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The time I got a bloody nose from ingesting too much spray paint.

This whole house project has made me bite off my fingernails, lose weight, gain weight, lose sleep, lose sanity. I have accidentally miss the nailhead and hit my finger a few times, too. However, for the most part – I have come out in one piece.

Except, the night I cleaned the kitchen sink.

It’s amazing what you can get done with a couple cans of spray paint. At the beginning of the home project I bought two. Just a can of gray primer and a can of clear gloss sealant. About $8. Five projects went really well. Then, I ended up with a bloody nose.

Turns out, you get a bloody nose after ingesting too many paint fumes. That happened to me when the two cans finally ran out. It was not a DIY success. But, that’s what I get for not working in a “well ventilated area.”

Here are a few projects that did not result in bodily harm. Rather than causing blood loss, I imagine I only lost a few hundred brain cells.

1. Hardware & hinges on the kitchen cabinets.


2. A few door handles.

3. The hood above the stove.DSCN2653 DSCN2654 DSCN2659

4. The heater in the kitchen.


AHHHHH! Panic!DSCN2657

We cleaned that puppy right up! Yuckkkkky!


7. The “Threshold”


Finally, while still on my same two cans of paint I got to cleaning the kitchen sink. This was a few months ago. I am just now getting up the courage to share this story. DSCN3190This sink was giving me nightmares. So, I began cleaning. DSCN3179 DSCN3172

The newspaper was from 2001. So I am guessing this was last cleaned about that time.

DSCN3188I scraped out all the corroded metal that I could. DSCN3198


Then, I took a break. I probably called my Mom for a pep talk.

After getting re-motivated, I was ready to spray paint. Coat one. I finally ran out of the gray. I had to stick my head way back in the corner of the sink to get all of the paint on the bottom.DSCN3202

I was sort of ticked that I ran out of gray (finally), so I continued with black. This meant I had to start all over. I pulled my shirt back up over my nose & kept spraying. DSCN3333

I was thrilled with the dramatic effect of the spray paint. It looks clean now! Just to cover up the bumpy metal, I cut a small piece of linoleum to fit in the sink. DSCN3334

Then, I lined the shelf with a rubber mat. Before & After. DSCN3179DSCN3335


Finally, I put everything back! DSCN3339

So, this resulted in a clean sink. Good project for an evening. I was feeling pretty happy.

Then, the next morning I was taking a shower and…I got a bloody nose. My thoughts were, “Ahhh. I’m dying. Okay, nope I am just fine. Gross. This hasn’t happened to me in years!”

It took me about half the day to figure out that my burning nostrils the night before while my head was stuffed in the back of the sink and the recent shower incident were majorly connected.

I’m officially a huffer/paint smeller. If I start doing strange things like spelling words without vowels, forgetting my grandma’s name, or stealing rubber cement from local schools…I’m going to blame it on three months of almost daily spray painting projects.





  1. Chris

    Oh Sierra! This is not funny, but serious. Breathing spray paint fumes even accidently can have lasting affects. Don’t do it again. You probably should consult your physician and please get a proper mask and fans if you use spray paint again. Seriously.

    • Sierra Shea

      You are right, its not funny! I have been much for careful with my spray-painting projects after that experience 🙂

  2. Derina

    Sierra, was this painting experience totally different then your painting the fences? It sounds like you had fun and stayed at it but the end result of the bloody nose doesn’t sound good. I hope you can at least check with the doctor to make sure you didn’t burn the inside of the nose.

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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!