Tuesday, December 26, 2017

26 December, Pantry Renovation Continues

A grey morning with temps hovering at freezing.  The Rose of Sharon/hibiscus growing at the edge of the side porch wore a few icicles.  I wonder if it caught water dripping from the porch roof.

Charlie and Willow sharing opposite ends of a toppled tree trunk in the scrubby woods
 bordering the drive.

Willis picking his way across the frosted side lawn.

The first shelf installed on the long wall of the pantry.
 There were two in place at the end of the work day.  
The pantry renovation got off to a slightly bumpy start this morning.  We went early to a hardware store in Liberty to buy a tub of wallpaper adhesive.  Back at home, I found a large plastic wash pan, carefully stirred a little water into a dollop of adhesive per instructions on the label, spread out the first strip of wallpaper and proceeded to brush on adhesive.

[This followed an argument/discussion with Jim who insisted the adhesive should 
be applied to the wall.] 
 We maneuvered the floppy length of paper into position and began the process of adjusting and smoothing.  As soon as we pressed down the edges they popped up and tried to curl. I attempted to smooth out wrinkles working from the bottom up--Jim who was fussing at the top of the strip seemed to be pressing in more wrinkles.  The strip of wallpaper was having trouble adhering to the carefully primed wall, so I peeled it back while Jim brushed more adhesive behind it.

After 10 minutes of struggling, noting Jim's mounting exasperation, I reluctantly decided to abandon the plan of papering that wall.
I've done a fair amount of successful wallpapering in the past, don't know why this attempt wasn't working.  I do know I couldn't summon the patience or the energy to cope with a process that wasn't promising satisfactory results.
I pulled the strip of paper off the wall and bundled it out to the woodstove.

Jim thumped off to the workshop and I was left to sponge slimy adhesive residue from the wall.
Faced now with an extra space to paint I assessed my remaining Antique White paint and knew it wouldn't stretch to cover two walls.
There is always a plan B.
I had about 3 quarts of satin paint in a soft apricot/beige color called 'Sugared Almond' [paint names are so fanciful] which we used in the downstairs bath.
Stirring this into the remaining Antique White gave me nearly a gallon of paint in a warm sandy color.  It covered the long wall--finally obscuring any hint of blue--as well as the short wall behind the door [the one destined originally for wallpaper] and around the window wall. The final wall can't be tackled until the shelving in progress is finished.  

While my vision for the pantry had to be jettisoned, I wasn't willing to make the 30 mile round trip on the chance that Wal Mart had a gallon of premixed Antique White on hand--the local store isn't consistent  in its paint stock.

So--the project is moving along.  I think we've gotten past what looked like complications.  I've adjusted my thinking, we're working to make the best of the existing conditions; I've been frugal in making do with the paint on hand.
Tomorrow should see the back wall shelves completed and [hopefully] most of the clutter sorted and back in place.

 Nellie is not happy that the arrangement of crockery prevents him from settling in front of the window.  The cats are displeased with the disruption of the kitchen. 
I reassure them--and myself--that the end results will be worth the muddle.


  1. They do not mind coldness at all. They enjoy changes in nature. Thanks for your great post.

    1. rtc; The outdoor cats have been provided with several cozy blanket-lined 'nests' and I make sure they have extra food during cold weather. Should the weather become really fierce i would bring them into the basement room for the night.

  2. Yes, "the end results will be worth the muddle." Remodeling is always accompanied by some inconveniences. "I've adjusted my thinking, we're working to make the best of the existing conditions" I can totally related to that statement.

    Enjoy your new pantry. Love & hugs and thanks for the inspiration ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; So much of life is about 'adjusting!' The pantry, though unfinished, is already looking so much better.

  3. Always have a plan B. Cats always want to help and get upset when we don't take their advice.

    1. Janet; We've noticed over the years that cats dislike having furniture moved or something placed in a spot they have claimed. Sometimes they are way too helpful.

  4. Our Grandson has just been with us for 10 days, he went this after noon back to London. I'm sure I heard the cats cheering quietly. Especially Willow as Tom takes 'her' room.

    1. Briony; Several of our cats loved the extra attention when Howard and Dawn were with us--others 'disappeared' for the day, only creeping out after the guests [and the dogs] went into the bedroom. Within minutes of the diesel truck roaring off, out they all came!

  5. Ah, the gentle art of compromising! Make the most of what you have, indeed. The paint colour sounds lovely and that first shelf looks great. I am smiling at the thought of Himself stomping off to the workshop and you being left with the de-sliming of the wall! I agree with you about abandoning the task though - I am the official wallpaperer here (not that I am allowed to use any!) and you can tell when it's a hopeless task . . .

  6. Jennie; I'm not one to abandon something I've planned--had a moment of inward struggle before conceding that the wallpapering was hopeless. When told that 'the shelf will cover the wrinkles on this end'--I knew I had lost the battle! Either the paper was going to lie properly smooth and flat or it wasn't going to be there at all! I surely wasn't going to hold up the rest of the renovation and risk Jim downing tools in disgust. So, on we go.

  7. Well, too bad about the wallpaper, but it's always good to have a plan B. I raised my children with that mantra - always have a plan B! Your paint mixing sounds like the perfect solution and I think it will be nice to be able to wash the wall when you need to, also. I scrolled down to read about your Christmas day and I agree, the house does seem a bit lonely after everyone leaves......You have such pretty cats to keep you company and the views of your little valley are wonderful. I had a Himalayan cat like yours once - she was abandoned and starving and never would let us pick her up, but she recovered to become a beautiful cat with her own distinct personality. She lived 18 years with us, too. It's so nice to have such a large pantry, but it seems no matter how much space we have, we always need more! I can imagine all the wonderful things you will have stored there.....I laughed about the Mr. stalking off. A true gentleman who knows when to leave the scene! x Karen

    1. Karen; I've been told that no matter what I had in the way of horizontal surfaces, I would manage to overfill them.
      As to the necessity for a 'plan B'--I should know by now that when renovating a space there are surprises.
      The cats are great company--they also assure us of a renewable supply of cat hair!