annoying projects

by | Mar 27, 2019 | All Things Home, Kitchen, My House | 30 comments

While the boys are home and dedicated, quiet creative work time is limited (or non-existent), I am trying to knock out some projects that are quick and mindless and have been hanging around undone for months.  The projects that fit in that category are on my “annoying project list”.   Every once in a while I dedicate an entire day to annoying projects.  (You can read about my annoying project day in July HERE.)  That’s the only way I seem to be able to gear myself up to finish unglamourous and unexciting projects, so they aren’t hanging over my head any longer.

Instead of merging them all into one day, I’m trying to knock out a few annoying projects over the course of spring break week.

The one I worked on yesterday was touching up the paint on the butler’s pantry.  I installed a beadboard back last summer and once the temperatures dropped and the heat kicked on, the wood shrunk and gaps started to show.  It’s been bugging me since November!

So, yesterday, I finally got out the can of paint and a brush and touched up the paint in about five minutes.  Isn’t it funny how we’ll live with something for so long when it’s such a quick and easy fix?

Now, it looks great again…

When installing wood in a home, this is common and it’s the main reason for letting the wood (especially flooring) acclimate to a house before it’s installed.  Even with acclimation, though, there will be some expansion and shrinking as the seasons change.  I may have to do some touch-up again next winter, but it’s less likely now that the wood has lived through a few different seasons in the house.

And, to everyone who thinks my house is always neat as a pin, I’d like to point out my dust.  Ugh…I did dust, but I didn’t move everything and that’s evident in this picture.  Oh well, that’s life.

In some ways, painting this butler’s pantry green felt like a big risk for me.  White would’ve been the obvious, safe choice.  I’m so glad I went with a stronger color, though, that’s a nice compliment to all of my blues and makes my ironstone collection a real feature.

If you’re interested in giving your cabinets a similar makeover, you can read about the transformation HERE.

Do you have any annoying projects that are hanging around undone?


  1. Lisa

    I absolutely love love love the green Butler’s pantry … that green especially! It is perfect! I have a pretty sizable ironstone collection as well and so enjoy seeing yours showcased so beautifully.

  2. Mary in VA

    I have numerous annoying projects that I’ve ignored forever. I finally made a list and that has lighted the fire that got me started – I love to check things off a list, it motivates me. So right now I’m working on replacing the ugly gold door knobs all over the house.

  3. Amy

    I have loved your butler’s pantry since you revealed it. That shade of green is gorgeous and I’m considering painting my lower kitchen cabinets that color. Here’s my solution for when I want to dust but don’t want to move everything and put it back again – I hit it with my hair dryer! It does the job in a pinch until I can get around to doing it properly. This also works well for chandeliers and lampshades. You’re welcome.

    • Margo

      That is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. I’ll have to look for a longer cord!

  4. Lorri

    I’m admiring your scale on the Butler pantry. I found one that’s very similar .
    Just curious if you know anything about it .
    Thank you

  5. Sonja

    Good idea to tackle a little at a time. Well done. Thanks for sharing. I need to paint a curtain road and make new drapes for my bedroom.

  6. Kelly

    I’ve got to clean out my closet and replace the light in it. Both of those are annoying projects, but they are time consuming. Those will most likely be done this weekend.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! I’ve been working on closet cleaning and we had eight bulbs burnt out upstairs!

  7. Lee Ann

    I have LOTS of annoying projects looming! The biggest pain is that each project requires numerous parts that must be found, purchased, set up, cleaned up after, etc. It takes three times as long to prepare and clean up after each annoying project as it does to actually “do” the project! Ugh!

    • Gail

      Lee Ann,
      You hit the nail on the head! The right parts, the preparation, and the clean up, makes almost every project take 3 times longer than the
      actual project itself.

  8. celestial

    In the harsh Midwest winters and summers, wood expanding and contracting is a very common problem. Winters with forced air heating make home humidity levels as dry (or drier) than the Sahara, where summers are often extremely humid (although nothing like the deep South). It is never dull…

    I love the green you have chosen. It sets off the ironstone beautifully!

  9. Kim

    Yes, I hate the way those annoying projects just eat away at you in the back of your mind!!! You want them done, but you don’t want to do them! And yes, they often do not take a lot of time to do, like painting those cracks, but you never manage to do them. When you get them done it is SUCH a victory!! It instantly makes you feel wonderful! I’m working on organizing closets these days and it is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I know that in the whole grand scheme of things it is all meaningless, but having a home just the way you want it to be is comforting.

  10. AlisonG

    I have alot of annoying projects to finish, we are in the middle of moving. But I am happy to have them, because we are so happy with the move. The finish work always seems tedious. But so worth it. That green is beautiful, so very nice to see something besides blue. Dusting is the pitts. Ha! You really are making this house beautiful, your wall murals tops it all! Have a great weekend.

  11. Sue

    I LOVE the green on the pantry and throughout the adjoining rooms. It’s such a pretty yet neutral and natural color! Yes, lots of shifting in Minnesota! It should go back to where it was prior to winter. You may see the shift again next winter. Argh! I still love the season changes!

  12. Michelle

    I spent all of January, February and part of March tackling a long list of annoying, small projects, but I feel like I have conquered Mt. Everest and I can go into the gardening season knowing there isn’t anything remaining on my to-do list

  13. Jo Ann

    Aren’t we our own worst enemies, today I polished silver trays I use in decor and silver spoons I display in a spooner.
    But I have a cabinet that has fixed shelves and glass doors. I have several sets of plates and different glasses but when I stack them there is too much wasted space so this stays on my irritation list and I see it every day and want to scream. Can anyone help?

    • beverlee lyons

      put a small lamp in there. You may have to drill a hole for the plug, but that is a great look! Do something unexpected.

  14. laura

    It looks beautiful! I have to wonder if you actually use the antique linens or are they just for display.. They look marvelous either way!

  15. Joan

    Thanks for asking Marian! ( I didn’t even notice the dust 🙂
    Haha!!! my whole house is an undone project! IT FEELS GOOD, to get the ‘annoying projects list’ done though!
    way to go!
    I’m working on my whole house because I’ve stored business items in here in totes and piles for 3 years while we’ve been trying to build our business (we started on a studio and workspace 3 years ago and only got so far,)…budget held us up /it’s still not finished, but now finally, we are working on getting the house back to a home again by moving out what we can!…the upstairs of the studio is still not ready, it remains un-insulated) so that limits what things in totes will be OK in cool weather and HOT weather in summer, it will all be storage and studio in the upstairs, in the winter it has frozen in there!…so no paint supplies or sensitive antique items are going over til it’s done…for now we’re building shelving and moving out all the stuff that can go out there…it will be a big improvement in the house, and will feel/ IS starting to feel so much better in the house because of that!
    I always keep a little ‘hospital’ box, things that need to be fixed, I just got alot of those things done too, and while I’ve been working my way through the house in each room, it’s begun to feel more like a unified living space again…I’ve had time to think about how to organize what we’ve kept as I go, where we can improve storage, built in’s in the future (when if the budget allows for the back entrance/laundry area and some in the kitchen, (the house is old) no closets. not one!!!!!
    also got rid of so much that was not needed. That alone felt so so good. I see a light at the end of the tunnel now though! It just feels so good 🙂
    Love reading your progress, I don’t know about you, but don’t you find when you’re kind of forced to be away from your creativity, your mind re-thinks re-sees things, in fresh different ways, and you’re always creating in your mind anyway, even though you’re not actually painting, or uphostering, or blogging, etc…..

  16. Sherri Mccormick

    Adore the green!!!!!!

  17. Karen

    When my son and wife installed wood floors in their house in Omaha, they stated getting cracks after awhile due to the drying nature of their furnace. They had a humidifier installed on it, and the wood swelled back up and the cracks disappeared. Crazy, but good info to know.

    • patti

      I wanted to second what Karen said – we are in Chicago and making sure your humidifier is working alllllll winter at the proper levels is huge for protecting the wood in your house (and your hair, and your skin, and……). Also I love the cabinets 🙂

  18. Phyllis Robinson

    I have loved that green color ever since you painted that hutch. Please tell me what it is!

  19. Elizabeth sandoval

    hi Marion, please share the name of the green paint color used on your butler pantry- it’s so gorgeous!

  20. Ruth

    See July 18, 2018 “Boxwood” recipe and door hardware post.
    She has the paint mix directions there. Benjamin Moore Advanced Satin

  21. Felicity

    For those asking about the green, here are some links:

    Our old kitchen was a similar hue, painted in a 1920’s home in 1998…. I still love the color.

    In Australia we have a saying “it’s like painting the Sydney harbor bridge” when you have something so big it seems to take forever to finish and by the time you have, you need to start over.

    Often there are so many small annoying jobs that they seem to be one large continuous obstacle. It’s great to be able to tackle those small annoying jobs one at a time, and very satisfying to have achieved and knocked them off a list.

    As long as the list as a whole doesn’t seem itself to be too insurmountable to chip away at.

    My “studio” (external former BBQ shed) is finally almost complete (read weatherproof) but not yet insulated – it’s taking hubby ages to find the motivation to finish in between his own projects…….I’ve started using it to paint furniture to sell, as that just wasn’t working in the living room 🙂

    In making space in the studio by finishing pieces of furniture, things have started moving from their temporary places in the house, outside to the studio. Such as the basket of brushes, paint sample pots etc. which was beside the back door, under the dog lead basket.

    Which means I’ve found the sample pot of the blue I want to paint our kitchen cupboards, following inspiration from here……about a year after I bought it.

    Keep sharing your journey Marian. Even the small things provide inspiration and help in more ways than you could imagine.

  22. Jeannine

    I have annoying “husband” projects that remain undone – some for years and years. Okay, I will admit, I do have annoying projects of my own – but, it seems to me, more of them are his. Story of my life! Thanks for showing your dust – I’m glad to see you’re not perfect either! I do know what you mean that it often doesn’t take that much to just finish those annoying things.

  23. Barb

    LOVE the pantry!!! I just noticed the scale.
    I have a new obsession with scales. I found one similar to your white kitchen scale (weighs a TON!!)
    and two other ones similar to your pantry scale.
    Add that to all my other collections!!
    Your house is a beautiful inspiration!!

  24. Cynde

    What a great post. You hit the nail on the head. You just might have inspired me to spend a day with all those annoying little projects!! I love your blog, I babysit my three small grandkiddos and the annoying little list keeps growing. How does it go, oh yes, so many projects, some little time, lol. I love your home and all that you have accomplished in a short amount of time! I love your color scheme, it’s not one you see everyday, it’s very refreshing!!

  25. Francesca gunn

    “Annoying Projects” …. I can relate. I might have to start a section in my planner for those.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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