Finished. Hotovรฝ. Complevit.

Yes, that’s finished in English, Czech, and Latin. Saying it only 3 times does not fully encompass my relief and joy at having the spare bathroom remodel completed. Well, I guess we have to hook up the toilet, but NBD. The actual remodel/facelift/whatever you want to call it is done. In case you’re curious, here’s what we did.

  • Primed and painted the ceiling (Color: Premixed “Bright White” Paint+Primer from DoItBest)
  • Primed and painted the walls (Color: Winter Storm from Ace Hardware)
  • Primed and painted the tile backsplash (Color: Premixed “Bright White” Paint+Primer from DoItBest)
  • Primed, painted, and clear-coated the countertop. (Color: Ming Vase from Ace Hardware)
  • Painted the cabinets (Color: Premixed “Bright White” Paint+Primer from DoItBest)
  • Changed the cabinet hardware (I bought these knobs at a “garage sale” that our local DoItBest did during the city wide garage sale, so I got about 20 knobs for $1!! I got another bag of somewhere around 40 handles/knobs in a pewter color too–it was a lot of digging through ugly brass, but who can complain when you get enough hardware to do my entire kitchen, laundry room, hallway “linen drawers”, and spare bathroom for $2?!)
  • New sink (not the actual sink I bought, but similar in price/style)
  • New faucet
  • New lights
  • New mirror (mine is the 24×24 version that I got on clearance from there.)
  • New towel ring and toilet paper holder
  • New flooring
  • New baseboard (mine came from a local DoItBest, so different brand and MUCH cheaper, I think mine cost like $25 for the base and the glue to put it up.)
  • A couple of new towels and a new trashcan

Originally, it was just going to get a new coat of paint, but I think that the rest of the stuff was worth it even though it tripled the cost of the project (I spent a bit over $600 total). They say that paint is an inexpensive way to change up the look in your house, but honestly, it’s not that cheap. In fact, paint and painting supplies were at least 1/3 of my total expenses on this cramped bathroom!! I also bought that expensive paint+primer stuff in the white for the ceiling, tile, and cabinets, and I can honestly say NEVER AGAIN. It was gloppy going on (IMO), and for being gloppy/thick, it didn’t cover nearly as well as I felt it should. Especially on the cabinets–it took 3 coats to get good coverage, and if I wasn’t so ready to just be done already, I’d have done a 4th coat, because it really could have used it. So yeah, don’t waste your money on that stuff–just buy the Killz primer and a can of your regular paint, it’s cheaper, easier to apply, and covers better.

The only think in there we didn’t bother to try tackling was the Shower of Plastication (in case you’re wondering, the plastic came down when we got the shower upstairs working). I flat didn’t have the cash to do anything with it, and it’s about going to take a professional to fix it anyway because of a couple of small (but CRUCIAL) details–like the location and style of the drain.

Anyway, enough words, let’s see the before/after pics, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Before: (Click to embiggen)

After: (Click to embiggen)

So now, after being so good about finishing this project before starting to sew anything, I’m going to clean the extra crap out of my sewing room (a catchall area for bathroom remodeling supplies/trash) and sew something fun! I’m not set on anything yet, but I’m thinking a couple of pairs of undies and view E of this hat to match my coat from last year (which–so far–still fits.)

Things that tick me off Thursday

Thank you all so much for the kind words about our big news! ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t respond to everyone individually, especially those with blogger since I know that it’s nearly impossible to remember to come back and read feedback on each post you’ve commented on…but I wanted you to know that I appreciate the kind words. ๐Ÿ™‚

Still no sewing here. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The spare bath facelift continues apace though, so hopefully by next week I’ll have a nicer, fully functioning, spare bath. I’d share some pics, but honestly the current state is too terrifying for small children and normal adults.

So instead, I’ve got a peeve for you! This one goes out to all my pregnant sisters and those who have been pregnant. It’s the jeans. Or well, all of the pants for maternity really. Gah! Even those of you who haven’t had a bun in the oven have surely seen those terrible contraptions. There seem to be 2 types: the first has a tall tube that is lightweight, and the second has a short waistband that is rather thick. Both suck.

The lightweight tube is hard (and let’s be real; annoying) to pull up, and it kind of squeezes in at an uncomfortable spot once you get to a certain level of pregnant. And then there’s the short waistband version….I’m not sure what woman those work for, but either she carries a lot higher than I do or she’s simply got a lot more patience to deal with them. They flip/roll and are kind of tight over your bladder (not good when you’ve already got a little bladder dancer!).

And lastly we come to the “capri length”. There’s several things about these that just piss me off, even without the waistband issues mentioned above. The first is that it might as well be a flashing neon sign that says “I’m knocked up”–ya know, assuming the belly doesn’t give it away. ๐Ÿ˜‰ No one else wears this particular length and cut–only pregnant women. It’s like they took a pair of flares that had some sort of flaw on the bottom of the leg, said “hey, just cut it off for the pregnant gals”, threw one of those crappy waistbands on, and charged an extra $15 a pair. The other main thing that pisses me off is; WHO IN THEIR RIGHT $%^&#%! MIND DECIDED THAT CUTTING THE JEANS OFF AT THE EXACT SPOT WHERE THE ANKLES AND LOWER CALVES START TO SWELL WAS A GOOD IDEA?!?!?! REALLY?! Nothing like making those areas look even more unattractive than they already do, because there’s nothing a pregnant woman wants more than an unflattering capri-like thing when she already feels like a hormonal beached whale. Way to boost the ‘ol confidence there. ๐Ÿ™„

Oh, and here’s a little bonus peeve that relates to the above. Why is it that once you tack the word “maternity” onto something it suddenly becomesย at least 2x more expensive? As though babies aren’t expensive enough they gotta charge double for a glorified tee shirt?! I’m not even convinced they add extra space for the belly as tight as they seem to be on some (actually, I’d probably say most) women, so why the premium?

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got, so hope ya’ll have a great weekend!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Bathroom remodel 99% and stalled

Note: All the pictures are in a slideshow, hopefully it won’t load too slowly. It’s really worth the wait though, if you are even remotely interested in how to completely transform a bathroom on a small budget (~$3,000).

You’ve probably forgotten that we were actually even doing this, but there was a bathroom remodel going on here. Even though it’s got a couple little finishing touches that aren’t complete, I’m going to post the pictures and call itย “done” for here anyway. The only things we have left are to stain some shims for our window trim (the trim itself is actually stained/urethaned and ready to go up), and also cut and paint a door and the little trim piece for under the sink.ย A smidgen of caulk around the vanity, and it’s completely done. ๐Ÿ™‚ But, you know how it goes… get to where it’s usable again and you just kind of lose interest and stall out. I’m actually planning to do the caulking this evening though, so that will be one less thing to worry about finishing.

Before I do the pictures, I just kind of wanted to list the things that we did to this bathroom, so you can get the full scope of this project–it definitely wasn’t for the faint of heart!

  • We pulled out an old cast iron tub that weighed a ton….maybe not literally, but it sure seemed like it.
  • We pulled down every inch of the drywall that was on the walls (we did leave the ceiling though, but I suspect it might have been easier in the long run to actually take that out too).
  • Patched in some new subfloor in strategic areas (read: under the toilet and tub area).
  • Put in a very thick underlayment (to match up to the rest of our floors).
  • Installed new vinyl flooring. (I love my new floor, it looks pretty, and it feels AWESOME under your feet–seriously. For as thick as it is, it isn’t as cushion-y as I’d expected though.)
  • Installed the new drywall and shower system. (The shower system was a retrofit kit for an alcove that originally held a bathtub–it had walls and a base that fit our opening pretty decent. We did have to shim out an entire wall, which is why we don’t have our window trim on just yet).
  • New lighting fixtures. Seriously more awesome than the old ones. And as a bonus, we moved our bathroom fan when we replaced it, and it has a light too–right above the shower! Seriously, that’s pretty awesome, no more shadowy showers!
  • New paint on the old vanity/cabinets. (IMO, this alone is what really makes this bathroom “pop”).
  • New hardware for the vanity and we re-used the old mirror and also some old towel bars/tp roller. The mirror was original to the bathroom and in great condition, and the towel bars were some we had bought back when we had a rental that didn’t have any towel bars–I liked them and didn’t want to leave them when we moved out. Since they were mine (no reimbursement), we kept them which worked out perfect for this project.
  • New faucet.
  • New vanity top–isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?! The sink is moulded into the vanity, so no pesky areas for gunk to get into.
  • We re-used the old toilet….it’s from the 60’s, but it still worked, so we put new seals/gaskets in it and stuck ‘er down.
  • New paint on the walls in a pretty shade of blue that really goes nicely with the color of the cabinets.
  • New cabinet hardware–I’m well aware that it’s just plain cheapo hardware from big Blue, but I really like how it looks, especiallyย  now that it’s on.
  • New trim in the stain that mostly closely matched what was already in there. I wanted a darker color, but every piece of trim in the house is a more blonde color and I’m not really motivated to cut/stain new trim for every inch of the house. So, I decided to embrace it.

I think that pretty much sums it up. By re-using some of the things we already had (toilet, mirror, etc.) we saved a pretty good-sized chunk of change, though I’m thinking that it would have been smarter to go ahead and buy a set of shower doors, it’s really hard to keep the curtain in the shower now. Hopefully that’ll get easier as we get used to not having a full tub to hold it in. Anyway, enough blathering! On to the pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

Whatcha think? Way better right?

Nemesis: Paint!

I just finished putting on the second coat of paint in the bathroom, so it’s finally starting to look like a room now. Hooray!

You ever have something where no matter how much you “practice” you still suck at it? That’s how I am with painting. But, since I didn’t get paint in my hair (as far as I know), I’m marking this as a success! We chose a robin’s egg blue color for the paint–Ace Hardware’s “Timeless”, which is kind of bright right now, but once we get the vanity/cabinets painted and the hardware up, I think it’ll tone down. (And it seems to tone down as it dries as well.)

We also got our flooring in the other day, so it’s really coming together. The flooring is more brown-ish than I expected based on the sample, (I have the worst luck with samples) but I like the look of it anyway, and it really does make the room feel bigger, so that’s a win. I can’t wait to see how everything looks when it’s complete. I’m sorry I don’t have any new pictures to show you, but I’m hoping that here very soon I’ll have a bunch for you–especially the before/after ones. I’m keeping you in suspense I guess. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, as you may have guessed, I live in the plains area. We’re supposed to be hammered with storms making hail and tornadoes out the yin yang. We’ll see how it goes, if you don’t hear from me in a few weeks, I’m probably homeless or something. Which would really suck considering all the effort we’re putting in on this bathroom, but that’s life here in the central U.S.

If you live in the path of these storms, take care; you know the drill.


Our bathroom remodel is undergoing its metamorphosis, and right now I’d say it’s at the “chrysalis” stage. The one where you are making progress, but it’s not real obvious yet. We started the drywall last night, but only got three small panels up in the shower alcove before it got late. So anyway, I thought I might show a bit of the progress so that you guys can kind of see what’s going on. I’m going to save the actual “before” pictures though, because I want them to be a surprise contrast to the “after” pictures. Well, I might give a little teaser picture….just for fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

This light fixture must have been saved from a defunct hospital or something. It's so hideously....institutional.

Ok, so that was the light (one of two) we took out. You get a double bonus because you can see just a smidgen of the fugly plastic tile there in the picture too. Yeah. So….

Anyway, here’s a couple of pictures of the progress for your viewing pleasure.

Surprise! Guess that's why they had two lights before...?

Pretty new underlayment, ready for vinyl. Red lines mark location of joists.

Our new shower!

The original plan was to install the shower ourselves, however, the timing would have been awkward and inconvenient. Besides, after seeing the guy fiddle with the installation of it, I’m kind of glad we left it up to someone else. I might not say that when the bill comes though. The back of the shower had to be shimmed in, so our drywall on that wall will be shimmed as well. It’s a small wall, so putting up the shims wasn’t too bad, but I wouldn’t want to do it on a large one.

Like I said, progress is being made, but lately it’s been mostly the stuff that doesn’t really feel like an accomplishment. Things like wiring, replacing the bathroom fan, dry-fitting the vanity, stripping the finish off the cabinets, that sort of thing. They are important, but don’t offer that feeling of instant gratification like getting the shower in or hanging the drywall.

Slow and steady wins the race….supposedly

You remember that fable about the tortoise and the hare? I think we’re more tortoise-y than anything, but progress is being made. The place we bought our light fixture from let us return it (albeit grudgingly) and so we just got two smaller versions of the one we had (well, they’re on order…we’ll have them in 3 weeks or so). Not exactly what I had envisioned in the beginning, but the idea is starting to grow on me.

On the good news front, most of our subfloor is OK! ๐Ÿ™‚ We only needed to patch two places, one of which was under the toilet, so that was a bit of a fun challenge to cut the hole for the pipe. The guy I borrowed the jigsaw from probably isn’t going to get it back–I’m in lurve with this thing–it’s so quiet, smooth, easy to use, made in America, and unfortunately, no longer made because the manufacturer decided that they needed to “update” it. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I don’t know why they take a beautifully functioning design and give it an overhaul that pretty much screws it up instead of making it better. <– Bonus peeve! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So anyway, the subfloor (because it’s so EXCITING!!) It’s a bit thinner than standard (5/8″ instead of 3/4″), but it’s been there for almost 50 years and no one/nothing has fallen through yet. Plus the overlayment will add another 1/2″, so I think it should surely be sufficient.

Tonight we should be able to get the underlayment layer down (especially if I get off the freakin’ internet and get to measuring/cutting!) and they’ll come in tomorrow and install our shower. Which means we’ll be able to use it! Hooray! There will be more gray tape and plastic sheeting in my future, but I’m totally OK with that as long as our bathroom starts to be usable again!

In sewing news: my poor sewing room is a disaster zone because it houses the access for the tub/shower in the bathroom we’re working on. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’ve got pieces of rotted/blackened wood and sawdust everywhere. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So, I’m sewing vicariously through all the bloggers I follow for a while, and probably even for a while after we’re done with the remodel while I do the cleanup.


You know that thing where there’s always a nasty surprise waiting for you when you start a home remodel project? We found ours today. But first, a parable.

Once upon a time (or just a couple months back), a young couple, (madly in love with each other and their adorable young son) decided to fix up their rather outdated bathroom. It had a couple of small issues (leaky tub, anyone?) so it probablyย  needed done anyway, sooner rather than later.

Being a bit of an obsessive researcher/planner type, the young wife dutifully sifted through hours of online searches and product reviews to find only the best products at the perfect price point for the project. Some compromises had to be made for the sake of budget and to appeal to the adoring husband, but that’s simply to be expected, no? So everything was ordered and received ahead of time so that the least amount of disruption in the idyllic life of this young family was experienced.

Then came the fateful day when full of excitement, the young couple began to tear down their old sheetrock…

And there was a @#$$#%$ PIPE centered behind the vanity in the exact spot where the light fixture was supposed to go! And not just any pipe, but a HUGE pipe that apparently vents the plumbing for the ENTIRE FREAKING HOUSE!!!!!!!! So, now we have an expensive fixture that can’t be used because it needs to be centered because it’s so big. And we have no good lighting ideas now….

And the ideal location for their new bathroom fan has a ceiling joist in the way! Grrrr! ๐Ÿ˜ก

Lest you think that all this ended unhappily though, we did discover that the water damage from the leaky shower was mostly cosmetic and so no major repairs will be needed. The chiropractor will be pretty excited come Monday though, after we lugged out the cast iron bathtub. It might be the world’s narrowest tub, but it’s still freaking heavy! Thank goodness we bought a dolly a few years back or one of us would probably still be trapped beneath that behemoth!

So about that disruption? It looks like it might be a few days longer than we thought. Good thing there’s no centipedes…and surprisingly, no spiders either (yet) in the Shower From Hell. However, it’s extremely hard to set the temperature of the water when you have a shower that is literally a foot and a half away from the hot water heater… you can really get that full “hell” effect. Especially with such a touchy shower knob. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ


Note: No yeti were harmed in the making of this post.

Plastication complete. You know that saying about you can fix anything with duct tape or J.B. Weld? No? Well, perhaps it’s a local thing. It’s true though. You can fix pretty much anything with duct tape, and J.B. Weld pretty much covers everything else…. For example, I fixed the Shower From Hell (this really needs a glowing red font of some sort) with some plastic sheeting and duct tape. So now, when we get started, this is what we will be stepping into:

"Now we're steppin' into the twilight zone"....

Crap, now that song is stuck in my head. ๐Ÿ™„ Anyway, after the plastic went up, I turned on the water to check for any yeti clogging the drain. Happily, there were none. Not so happily, I am an idiot because I didn’t think about there being junk in the lines, so I had to take off the shower head and clean the filter on it while the shower ran headless for a while to clear the lines. Let this be a lesson to you. It’s less work if you just leave the darn thing off and flush the line first. Really, that goes for any fixture that hasn’t ran a month or more, just take the filter off and let it flush out the junk. After the rust and/or sand is cleared, then you can put the filter back on. And you should probably clean those filters periodically even if you are using the fixture, because that buildup is bad news for your faucets. <–Tip of the Day.

*Gulp* First steps…

Remember from forever ago that I was planning a bathroom remodel and gathering all the stuff to do it? Well, all the stuff is here, holding our garage hostage, and now we’re starting. Well, technically, not until this weekend. But today, we were going to put up the plastic in the Shower From Hell in the basement. Except, we discovered we didn’t actually buy a long enough piece of plastic. ๐Ÿ˜ณ So tomorrow, we’re going to put the plastic up and make sure that Hell’s Shower does indeed function properly (you know, make sure the faucet works and the drain isn’t clogged with a yeti or something). I swapped out the disgustingly mildewed shower head with another one I had from the upstairs shower (I’d swapped it with a hand shower before the guy even had finished installing it), so at least we don’t have to shower with the shower head covered in Green Slime of Doom or at least what would be that…after the water had reawakened it. (You’re loving all these cheesy wonderful nicknames, admit it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

In other news, I’m still waiting for my flooring…. โ“ I have no idea what the holdup is there, but I’m going to call them tomorrow and hope that it’s just a matter of they forgot to call me and not that they are avoiding me because my flooring is actually out of stock and currently discontinued……because I’ve had that happen to me (well, not that exact thing, but very similar.) And, I’ve learned that apparently floor guys are lazy and don’t like to try to seam flooring without straight lines, so finding a cool flooring like the one I want are few and far between. Though who in their right mind would put this flooring in a large room like a kitchen…

Really, it doesn't look anywhere near this brown in real life. It mostly just looks grey.

So yeah, that’s kind of where we’re at. I haven’t checked out all of our pieces, so I don’t actually know if any portions of my orders were incorrect or anything like that….hopefully, everything is correct and I don’t have to worry about having our bathroom torn apart while waiting for a shower pan or anything.

Oh! I guess I’m curious about everyone’s thoughts on *gasp* painting the cabinets. I know that I shouldn’t paint perfectly beautiful wood…however, this wood isn’t beautiful. Let’s face it, our cabinets may not be particle board, but they’re second rate plywood cabinets that have seen better days and needed refinished around 1995 (obviously that didn’t happen). So I’m not going to feel bad about painting them–especially because most (normal) people would have just ripped them out. So my questions about paint are:

  1. What color? I’m leaning towards a semi-glossy black, but there’s also a really awesome navy color that I thought might give our bathroom less of a monochromatic look (since the major fixtures are grey or white and I was thinking of using a very pale grey or lavender for the wall color). Because of the color of the vanity white absolutely will not work.
  2. If I did the cabinets in navy, should I paint the trimwork to match? (There’s a window frame, we’ll likely put down shoe molding, and a door frame/door too). And where’s the stopping point? Personally, I think the door frame would just look weird if the door was left “wood tone”, but I also think painting the door would just make it too much.
  3. Anyone have any experience with milk paint or shellac? Or should I just stick with tried and true latex paint? I also found some whey-based urethane (PolyWhey), but don’t really know of anyone who has used it and their results with it. I guess it’s made from leftovers from the cheese industry or something and is very environmentally friendly and has the same durability as the chemical kind. But it supposedly doesn’t stink, which is a big selling point for me–I HATE the smell of the chemical stuff, and don’t want to be trapped in a small room with it.

Anyway, lucky for you, that’s all I’ve got for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Except that I guess I got all the pleats/pintucks finished on my blouse today, but that’s about it.

The Bathroom Remodel pt 1

This saga might take several posts, but I thought that a good starting point would be to show it as it is now. I spent about an hour last night trying to refresh my brain on how to use Sketchup, and the drawing isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty accurate–the room size and footprints are exact, my drawers/doors and their corresponding handles? Not so much. BTW, I didn’t draw the toilet, I imported it into my drawing courtesy of the good people who draw these types of things up so that we can use them in our plans. I did the rest of it though.

Note: We have a tub/shower, but I didn't know how to draw that.

Feeling claustrophobic yet? This is the bigger of the two bathrooms. ๐Ÿ˜‰ In real life, there are walls around the perimeter and a westward-ish facing window between the tub and the toilet.

We know that the subfloor under the toilet and tub need to be completely replaced, and are planning to put a new subfloor in the whole thing. We’re also hoping that we can take the cabinets out carefully enough to reuse them. They are good hardwood cabinets, it seems ridiculous to throw them out if we can avoid it. We’ll also be replacing the drywall–it has those noxious plastic tiles on it (in a hideous shade of pinkish beige no less!) and also the tub surround is a leaky mess.

You can find my inspiration lighting and faucets on my pinterest board here. The shower itself will be a 4″ tall Onyx system, instead of a tub/shower. Our tub is too narrow to take a decent bath in, but I figure a 4″ curb should be enough to bathe a baby in, especially since there will be a hand shower. I think the colors we’re going to use are Winter (for the shower walls) and Constellation (for the shower base and soap holders). We’re thinking of making our bathroom vanity have an onyx top too, possibly withย  Constellation as the vanity color and Winter as the sink color (or make it all in Winter with a halo of Constellation–we’re not completely decided yet). The vanity/sink would be all one piece, and therefore easier to clean! ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re undecided on the flooring, right now we’re torn between cork and those cute little hexagon tiles (which our neighbors just happen to know how to install!) I think we’ll have that stuff ironed out after this weekend, since hubby has a 3-day weekend for us to get things finalized.

So anyway, now that I’ve bored you to tears, I’ll wish you a great day! ๐Ÿ™‚