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Low but never zero - ORC Week 3

"So I hit my low, but little did I know that would not be the end." - Mumford and Sons.

Week 3 of the One Room Challenge! I hit the low point of the project this week. Everything is fine, it was still a good week - but I'm at the point in the project where its messy, stressful, and a little overwhelming. The bathroom is a mess - literally the tub is full of tools, supplies, and really anything that I think I might need in the next few weeks. Things that WERE in the bathroom are now spilling out into my bedroom. No matter how much I clean up the popcorn ceiling dust - there still seems to be more that ends up getting tracked around my house every time someone steps into the bathroom. Projects that seemed small and simple in my mind ended up taking much longer then anticipated. I didn't create a timeline for myself because doing a project with little kids is always unpredictable - but I just feel "behind." My whole family caught colds this week - which slowed everything down even more. Being a mom to three sick kiddos - my energy at times this week felt so low and by the time nap time (aka project time) came around it I felt like I was moving in slow motion. I always feel better after doing a project - no matter how big or small, but I guess a part of me thought I'd be farther in week 3 then I am. But more on that later - here's what I DID get done this week. This week I was able to finish all of the Roman Clay walls. I'll be honest with you - this project was super fun, one of the most fun projects I've ever worked on - but it took SO MUCH LONGER then I thought. My husband will probably never let me live down a comment I made when I first started it. Quick story - He and I take turns putting out 2 and 3 year olds to bed each night. They recently started sharing a room, so one of us needs to sit in there with them until they fall asleep otherwise they would probably party all night. It usually takes about an hour. Last week when I started the Roman Clay, I told my husband that I thought I could get all the walls done while he put the boys to bed. He laughed.

I rolled my eyes.

Welp. JOKES ON ME because this took many multiple hours to finish. Part of the reason it took so long is that besides the obvious texture I wanted, I really wanted to have some variance in color on the wall so I purposely mixed up multiple small batches of this "Roman Clay" and applied it randomly around the room.

Each batch is slightly unique in the ratio of paint/joint compound I added, so there is a beautiful blend of clay on all four walls. These extra steps took some extra time but I absolutely love it.

Note: If you DON'T want this variance, you would want to mix up one giant batch and do all of your walls with the same mixture as it would be hard to get the exact same ratio if you were to make multiple batches. (Also note: it will still take take more then an hour even with one batch!)

Once the walls were done, I added the window trim back on. My plan was to make new trim for the windows, but earlier this week I changed my mind on that and decided to designate that money elsewhere in the room and stick with the trim that was already there since it matched the rest of the room anyway. I did prime and paint it before adding it back on the wall. While it obviously looks so much better having the trim attached, once I saw it on the wall, I realized that the white trim is too stark and bright for the moody vibe I'm going for. This will be a project I will revisit this next week. Real talk: It can easily feel like a bummer when you spend any amount of time on a project just to realize you need to do it over again - but this is a pretty common occurrence in DIY that I've learned to manage. Of course, I'm annoyed I have to repaint them, but personally, I'd rather do it a 100 times and really love the end result - then to be too stubborn to fix it and ultimately be annoyed every time I look at it. I'm not going to waste time dwelling on the "wasted" time and I'm just going to keep moving forward and fix it.

This week I also got the vanity and tub surround painted! (the wood part - not the tiles!)

It seems like a pretty straight-forward task but there are quite a few steps to this.

First, I took of all the doors and hinges and degreased everything. You want to do this BEFORE sanding, otherwise when you sand you will be pushing all the oils and greases deeper into the wood and your paint will not adhere as well. Next, I did a rough sand to remove the "gloss" on the wood so that my primer would have something to adhere to. Then I degreased AGAIN.

Then two coats of primer and two coats of paint with a really really light sanding between each coat to keep it super sleek and smooth. Normally when painting vanities or cabinets I would recommend using a cabinet enamel paint - as it is much more durable. However, I am doing this whole bathroom on a strict budget so I used the same paint I used on my ceiling which was the color "Tarrytown Green" by Benjamin Moore in a Satin finish. It won't be quite as durable as a cabinet enamel but all the preparation steps I took will definitely help. Plus, since this is the primary bathroom, connected to the primary bedroom - my husband and I are the only people who will be using this so I think this paint job will hold up just fine for quite some time.

Another thing I got done this week was the MIRRORS!

I had purchased these mirrors WAY back in June of 2021 on Facebook marketplace shortly after moving here knowing they would look amazing in my bathroom renovation (that's how long I've been planning this bathroom project!)

They were originally a part of two bathroom medicine cabinets. I did not need the cabinets but the arched mirror fronts caught my eye immediately. They were honestly quite challenging to take a part - I thought there would just be some screws to take apart - Nope! I had to actually use my grinder with a metal cutting blade to cut through metal to get this frame off the cabinet. I managed to do it without cutting off a finger or starting a fire - so that's good news.

I then took the mirror out of the frame and sprayed the frames with a sand texture spray paint and then black spray paint. After that dried, I made some mud out of dirt from the back yard and a few drops of water and rubbed that all over the frame. When that dried I rubbed off all the excess with a dry cloth. Now they mirrors look perfectly aged and gorgeous. I legitimately obsessed with them.

I hung the mirrors last night and they look so perfect in this bathroom - it was definitely the encouragement boost I needed to keep pushing through this big project. I can't tell you how many time in the past 3 weeks I've walked into the bathroom to look in the mirror and remembered the mirror is gone - so it's also just nice to have a mirror back!

The final project I got done this week was painting the bathroom door. Another seemingly straight forward task that in reality seemed to take forever. I took the door off the hinges and brought it into the garage to paint. I did the same steps that I did with the vanity. I degreased it, sanded the gloss off, degreased it again, then two coats of primer and then two coats of paint. ON BOTH SIDES. So much time spent literally waiting for paint to dry. But well worth the time it took, because it looks gorgeous. I chose the color "Nomadic Desert" by Sherwin Williams because that is the color of our adjoining bedroom so it blends in perfectly with the wall on the bedroom side. On the bathroom side, the earthy tan is a beautiful compliment to the darker browns of the bathroom.

Although this also presented a similar problem to the windows - painting the door tan makes the white trim around the door stick out like a sore thumb - so that trim color will also have to be addressed.

While I got a lot done this week, it is a little overwhelming that week 3 is already here and there is still so much to do. The projects that remain are all BIG projects. I have lots of things to build and some big decisions to make... and not much time to make them! While it's overwhelming - this is my favorite kind of stress. I titled this post, "low but never zero" because even while not feeling my best, DIY has still become such a positive outlet for myself. Now that the kids and I are healthy I am feeling my energy return with a new determination to crush this next week. This kind of stress is exciting, motivating and always brings out my most creative ideas so I am super excited to step into this next week with some of the best projects on the horizon. I know that the chaos of these next few weeks will be short lived - and creating a room I'm proud of is worth every second of it.

Beams, Dividers, Shelves, Vanity top... Lets get building!

Be sure to check out the other participants in the One Room Challenge at And follow along on my journey in real time at

See you next week!


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