Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bathroom Update–Part 2

When last we met, I showed you the new paint and stained cabinets in my master bathroom.  Today, I wanted to show you the rest of the work I’ve done to get me to a point where I’m mostly happy and can wait it out until we make some more awesome improvements.  (How’s that for a ringing endorsement?) 

In my “ToDo” post, I listed several items for short-term improvements and here’s where I am currently:

  • Paint walls
  • Paint cabinets
  • Add knobs and drawer pulls
  • Fix faucets
  • Beef up trim around windows and doors
  • Trim out mirror (? – depending on how far out the long-term is)
  • Replace door with solid, 5-panel door

Plus, I’ve changed out the light fixture over the mirror, which didn’t make the list for some reason.  I still haven’t done the drawer pulls, mostly because I need 11 knobs and everything seems to come in packages of 10.  Still waiting on the window and door trim, but I think March will be the month!  I’ll tell you more about my doors in another post, that was quite the experience!  For now, I’ll tell you about my mirror, faucets, and my new light fixture…

Once the cabinets were stained, the next project was making the mirror look a little less dated, so I did what everyone else on Pinterest has done and framed it out with molding to match my new window and door trim.  The first pieces went up really quickly!  I used some mirror adhesive and my caulk gun to just stick the wood directly to the mirror.  I didn’t even worry about those little clips that hold the mirror up.  Just stuck the wood right over them.

The header piece does extend above the mirror, so I had to cut a bunch of little shims to give me something to nail the header into.  I totally fudged those and just covered both sides in my adhesive and shoved them behind the header.  Then I used my nail gun to shoot some nails in.  Here it is before I attached the fiddly bits on the header (like how I used programming books to hold up the base?).


Around this time, I left for a visit with my Dad.  He’s also working on re-doing his bathroom and had recently purchased a beautiful vanity light.  I liked his so much that he helped me procure one for myself!

As soon as I got back, I got right to work pulling down the old fixture and putting up the new one.

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Unfortunately, as you can see, the junction box for the old light wasn’t actually centered on the mirror, so it looked a bit off.  I figured this was only going to be a semi-short-term situation, so decided I’d just live with it.  Once I attached the crystals to the light, though, it was a little less acceptable: the crystals hung down so low that they practically touched the wood trim (and of course I don’t have a picture).  Once I added the decorative trim to the top, the crystals would’ve definitely look weird.

SO, I decided I’d move that junction box over two inches and up about three.  Of course, things never go smoothly when you’re DIYing.  As I cut my new hole, I realized that there was a pipe running vertically behind the wall that would get in the way of my new, deeper junction box.  Oh well, I thought, I’ll just have it be a little bit off-centered – but at least it will be high enough and mostly-centered:

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Well, not so fast!  The wires weren’t quite long enough to reach through the new junction box and get everything hooked up.  Aaggghhh!  Now I have two holes and no light!

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I consulted with an electrician friend who suggested that we just mount our shallow junction box on the wall and mount the light right over that.  Capital idea!  Except that the light base wasn’t deep enough to house all of the wires and sit flush against the wall.  After several trips to Lowe’s and much Internet perusing.  I decided to order a specialty junction box that would be shallow enough to fit right in front of that pipe AND could be used on existing construction.  I paid far more in shipping than I did for the part and had to wait a week for it to arrive, but when it did, I got right to work installing it!

Aaaannnnd, determined that I hadn’t actually needed it anyway.  When I had patched the wall from the two holes that I showed you above, I had screwed in a piece of wood to support the new drywall.  That piece of wood was exactly where I needed my junction box to be, so I just attached my old, shallow box to the new support piece, et voila!  I had a place to hang a light (and a more-expensive-than-it-needed-to-be specialty junction box)!

And now it’s up and it’s beautiful (and centered)!  Behold its glory:


It’s very pretty when it’s lit up and, when it’s sunny (which is pretty much never right now), the light comes in from the skylight and bounces off the crystals.  (You can also see that I was able to finish the decorative trim on the mirror once that light was up.)

At some point this month, I also ordered new faucets and replaced those.  They’re very pretty and I really like them, but I have a feeling they’re a bit much for this bathroom.  They really make the counter tops and sinks look their age.  I wanted to get something I liked well enough to keep for the long-term, though, so I wouldn’t have to just replace them in a few years.



So, the master bathroom is nearly “done” (for now).  I’m still going to find some drawer pulls and I’m thinking about painting the floor grout, so it’s white and not ugly tan, but those are low down on the list.  The door and window trim and baseboard will be replaced when I do that for the entire upstairs (next month!?!).  I’m quite pleased with how it looks now.  It’s much more serene and not so 23 years old.

I’ll leave you with a final before and after:


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Friday, February 21, 2014

Bathroom Update – Part 1

I haven’t posted in a while.  Seems like I say that a lot on this blog, but that’s the way I roll.  I have such a love hate relationship with this blog…

I’ve been jumping all over the place painting pretty much everything and updating window and door trim when I can.  I’m dying to buy the rest of the molding to finish the doors and windows upstairs, but I’m trying to keep to a monthly house-update budget, which I’ve been blowing on other things (like, say, major car repairs) lately, so the old brown trim keeps laughing at me behind my back.
Since I’ve been doing so many different things and not finishing any one thing, I never felt like there was anything to put up on the blog, but today I figured I’d at least tell you about my master bathroom. 

As I detailed in my “ToDo” post, I wanted to do some small updates to our master bathroom to make it prettier while we planned and saved for a more major redo.  Here’s how it looked before:


What you can’t see is that there was a giant semi-patched hold on the wall between the shower and toilet that never got completely sanded or painted over. That was my first project.  At first, I was just going to leave it until we did something interesting to the bathroom, but one day, I’d just had enough, so I grabbed some mud and went to town.  (I thought I had snapped a picture of my patch job, but looks like I didn’t, so you can just imagine the beautiful job I did on that.) 

Of course, once it was patched and textured, there was a big giant white spot and no paint for covering it up.  Which meant, of course, that I had to paint the entire room.  I knew I wanted a serene bathroom with blue-green walls, so I took a look at my (not insubstantial) stash of blue-green paint.  I tried out every paint we already had from the girls’ bedrooms, our kitchen, etc., but didn’t really like any of them.  I kept seeing Sherwin Williams Sea Salt online and really liked it, so I got a tester pot.  I still wasn’t sure about it, but was tired of looking, so I just went with it and got a full gallon (and that, my friends, *IS* how I roll)

With some fresh paint, the room looked a little better…



…and then the old early-90s cabinets really started to bother me.  Just a year ago, I probably would’ve just painted them white, but I was concerned about being blinded by all white when you walked in half-asleep in the morning, so I decided to try staining them.  I used PolyShades “one-step” stain and polyurethane product in “Tudor”.  I had used something similar on my dining room table, which was a disaster, but I had read some positive reviews of the Polyshades, so figured I’d be super careful and give it a go.

I was a little concerned when I put the first coat on and could barely see it!  It just looked like it was wet…

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…but I persevered with thin coats and FOUR COATS later, I was done.  Nice and dark:


It actually looks pretty nice!  For the most part, I liked working with the PolyShades.  It did get a little harder to apply as I got into the third and fourth coat, but that may have been my own fault for not letting it dry longer (I let it dry a day in between, but perhaps it needed longer as it got thicker).

It needs some knobs and drawer pulls (and new faucets, better mirror and lighting, blahblahblah), but it’s looking better all ready!
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