3. Why learning on the job matters

Reclaim your Space 3 / why learning on the job matters. A series on how to create the house you've always wanted via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/
For those that have been wondering where my junk posts are of late, ohhh my. Let me put it this way. I’ve been in high learning curve mode with this bathroom reno and it’s taking every ounce out of me.

But I’m about to show you why learning on the job matters and why it’s the best thing that can ever happen to you.

So this bathroom reno… I could have done far less on the bathroom than I have. But there were a few things that I wanted to try for the first time. I knew if I cheated and bypassed what I really wanted, I’d be ripping it up and doing it again to finish it right. 

Well, that would just be silly. So I decided to bite the bullet and give myself what I wanted. With a WHOLE lot of learning ahead of me.

Lest you think these are complaints, so not my intention. They are facts that I’ve had to work around. Here’s what’s going down…

Why learning on the job matters  / going without? Maybe you should change that! Inspiring post via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

I wanted to use a nail gun.


I forgot HOW to use my nail gun. If you let one sit for a couple years, that’s inclined to happen.

Things went wrong. It wouldn’t accept nails. Then it wouldn’t shoot nails. Then I had to go learn about the right nails.

What I learned

The gun needs the correct pressure to shoot. (it worked the entire time)

How to choose the right nails for it. And any big box store carries them. Yay!

– – – – –

That gun now fits my hand like a glove. It’s good to be back!

creating window moulding / Why learning on the job matters  / going without? Maybe you should change that! Inspiring post via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

Make a farmhouse window with simple boards and no miter cuts! via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/
Farmhouse window reveal post HERE

I wanted to frame a window

I’ve never framed a window before. But after studying it, it really didn’t look that complicated. To up the ante in that area, I wanted to create a vintage inspired design that was easy to redo over and over again if desired.


The learning process was long. The first time didn’t work so I recut some pieces and tried again.

The crack filling didn’t go as planned.

The install wasn’t perfect. Far from it.

The finish on the wood wasn’t… great. I didn’t sand enough.

My window sill wood wasn’t large enough for what I wanted.

What I learned

How easy complicated looking moulding can really be.

Sand your wood good! Over sand it even. You can’t have it too smooth.

Or just buy primed, finished wood if you desire more of a pro outcome… I found it after the build was complete of course.

How to frame out a plain window into a farmhouse vintage beauty with no miter joins in sight! 

– – – – –

I know my next window would go much better. The learning is always in the first one.

popcorn ceiling / Why learning on the job matters  / going without? Maybe you should change that! Inspiring post via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

planked bathroom ceiling / Why learning on the job matters  / going without? Maybe you should change that! Inspiring post via https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

I wanted to add planks to the ceiling.

The ceiling did NOT need this. Well, it was popcorn, but it was in amazing shape and didn’t even need a new coat of paint. But it wasn’t what I ultimately desired. So I had to get my learn on unless I wanted to redo a bunch of stuff after the reveal.


The planks wouldn’t line up right and were nearly impossible to link together.

I missed ceiling joists. LOTS.

The paint colour mixed wrong first round.

What I learned

Low quality wood does not equate a good tongue and groove fit. Buy cheap and you get a cheap fit.

Some wood won’t slip in no matter what. Nail it up anyway. That’s what crack fill was invented for.

I learned some tricks on getting the wood to fit better. Right at the end of the job of course. 🙂

Get a step ladder like the one in the picture. I LOVE that thing! One day Dan may even get it back, but I hope he’s not holding his breath. 🙂

– – – – –

I honestly was ready to give this one up after laying two strips. But then I would have never figured out all my little cheat tricks! Coming soon in the ceiling reveal.

– – – – –

Can you spot the common denominators in all the above issues?  

I didn’t allow my inability to stop me from having what I desired. The key was starting, then not giving up until the deed was done.

Learning on the job matters because not only will it get you what you want and get you where you need to be in order to do it again, you’ll be able to do MORE with that newfound ability.

Get mad at yourself for your inability... then just mad enough to do something about it. Read the post at https://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

Get MAD at yourself for your inability… and then just mad enough to do something about it.

Do you get frustrated when you can’t do something? How do you work around it?


Reclaim your Space is a series on how to make your imperfect home perfect for YOU.

1. The secret to a more productive space

2. How to create the room you need.


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16 thoughts on “3. Why learning on the job matters

  1. The window is perfect. I love that you strive for the details to work & look great vyiur ideas are things I can relate to so I enjoy your projects very much.

  2. I really admire your tenacity. After six years of living in an apartment that has HUGE potential, I’ve finally decided I need to do whatever it takes to get it there… and, of course, I don’t know how to do any of it. But I’m going to learn and you are a great inspiration! Thank you!

  3. Thank you for this super post, your stick to, can do attitude is just what I needed this morning, I thank God for you, continued blessings and success,

  4. Donna this is SO right on!!! I live in an apartment right now yet I have still done things I didn’t know I didn’t know how to do.:) In the past, I made a doggie door for my sliding doors. I learned as I went. Much of what I do is that way. 🙂
    Thanks for the encouragement and always blog posts I look forward to receiving in my inbox. And browsing posts….

  5. I really loved this post. Because it says more than what I am guessing describes most of us here. My daughter and I have had many discussions regarding our male counterparts in this arena. Your scenario is when we decide the project is definitely going to happen regardless.

    So many times I have been told it can’t be done that way (use the tool, material, design), won’t fit in the car, or take too much work and won’t work. They don’t know me and I will always find a way, know exactly how much my car holds and will slide a piece of furniture down the stairs on it’s back if needed. I think most of the time they just don’t “see” what we do. Our creative minds give us the ability to jump “inability” and challenge the process for the good.

    Not bashing men, they have a different code. But want to applaud you and the rest of us for getting great jobs done. I do have a hardware store that puts up with my ideas/wants and the guys “get it”. They are always curious about something found and what I’m up to, helping out to find the right odd item needed, sharing new products for possibilities.

    Are you using the ladder to work on the ceiling? How tall are you? Use mine for painting walls and holding tools. Putting in a ceiling wouldn’t get me there. Are you using air tools?

    • I’m about 5’6″ and that ladder did it all for me, it was the perfect height and offered the stable platform that is more comfortable than one rung on a ladder. I also did use a nail gun to do the job. The tutorial will spell it all out very soon!

  6. Good for you Donna! My journey was the same, things that seemed so complicated to me were actually quite simple when you have the right tools and a couple of tricks up your sleeve. The trouble is, you don’t usually learn the tricks until you make the mistakes!!

    Your bathroom is looking fabulous!

  7. Again, awesome. I noticed the ceiling in the very first picture. I hope that your neck is not suffering after applying the wood on the ceiling. I love to figure out how to get it done. Thank you for your continued tenacity in making your home just the way you want. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

  8. Thank you so much for your recent posts. They are exactly the encouragement I need right now! You have done such a wonderful job! I am here rooting for you on each new project! Keep up the good work!

  9. My favorite posts are those where bloggers share the fails and the successes! Great motivator to start the week off right. I have a nail gun, don’t know how to use it! On the list for this week!

  10. It turned out beautifully Donna – I’m in awe of people who can use power tools – I can barely use manual ones lol – love how you decorated it too 🙂

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