January 14, 2011

A Bathroom Facelift – Part II

Now for the game plan! 
We had previously replaced the brass doorknobs around our house with oil-rubbed bronze ones.  But we cheaped out on buying ORB hinges. Instead I took the door down, removed the hardware and spray painted the still-brass hinges to match the doorknob.  This turned out to be a bigger hassle than it was worth.  Just buy the ORB hinges Smile
I found the extra teal paint in the garage.  It had been frozen a few times – we have a really cozy garage -  but Home Depot (HD) shook it up and gave it a clean bill of health.  Then I bought some semi gloss bright white trim paint from Ace.   I also splurged on one of those fancy-schmancy Purdy angled paint brushes.  I armed myself with the vacuum, (or I could’ve had vent crud falling in my face as I took it down…..no thanks!) and Goo Gone and I got after it.
First, I removed the price tag residue that was still on the light fixture.  (The light fixture which was here when we moved in…)
 I heart Goo Gone







And vacuumed out the vent crud:
Nice and clean!Oops, spoiler alert - you can see the pretty new ceiling too!

These vents come down very easily.  Just tug gently on two sides, straight down.  It will pop down about 3-4 inches (watch for falling crud!), enough for you to get in there and squeeze the wires enough for them to slide down through their slots.  The mechanism is kind of a  springy wishbone on each side that fits into two slots. Then take it to a sink or a hose and rinse away.
Then I tackled a second coat of paint on the walls.  No problem.  Sayonara salmon!  And because I couldn’t find any solution for the ceiling that wouldn’t blend that beautiful crown right into it, I opted to slap some teal on the ceiling too.  And I love how it turned out! 
Then, I got to work on the trim.  I’m sure everyone but me knows this already, but trim is way harder to paint than it looks, even with a high quality brush.  Baseboard is no problem, especially in the bathroom (I hope nobody spends much time at baseboard level in the bathroom).  But the casing and jamb around the door, and the door itself, were challenges to keep the brush strokes from showing.  AND even though I was painting over a creamy white with pure white, I was surprised that it took 2 coats and probably should’ve taken 3. 
The cream looked very yellowish next to the bright, clean white.  And to make it just a little harder on myself (sigh) I decided I needed to work on my cutting in skills.  I think I did ok.  But I still wasn’t happy with it and ended up caulking around the whole top of the baseboards, and the top and bottom of the crown.  The trick to this was to tape the wall before caulking.  That way, you can smooth the excess away with your finger without getting white caulk all over your freshly painted walls.
This was a serious introduction to caulking for me.  STEEP learning curve!!!  I’m still finding little white spots of caulk around the kitchen.  (Like a little kid, I swear I didn’t touch anything and yet it got everywhere!)  Here’s what worked for me and what didn’t:
  1. The caulking gun has a little hole where you can cut the tip of the caulking tube off.  Use this.  It’s much easier than kitchen scissors.
  2. Use LOTS of blue painters tape.  Otherwise you’ll smear caulk all up onto your beautiful walls.   It’s expensive stuff and I blink a few times every time I have to buy more of it, but have you ever tried plain masking tape as a cheaper alternative?  Does.not.work. (Pulls your paint off the walls.)  Bite the bullet for real painter’s tape and you’ll be glad you did.
  3. When you have to put the caulk down and come back to it later, wrap a wet paper towel around the tip, and then wrap that in plastic wrap.  Digging out a plug of caulk after setting it down for a minute got to be pretty tedious.
  4. You know how you see guys on tv using a wet sponge or wet paper towel to wipe away excess caulk?  Yeah….this didn’t work AT ALL for me.  Caulk is not water soluble (um, probably something else I should’ve just KNOWN before it rudely dawned on me later) and anytime I tried a wet anything on it, nothing happened except a big fat (sticky too) smear.  So I used my finger only to smooth the bead, and then I wiped the excess on a DRY paper towel.  I went through about 2 rolls of paper towels, which I hated because it seemed so wasteful, but it was the only thing that got the caulk off of my skin so I could keep on smoothing.
  5. Mineral spirits. Are. NASTY.  Never had to deal with this stuff before.  A little goes a long, long way.  Dab a little on a paper towel to clean your tools.  Don’t dump it down the drain – not even a tiny bit.  Um.  Yeah.  (Even though the bottle doesn’t say anything about how to dispose of it, just trust me on this one and use your trusty friend Google to find out what you have to do with it in your area.)
And when I was all done (did I mention I spilled half a quart of white paint on the laminate floor?  And it wiped up like a dream?  Laminate flooring will have a special place in my heart forever.)   It looked like this:
 Hallelujah! Much better though the trim looks gray-er here than the crown Uniform trim no flash
The decor in this room is a different story.  To be shared later :D
In the meantime, it’s just amazing how nice everything looks without scuffs, dings, and yellowing paint Smile

2 comments:

  1. Love the color! I used one very similar in our bedroom, but still haven't painted the trim.

    Glad for your tips on caulking. I have some to do in my bathroom, and I've never caulked before.

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  2. New to your blog, just browsing around. It sounds like you had quite a time with your caulk. Did you use paintable caulk? It's at HD in a white tube. It cleans up with water very easily, and if you accidentally get it somewhere where you don't want it, you can paint over it.

    Beautiful bathroom!

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