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House Renovations: Part II – Front Bathroom

12 Mar 2010, Posted by EPoff in House Renovations
Bathtub Refinished
Front Bathroom Before

Front Bathroom Before

The front bathroom renovation didn’t involve any demolition, so it wasn’t as intense as some of the other projects.  The bathroom was one of the more pleasant rooms in the house to start.  We decided that we would not remove the yellowish tile that was in the shower and on half of the walls.  It was pretty neutral and we felt that removing the butterfly wallpaper and adding a complimentary color would help a lot.  We also decided that the peach sink and bathtub could be refinished to white and this would further help the color coordination of the room.

This room involved a ton of painting!  We started with the cabinets.  To lighten up the room, we sanded down the dark brown cabinets, primed and painted them white.  We removed the original hardware and later replaced them with new oil-rubbed bronze accents.

Originally, we had planned to remove the sink and cabinets, but the day we were going to rip them out, we realized that we would also be removing some of the wall tiles, and we knew that there was no way that we would ever be able to match those up, so we decided to keep it and paint the cabinets.So, after we painted all of the cabinets white, we took down the fluorescent boxed lights and replaced them with something a little more soothing.   The lights were the biggest pain in the room.

Painting the Cabinets

Painting the Cabinets

The original lights had no electrical box (fluorescents usually don’t) and were not centered where we needed the new light fixture to be.  And of course, there was a stud in the way.  Add to that, the bathroom is way at the front of the house and there is no crawl room in the attic over that area, so it was very difficult to get the wiring right.  What started as a project that should have taken a couple of hours, it took us almost a week to do!  (Sigh!)

The only thing that went right was ripping off the old wallpaper.  I had planned to paint over it after a serious ordeal with wallpaper at the old house.  I noticed a few spots where the wallpaper was coming off, so I decided to rip those parts off so it would be smooth to paint over.  To my surprise, the wallpaper ripped right off.  I was able to remove the wall paper with no tools or goop to loosen the glue in about thirty minutes!  Woohoo!  The yellowed butterflies were gone without the fuss.  After priming the walls, I decided to use Venetian Plaster to cover the walls.  I had never used the stuff before, but figured that I’d give it a try.

Venetian Plaster

Venetian Plaster

This is not a faux finish but rather a thick plaster-like substance you goop on your walls with a spreader.  It was actually easier than I thought it would be.  It took a lot of time to apply but it’s really fun and a bit artistic!  I think it turned out well and I like how it complimented the tile.  It’s hard to see in the pictures, but the tile had little specs of the same color throughout.

To finish off, I removed the swan shower door.  It was okay, but I’m not a fan of swans or shower doors.  When I removed it, I left it outside for our annual bulk item pickup and I felt so awful when our neighbor said he had the same shower door and that he loved it –oops!

Bathtub Refinished

I tried to refinish the tub and sink myself.  This was a big no-no!  Besides making me high as a kite, the kits they sell out the home improvement stores just aren’t up to the job.  After a failed attempt, I called in a pro – The TubMan, and in a day and a half he had the tub and sink looking like new.

It didn’t cost very much, so I should have just had a pro out from the start.  You live and learn.

  • tracy

    This is great, Liz! very helpful, informative and enjoyable reading! Thanks for posting/blogging/tweeting!

    • admin

      Thanks for checking this out during your crazy busy time. I wish you much luck with all of your renovation work to come!!

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