The Mystery of the Vanishing Paint Brushes

I thought I was suffering from early dementia. Over the several months of this bedroom renovation I’ve lost a bunch of paint brushes. I’d clean them and stick them… hell, I don’t know where. I just couldn’t find them again. At least four reasonably new paint brushes were missing. What was even stranger is that several paint brushes that I thought I’d stored in my basement shop two flights down were also missing. Just the good ones with the soft bristles.

I found them today, laying on the floor at the rear of my new closet. I know I didn’t put them there. With all the construction crap that was stuffed in there, the only life forms that could get back there are my two cats and maybe one of my two dogs. Or maybe a poltergeist screwing with me.

The reason I found them is because my new closet doors arrived from

I was originally going to build those doors myself but with real-world work demands approaching “life sucking” I decided to outsource. I’ve bought from InteriorDoors before. They do excellent work at a reasonable price. I usually order blank doors from them but this time I decided to buy them pre-hung. I’m glad I did. At this stage of advancing renovation burn-out it was worth the extra two hundred bucks not to have to spend a day mortising and hanging two incredibly heavy oak doors. As it is, I probably won’t have time to hang them till this weekend.

The total cost of these two 18″ doors, with shipping and hardware, was $641.

Much later: the culprit was Trixie, the cat in the photo. I caught her one night dragging a paint brush up from the basement while meowing maniacally. An animal behaviorist acquaintance said it’s not unusual for neutered female cats to get a “nesting instinct” every so often. The paint brushes were her “kittens”.

It’s touching, sad and kinda creepy all at the same time.


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Welcome to Brooklyn Row House

This blog is about the challenges of renovating an old (1903) Brooklyn, New York row house.

My last major renovation project was the master bedroom, most of which is about finish carpentry. You’ll find other completed home improvement projects in the Projects submenu at the top of this page.

I’m not a professional builder and don’t pretend to be. I’m just an experienced amateur raised in a family of committed DIYers. I try to closely follow local and national building codes but don’t mistake anything on this site to be professional or even accurate advice! Your mileage may and definitely will vary.

This is the third iteration of, from scratch-built to Drupal and now Wordpress. I hope you enjoy your time here.