A Wrong Way House

“I really like that house,” I said during a walk around the neighborhood. “It looks…”



“My professor talked about those houses when he was talking about software architecture, making a comparison,” Good Man said.

“Usually you don’t see that style here. Florida, California, Arizona, but not Virginia.”

Good Man shrugged, “Well, even a train goes the wrong way sometimes.”

Another Room, Another Color

When I was 11, I was able to paint my room any color I wanted (within reason), even though we were renting. I went with lilac purple. My brother went with a blue that is actually very close to our bathroom color.

(A year later, we had to find a new home because the owner was foreclosed on. I have always wondered if he knew he couldn’t pay his bills, and that’s why he didn’t care if we painted the place.)

Since then, I have not been able to change the color of my walls. From 12-18, I lived in a heavily wallpapered bedroom that would have been a mess to fix. In adulthood, I have always rented.

Apparently this sad lack of control over wall color has resulted in an explosion of color in our house. Luckily, we bought a traditional floor plan home, so each room can be its own color without it looking too whacky. That wouldn’t work in an open floor plan house (at least not with my limited decorating knowledge).

After we painted the dining room, bathroom, and office, the living room was up next!

First, Dad primed the walls. I attempted to remove the programmable thermostat, and ended up breaking it somehow. So the aircon went out, it got hot, we got cranky, then we picked up Good Man and went out to dinner.

As soon as we got home, Good Man got to work, using his military skills to fix the thermostat. Aircon started working, and everyone was happy.

Good Man Fixes the Thermostat

The living room and hall walls were done in Sherwin-Williams low-lustre Cashmere, 6049 Gorgeous White. The color is two shades lighter than the Sashay Sand we did the office in. Eventually, the kitchen will be done in the same color.

Much like Sashay Sand, this is a color that looks like a very pale pink or pale brown depending on the time of the day. We are quite pleased! It seems that our “pick colors before we even close on the house because they’re on sale” method of paint picking worked out well.

Gorgeous White

Gorgeous White and Sashay Sand

Color, Color, Color!

Office Paint Job

While Dad was working on something else, Good Man and I did some final prep work in the office.

Office Before

While Dad fixed the bathroom, I primed the return vent that goes through the office closet.

The office baseboard trim was strange and had some ridges of paint on it. Good Man worked on sanding them down.

Finally, we went around the bedroom and office, touching up all those nail pops with the paint color we were planning on (Sherwin-Williams, low lustre Chasmere in 6051 Sashay Sand).

It looked awful.

It came out of the can Barbie flesh pink. But wet paint and dry paint look different. So we waited until it dried. It was a creepy fake tan-pink orange.

“Maybe it will look better on the whole wall,” Good Man said.

I was doubtful. “Maybe we need a different color.”

I Googled. I couldn’t find any images of it used inside a house. I only found a blog post making fun of the name.

When Dad started painting he told me that after one coat, if I hated it, I shouldn’t be afraid to tell him and we’d pick up something else.

While Dad painted, I was on drip patrol. I tried not to watch the paint dry, since drying paint looks terrible.

By the time Dad got to the office, the first wall was nearly dry, and I was really liking the color!

Old and New

The color is listed as being in the red family on Sherwin-Williams’ site. It’s not mauve. It’s not a dusty pink. It’s not brown. It’s not a dark lilac. But it is all of those colors throughout the day, depending on the light.

Office After

Office in Sashay Sand

That’s Not Good…

Since I haven’t had my computer set up, and since my dad and I have been busy, busy, busy, these posts are sort of in whatever order. Most days we would work on whatever needed to be worked on.

On some Sunday (don’t ask me which), Dad decided to paint the bathroom.

This should have been a fairly easy job.

While Dad was lightly sanding the walls, he said, “Uh oh. Amanda! Come here.”

I went into the bathroom and Dad pressed a very soft spot on the wall.

“Oh God,” I said.

“Yeah, that’s not good.”

The kitchen and bathroom share the same wall, so we were concerned it was a plumbing problem. Dad just pressed his razor into the soft spot and it went straight through. He scraped out the hole and we discovered that it wasn’t a plumbing problem (thank goodness). It seems like water was running over the edge of the tub.

Off to Home Depot we went!

Eighty dollars or so in supplies later, Dad fixed the soft spot.

He cut out the soft spot entirely.

He cut down some wood (left over from removing the shelf supports in the closet of the dining room) and put it behind the soft spot to add some support.

Those drywall screws have sure come in handy…

Dad caulked around that little gap, then mixed up fiberglass.

He smoothed out the fiberglass.

He followed it up with some Bondo.

And finally, we were ready to paint! Of course, at this point, it was evening, so painting had to wait.

Dining Room

The dining room is making progress. Here is a quick before picture:

Dining Room Before

We (and by “we” I mean “Dad”) fixed the patch above the window. He also fixed some loose patches under the windows, in the corner, in the closet, and so on. Nail pops were fixed. The old metal tracks from the closet were removed. The splotch of white paint on the floor in the closet was removed with Oops! (that stuff is magic). Painted over, unmudded drywall tape was removed, retaped, and mudded. The floors were scuffed and refinished.

I might be forgetting some things.

Then, the room was primed with Kilz2.


Natural Light

Dad Starts Working on the Trim

All paint was from Sherwin-Williams. The ceiling was done with Brilliance/Eminence ceiling paint. The walls were done in low-lustre Cashmere interior paint. Below the chair rail is 6228 Refuge, and above is 6226 Languid Blue. The trim was done in semi-gloss ProClassic in 7004 Snowbound.

Natural Light

Lights On

We still have some more work to do in here, but I’m loving these colors!

Ladybug Red

“We need to buy a door.”

Good Man looked at me. “A door?”

I directed our cart to the door aisle. “Yeah, a bedroom door.”

Good Man looked at the doors. “So we can choose wood or… white.”

“Yeah, we can paint it.”

“I want ladybug red!”

“Ladybug red?”

Good Man grinned mischievously. “I think we should make our house a Minecraft, Lego, Super Mario Brothers house. Those colors. What a great idea!”

Prep, Prep, Prep

We’re still living in the basement, which is driving me crazy. We have been making progress, making things work, and finding more things out about the house, though.

Which Hobo Dinner is Dad’s?

That’s a Serving Bowl


Good Man figures out how to get the printer working in the basement. And why is that chunk of wood missing?


Some things in this house are really well thought-out. The front door just clears the stairs. The basement door just clears the hallway and dining room.

Front Door

Basement Door

But other things make no sense. Why would you open the upstairs bedroom door into and against the short, curved wall? If the door opened the other way, it would be opening against a flat wall.

There is a huge crack in the plaster here. Dad fixed it, but it will probably come back since that’s what plaster cracks do. However, we’re going to take off this door, so perhaps the fixed crack will have a fighting chance without constantly getting hit by the door!


Mark and his partner have been excited about their housewarming gift for us since before we even looked at any homes. We went out for dinner a few nights back and they brought a bag.

We opened it and found this lovely platter.


“We were told it was Korean,” Mark said.

Good Man looked at the back and shrugged. He couldn’t read the Chinese characters, so he trotted off to do research. Indeed, they read “Korean Porcelain/Chinaware.”

Korean Porcelain

Then they pulled out a box. We started unwrapping dish after dish. Mark laughed, “We found these at an estate sale and thought they’d be great for Korean food.”

Dish After Dish

When we’d admired the complete set, his partner said, “We have more in the car.”


We took the boxes to the house, stashed them in the basement, and waited until we had some time to put them away. I held two shelves clear for the dishes and started unpacking.

I was delighted to find that some of the plates were actually painted on the back as well.

Back Detail

I unpacked and unpacked and unpacked. I was balancing plates, bowls, cups, and lids on every available surface. I found another platter in red.

Bowls and Lids

Plates and Saucers

Plates on a Stool

Plates Balancing on a Bucket

Bowls and Cups

Both Platters

It seemed like every times I unwrapped a dish, I found another dish in another size. Finally, I was left with a mountain of trash, and the realization that two shelves were not going to be enough.


Eighty-three dishes later (!), I had found a good way to use the strangely-shaped corner cabinets in our kitchen.

I can’t wait to invite them over for some Korean food. We’ll finally have enough dishes for all of the banchan!


Bondo Buddy

So there was some water damage at some point, especially around the windows. We continue to find it. But Dad has a plan, and that plan is known as Bondo.

First, Dad cuts away the damaged area using a razor blade. This is how we found out that the walls were indeed wallpapered (hard to see in the second photo, but it was a striped paper), and then skim coated with plaster (or something similar).

Cut Away Damage

Old Wallpaper

Then Dad mixes up Bondo and spreads it over the area. In the photo below, he’s filling in a huge hole from a TV antenna/jack. (The previous owners had a phone and television in almost every room.)

When the Bondo dries, he sands it a bit, and then uses spackle to finish it off, if necessary.

TV No More!

Office Fix

Living Room Fix