Bathroom Humor

I feel like this is a “bold move” (a BM, perhaps?) for a first official post, but let’s start where the real magic happens: the bathroom.

Yes, this, is my inherited master bathroom, and just to preserve any notion in your mind that I am a lady (woah woah woah, she’s a lady), I will not say what I called this color. I will tell you it rhymes with “spit clown.” Not really sure what would possess someone to use a color like that in a bathroom, but I applaud their gutsy BM (bold move, see above).

Let us all look to the right and note the almost-but-not-quite-white towel rack and toilet paper holder, flanked by the eye-catching hole. Up and down the wall you might notice little white lines, like little traces of pixie dust, which are actually nail scratches in the paint. From fingers.

I could not for the life of me figure that out, but then Five came in and explained to me with a, “Hey, watch this!” that he can “draw in the paint!” You think a Wii is enough entertainment, but noooo.

There is also the small matter of floors in the room, as in they are old and not super sanitary anymore.

So the name of our game here was to brighten up the bathroom and make it look a bit cleaner and softer. We decided this would best be accomplished by: replacing the shower curtain with something lighter and longer to make the room feel bigger, painting the walls something light and airy, replacing the chunky square vanity mirror with something round and textured. We also wanted to replace the light fixture with something smaller and less harsh, remove and replace the toilet paper holder and the towel rack with some sleeker, more functional hooks and holders, and remove the old medicine cabinet to install glass shelves for additional storage we could see.

First, I took a sharp knife and scored all around the toilet paper holder and the towel rack sides. I had no idea what I would find at this point, but I was hoping that it would pull away from the wall easily. It looked like they were held on by caulk, so I reasoned that scoring the caulk would allow me to pull the porcelain fixtures off of the wall. The toilet paper holder came off pretty easily after a little bit of wiggling, but imagine my surprise to learn that those things are anchored via a hole in the drywall. I started sweating at this point. But, in for a penny, in for a pound, right? Yes, I trudged along fearlessly, right after I called our friend Luke, who just happens to be a contractor. Luke has known me since I was a freshman in high school and he’s super nice (and it’s possible he was bored) so he came on over to take a look. Note: I could’ve titled this post “The One Where I Learned to Patch Drywall,” because that’s what happened next.

So you take some drywall and score it to the size of your hole, and peel the actual drywall away from the drywall paper. So you have a piece of drywall and a 2-3 inch overlap of the drywall paper on the edges. The picture below sums that up pretty well. And check out that floor. Sexy, huh?

Once you have a piece of drywall that will fit in your wall-hole with some of the drywall paper overlapping onto the wall, smear some drywall mud around your wall hole. Then, put your drywall piece into the hole and press the paper “overhang” into the mud you just smeared- see the pic below, a picture is really worth a thousand words on this.

Next, you’ll take some more mud and smear it gently over the entire area.

Keep working with your drywall mud and putty knife to get it thin and smooth, but dont’ get too crazy or you’ll scrape all the mud off. Slow and steady with a light hand works best. You’re going to have to sand it later so don’t make yourself do any extra work.

Once all of your holes are patched, let your drywall mud set for 12-14 hours, longer if you can stand it. I couldn’t, so as soon as possible I was back in there sanding it all down to prep for paint.

But before we could paint, we had a few more things to prep. Remember how we wanted to replace the huge chunky mirror? We knew we’d use something smaller and curvier, so the big guy needed to come off the wall before we painted to make sure we covered everything with paint. Big chunk was held to the wall by screws so I easily used my drill to unscrew them and popped him right off, and surprise!

Wallpaper! Have mercy. I almost walked away at that point. Day 2 of my 1 day remodel. Leave that room spit clown, screw big chunk back up there and call it a day, you know? Sometimes you just get frustrated. Then reinforcements showed up, that’s my almost-mother-in-law next to me, scraping wallpaper off. You can see at the top of the picture that the old light fixture also had wallpaper behind it, so we worked on that too. Trick is to have a small spray bottle full of water and a sharp putty knives. Spray the wallpaper or glue residue with your water bottle, let it soak for a minute or two, then scrape away. It comes off much quicker, but in small pieces.

Just to recap at what is (hopefully) the halfway point, we’ve now patched 4 drywall holes and scraped wallpaper off of the wall, none of which we were planning to do. Also, our walls have an orange-peel texture (available in an aerosol spray can) all over them, and since the mirror and light fixture had wallpaper, we had to let the walls dry, then texturize those spots with orange peel so the wall would be the same all over. Which also has to cure for 12-24 hours.

The next day was painting day, and I have never been so happy to paint. We went with Valspar’s Halcyon Blue, which reads as a blue-ish, gray-ish, icy sort of color, which we were hoping would brighten up the room considerably. The adjoining master bedroom is blue so we figured that staying in the same family of colors couldn’t hurt for a connecting room. We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best and did not prime the brown before we did the light blue, and we ended up doing two coats, but when we stood back we had an instant “aaahhhhhh.” Here’s the before again:

And after:

Doesn’t it make the room look bigger?

Here’s another before and after shot:

A few more notes-

See that white light switch in the picture above? While we had everything unscrewed for painting, we changed out all of the switches and outlets to a bright white instead of the almond color. It totally made the room feel cleaner.

The shower curtain is from amazon.com and is 70″x95″ which makes it “extra long.” We hung it at ceiling height to hide the drop ceiling in the shower and to make the room feel taller. If you buy this, make sure you grab an extra long shower liner from Amazon while you’re there! We didn’t and we had to pay shipping twice, boo.

The mirror is oval and I snagged it at Marshall’s for $25. I plan to paint it an oil rubbed bronze to match the handles on the vanity (and I’ll probably spray those as well), but at this juncture in the project we were trying desperately to get the room put back together.

The light fixture is from Lowes.

I had a runner sized rug that we picked up on a trip to IKEA, I’d originally wanted to use it in the living room but it just didn’t work for our family, functionality-wise (our dog and kids kept slipping on it). So I tossed it into the bathroom and it didn’t look that bad. It is by no means a permanent fix, but it certainly helps cover the eye-sore-floor while we save some money to change it up for the long haul. It also does really well in the wet environment.

We never did get around to putting shelves where the medicine cabinet was, but pics when we do! I did attach a new TP Holder to the side of the vanity next to the toilet. It’s oil rubbed bronze from Target, and it was as easy as screwing it into the side with a drill. We still need a towel rack or some hooks on the back of the door, but for now we have a drying rack in the closet we use.

So there it is, our “this will do until we can rip it completely apart” bathroom remodel. We really like it. The room feels bigger, and it has some interesting texture thanks to the copper-y mirror and the waffle shower curtain. And it’s definitely more airy and open with the ice blue paint on the walls.

Phew. After 1545 words about this remodel, I’m totally pooped.

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Filed under Before & After, Home Improvement

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