Friday, May 25, 2012

Bathroom redo - step 1 of a billion

It's been a long, long week of desperately trying to get better so I can actually get something accomplished this week. I'm feeling a LOT better than I did on Monday, so I'm hoping (weather permitting) I'll get some gardening accomplished over the long weekend.

That's right - I have three whole days off of work! Can you believe it? It's been a while since I've had that much time off and wasn't sick. Maybe I'll finally get around to weeding my garden this weekend...?

This week Garry was a saint and refinished our tub. I don't have any before photos for you guys (it was pretty bad) but I will have some "after" photos for you folks either this evening or tomorrow when we take all of the drop cloths down.

The process wasn't terribly difficult, even though our tub didn't want to cooperate at first. Here's the rundown of the process (even though I didn't participate because I was at work/still sick when Garry did it):

  • Clean the tub. I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but getting the tub completely clean was integral to making sure the end result was what we wanted. The kit we bought had a cleaning solution and steel wool pad in it, but because the paint was chipping so bad the solution ended up flaking the paint even more. 
  • Plan B: scrape all of the paint off. We're no strangers to scraping paint (like our disasterous accent wall project that we eventually remedied with wood paneling) and luckily the paint came off relatively easily. 
  • Sand down the tub. Garry (and our friends Kal and Raine) took some light grit sandpaper and sanded the entire tub down so the surface was nice and smooth. 
  • Clean the tub (again). All of the dirt, dust and other debris had to be cleaned off in order for the solution to seal properly. 
  • Tape plastic drop cloths around the tub surround, fixtures and floor around the tub. The epoxy stuff was in a spray can so we had to make sure that if it got "outside the lines" something was protecting the rest of the bathroom. A few cheap plastic drop cloths and painter's tape did the job. 
  • Get the masks, turn on the air vent, open the bathroom window (and other windows in the house), move all the critters to the bedroom and shut the door (so they wouldn't be affected by fumes) and spray away! This step was a two-parter. You have to spray the first coat on (in a nice, even coat), wait 15-20 minutes and then spray a second coat on. 
  • Since our tub (after sanding it down) was already white, we only needed two coats. If you have a darker tub and you're going for a lighter color (or a light tub that you want darker) you'l need more. We only needed one can of the two-can set - so if we need to do it again down the road, we're all set. 
  • Wait 3 days for it to cure. This was the kind of sucky part. We couldn't use our (only) shower for 3 days. My cat was also thoroughly annoyed that he couldn't play in the tub. Luckily, our friends (that are almost done refinishing their bathroom) let us shower at their house.
Okay, see our friends Jeff and Eithne bought this old late-Victorian era house on the other side of town. The place needed a LOT of love and they were just the folks to give it to that sad little house. They bought it a few months ago and had a ton of work already done, like having new water pipes installed, new drywall in a few rooms and a whole bunch of other craziness. One major project that needed to be completed before they moved in was having the bathroom redone. Oh man, it was bad. They had to take out pretty much everything, down the studs. But let me tell you, that bathroom has become my new favorite bathing place. 

I don't have photos (because I was smelly and was just too excited to bathe), but let me describe it for you. The walls are painted this gorgeous cerulean blue from the midpoint up along with the ceiling. The floors are a soft white hex tile with light putty-grey grout (they aren't terribly in love with it, but I certainly am!), a gorgeous pedestal sink with large round mirror mounted over it is across the room from a small dresser used for bath essentials, a glittery chandelier hangs from the ceiling (or as Jeff calls it, the chandelier in the sh*t house) a fluffy white bathmat is placed invitingly in front of... this amazing claw-foot tub with a telephone shower handle and a large shower head for actual showers. 

I know! I'm insanely jealous too. 

So I begged asked nicely if I could indulge in a nice hot bath. Oddly enough folks, I had never taken a bath in a claw-foot tub before then. I know, what's wrong with me? Eithne happily granted my request and I took what was probably the most relaxing bath of my life. Wow... just wow. Looking at the light from the chandelier playing off of the gorgeous cerulean blue walls and ceiling and feeling like I'm underwater in the Mediterranean (not that I'd actually do that because I'm terrified of the ocean) was blissful. 

There plans are to add some board and batten on the lower half of the walls too. As I luxuriated in that gorgeous tub, I imagined some gorgeous Mediterranean artwork and some colorful towels to tie it all in. It's a huge bathroom - plenty of room for some substantial pieces. 

There's still a lot of work that they have planned for that house (her list makes mine look like a college student's weekly grocery shopping list), but just like everyone else who buys a house (especially one that really needs some love) you take it one project at a time. 

So our not nearly as impressive bath tub will be finished curing today. We still have plans to redo the tub surround and install new fixtures, but that's going to wait for a while until we can build up our savings again, as that's easily going to cost a few hundred dollars to do it how we want to.