Four weeks ago, we transitioned our efforts from the upstairs apartment (what we’re lovingly calling The Nest) to the restaurant dining room below. The first couple days were dedicated to some light demolition, hole patching, and a lot of cleaning. We also found a family to take custody of the piano, and the previous owners came to haul away the giant bakery case for which we had no use. It felt great to whittle down the objects in the room and get things going.

From that point on, it’s been all painting prep, all the time. The walls and ceiling were in need of some TLC. There was endless scraping, lots of backaches, and the need to constantly remind ourselves that there is no chance those old walls will ever look perfect. I cannot tell you how lame it was to go to work everyday knowing we faced yet another day of scraping.

So. Much. Scraping. It was making us INSANE.

Also, I never want to touch another piece of beadboard as long as I live.

But, things are looking up! This past weekend, we finally switched to taping and priming. We used a spray gun for the primer, so it was done in a matter of hours – and holy cow was it messy. While we still have a ways to go until we’re happy with the walls, we’re satisfied by how clean and bright the room is starting to feel. Progress!

We’ll be out of town for most of the week, but will return with unwavering enthusiasm for our next projects: lighting for Brian and a lot of paint touchups and hole-patching for me.

Taken the morning after our closing. The bakery case, piano, dark wood wainscoting, florescent light fixtures, and shelving still intact.

This alcove outside the bathrooms is my least favorite part of the restaurant. I cringe whenever I think about how we’ll improve it without breaking the bank.

One last photo of the room divider before we took it down.

Room divider down, let the light stream in!

Removing the dark wood wainscoting that circled the dining room. We were so lucky to find beadboard in decent shape underneath in all but a few places.

Beadboard under the wainscoting

We removed all of the built-in shelving on the far wall and circling the restaurant. Without the shelves, the ceiling feels so much taller!

Wall prep involved lots of scraping, and a light sanding in some places that were very bumpy and uneven.

Purple sunset light glows behind plastic shields to protect the glass from sprayed paint


We suited up from head to toe for the painting: head socks, hoods, goggles, suits, respirators, rubble gloves. Spraying paint sends a fine mist of paint and fumes everywhere! We were warned and had everything that didn’t need a coat of paint covered and taped off.

A few practice strokes with the sprayer before I put the camera away

After primer

It looked like Bri had a tight seal, but somehow some paint found his way into his respirator mask and under his goggles.

The next morning, after we pulled the plastic down