One Room Challenge, Week Five: The Reality Of The Situation (All I Need Is A Miracle)

There’s one week to go on the One Room Challenge, and I’m starting to realize that finishing my pantry in that time might take an actual miracle. As of today, the state of things isn’t pretty, but I’m still going to press on and give it my best.

But here’s the reality of the situation…

My cabinets are built, but are still lacking some trim and other custom touches, like baseboards on the tall cabinet on the right, crown moulding on both side cabinets, toe kick trim on the lower cabinets, etc.

And while I did get wood filler on all of them last night, they have yet to be sanded and caulked where needed.

On the other side, I finally got the cabinet build done (with the exception of the crown moulding), and I also tested out the self-etching primer that I bought to paint the freezer. (Again, that gray is just primer. The freezer will be painted the same color as the cabinets.) Then I hung the new handle  on the freezer that I bought to replace that bulky white plastic handle, but I haven’t actually installed it yet. Right now, it’s just precariously dangling on the little posts that held the original handle.

And on the center cabinets, I’ve been testing out more paint colors.

I’m going with teal. The fact of the matter is that I like purples that are on the dark side and grayed down, but those just don’t go with the tiles unless they’re super dark. But when I put a really dark purple/eggplant in there, it just starts to look black during half of the day. I don’t like that at all. But purples that are more of a true, clear purple just start to look like they belong in a child’s room to me.

But I also went a different direction with the teal. The one I showed in yesterday’s post (which you can click here to see) is one that could easily be mistaken for navy blue…until you see it next to navy blue and see just how much green it has in it. So this time, on the advice of many of you in your comments on yesterday’s post, I tried out the kitchen cabinet color (Behr Hallowed Hush), which is unmistakably in the teal family, and more on the green side than the blue side. I also tried out one color that’s just a shade or five darker than the kitchen cabinet color (Glidden Teal Lagoon), and then I tried the paint color that was just below Hallowed Hush on the paint card (Behr Mythic Forest). (By the way, Hallowed Hush and Mythic Forest are old Behr colors that are no longer available on the paint cards, but they still have the formulas in their system.)

You can see all three of those, in that order from left to right, on the piece of plywood sitting on the floor. And the color actually painted on the cabinet frame is Glidden Teal Lagoon. I had my mom come over and look at them in person, and immediately that was her favorite.

Anyway, all of that to say that I’m narrowing in on the right color. (The right color for me, of course. I know those of you partial to purple will be disappointed. Sorry. 🙁 )

And on the pantry door wall, I still need to trim out the doors and install the decorative ceiling light properly…

That light is about to get on my last nerve. It works as long as it’s hanging down like that (very safe, I’m sure), but every time I attach the canopy to the ceiling, it stops working.

So in addition to the work being done in the actual pantry, I also got all of the doors and drawer fronts cut, partially trimmed out, and primed on the back. I left them to dry overnight in the plywood graveyard that used to be known as my studio.

I still need to sand the backs, prime the fronts, drill the hinge holes, add a bit more trim, prime the trim, sand the fronts, paint the doors and drawer fronts, sand, paint again, and topcoat. No big deal, right? 😀 Unfortunately, the weather has gotten cooler, so everything is taking longer to dry. The Zinsser oil-based Cover Stain that I use (i.e, my favorite primer) — the one that takes about an hour or two to dry during the summer — still wasn’t really dry enough to sand last night when I went to bed, and that was several hours after I primed the doors.

So, I’ll keep on keeping on, but I’m beginning to think I might need a few extra days to finish. We’ll see!

Be sure to check out all of the other participants in the One Room Challenge!


My pantry is finished! Want to see the entire project from start to finish? You can find every single post about the pantry build right here…

Or you can skip to the end and see how it turned out. Here’s a peek of the finished pantry…

Butler's pantry remodel with dark teal lower cabinets, floating corner shelves, and whitewashed wood countertop

You can see more pictures on the before and after post right here…

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  1. Aw! I know you’re a bit frustrated, but you are doing an amazing job!! Keep plugging along!! The One Room Challenge was a great kickstarter for this project and you’ll be done soon enough. Just maybe not in 4 weeks. This is so exciting to see!!

  2. It’s looks great! I’m just wondering what is your schedule that you can get so much done in one day. Do you work all day and evening? Do you take off a day?? I read your post in the morning to get me motivated.

  3. Hey, I was on the purple team, but I really like the teals you are on to now. Purple is a very difficult color to work with – it goes from great to terrible in a jiffy, I think teal is safer. Push on, you are almost done. 🙂

  4. I’d pick the kitchen paint color – just because that’s how my brain works, the pantry is an extension/reflection of the kitchen.

  5. You have made amazing progress. Don’t get down because time is running short for the contest. You only need to do the best you can do. You made your own tiles for heaven’s sakes – that is amazing in itself! Keep plugging away step-by-step. Miracles happen all the time.

    1. And, built cabinets from scratch! I think your progress is flat-out amazing!!!

      PS- I love the new comment format. Don’t know if that is hub’s doing or not, but it is much easier since you don’t have to scroll all the way to the end. =]

  6. Have you considered getting a dehumidifier to run in the studio (or wherever) when you have paint projects drying? I used to keep one in my basement 24/7, but I brought it up into the living room when I had the carpets cleaned and it sped things up tremendously!

    1. That’s what I was gonna say- a dehumidifier or small heater or something to dry out the air. Speed things up to a certain degree.

  7. Well, Kristi, how many other participants in the ORC are making all of their own cabinets??
    Few, I’d say. Prioritize, and don’t t look at the big picture just yet. Primer still wet? Ok, cut trim, prime get that ready. Let that stuff dry, work on freezer….etc. But I know you know how to do all of this. I’m on the outside looking in so it seems very doable to me (if I had half of your talent). But if you need an extra day or week, look at your progress and be proud of yourself.
    Your fans certainly are❤️❤️❤️

  8. All my projects seem to get bigger instead of smaller before they actually get done. In all, I’d rather do things things right than do them fast.

  9. The goal was the contest BUT what is really important is that you are getting the PANTRY DONE! Keep working on the goal of the contest and don’t forget the REAL GOAL….FINISHING THE PANTRY! You will be so HAPPY AND PROUD WHEN (ever ) it gets finished! All of us are cheering you on! Woman….YOU GOT THIS!

    We just bought a “new” house and are moving next week….I’m supposed to be packing, but I have to read your daily post first! Can’t wait to see the final pictures! Now where did I put that darn tape gun….?

  10. Nice. What do you use for paint for the Cabinets? I see you use a roller. What size nap? Redoing a room myself right now.

  11. I like the choice of teal and having a relationship to the kitchen cabinets. I hope you won’t work yourself ragged trying to meet the “deadline”. This room will be done soon enough and you’ll be reaping the benefits of all your hard work. I doubt other participants are doing the kind of work you are doing yourself for this project. You inspire many of us. Just the other day I used the circular saw for the first time. I had used a miter saw many times in the past but had always been scared of the circular saw. I thought of you and decided to just try to be safe and do it. I accomplished the task and felt good about it. You will never know how many women you empower with your blog.

  12. I noticed the awesome refrigerator door handle will be on the left, against the wall. Have you considered switching it to the right side of the door? Just suggesting this, because it would be so much easier to open the door from the counter side and remove something from the fridge and have the counter right there to set it on. I currently have a fridge that opens from the left and the counter is on the right and it really annoys me, but that’s just me. 🙂 Love everything you are doing in your pantry. Those tiles are amazing. I was one of those riding the purple wagon, but I’m sure whichever teal you decide on will be beautiful. Good Luck in reaching your 1 week goal….I’m sure you can do it.

    1. In her earlier posts, she has said the freezer handle is not changeable. Several of us asked when she first put it in there.

    2. Plus the door handle hits the wall before the door is even 90 degrees open. Kristi decided the accessibility of a counter was less important than the ability to open the door fully.

    3. There was a huge discussion on this earlier and Kristi has a very good reason for doing it this way. Check older posts.

    4. Wow, sorry I must have missed that post about the refrigerator handle. No more comments are necessary. Thank You. Have a great day everyone 🙂 🙂

  13. (Leaping, while waving and shaking pompons) You can do it! You can do it! You Can! YOU CAN!

    And if you don’t get there, well, you are really a lot farther along the way than if you’d never made the attempt, so all is not lost.

    You are trying new things, overcoming obstacles, and doing the whole Kristi process, which for you, is the best for you, so just keep doing!

  14. Your doing great I can hardly wait to see the finished pantry I wish I had your skills to do things you do. Congrats on all your projects they are awesomely beautiful.

  15. Any “Pro” who decided upon such an ambitious project such as yours would…cheat. They would have built most of the carcasses and drawers ahead of time.
    I know you would not do that but, it IS the way it’s done. SO, be very, very proud of your progress.
    YOU are amazing.

  16. Love that color!! Your blog is officially my favorite!! Question: Do you use the PORTER-CABLE PCFP12234 3-Tool Combo Kit that you recommend for DIYers? Still a good one for beginners?

  17. You can do it
    That we know
    Come on Kristi
    Ok you don’t really need us to push you as you are already pushing yourself:)
    I too was rooting for purple but the true fact is I LOVE your kitchen cabinet paint color. I just thought you may have wanted something different in the pantry.
    But I know what you say about getting a
    “Purple” right can be difficult. Sometimes they go almost maroon on you and then other times almost navy so it is a fine line to get just the right shade.
    I am so looking forward to seeing the painted freezer as I want to paint my refrigerator as it is a light almond color and needs to be white….but now maybe it needs to be a bright pop of color.
    Your cheerleaders are jumping and doing splits….we know we will see an awesome pantry soon.

  18. Love the handle, and glad you are going in the teal direction. If it gets done, great, if not, you are probably further along than you would have been without the ORC. I noticed several of the others are far from finishing, and some of them have at least one more person helping them. So props to you no matter what, because you are only one person and can only do so much in a day! Buying a cabinet and installing it is not you, so you have the added work that many others do not! Anybody can install a ready made box! Even me!

  19. Thinking out loud on this……what if you finish the doors/molding (pretty things) to get the room moving for the challenge and then once that is finished, take the doors off and finish the inside shelving and whatnot. Just show the finished ones if you choose to take those pics for the challenge (no one needs to know that most of boxes are empty inside right now …it will be our little secret … wink wink). It might just take a bit of pressure off trying to get it ALL done before the challenge.

    Just know we are all behind ya!!!

  20. OOOO that teal is even better! Very nice. Very nice indeed. I know some of the other challenge participants start with empty rooms, but I don’t know if they are building every.single.thing from scratch. So um- that deadline is sorta a “moo point”. (Joey) (giggle) Deadlines add structure and are necessary. But I think the main thing here is it motivated you to get the pantry started. I’m pretty sure you’ve provided plenty of “ooooh and ahhhh” to the equation. I can’t wait to see it done- whether it’s the deadline or not.

  21. I still like the teal that you used on your kitchen cabinets. Not only does it provide a continuity with your kitchen, but it’s lighter and will lighten your pantry, and, I think, will showcase the beautiful hand-made tiles without competing with them. The color on the front of the cabinet right now looks almost forest green in the photo to me. ‘Course, that could just be a trick of the lighting of the photo. As to finishing the One Room Challenge, it has inspired the push to finish your pantry, and that’s a Win-Win already!

  22. selfishly, I am so glad you picked the teal. It just seems like it’s more you! I agree that while the dark shades up purple are beautiful (I love deep purple like you love teal, lol) it could quickly become cave-like in there. And that new handle on your deep freezer? LOVE it. Ha ha, never would have thought about swapping it out to match the kitchen, but it looks much more custom that way. I can’t wait to see the paint on deep freezer!

  23. This ròom will be absolutely gorgeous once completed! I love the paint color you’ve picked and the purple in the tiles really pop in juxtaposition to the teal.

    You are truly talented and have accomplished so much in these few weeks — it’s fun to watch

  24. They call it a 6 week challenge, but really, isn’t the ORC a 5 week challenge (assuming you start when you post the first week)? Therefore, if you take an extra week, you still meet the 6 week deadline!

    It is amazing either way.

    And i’m not sure if you were soliciting suggestions, but if you are, in the picture, i like your kitchen color (i think that is the one on the far left, no?) the best 🙂

  25. Make definite quick decisions and you can do this. My favorite co-curator and I just closed an art show that we put on in 12 days from idea to opening. It went amazingly well (a few minor glitches, but no biggies) and we wondered how in the world it went easier than the one we put on a year and a half ago with 6 weeks to plan. The answer was, we just didn’t have the luxury of time to second guess ourselves, we just had to get in there and get it done. Plus a little experience of what works and doesn’t, which you have in spades. Good luck! You have the miracle, go gettum!

  26. You are an inspiration. Don’t fret if it is not complete. It will still be a long way further than it was last month!! Good luck.

  27. Do you have any incandescent lights you could set up to speed the dry time? 100 watts put out quite a bit of heat. Maybe a fan on low? I know you have a dog so flying fur might be a concern 🙂
    Fingers crossed that you run into no more stumbling blocks. Your progress in sucha short time has been truly amazing!

  28. I’m just glad you have an indoor area to dry your cabinet doors. I think it is a legitimate use of your work shop. I’ve been with you while and remember cabinet doors getting rained on! I don’t believe in deadlines, as far as i’m concerned they are made to be moved. They are usually artificial. It’s done when you say it’s done and not a minute sooner.

    1. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt : Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (2002)

  29. I was sort of not on the painting freezer idea until I saw the handle, it will be fabulous…along with everything else in that room. I hire everything out except painting … I am useless with power tools except lawn mowers and snow blowers. I do snow blow my own driveway and paths for my dogs around the house. But get me near one of those pieces of equipment you use and I freak out. You go girl you are my hero.

  30. You can do this! I just know it! Could your brother cone by and help? Is that against the rules? Your choices are awesome. I love everything about this pantry!! I have meant to ask several times what wood filler you use. Just if you have time to answer. No big deal. Cannot wait to see your finished project. Wow!! So awesome. You are an amazing woman.

  31. ‘RE the light fixture & canopy. When you put the screws in to hold the canopy, you’re shorting the wires out. Check closely with a high power flashlight. You will most likely see a bare spot on one of the wires. When the screw touches it, it shorts out. Make sure you have wire nuts at each connection and no bare wire showing outside the nut. A screw touching that will short out too. Sometimes you just have to take it down and start over. . . said the electrician’s daughter! (He also was licensed as a plumber and for gas installation!)

  32. I am amazed and thrilled with how your pantry is coming together. The Teal makes sense to me and your mama is right (Always listen to your mama! 😀) go with that darker shade. Considering how much of your project is being handcrafted by you, you are moving right along!

  33. I’m glad to see you are abiding by your rule book 🙂

    Just kidding, but I do think teal will be great. It is consistently your favorite, and while we all know that you have no reservations about doing things over, I think it’s a good idea to go with colors you know you love on permanent fixtures.

    I also have always thought teal is like a good pair of jeans- it can go with just about anything. So it’ll be the perfect backdrop for changing up accessories!

  34. I love your color choices, and I’ve always thought the final decision needs to be made by someone who’s actually looking at the colors IN PERSON! I’ve been wondering if this pantry build is making you gung-ho to begin the studio when you finish or to start the studio next spring? LOL

  35. Even if you don’t finish on time, you are doing amazing work and getting SO much done. Glad you had the timeframe to work towards, and knock out such a big project that was hanging over you!!

  36. Yeah, I’m kinda disappointed you’re not going with the purple (and I usually am not that decisive) but I’m sure the teal will look great too! I’m just amazed at what you accomplish. Looking forward to see how you do the crown molding on the slanted ceiling.

  37. Kristi, your pantry is looking so great! I’m thinking back to how long it sat empty and waiting….it’s amazing all you’ve accomplished so far in 5 weeks! Down the road, when this is all a memory, I’d love to see a tutorial on building slide-outs for kitchen cabinets. (It’s been on my to-do list for a while, but I can’t find any good step-by-steps on-line with adequate pics to help me out. Just lots of words, and I’m such a visual learner!). Thanks Kristi for inspiring and teaching a whole heck of a lot of us!