HOUSE: Newburgh

Priming and caulking done.

I know this photo kind of makes the bathroom look like a whitewashed underground bunker, but it does look quite nice in person. From Friday night to Sunday, we sanded all of the wood paneling, smoothed out the plaster on the top of the walls and ceiling, coated everything in primer, and caulked all of the joints/gaps in the woodwork. I am meticulous with caulking, so that alone took me an entire day. (By the way, I swear by Red Devil Painter’s Caulk for surfaces that need to be paintable. Very easy to work with, extremely durable, and paint adheres to it beautifully. When our local paint store stopped carrying it, we ordered an entire case online!)

I called it quits late Sunday afternoon because I was starting to see in triple-vision, and I was dropping things all over the place. We had hoped to get the painting completely done, but we ran out of time.

Here’s what’s left:
→ coat visible knots in wood with shellac spray to prevent bleed-through
→ 2 coats of satin-finish paint (BM Simply White) on all woodwork
→ 2 coats of washable matte paint (color TBD!) on upper walls/ceiling
→ cut and install wood for shelving, determine final color of wood
→ install sconces
→ hang mirror
→ plumbers back on Monday to install sink, toilet, and shower head/faucet
→ caulk tub surround
→ repair rust on tub
→ mount shower curtain rod, hang curtain
→ DONE (minus final details…)

That’s right! SIX DAYS from now, we will have a fully-functional bathroom, WITH A SHOWER.

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  • Reply puck February 24, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    You had a busy weekend, too! If you are like I am, I am slaving away and thinking about how great that steamy hot shower is going to be when it’s done!

    It all looks great!!! I can’t wait to see what color you paint it. What colors are on your short list? More of the white-range?

  • Reply Sherry February 24, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    So exciting! Good luck with everything.


  • Reply Live a Colorful Life February 24, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    This is going to be an amazing bathroom. That seems like SOOO much to get done in six days. You guys obviously work around the clock and don’t need any sleep…

  • Reply Virginia February 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    You’re very organized! How did you smooth out the plaster?

  • Reply elaine prunty February 24, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I’m exhausted just reading that!It looks great, as does your whole house, I love your blog, i’ve been following it for the last year and now that I have my own blog up and running i’d love you to love my blog too.

    ps i love love love morrissey too!
    my blog is at

    would love to hear from you

  • Reply Denise Smith February 24, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Watch that washable matte paint…in my experience, the inevitable bathroom steam leaves water spots all over it. Talked about this with my BM dealer, and they said it wasn’t recommended for bathrooms.

    Not sure about the other brands.

  • Reply Anna at D16 February 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Denise: I used the washable matte in my other bathroom (and in my kitchen) and haven’t had any problems with it at all!

  • Reply Adam February 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Wow, it looks super already! I can’t wait to see the finished product!!

  • Reply Anna at D16 February 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    “That seems like SOOO much to get done in six days.”

    Six days?! Try TWO DAYS! We have to do all of this (well, everything up until the point where the plumbers come back) on Saturday and Sunday!

  • Reply heather February 24, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Just reading your to do list makes me tired! I’m wishing you lots of luck and energy this weekend! 🙂

  • Reply katy February 24, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    hi anna,

    i recently discovered your blog and i love your home! thank you for sharing your own remodeling experiences. they’ve inspired me to get back to work on several projects that have been languishing on my ‘to do eventually’ list that’s only been growing since i bought my own older home more than a year ago.

    i have a question for you about your paint. i love your white walls, but i especially love the subtle contrast between your walls and the trim. what kind of paint do you use for both and what kind of paint do you use on your ceilings? thanks! -katy

  • Reply bungalowbliss February 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Ooh, it looks so crisp and clean! Good luck to you as you enter the home stretch. It will be *so* worth it!

  • Reply laura February 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    It looks great. In such a beautiful bathroom, would you not install a clear one piece glass shower screen rather than a curtain? Then you will be able to see all your hard work. I installed a screen like this one: over our bath. It just requires a couple of screws and is very subtle and eay to keep clean. But, maybe you prefer shower curtains, it is just a suggestion! I love the small window and the tiles and tongue and groove.

  • Reply Anna at D16 February 24, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    puck: We’re not sure yet. The original plan was to use a pale gray, but I think we’re going to have to wait and see how the bathroom looks with everything in place (including the shower curtain) before we make a decision. Because the paneling is so high (8′), the proportion of the wall space on top is a little tough to deal with — I don’t want to go TOO dark and risk it looking like a tiny band of color on top. We’ll see…

    Virginia: The plaster fairy visited us last week and put a smooth coat over everything, so all we had to do was very lightly sand the high spots and smooth out the edges with a little water. 🙂

    katy: The walls are Benjamin Moore Moonlight White, and the trim is BM Simply White. (You mean in the rest of my house, right? Because this is just primer right now in the bathroom!)

    laura: I’m afraid I flail around too much in the shower to use something like that! I need the full coverage a curtain provides. Also, since this bathroom is basically between my kitchen and dining room, I think some extra privacy is in order. 🙂 (I also have the world’s nicest shower curtain waiting to go up!)

  • Reply Pam February 24, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Honestly, Anna, I’m in awe over how you guys get it all done. My friend and I have been working on curtains for my bedroom and living room (22 feet worth of curtains x 1 1/2 fullness!!) since I bought the fabric last April. (No, I’m not exaggerating!!) I’ve been living behind paper blinds adhered to the window glass since October 2007. How do you avoid procrastination?

  • Reply katy February 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    thanks anna! yep, sorry. i meant on the other walls. 🙂 -katy

  • Reply Beckster February 24, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    What is behind the frosted window? Does it open to the outside?

  • Reply Amanda February 24, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Anna- A little off the subject, but I am painting my living room a pale gray. Is there a certain shade of gray that you recommend. I’m looking at BM paint.


  • Reply Anna at D16 February 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Pam: I avoid procrastinating about house projects by procrastinating when it comes to EVERYTHING else! Easy-peasy. 😀

    Beckster: Yes, it’s a window — it overlooks my neighbor’s house, which is about 4 feet away!

    Amanda: Grays are SO tricky! I recommend you look at the comments on this post…and this one, too. Lots of suggestions!

  • Reply Josephine February 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Congratulations Anna (and Evan, of course)! You two should be so proud of what you’ve managed to achieve by yourselves!
    My husband and I are just coming to the end of a fairly quick do-over on our new house, and we’re at the stage that we can move in this weekend (after being ‘homeless’ for almost 6 months)! So I appreciate how exciting it is to have the end in sight 😉

  • Reply Beckster February 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    So Anna, I know I’m dense but have you insulated the wall around the window, rebricked the exterior or did that window fit into an existing small opening? I just don’t remember you mentioning any exterior work.

  • Reply maude February 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I’m a lurker here mainly but, I just have to say that you inspire me so much with all the work you have done on your house. It looks fabulous!!

  • Reply Julie February 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I’m also a lurker who has been so impressed with your projects that I hope it will motivate me. We just purchased a house in upstate NY and in a month and a half I’ll be tackling my own home improvement projects. You’ve mentioned the shades of BM white you’ve used on your walls but did you use the same color white on your ceiling? Also, are you using satin for all your woodwork and flat for your walls? Your walls and trim look so beautiful!

  • Reply Anna at D16 February 24, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Beckster: The window is original to the house! We did insulate that wall while it was open, but the window itself didn’t change at all (other than repairs and repainting).

    Julie: Yes, yes, yes, and thank you. 🙂

  • Reply Dewi February 25, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Do you have panoramic view of this bathroom. I love the tounge and grove wood wall.
    Your taste and attention to the details are fantastic.
    Can I buy your house after your done? 😉

    I’m so curious about that little window /door in the middle of the bathroom wall. If it’s an original detail do you think it was for a stove pipe vent outside or a door to shovel in coal into the bathroom?

  • Reply kristin February 25, 2009 at 10:23 am

    that’s the sweetest little window
    and you are Wonder Woman!

  • Reply Anna at D16 February 25, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Dewi: This bathroom is so small! Even with a wide-angle lens, it’s impossible to get a good photo. I’m going to have to get crafty with splicing several photos together when the whole room is done.

    The bathroom was added 50-70 years ago (toilet was stamped 1954, but the tub looks like it’s from the ’30s, so we’re not sure!). The space it’s in was originally an extension of the entry hallway, and part of it was a pass-through pantry to the kitchen (we’ve seen the original layout in an indentical house in our row of 4 attached houses). The window would have been in the pantry. There’s an identical one two floors above it in the attic. We have three chimneys, but none of them align with the window, so I think it was just for ventilation.

    p.s. I can’t imagine ever selling our house! We’ve invested so much of ourselves into it over the past three years (and for years to come). We’re very emotionally attached to it. 🙂

  • Reply Shashi February 25, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I feel your pain – the details seem never ending, you’re so close though!

  • Reply coral February 25, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I know the exact slightly-hysterical happiness you feel at being so close to finishing something you’ve been working so tirelessy on. I just moved into a brand new bedroom after sleeping in a construction zone for two years. It’s funny how much you can appreciate things like sleeping in a proper bed – or taking a shower. Can’t wait to see how your new room cleans up.

  • Reply Amanda February 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for the links about the grey (gray) walls. I have a red couch, so it was nice to hear about the which greys (grays) would look better with red.


  • Reply Dewi February 25, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks for the info on the mystery window .
    Intriguing how they solved ventilation issues in such funny random ways, possibly this was done to bring the house up to code after it was built. The house might have been built before they had health code/ building laws about ventilation?
    The amount of work you have done is testament to your love, I was joking about selling it, it would be like asking you for your first born.
    You gave birth to this home!

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