Sunday, November 30, 2014

How long has she been in that bathroom?


For those following along at home, this is what our bathroom looked like when we first bought the house.  The tub was not really a functional shower.  There was just a hand-held shower attachment, but no way to hang a shower curtain, and no way of showering while standing up. There was also a really disreputable green plastic "mop shield" along the wooden baseboard.  The sink was cracked, and there weren't many towel racks.  The walls were made of plaster that simulated tile. And all the walls had peeling, damaged paint.

It was a wreck, and we loved it. 

A year ago our bathroom looked like this.  Not horrible, but not great either.  We had been ignoring it for quite a while, knowing that the process of restoring the room would make a huge mess.

Robb and I painstakingly scraped the paint off the 1925 plaster "tile," taking great care not to damage the surface of the plaster.  This was tedious, dirty work.  Few things are less fun than spending hours squashed in the space between a dingy bathroom wall and a toilet, scraping paint.

We spent hours and hours and hours transforming our not-so-bad bathroom into something that looked like the toilet of a dive bar.  This work could get pretty demoralizing.  We weren't making things look better.  Oh no. We were making things look horrible.

Once the layers of paint had been removed, the plaster "tiles" had to be repaired.  Another painstaking job.

It took a lot of work, building up "tiles" and then sanding away the excess texture.  In addition to doing all that work, we spent a huge amount of time cleaning up all the dust that we created.  I can't even imagine how many times we vacuumed that tiny room.

Eventually, we were happy with the surface that we'd created.  No more gouges or cracks or screw-holes.  We had a nice, smooth surface, with clearly delineated edges between "tiles."

Robb removed all the towel bars, and shelves and whatnot, and then I primed the walls and trim.

I spent the better part of Thanksgiving week working on the bathroom.  That's what normal people do on their vacations, right?

And finally, I got to the fun part:  painting the individual "tiles" to look like ceramic.  This was harder than I anticipated, because the paint I used changed color and got appreciably darker when it dried. So, I had to just paint fearlessly, and assume that most of the tiles would look fine.  I'll be adjusting a few of the weirder-looking tiles, but not this weekend.

I can't even guess how many hours I worked on this project over the last two weeks.  I've listened to more history podcasts than you could possibly imagine. I need a break.  A break from my vacation.

I can finally envision the end of this project.  There's still one huge (and really hateful) thing that needs addressing, but we'll deal with that anon.


Theresa Cheek said...

This still amazes me..also, did you use a drone to get that overhead shot? :) I live in a house built in the 50's and there is always something that can be improved.

ellen kirkendall said...

There's nothing worse than bathroom renovation. We took ours down to the studs and used a portapotty in the back yard. We had a hurricane during the reno and I can't tell you how much fun it was to go outside in the dark to the "Bouse House" hoping a tree would not fall on me. That's a really nice bathtub!


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