April 15, 2011

The Master Bathroom

I've been "project"ing.  (Not projecting as in putting my problems onto other people - ha). You know, home improvement stuff.  Calvin was gone for 2 weeks to Asia and I always like to take on a project to surprise him.  Well this one was going to be a bigger surprise that I anticipated, and not in a good way.

I took to demo-ing the master bath, and midway through it looked like this:

I took down the wallpaper but I didn't stop there.  I took out the tiled-in towel rack on the bottom left and then the two spots where there was a tiled-in toothbrush holder and soap holder.  The toothbrush holder was completely useless since they don't even sell toothbrushes to fit the little holes anymore.  While taking off the massive grout behind the tile, I took out a few more tiles that I had hoped.  I either kept accidentally cracking the neighboring tile or it came out on it's own as the top border did.  In the end I was left with 9 open square tiles and 2 borders to put back on.  Luckily our previous owners left us a box of the vintage tile, making this part of the project possible.

I then removed the old light fixture.  Our good friends graciously gave us their two sets from their house which we plan on replacing these with.

I also removed the old medicine cabinet.  It was so small (no wonder I was gaining weight - I couldn't tell since I couldn't see below my neck!).  I have a new mirror I picked up at Goodwill to replace it with.

Then I had a mess.  The first step was to fill in the drywall.  I had it cut to size at Home Depot and then only had to shave it down a little to fit once home.  At Home Depot I wanted to take the whole sheet of drywall home, since I bought it.  So you should have seen the guy helping me (just reminds me I need to put in a good word for him.  Okay, I quickly filled out a form on the HomeDepot.com website).  He was so helpful, trying to fit the giant piece of drywall into the minivan.  It was quite a sight with me emptying and rearranging strollers, the baby, car seats, and pushing seats down and forward.  We had to cut off just a little but it fit!  Gotta love Hondas.  Anyhow... back to the bathroom.

I nailed in a couple 2x4s into the sides of the framing in the hole where the medicine cabinet was in order to adhere the drywall.  Then I screwed the new drywall piece.  I spackled it along with all the flaws in the wall left from removing the wallpaper.  Then I went around with an electric sander to smooth out the bumps.  Then I wiped it down and painted it with primer.  After that it was still too smooth, so I researched and took off to Home Depot in search of texture.  I ended up with a $13 can of orange peel texture (which is what my dad said I needed all along of course) and I sprayed that all over the walls.  It's quite messy so I used a plastic drop cloth underneath.  Once that was dry it was finally time for the top coat of... white paint.  Not exactly thrilling for all that labor, but now the ceiling and walls are a fresh white and we are both happy with the progress.

So today I was able to do the tiling, which was nightmare-ish.  First I replaced a bit of cement board that was damaged, then I had to chisel every little piece of grout remaining so the tile would fit.  I was like a dental hygienist scraping away little bits of plaque.  Tedious and detailed.  Finally the tile fit and I grouted it in.

Ta-Da!  Not exactly done but all the hard labor is behind us.  Now for the mirror and lights to be put up and a good solid cleaning.  We will be so happy to have our bathroom functional again!


  1. Wow - look at you miss fix-it! Great job - I would never have the guts to even attempt that myself.

  2. You're amazing! I am filled with fear just to pick a paint color--and you are a demolition queen! WOW! Looks great!

  3. You go girl!!!! Excellent job! Is there anything you CAN'T do?


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