tile!


Tara G. April 25, 2014 at 1:49 pm

The guys at the BMoore store called me the shades of gray lady (grr) because I bought so many samples. One that I finally fell in love with was Revere Pewter- it has a hint of brown and goes with everything.


jessicaturner April 25, 2014 at 3:02 pm

That’s hilarious. I bought a sample on my lunch break. We’ll see what I think tonight.


Vicki Lee April 25, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I painted our guest room and bath Revere Pewter. LOVE IT! It’s a neutral but still a color.


Anna Hettick April 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm

We have lived in our house 7 years and we are still working on remodels and decor. It gets hard when you get unmotivated or don’t have the time or money. Two weeks ago I bought a new quilt for the master bed, never planning in doing more than that. 2 gallons of paint and a small chunk of money later I now have a completely redecorated master bedroom…..well, since we’ve never actually decorated our room just had a hodge podge of stuff in it maybe not RE-decorated…but still we both LOVE it. and it’s inspired us for other parts of the house that have been let go. :)


jessicaturner April 26, 2014 at 6:15 am

I remember when we put our condo on the market and did all this stuff to it and was like WHY didn’t we do this BEFORE we got ready to move. Now I am more motivated. :) Paint does wonders, doesn’t it?


Meredith Bernard April 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Oh, yes, I can relate Jessica. I have an attic room that needs to be made a bedroom for my daughter who is three and still on a small nursery. I have a building outside that was an old corn crib my husband mode from another part of our farm over a YEAR ago that is still sitting on a trailer and just needs to be unloaded. This is to put my attic stuff in to move my daughter. That’s my big need to get done now project. Looming large. Giving me heartburn. Hope you have better success than me getting yours done. 😉


jessicaturner April 26, 2014 at 6:15 am

Guess we have heartburn together. :) I bought some paint samples yesterday afternoon, so that’s a start, right?


lauren April 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I suggest you consider Kohler faucets next re-fresh you do. Kohler faucets have a LIFETIME warranty and stay timeless and beautiful.


jessicaturner April 26, 2014 at 6:14 am

I am SO thrilled we chose Moen for our bathrooms. Like the say, “buy it for looks, buy it for life.” The design is incredibly timeless and beautiful.


Ash May 9, 2014 at 12:13 pm

The new bathroom looks great! Removing the green tile and the clamshell sinks made a huge difference. I like the Benjamin Moore paint on the vanity. If you still are considering different paints, take a look at Serena and Lily.


jessicaturner May 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm

That green tile was HIDEOUS! Felt like a bank building. :)


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