Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bikini Waxing the Bathroom Walls


When we last saw our heroine, she was stuck inside her bathroom, painting fake ceramic tiles and questioning her life's choices.   She knew there was one huge -- and unpleasant -- part of this project left to tackle.


Last winter we realized that the paint on the walls above the "tiles" was failing. It became uncomfortably clear that this problem was the result of poor adhesion between paint layers that had been applied decades ago.

I have a habit of assigning colorful names to situations like these, to help people understand what the issues are. In this case, we're going to refer to Bikini Waxing.

If you've done much painting, you may have run into this problem.  You apply your masking tape, and when you remove it, it pulls off the paint you were trying to protect.

This can be a catastrophe, or it can be a Brilliant Solution.  In our case, we knew that the paint was cracking, several layers deep. No amount of additional paint was going to stop that from happening.  We were going to have to remove the paint, until we found a layer strong enough to paint over.

So, I got the widest tape I could find, and I stuck it on the walls, and burnished it so that it was really well-adhered.

When I ripped the tape off, the paint came away from the wall.  Bikini Waxing.  Yup.

And what's more, there was no dust involved in this process, no struggling with heat guns, and no noxious solvents. 

I did all this with two rolls of automotive masking tape.  You can see where I ran out of tape, around the medicine cabinet.  And, of course, I still need to do the ceiling.  That is going to have a High Suck Factor.

The other thing with a High Suck Factor is this:  even though I've successfully removed several layers of poorly-attached paint, the layer that is currently exposed is riddled with fissures and cracks.  I'm going to have to remove that layer as well.  And I don't think that is going to be an easy process.

I won't lie. I'm pretty damn sick of working on this bathroom.  It seems that just about every part of the project is messy, awkward, and makes the room look worse than it did before I started.  I need a bit of praise, because I'm feeling somewhat demoralized.

I guess that professional Bikini Waxers find their job a bit grim at times, as well.


Marmalade said...

I admire your commitment to doing things correctly and without the shortcuts that everyone before you took - thereby leaving you in this uncomfortable, unpleasant, mind-numbingly huge project. You are an inspiration. And every time I even think about using a shortcut, I stop and think of you. Go, fight, win!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Oh Marmalade! You're do kind! Thank you!!!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

So kind, even.

Anonymous said...

I love the bikini wax concept. Kudos to you and Robb for your persistence, patience, and more persistence. You will be so proud of your labors when you finally finish.

K said...

You are hilarious. You are so creative you make reading about daunting bathroom renovations exciting! Your post reminded me of a quote, “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.”
― Marjorie Pay Hinckley

So impressed with you. The world needs more Lisa and Robbs.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Laughter is the answer! No doubt about it!

AmyMarieR said...

The tiles look wonderful. The work is long and frustrating. Your efforts and patience do matter. You do things well and the end result is going to be amazing. Hang in there and know there are people who think you are brave, persistent, and a great example of dealing with what comes up, learn as you go, and keep at it until the job it done (even if some jobs are so huge that they take years). I know you through your blog (which I came to from letterboxing, I believe). I live in the Midwest and had two pysanky parties this year because of you and your sharing on the blog (and it took me a couple years to get brave enough to host the party since I am no "expert"). You never know what your endeavors truly do.

ellen kirkendall said...

Oh so much suckage. You are so dedicated! Your bathroom is going to be so pretty when you've finished that you will never ever leave it.

Superbeetle said...

Bikini waxing, hah! That's such a descriptive term for it. It will be worth it when you're done! The tile already looks terrific.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog two days ago and haven't stopped reading. THIS post.. THIS Bathroom.. has me in awe! I'm so jealous of your project! You are doing a killer job! Your post rocks.. and your blog tops that!
Keep enjoying life!


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