Monday, April 24, 2017

One Step at a Time: The Bathroom Redo Edition. Volume 6B

Annnnnd we're back - to working on the main floor bathroom after several months rest. I wanted to get the cabinets & and shelving unit refinished by the end of April. Then finish a couple other smaller interior projects in May before moving on to outdoor projects and House Guest Season.

See how I left things back in August 2016 here. But below is what we started with when we first moved in.

Status before starting again: wallpaper down & walls painted; towel & TP holders replaced; cabinet pulls and knobs replaced; shower doors removed; window covering replaced (twice over); spider plant rehomed; switches, outlets and covers replaced; light fixture replaced (no before photo).

Originally, I was going to pickle the lot. Not a real lime pickle, but an acrylic version which is probably more steps and maybe more money - BUT I already had everything to do it, so kind of "free" and requiring less prep work. I had a recipe I came up with for some arm chairs I did for an upholstery and furniture design firm back in the day. Then we decided we kind of liked the look of the sanded down vanity, so I just varnished it.

Router details are all fun and games until you have to sand them down by hand. [deep, cleansing breath] And while doing so decided to replace the hinges on all of them. Luckily, I found some that better suited the new vibe and nickel-look of the new handles in the same type at a good price. I also added a moulding at the base just to give it a slightly more rustic look.

New hinges with the shadow of the old ones. I'm glad that my appreciation of wear and tear and the life of a piece also means easier and cheaper processes sometimes! Living in the woods in a 1970s house helps with accepting these "flaws," top. 
It seems that there was never a base shoe or quarter rouund on the toe kick, so I added a bit of moulding. Glazed it to blend (but not exactly match) with with sanded down cabinets, then varnished.
I had a quart of paint for the interior of the wall shelf (below) which was way more than I needed, but the least I could buy. So I decided to paint the sides of the drawers! It's a look I have always thought was clever and fun and I finally got to do it.

Part of this vanity revamp was fixing the bottom drawer which a couple years ago had come free of what had to be its second drawer slide hardware. WOO!

At that point, I figured I'd still pickle the rest. And the mismatch of the new moulding on the big cabinet seemed to require it. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that if I could get a more even sanding on the side of the big cabinet and maybe glaze the moulding to blend it, I would like it better than the pickle finish. Also it would be faster - by far.

Apologies for the blurriness. It is what it is, folks!

Unfortunately the new hinges for this cabinet were back ordered. They're the same look at the new ones on the vanity, but they are the inset type. They're supposed to come in at the beginning of May. But that didn't stop me from putting the "seifles oN" embroidery back up! Now it is hung from the picture rail/crown I added to the top. This method worked out so well with the kitchen cabinets, I knew I wanted to do it again. There are a few seasonal decorations that go there and now I can customize their placement without adding additional nail holes to the cabinet.

I finally got to use some of this ridiculous picture hanging cord that I bought when I was getting a few different types for the kitchen decorations.

I also added a moulding at the base - the same profile as on the vanity and also glazed to blend with the wood of the cabinet.

I think this cabinet is a lot like Bigfoot - just naturally blurry, regardless of the photo.

And let's not forget the shelving unit that was in the laundry room when we got here, was taken out within a couple of weeks, and has spent the years since in the shop... I sanded and attempted to strip that one!

The interior and back of the shelf had been painted a few times over the years and both sanding and stripping down to bear wood were just taking more time and materials than I felt like putting into this, so I sanded them down to stable, then primed and painted - Benjamin Moore 2071-50 (Amethyst Cream), semi-gloss finish.

Partly sanded, back still on.
I knew I'd want to put seasonal lighting in there and such and since there is actually an outlet on the wall below where this would be installed, I drilled 1.5" holes in all the horizontal surfaces to accommodate a power cords.

A view from the top. Three of the four holes are pretty much lined up, but the bottom one is deliberately off. That one has to avoid some of the stuff that makes the drawers slide straight and such.

The cute, little, antique-brass and porcelain knobs were just right - except for the brass. I mean, I liked the look of the white and brass together, but not in this room for this project at this time in my life. I hesitated to alter them, but I just couldn't get excited about buying new ones (let alone shopping for them) when these would be perfect with a quick paint job using paint I already had.

The quick paint job didn't work out. (of course?) I had two different satin sheen "silver" colored spray paint. But they both achieved the "satin" or "brushed" affect by being speckled/pointillist and that was unsatisfying. I was pondering the solution when I realized I had a sort of pewter-y nail polish in the cabinet! Worked great AND dried quickly.

Here is where I hit a snag. I wanted to do something extra for the back of the shelves and never could settle on a stencil or decorative paint finish, so I decided to use fabric that I had purchased before we moved - one that coordinates with the shower curtain border. When I went into my fabric stash to get it, discovered I didn't have nearly as much as I thought and also not enough. Luckily, the piece I had did have manufacturer information on the selvage! I found a couple of sellers on Ebay so ordered up a yard from Florida that would likely arrive on Saturday, April 22... annnnnnnd that ended up being one of those contact-Ebay-itself-for-a-refund situations. Sigh. So, on Friday, April 21, I ordered another yard from Arkansas that was shipped promptly and is due on Tuesday, April 25. Whew!

I also added this little cabinet near the shower. I had picked it up at a thrift store a while a back thinking it would become part of my growing Halloween apothecary, but when  I was trying to figure out a way to help Eric with his soap maintenance disability. We have different body washing product preferences these days and Eric just can't remember to replace his bar soap when it's getting down to a sliver. Then I remembered this little cutie, dug it out, and tested that it would fit some bars of soap. It did! This piece got the pickling treatment and new knobs (because it only came with three) and there she is! Soapfully, this will work out. [ducks to avoid thrown tomatoes]

After I stared sanding it. You can see it had a sort of warm, maple look.

The knobs I picked up at one of the big box stores are a little out-sized compared to some I found online, but they were right here, right now, and no shipping charges. And I admit there is something about their cartoony-ness that tickles me. I mean the whole notion of a wee cabinet next to the shower specifically for bars of soap, although totally practical, is kind of silly in the first place.

I had planned a photo with a door slid open to show the soap, but... it's time to replenish the back stock. So next time? Probably. Maybe

So much for finishing by the end of April. I was even ahead of schedule for a while there! The back ordered hinges and the overestimating the amount of material I had on hand for the back of the wall shelves backing, set me back. So, I'll start on May's projects and them come back to this when I can. Poop.

Downstairs Bathroom Redo Master List
1. Walls
   a. remove floral wallpaper & repair damage
   b. prime original wallpaper & skim coat
   c. prime skim coat and paint
   d. veneer plaster & topcoat
2. Ceiling
   a. skim out or remove popcorn texture
   b. remove some of the plant hooks?
   c. prime
   d. fun faux finish
3. Cabinetry
   a. sand & add moulding
   b. pickle - nope! went a different route
   c. replace pulls and knobs
   d. add reclaimed, refinished wall shelves
   e. add wee cabinet by shower
   f. paint interior of large storage cabinet
4. Tub/Shower
   a. remove and replace caulk
   b. add tile "backsplash" above
   c. remove doors
   d. replace shower curtain
5. Move hardware
   a. train rack over toilet
   b. hand towel bar
6. Floor
   Not sure, but must deal with wrecked stuff beneath tub/shower
7. Window covering
   a. tba
8. Decorations
   a. on walls
   b. in shelving unit + linens
   c. on big cabinet


  1. Yea for Arkansas!

    1. Why I went with the Florida instead of Arkansas in the first place... well, I have no idea what got into me.

  2. Daaang, that cabinet looks so much better sanded down and a lighter colour. The main bath is looking more fitting of a house in the woods bathroom now.


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