Here are the “before” pictures. As usual, they were taken when work had already begun – hence the stepstool in the bathtub and the swathes of joint compound on the wall.
Pardon the clutter - it IS our main bathroom. How about those ruffly glass shades? I know they're hard to see. They're not really worth a closer look. The door you're looking out leads into the spare bedroom/soon to be nursery.
There was a reason that the medicine cabinet was deemed to be a hassle worth putting off. I opened it up and realized that it was hung with both screws and molly bolts. No big deal – obviously they had access to a stud on one side and not on the other. It’s what I’d do. Then I realized that there was a problem. A big problem. When I looked into the medicine cabinet, this is what I saw:
It took me a while to figure it out, because my mind had a hard time encompassing the stupidity. These dingbats drove the molly bolt through the back of the cabinet instead of through the wall thereby using the screw to hang the cabinet like you’re supposed to. Which means that when the screw is removed, the cabinet continues to be attached to the wall. Which means that the cabinet is not removable without ripping the expanded molly bolts out through the dry wall. Which explains why they obviously painted around the cabinet when the pink paint went up – they couldn’t take it down.
On Friday Bob drilled out the bolts so that the flange detached and the bolts dropped into the wall, and we peeled the cabinet off the wall. At this point I was obviously expecting to find a different color behind the cabinet. I was expecting to find yellow, because that’s the color under the vanity. I was not expecting to find wallpaper. Canary yellow gingham wallpaper.
I’m not sure why I was surprised. The rest of the upstairs had wallpaper, except for this bathroom. Apparently they decided to strip the wallpaper, realized that the cabinet was not removable, cut around the medicine cabinet with an Exacto knife, and then put up the pink paint. Luckily, the paper just pulled off of the wall. Unluckily, we didn’t have a drop of wallpaper remover in the house to strip the glue. Cue one unplanned drive to Lowes. As I was spraying the stripper onto the old glue it cleared up another mystery – the texture that I had chalked up to being either poorly prepared walls or a really bad paint job in the rest of the room – that was where they either didn’t clean off the glue or did a seriously lackluster job of it. Lovely. So I stripped the glue, patched the holes (not my best work,) and we called it a night.
I am disappointed to report that 105.9 was not playing “The ‘80’s A to Z.” That put a bit of a crimp in my painting style and productivity. I’m sure that the rest of the state was relieved, but I was disappointed.
Saturday morning we slept in. No, not productive, but it was a weekend damn it! After breakfast we taped until we ran out of blue painter’s tape. I’m pretty sure that we still have more in the basement, but I couldn’t find it on a quick search. Then the priming started. I did the cutting in, but let Bob do the painting. I’ve been cleared by my doctor to paint, but because I’m not sure exactly what is in Kilz I didn’t want to spend a lot of quality time with it in a small room. I was delighted to be reminded that Kilz only needs to dry an hour before you can put the color coat on. So by the end of the day we had primed, gotten two coats on the ceiling and the blue walls and one coat on the cream walls. We also went over to Home Depot and picked up the cabinets that came in a week early. When does that ever happen?
Sunday morning we got the second coat of cream paint on and did a trial fit of the larger cabinet. I’m very pleased with how those are going to look. Then we headed off to stop at Lowes on the way to a picnic and bought the new sconces. Unlike the Plainville store, the Manchester store had unopened boxes that weren’t covered in oily water from a roof leak. The picnic was a lot of fun as always, and was a nice change from painting. We pulled out of there in enough time for me to get a third coat on the little 10” accent wall that I made a darker shade of blue and to hold up a sconce that we had just purchased next to one of ones that we purchased for the downstairs bath to decide which one we like better (the new ones.)
Monday we trekked back up to Lowes to exchange the sconce that was scratched new out of the box and buy a mirror. We also made a few other stops to make it a worthwhile trip. When we got back, Bob wired in the sconces and I caulked the sink backsplash and around the tub enclosure. That had never been done, which is probably what caused the tape I patched to detach in the first place. A bit after that Bob hung the new shower rod, I scrubbed the tub enclosure and the floor and we called it a night.
So here are some after “in-progress” photos. What we’ve got left is some installation: hang the new mirror, hang the new cabinets, install the various accessories (paper holder, towel ring,) and install the new faucet. Also sand, stain, and install the new vanity doors. Bob had intended to do that this weekend, but I kept him busy at other things. New hardware for the tub is going to be on the “ten year plan,” because in order to install the dual handle hardware that I want we’ll need to a) open the wall to completely re-plumb with the now-mandated anti-scald devices and b) replace the one piece tub/surround because it’ll have holes in the wrong places and no holes in the correct ones. By then I may have learned to love the single lever water control. I doubt it, but you never know.
That little tiny piece of wall really is a darker shade of blue - it's not just the light. The stepstool is out of the tub, so there was nothing interesting to show in there. I am very excited about having the curved shower rod back. I love it.
We’ll peck away at the rest of the installation in the evenings this week. Once that’s completely done, I want to start pulling apart the downstairs full bath. I don’t mind if that one is in progress for several weeks while we work on it. That’s the luxury of having multiple bathrooms, and one of the reasons why I insisted that only one bathroom was a deal-breaker when we were looking at houses.
This weekend was a huge improvement for me, getting-things-done-wise. I’ve been really sluggish with fatigue lately, and while this was nowhere near my usual level of productivity, it felt good to act more like myself and actually drive a project through to completion (or at least really close.) People at work keep saying how impressed they are at how much we’ve done. News flash people – this isn’t rocket science. It’s almost two years of almost unremitting labor. It’s every holiday and long weekend being given over to some sort of organization or renovation project, along with a lot of evenings and weekends. It’s a lot of deferral of fun stuff, and a lot of days where you come home from working an eight hour day and then work a five hour day at home. It’s not complicated; it’s just a lot of No Fun. But there’s a prize at the end. That’s what keeps me going.
Have I mentioned that I am sick of painting? Sick, sick, sick to death of painting. I need to win Lotto so that I can just pay someone else to do it. But until that happens, I guess it’s time to go look at paint chips for the downstairs bathroom.