Jenny: The Good Wolf Lunch: Gold Spray Paint Fixes Everything

My Bad Wolf had a field day with the fireplace in the cottage last week. It’s such a small house that one fireplace could probably heat the whole downstairs, but unfortunately, the Chimney Guy who came to check it out told me that the furnace is illegally vented through the chimney which is crumbling and that to fix it requires repointing the massive stone chimney outside, ripping out the brick and the cabinets and the walls (which I just got finished putting back) and rebuilding everything. Or there’s option two, venting the new furnace a different way and putting in an enclosed glass fireplace that will probably heat the whole downstairs for the bargain price of around $10,000. My Bad Wolf ate big on that one, telling me what an idiot I was for buying a cottage in which everything is rotting, rusted, or covered in mold.

Of course, he didn’t eat for long. After the Chimney Guy got finished telling me what a disaster the fireplace was, he said, “I don’t care what you paid for this place, you got a deal. This is a great cottage.” That’s pretty much what everybody who has come in here has said: (A) this aspect that I have come to inspect is a disaster, and (B) this cottage is great. So my Good Wolf, the one who has a can-do attitude and because of lots of good lunches lately is getting stronger than my Bad Wolf, said, “You know what works in a fireplace? Candles.”

Yeah, you can’t heat a house with candles, but I have space heaters for that since the furnace ran out of oil, which is okay because I hate the furnace and I hate the oil tank in the basement–they’re going out the door soon–so the fireplace is not necessary at this moment for heat. Also next week is the last week the lows are going below freezing, so hey, it’s spring. I’ll deal with heating problems later.

Where was I? Right, the Good Wolf said, “Let’s check out this fireplace,” so we stuck our heads in there and it was a mess, just like the Chimney Guy had said, all the metal parts corroded with gross black and red rust. “You know what would make this look FABULOUS?” my Good Wolf said. “Gold spray paint! Gold spray paint fixes everything!”

My Bad Wolf said, “That’s stupid,” and “Gold doesn’t belong in a cottage,” and “You’d have to sand off all that rust first,” “You do remember you’re asthmatic,” and “This is never going to work.”

My Good Wolf said, “Knock the loose bits off and spray over everything else. It’s not like the inside of the fireplace is going to get any WEAR. It’s just going to reflect candles.”

So the Good Wolf and I wiped out a lot of really gross rust, and then put on a face mask and used four cans of metallic spray paint on the inside of the fireplace, while the Bad Wolf said, “This looks stupid and you’re going to die of emphysema.” And when we were finished, it looked fabulous and the Bad Wolf said, “Your lungs are coated with spray paint and the paint is going to flake off and this was a dumb thing to do also you’re gonna die . . .” and so on, but I couldn’t really hear him because the Good Wolf was OOOOOOOOHing so loudly over all the gold while we spray-painted an old table candlelabra I had and put candles on it.

Here’s the fireplace:


I think the Good Wolf is right: gold spray paint fixes everything.

How did you and your good wolf make gold this week?

48 thoughts on “Jenny: The Good Wolf Lunch: Gold Spray Paint Fixes Everything

  1. Rouan says:

    That looks so good! And I love how the two chairs look, nestled companionably by the fireplace.

  2. Office Wench Cherry says:

    Your bad wolf has no taste. The fireplace is gorgeous.

    And you’re right about the furnace and it being spring (okay, it’s only technically spring here, it was -22 on my way to work this morning)and all that. You’ll have time to sort things out with the furnace and the chimney. as long as you’ve got space heaters and sweaters for the cold, rainy days you’ll be fine.

    Does the state have any incentives for replacing old furnaces with newer, energy efficient ones?

  3. Diane says:

    Lovely! It looks soft and old-fashioned and yet modern all at the same time. I love the way the paint reflects the light. And I love candles in a fireplace instead of a fire anyway… much less trouble to keep clean. : )

  4. This is brilliant! Where DO you come up with these things? Your good wolf is a genius. Which makes sense, as she’s yours.

    Fireplaces aren’t good for asthmatics anyway. My cousin can’t light hers or it’s off to the hospital. This is a better solution all the way around. And no chopping wood!

  5. Carol says:

    Fabulous. Love the gold paint.

    My good wolf and I are looking at the new draperies in the tv/library room. They are spectacular. Pardon my patting my own back, but, I love them.

    Next we are lunching the results of my writing yesterday. Bad wolf is hiding it has been such a good week.

  6. My bad wolf is gorging on this- “Why aren’t you doing this? You know you want to! You just waste time watching those reno shows. You’re not applying what you’ve learned. See how pretty it is. If you put your mind to it, you’d have built/created/made something just as good.”

    Yes, my bad wolf is the sound of every teacher who ever said, “She is not fulfilling her true potential.”

    My good wolf and I went to gym and exercised. We took a drive with a friend and had a baguette and red pepper hummus picnic in the car. We asked for help at work and got it. (That last is the biggest)

  7. McB says:

    That is so cool! And you know what? A working fireplace only sounds romantic. In reality they are messy and risky. So now you have a very cool looking fireplace without the mess and risk, plus it adds to the cozy charm of the cottage.

    As for the spring thing, I don’t know if you have heard, but an Ohio prosecutor has indicted Punxatawney Phil for seasonal fraud. Apparently, Phil lied.

  8. Cathy M says:

    I love the fireplace. I don’t think you’re missing much in the way of heating as I think I’ve read that most open fireplaces lose a lot of heat up the chimney. They’re pretty but not really fuel efficient.

    My good wolf and I didn’t do anything crafty this week, but we did get off our butts and attack the landscaping instead of just lamenting the sad state of the yard.

  9. I would never have thought of that in a gazillion years, and it is completely, totally amazing. My bad wolf is telling me I have a stunted imagination, but my good wolf says, “Pshaw! I have the good taste to appreciate the genius of others.” I absolutely love how that looks, and yeah, no heat, but beautiful.

  10. Beautiful! The gold is warm just like a fire would be (at least in color.)

    We had that same problem with our chimney – the furnace was vented illegally through the wood stove chimney. I wish I could remember the thing they put in the basement because it wasn’t a horribly expensive fix.

    What they did was run the chimney duct out our bulk head and put a blower, or a sucker or something on the outside (not too big) that sucks the the smoke out of the furnace and sends it outside. Way cheaper than building a whole new chimney. Maybe that would be something you could do.

    But meanwhile you have a beautiful fireplace and space heaters!

  11. Carol says:

    Your good wolf rocks.

    I fed my good wolf exercise and meditation and time with friends and crochet. Happy wolf!

  12. The blog, or my iPhone, ate my last comment. I could stare at that photo for an hour. It’s so pretty and makes me smile.

    I want a fire pit of some sort for the porch. Yes, it actually does get chilly many nights in the fall and winter, or even early spring in Florida. I’d resigned myself to not having one because I have a roof on my porch, but my smart brother told me there are ones that are propane fires and I could get one of those instead. It’s too late this season, but it’s on my list for next fall!

    The Good Wolf Lunch post came just at the right time for me. My Bad Wolf has been gnawing on my intestines, telling me that I have no right to be pissed off about some situations, that I should never have a bad day at work, and that I should always, always be smiling and gracious even when someone annoys me.

    After reading today’s post here, I heard my Good Wolf howl to get my attention. Good Wolf says I’m human and getting appropriately ticked off at certain things is normal and completely acceptable. The Good Wolf says that losing a bunch of weight and overall being happier does not mean that I won’t experience the occasional bad day and that’s okay. The Good Wolf says that even though I love my job, it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. The Good Wolf says that being cranky today doesn’t make me a bad person.

    If the Bad Wolf, or anybody else doesn’t agree, frankly they can bite me and then my Good Wolf is going to take huge chunks out of their hide.

    I feel so much better. 🙂

  13. Reb says:

    Wow! That fireplace looks fantastic.

    Here in NZ, the most popular modern heating is a heat pump, which is nothing but an air conditioner run in heating mode instead of cooling. They’re very efficient, don’t have ashes, and can be set to turn on an hour before you get up. On cold mornings I bow down before ours and worship the god of electricity. They’re not cheap-cheap but we got a fairly big one for under $2000.

  14. Kim G. says:

    Some family members who live in central PA made the pilgrimage to Punxatawney and saw Phil in person in Februrary. Not much to do in PA in central Feb. They are now claiming that he was on drugs! Nope, don’t miss that weather at all here in wine country.

  15. One of the places I lived in growing up had an ornamental fireplace. Thought it was fab. Below there was what looked like an open treasure chest filled with coloured glass. Kinda orangish. Think there was a light in the bottom that plugged in to make it all glow.

    And to make it even better, there was a built-in compartment up top for storing booze. The door opened downwards on hinges to create a little prep area. Not that my family was into booze much, but we stored glasses on the shelves in there and I think a cribbage board:D

    What you’ve created is yet another unique touch to make the place yours. And as a bonus, since fireplace off-gasses are bad for asthma you’ve saved yourself years of exposure. And you still get something pretty to look at so double score. Tell that to your bad wolf;)

  16. Fabulous! I love the sense of warmth. The richness of the gold. You far surpass genius goddess rating. Maybe you get glittery genius goddess rating. : )

    I’m sending my daughter over here for a look see. She has a similar fireplace in her home and it isn’t functional. I think she’s gonna like this.

  17. Max Xavier says:

    This is gorgeous. I would suggest, if you plan on leaving it as a decorative fireplace, to get yourself some copper tiles and put in there. They have beautifully stamped tiles that would also help reflect back the heat from your space heaters.

    I am not sure if your guy told you or not, but repointing brick is tricky. You have to get the mortar the same as the original ( depending on age) so they have to send a sample out to a lab to have it analyzed. I bought a 100 year old shotgun shack, and learned this the hardway.The brick will buckle if not properly repointed.

  18. Kelly S. says:

    Looks good!

    I was very sad this week. Cried often. All work related with reinforcements from my bad wolf. My good wolf has managed to fight for me on the home front because I have not exercised or stayed on the diet this week and it’s okay. I will start again tonight or tomorrow. I needed a break as all my energy was given over to the problems at work. Luckily, I have also heard from some good people & their good wolves to help me with the work issues. I think it will still be tough for a while but it is nice to have people on my side.

  19. It’s wonderful! I simply love it and love how it looks and how you went ahead and ignored your Bad Wolf. Your Good Wolf is awesome.

  20. My good wolf is so happy. Someone just told me about a book on Amazon. Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook.

    When you do the look inside and read a few pages, you can’t stop laughing. So funny. Or at least me and my good wolf had fun. : )

  21. It’s not the brick, the brick is in great shape. It’s the massive stone chimney on the outside of the house which is beautiful but crumbling. And it’s going to take a fortune, so later for that.

  22. German Chocolate Betty says:

    We don’t have to worry about our furnace being vented through the chimney — our furnace is in the attic because we are in the flood plain of the Rhine! (environmental reasons: when the Rhine floods, no oil/gas getting into the water.) We have radiant heat, so it is a heavy duty hotwater on-demand furnace+water heater and vents out a small PVC vent. Plus, we have two flues to our chimney, one is used by the fireplace in the living room, and the second one is available for when we win the lottery and can put a fireplace down in the family room (smile).

    Plus, my Good Wolf was happy because I finished that damn paper yesterday. A 14 hour marathon, 6000 words in one run plus graphics but done. I think it’s pretty okay — let’s see what the reviewers say.

  23. Neely says:

    The Europeans use (or used to) little pot bellied iron stoves which are very efficient wood-burners and keep small rooms toasty. They would sit in that fireplace nicely and unless your chimney is totally blocked off a couple of lengths of metal chimney stuff would solve that problem wonderfully. And if you got one with a glass door, you can lose yourself watching the flames. You might have to look for them in salvage yards, but they should be findable.But I agree,your current fix is very special.

  24. nightsmusic says:

    You know, you could be a part time decorator when your schedule permits. This has all just been wonderful to watch it come together.

  25. cleo says:

    “Gold spray paint fixes everything!”

    Words to live by.

    It’s funny – in my 20s, black spray paint fixed everything (at least all home dec related problems). As I get older, the colors get brighter, but the “fix it with spray paint” principle remains.

  26. Redwood Kim says:

    When I was 24, I packed a backpack and went around the world. I essentially retired for a year, and spent it exploring Australia and Southeast Asia by myself. (My good wolf is happily noshing on memoris right now.)
    But you know what? Some days sucked, even on tropical beaches. Bad days happen.

  27. Redwood Kim says:

    My Good WOlf food:
    -Got the taxes in last week, the misc. deduction ifo in this week, and now they’re ready to be signed and filed
    -figured out that there were damn good reasons to switch preschools next year, bad wolf immediately opened the guilt faucet, researched it any way. The preschool we would switch to is Christian, which is totally unsuitable for us, so now I know.
    -sent in some BellSOuth stock to be converted into AT&T stock, to be sold soon
    -got the house tidied for the cleaners
    -got to do actual teacherish stuff in my daughter’s classroom
    -I am ready for Easter. Ready. I could use a bag of jelly beans, but if I don’t get them, so be it.

  28. Catherine Gessner says:

    The gold paint is lovely, the perfect way to enhance the candle glow. Your dress make-over has given me ideas for a very ugly dresser with bookcase; if only I can find some paint that will stick to formica.

    If you get some unbearable weather 10 gallons of kerosene will heat your house for a day or two.

    Since you have asthma (me too) the best heat is radiant heat in the floors – no dust in the air, or on radiators. The next best solution is hot water baseboards. (My Dad was a heating contractor for over 50 years, these are his solutions.) Don’t get a wood stove unless you know it won’t affect your breathing.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  29. That’s what I keep telling my daughter and my contractor, hot water baseboard heating, but they think I’m crazy.
    Oh, try modpodging fabric on Formica. If nothing else, that should give you a paintable surface.

  30. Jen Wyatt says:

    Forget that saying about life giving you lemons and making lemonade…It’s really all about spray painting the rusty crap in your life gold!

    (Disclaimer here: I do work for a company that sells gold spray paint. You don’t really need an extra can of Lysol under the sink; you need an extra can of gold spray paint for those little life emergencies.)

  31. ruthie says:

    Gold paint really does fix everything. That looks so warm and cozy!

    I, too, love the chairs there, but I’ve been wondering…would it be possible to get a pic of you sitting in the chair? No, I’m not nuts…well, only a little. I think we’re about the same height, 5’9″, and I’ve been eying that chair for months but it looks so tiny. I have visions of myself sitting in it with my knees up under my chin and the back hitting me at the waist. But if it’s looking good for another tall gal, I may go for it.

  32. ruthie says:

    Ask a question and take forever to get back for an answer! The blue club chair. It really caught my eye, and my imagination. I, too, buy things because I can “see” how great they will look. 😉 Thanks, Jenny.

  33. It’s small, but the seat is wide and the back is tall enough for support. Krissie and I were both comfortable in it. I’m 5’9″ and weigh 170. It really is a great chair.

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