“Show Me the Progress” Party

It’s time for another party at Amanda’s Serenity Now.  This time we are showing progress that we’ve made, large or small.  I thought I would share the latest progress pictures on Walnut Avenue with you.  If you are new here, my mom is restoring a house and I’ve blogged about the process since last year.  You can click on the “Walnut Avenue” label at the right if you’d like to see more.
Mr. SP, his dad, and I headed to Walnut Avenue on Sunday so that Mr. SP could install missing railing and spindles on the stairs.  Mr. SP made every bit of this to match the existing mill work.  I am so proud of him for the excellent job that he did.
Let me share with you what my mom did between last Tuesday and Sunday.  She, with the help of my aunt and uncle, finished painting the dining room.
She finished painting the trim in her family room.  (No pictures)  I helped her to tape all of the woodwork for wall painting this week.  We also taped a bedroom that she decided needed one more coat of paint.
The parlor’s walls got painted.  The picture molding needs to be installed and then she’ll finish the area around the ceiling.
Mama sanded off the last of the textured ceilings on Saturday.  She could hardly lift her arms on Sunday from that hard work.  She did the kitchen ceiling and the hall ceiling leading to the powder room.  What a relief to finally be rid of ceiling texture!
She painted her bathroom upstairs.  She’s not quite finished with the painting, but it already looks brighter. 
The sink that you see in the picture above will be replaced by this pedestal sink.  It’s been in a relative’s basement for years.  Mama is glad that it never was thrown out.  The original sink has separate hot and cold faucets.  With a new faucet, this sink will be a big improvement.
I made curtains for Mama’s basement family room.  She’s sleeping on a sofa down there and hangs shades by nails at night as a temporary window covering.  We bought rods and clip rings on Sunday.   I used drop clothes for the main fabric and jazzed up the sides with fabric that she used to recover two of her 1968 chairs.  Hopefully these will be a big improvement over the old shades that she is using on those windows now!
Thanks to Amanda for hosting this fun party.  I’m looking forward to visiting  participants to find out what progress others have made this summer.


  1. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    Okay, first of all, thank you SO much for linking up. My parties seem to get smaller and smaller. :s I was worried no one was going to link up this time!

    I am still in awe over all you guys have done on Walnut Avenue. Before and After photos need to be sent to magazine when you are done. It’s such a diamond in the rough!!

  2. FrouFrouBritches says:

    It looks sooo good! That claw foot tub is GORGEOUS! I can’t wait to see the curtains hung. Everything in that house is beautiful – so new and fresh. I love it. The faux fireplaces are fabulous too!

  3. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says:

    Wow, this is such an undertaking. So much hard work, but everything is looking fantastic. Hugs, Marty

  4. Southern Fried Gal says:

    I love to hear your updates on Walnut Avenue (and I love the name, too).

    I just did a very small section of ceiling and that was enough for me to put anything in the future on hold. Now I know why our contractor wanted to charge $5000 to do the whole house when we moved in. I wish I had gone for it back then.

    The bathroom is going to be awesome with the pedestal and tub.

    Can’t wait to see it all finished! Thanks for sharing along the way.

  5. Richella says:

    I just love your mom’s house, Paula! I’m amazed at the way she’s living there and working on the house. I know you must be proud of her, and I know she must be grateful to you for all your help!

    And I must say that I love your new blog background, too–so cute! Good for you.

  6. Blondie's Journal says:

    Wow! There has been a lot of progress on this house since you first showed us. Your mom sounds like she has a lot of energy and it is so sweet that family comes together to help her out.

    Love the window treatment you made. Got to love that drop cloth…I have tons of it!


  7. Mary Joy says:


    Oh wow! How gorgeous!! What an amazing house! I just love it! I have helped remove textured ceilings before and can completely relate. Yuck! It looks so wonderful now! Sounds like you guys could use a massage break with all you have been doing. I am also a huge fan of the banister…lovely! Lots of work but oh so worth it.

  8. Mary Joy says:

    P.S….I am your newest follower!! I love your blog!!! You have a great thing you are doing here!!!

  9. you know, it makes a world of differences having actually been there to see your mom’s house online 🙂 I cannot believe she sanded all of that ceiling…well, okay, yes, I can…

    but I cannot believe you posted those gold thingies [very big grin] (my gold birds are waiting for me to work magic with them…hah)

  10. Candy (Mama Lion) says:

    hi! im here thru amanda’s site and so glad i got to stop by! i love all the shades picked for the dining room, parlor and bathroom. once paint is in – it feels like so much has been accomplished – this i know. awesome job on the progress!! ur mama must be very happy 🙂

  11. OMG! I can’t believe the transformation from the last pictures. I can’t get over your mother’s stamina. She is amazing.
    You and Mr. SP have done your share of work, also.
    I love the new look of your blog! Way to go! You should teach blog design in an extended learning.

  12. Allie and Pattie says:

    Paula, you have every right to be proud! Wht a fabulous job!
    xoxo Pattie

  13. Very funny to see what you wrote because we LIVE on Walnut Ave….not in your city, but in So.Cal! Caught my attention right away, but also love all the work you are doing on it! Great work!

  14. decdiva1 says:

    nice work, can’t wait to see the whole thing when it’s done! it will be beautiful! visiting from serenity now party!

  15. Paula, it is just so nice that everybody pitches in and helps your mom. That is family! This house is coming on so amazingly. It is going to be absolutely beautiful!

    I am loving your mom for working so hard on those ceilings, cause I have them throughout my entire house. What a job!

  16. Designs on 47th Street says:

    Paula, this is an amazing work in progress. I am so impressed with all the work your mother is doing and how you and Mr. SP (and others) are helping her so diligently. It is going to be a lovely home with such a memorable past of yesteryear. It’s really coming along.

    I LOVE your new blog design too! WOW! It looks great!

    Thanks for stopping by 47th St. 🙂


  17. LOVE, your new blog look….it is beautimus!

  18. KM @ This Plate is Full says:

    call me crazy but I love painting a house!!!
    Its starting to look great!!!
    & yes, that old sink will look smashing with a new sparkely faucet. good luck with it all.
    keep us updated

  19. Confessions of a Plate Addict says:

    Wow, Paula! Your mom is making amazing progress! And I love the mill work your hubby did! Thanks for a peek at the wonderful goings-on! I hope you are having a great week!…hugs…Debbie

  20. Yankee Doodle says:

    I’m at a loss for words for all the work y’all have finished since we were there. AND the work that Mr. SP did on the rail is outstanding. When the house is finished and everyone needs a rest we’ll have to go to that Island “up north”.

  21. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says:

    WOW – you have been busy. Everything looks amazing.

  22. WOW! This is quite a project! It looks amazing so far. I dream of doing a major remodel.

  23. I am not a fan of textured ceilings. Wouldn’t you know that the house we bought is extreme textured ceilings? But I’m not as ambitious as your mom. Kudos to her!

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Show Me the Progress Party

Progress Party, March 2010

Amanda over at Serenity Now for Amanda is having a progress party for decorating dilemmas. The last time she had a party, I asked for help with this mess – out out of control mail.


I had all kinds of great suggestions for solving my dillema. Everyone agreed that I needed something to fill the space between the trunk and picture. Lorrie’s suggestion, an antique toolbox, was my favorite. I think that Mama may have one that I can have, but in the meantime I shopped my house and came up with this. I like to use antiques as much as possible in my home for decorating and for function. The basket is not an antique, but the box is. The basket is mine and the box is Mr. SP’s. We both sort the mail into the appropriate basket when it arrives. (It comes through the mail slot on the door.) I am amazed at how well this system works. No more piles!

February – Nice and Neat!


March – Still nice and neat! Success!


When Amanda hosted her first Decorating Dilemmas Party, I asked for suggestions for these chairs that I picked up at an estate sale. I’ve been working on them bit by bit this winter. I sanded them, primed them, and painted them.

The one on the left is unsanded, the one on the right is sanded. When I took this picture, I had only tried hand sanding.


After I hand sanded the one on the left, I resorted to power tools to get off as much paint as I could.

Don’t you love this outfit? I’d been shoveling now if you are wondering why I’m wearing ski socks.


Post Sanding:


I then primed the chairs with an automobile primer.


I started with a pretty tan color. After spraying a few coats, I didn’t like that this color was satin and not a gloss. I had to switch colors because Lowe’s didn’t have my original color in gloss.



Spray painting indoors in February is not a good idea. I opened the windows in the workshop, turned on the big exhaust fan, ran another fan, but our house still reeked of fumes. I finally gave up after getting one too many headaches and waited for a warm day to finish the project.

I got my warm day on Sunday and hauled the chairs out into the yard for another couple of coats of paint.


Much better!


All that’s left to do now is paint the underside of the chairs. I’m very happy with my chair progress!


  1. Looking great, paula!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Fabulous!! Love the basket/box for mail!!

  3. I super love those chairs! That’s quit a bit of work, but sooo worth it!

  4. Allie and Pattie says:

    Great chairs! And I remember them being quite comfy!
    xoxo Pattie

  5. dang i so wish you were my neighbor!! 🙂 we could play tennis AND you could help me with my little projects 🙂

  6. They look fabulous!!! Love the color!
    Great party post!

  7. Domestic Designer says:

    WOW! I am certainly impressed. Good Job!

  8. Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful says:

    Love the chairs! My SIL recently got a similar pair from her parents who used to have a little antique shop in OH and still have a lake house full of treasures.

  9. Oh, I want those chairs!!! Looks great.

  10. Thx for the update photos! I am headed over to check out the progress party!


  11. Your chairs are making great progrss!

    Thank you again for picking me as your winner for your giveaway. I emailed you as soon as I found out but it doesn’t seem that it got to you. I used the link through your profile.

    If you will leave me another comment with your email address I won’t publish that comment but will write you again using the address you give me.


  12. Go East Memphis Mama says:

    Love the chairs!

  13. FrouFrouBritches says:

    Paula, I am LOVIN’ that crate for mail. Lucky Mr. SP. It’s gorgeous!!!!

    The chairs look great too!

  14. I love the chairs!!! Good job, girl!!!

    Amanda’s Wed. Party is always such fun to get ideas and see how many talented bloggers are out there.

  15. Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage says:

    They look great!!! I have two of these I hauled home that need MAJOR work! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  16. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    Paula!!! I don’t know how you do it all, girl. 🙂 The basket and box are perfect!! I love the new look you gave those chairs. Many people would have just dumped them, but you gave them a new lease on life. 😉

    Thanks for linking up. 🙂

  17. Stacey @ The Blessed Nest says:

    Great that you found such a cute way to organize your mail! And those chairs are too much fun!

  18. Nadir @ Hodgepodge says:

    Hi, I’m visiting from Amanda’s blog. I’m loving the chairs you painted! They’re beautiful & look so modern now w/ a fresh coat of paint. 🙂 Take care.

  19. Hi. I’m just stopping by from Serenity Now. I really like the chairs. It’s looking great.

  20. Great idea for the mail…easy, cheap, and effective!
    The chairs look really good!

  21. Jenny @ Words on Wendhurst says:

    They look so much better than before! I love the power of spray paint.

  22. those chairs are great. When shopping for some patio furniture at Lowes a few weeks ago I noticed they are making this same style of chairs again, they had lots of fun colors too.

  23. Lowe’s has similar chairs!! I’m on my way there!!! 🙂

  24. The mail box baskets are so nice and neat, not to mention functional! Great job!

    And the chairs are so fabulous in their new color. Just in time for lounging under the sun this spring!

  25. alanna rose says:

    I really like the chairs – I’ve been looking for a pair like that (or for a double glider, how cute would that be?), but haven’t found the perfect project chairs yet.

    Great job!

  26. Your chairs look great! Although I love the apple green before color too.

  27. I was out of town last week, so I’m just now getting to visit people from Amanda’s party. I think your chairs look wonderful! What a great find. I can remember chairs like that from my grandmother’s yard. . . wish I had them now!

    And your mail solution is working really well! Good for you.

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