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Medicine Cabinet and Vanity, Before and After

Note: this is an old draft I meant to post. Whoops.

Depressing. That’s the only word that really fits this decorating “scheme.”

What you are looking at is a painted over medicine cabinet and fan cover, and a vanity with the same prone-to-lime-crust taps as the bath. Oh, and check out that vinyl base trim. It was painted over, as well.

One more:

That light fixture used to be white, I believe, but over time it became sort of a dusty mustard color. GREAT for putting make up on. And the medicine cabinet doesn’t look dated at all. There were black stains coming through the mirror, which was glued onto the wall. I guess people didn’t believe in drywall anchors.

Vanity and all, after:

Brand new cabinet, vanity, mirror, and light! I resused the towel holder and toilet roll holder.

Vent, during:

Even though there wasn’t a true “before” picture of the vent, I’ve included the after because this little thing was a bitch to install. I had to draw a plan. Srsly. It’s sitting pretty now, and it vents pretty well.

Vent, after:

The finish on the walls really pleased me. So smooth…so not covered in 6 layers of paint…

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Bathroom Floor, Before and After

Note: Even though I sold the shithole old place, I still have drafts I meant to publish before life got hectic. Here’s one.

Most of the pictures regarding the bathroom are mostly of the, “in progress” sort, along with some after shots. So I thought I’d compose a whole “before, during, and after” series to really convey the amount of change the bathroom has gone through. Because it’s SO MUCH CHANGE. Then I’ll do another post of before, during, and after shots of yours truly so you can see how I changed from an optimistic, happy person to the angry and suspicious twat drizzle that is now posting home renovation screeds for your reading pleasure.

Bathroom floor, before:

That’s not a golden glow about the bathroom, it’s the urine-colored mist of hate and venom that my brain produced whenever I had to look at this ugly ass, decaying, jagged edged peel and stick tile. I call the pattern, “Barf Strata,” because it looks like so many layers of old vomit.

Bathroom floor, during:

I went over the entire nightmarish process of ripping out the old floor and putting in the new here. Sometimes I go back and read it just to remind myself that it really happened, and it’s not a particularly vivid stess dream.

Bathroom floor, after:

And then Handel’s “Messiah,” played every time I look at this floor.

A Bathtub I’d Actually Bathe In!

Hey all! Sorry for the longer than usual absence, I have been busy cleaning the house (new rule, BOYFRIEND. No more cleaning tools in the kitchen unless you are also going to stay and scrub the sink and floor), and doing little odds and ends that had been put off for too long. Stuff like ignoring my broken dishwasher and the camera. I also took a whole weekend to celebrate Jeff’s birthday (and do some rad antique shopping with girlfriends). It’s kind of how I thought more of my summer vacation from school would be like, rather than the willing slavery I seemed to have put myself in over the past couple months. Yeah, only a little bitter.

So, my bathtub had definitely seen better days. And recently, it had seen much better days. We maybe were kind of  using it as a trashcan for a while. I mean, it was crap even before I started tossing nails and broken tiles in it, but after everything else, it was like, some sort of Super Crap.

Seriously, look at this. Sorry for the phone pictures, but I think the grainieness really captures how fuck ugly this thing was.

Pitted, stained, highly reminiscent of an elderly dock whore’s dual entries of income. I’m talking about her pooper and vajay.

Oh yeah…it almost looks like that drain is festering. It’s like, Lovecraft had a tub like this and it inspired his vision of Tsathoggua. I’m saying it was unclean in every sense of the word.

Note: I never, ever have taken a bath the entire time I’ve lived here. Looking at it now, I kind of wish I’d been wearing shower sandals as well.

The first company I sent the pictures to for a quote quoted me $700 to reglaze everything and caulk up the tub. I laughed and was like, oh yeah? What a coincidence, I also like $700! No.

The second company came in at a much more reasonable $485 for the exact same thing and I couldn’t be happier:

It fucking sparkles! And it was $35 less than quoted because the drain cover they use didn’t fit. NATURALLY. No big, I bought a new overflow for like $12 and that was that.

You wanna know the irony? Now the tub is so clean looking I don’t want to take a bath in it.

Painting Cabinets

This is an old, old project from back when I first bought my condo. My flickr account tells me this picture was taken sometime in the fall of 2008.

Before:

Brown, greasy, dark. Three words that describe me in high school, and these cabinets. I think they sealed the m using maple syrup. I couldn’t complain too much, since my options for buying a place were either crackhouses, or slightly more expensive whore houses. Still, it seemed to me that it was quite a shame that the rather cool looking brick wall was blending in with such gnarly, dated cabinets. And the “wood” countertops weren’t helping the overall effect, either. It looked like a kitchen in some serial killer’s hunting cabin. All that was missing were suspicious rust-colored stains and bits of hair caught on the splinters. I was pretty sure I’d find a dead hooker in the dishwasher. Because that’s my understanding of where murderers keep their victims/trophies.

You guys, I seriously love paint (when it’s done right. Not like how the previous owners, aka, Satan’s Handymen, painted over everything.). I love it. It makes so many bad things go away.

I removed the doors, sanded everything enough to give the primer something to grip onto, primed with 2 coats, and painted with 2 coats of special cabinet paint. I’m pretty sure you could get away with using normal paint, as long as you get a brand with good adhesion qualities. Myself, if I see something marketed with a specific purpose, that’s what I use. Will I wash my hands with water, or with fancy ass Hand Washing Water? You guess.

I used a roller brush to achieve a smooth finish, and a regular brush to get into the angles. 2 days later, I had this:

Fresh and clean! No dead hookers!

 So much better. My future plans for the kitchen include new countertops, a new paint job, some sort of new floor treatment, and a nicer light fixture. But, uh, not anytime soon. Mainly because I, and my bank account, might be scarred for life by the bathroom, and the dishwasher decided to break down the other night and will likely need to be replaced. Sigh.

Oh, a few other updates since this picture was taken are new faceplates for the switches and outlets, and a new fan cover (the old one was painted over [naturally] and caked in grease). I also fixed up the fridge, more on that soon.

Of course you all know this is a procrastination post while I finish the trim that I keep saying I will finish but lo, it is not finished.

A new fan, only slightly hitchy!

The fan I used to have in the living room was a nondescript (so nondescript I actually don’t have a picture of it) white fan without a light. So for 3 years now, my light sources have been the dining room light, or this glaring task light that is good for blinding people during interrogations. I knew I needed a fan with a light fixture in it, and behold, now I have one.

Excuse the lens flare, this was taken at about 10:30 at night because the extremely clear instructions and highly detailed schematic had me working on this for 3 and a half hours. Like, I couldn’t figure out how the blades went in and I totally had to text Jeff to let him know how developmentally challenged the fan is, only to realize that maybe I shouldn’t be pointing my fingers at the fan. Now I point two thumbs at myself.

And that white thing by the TV is a door. You know, just cuz it’s cool to have a door propped up next to the TV.

Of course, nothing can be perfect ever, so in addition to the new fan, I have a new little project to do someday.

Yay, another too-large hole in the ceiling! And a black and white Photoshop effect because this picture came out blue and I’m too lazy to do such intense things as, I dunno, snap another picture.

And now that I’m sitting in my living room with all the lights off but the one in the fan, I realize that it’s not so much a “see clearly” light, as it is a, “bow chicka wow wow,” mood light. Thanks to the dimmer in the remote, I can go from, “are you cute? Eh, I can’t see anyway,” to “Hey, I could read large print books, if I wanted to.”

I’m still keeping the task light just in case anyone has information I need and they’re not quite willing yet to give it up.

We’ve gone a long, long way together.

I lived in this for like ever.

 

New pictures! And a lot of works I did.

I have just been really busy. Finishing up the little odds and ends in the bathroom involves a lot of time working on numerous Pains in My Ass. Pains that have to be done and redone, so it’s like, ass pain SQUARED. And y’all, I am so, so tired. I am worn down to the soul. I got in a fight with a miter kit last night. A real fight, with angry accusations and then the silent treatment. And I think the miter kit won.

Warning: this is a long post because I did a lot of work in one week (being a shitty craftsman is a full time job, yo). It’s also full of complaining and not too much funny because I’m nearing the end of this bullshit and my sense of humor is almost completely gone. This bathroom has changed who I am, profoundly

First, I fixed the jacked up paint around the ceiling. I achieved this by sticking painters tape about 1/4 inch below the ceiling line, priming it with 3 coats, and then painting. When I took the paint off, naturally, I saw that the paint had bled through and that meant ANOTHER round of maneuvering around the bathroom on a tall ladder while avoiding the hot like fire work lamp in the middle of the room. I used a Crayola craft brush, I shit you not. But it worked, and now the ceiling and walls look kind of respectable and slightly less like an impressionist painting. Moral of this story: use painters tape 1/4 inch from the ceiling the first time around. This will come in handy when I NEVER PAINT AGAIN FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Are you happy now, paint? ARE YOU? FUCKING HAPPY?

I also sealed the grout on both the floor and the walls. The walls weren’t so bad, since the sealer came in a little applicator. Except, I have no sense and I left the drips of sealer on the walls like they would just disappear or something. HAHAHA. Note: I am not really laughing. This wasn’t too bad to recover from, however, it just took a bottle of Soft Scrub and an hour or so to remove. It was still tiring, because I had to curse like a sailor with Tourettes the entire time. You don’t realize how much energy that really takes, man.

Yay, no more streaks!

Sealing the floor…was horrible. I think it took me about 3 hours, if not more. So, in my mind, white grout + heavy traffic area = FUTURE CLEANING INSANITY. Right? So what could make more sense than sealing the grout with colored sealer? Well, let me tell you what they don’t tell you in the instructions or on the internet. The instructions tell you to drop a “bead” in the center and work it around with a toothbrush, being careful not to let it pool on the tile. Now imagine yourself pouring out an open bottle of Elmer’s glue, with no applicator tip, onto a seam about 1/8 of an inch thick. I’m saying it is not easy. So after doing that for a bit, I decided that an easier method would be to pour some sealer in a dish (actually a Fage yogurt container lid, hooray for recycling!), dip my brush in it, and scrub it into the grout. Since the sealer goes all over the place no matter which way you apply it, go the smarter route and avoid trying to drip the shit directly where it needs to go.

Here’s where sealing the floor becomes a nightmare. So that sealer that gets everywhere? You have to wipe it up. So I armed myself with a sponge, a bucket of water, and a roll of paper towels. The sealer dried like, almost the second I applied it, so I had to scrub. And scrub. And scrub some more. I’m actually not really “done” with this, but I figure when I go through and deep clean one more time I’ll take care the little splotches that are stuck here and there. For now, having spent 3+ hours on grout sealing is enough for me. If I could do it all over again, I would have used tinted grout to begin with, and a clear sealer to finish. Once more, this will come in handy NEVER AGAIN.

All that work for something that's mostly covered by a fucking rug. WHERE IS JUSTICE?

Since then, it’s all kind of been a blur. Highlights and brief commentary:

Super cleaned bathtub and installed shower fixtures: The tub really needed a cleaning, since it’s been used as a trashcan for about a month. The shower fixtures weren’t too much of a pain to install, except for the slip on faucet that kept dripping. Plumbers putty AND tape put an end to that drip, and left me feeling like a genius.

I love you, showerhead, and your neat little tile hole you spring from.

Installed medicine cabinet: Required a trip to the big orange store for heavy duty (75 pound) drywall anchors and screws. The doors will need to be futzed with later, but it’s up and I’ve been hitting my head on it a lot. Jeff didn’t like how I was doing the doors, so I laid on the floor and twitched for a while and he did it himself.

Installed light fixture: Had to call Jeff to ask him which color wires to use since the way I installed it had the fan turning on instead of the light. I know, hilarity. He had been napping, so it was basically us repeating the colors of the wires over and over again for 20 minutes until he regained enough consciousness to tell me to attach the black wires to the red ones.  It works now.

Installed the vanity: This is actually kind of partially done. Everything is in, sink, taps, etc., however the drain is slow and prone to leaking when the taps are on full blast. I’m meditating on what to do about this problem. By, “meditating,” I mean, “ignoring.”

Installed mirror: I totally HAD a mirror, you guys, but it ended up looking rather stupid in the bathroom. So I bought a new one. It went up without a hitch which is kind of miraculous given how things go around here.

Installed the towel rack: GOD, IKEA, WHY DO YOU SUCK SO MUCH. Basically, everything in this towel rack is adjustable and had to be readjusted to install. I do not love it, but it holds the towel up and matches the shower rod which brings me to…

Shower rod installation: Spring loaded = SATAN’S POGO STICK. It’s up. I no longer care about it.

And finally, installing the trim: SOMEONE cut the trim for the door wrong twice, then maybe I bought the wrong kind of trim a few times, then SOMEONE told me to buy the wrong trim, then I finally bought the right trim and cut it up and installed it. That’s when I got in the fight with the miter kit. I am debating putting the trim around the tub in before the refinisher comes, or waiting until the tub is sprayed.

It is a real room now, guys. I shower in it and everything.

Essentially, the only things left to complete now are the baseboards (quarter rounds and painting), fixing the plumbing, and getting the tub refinished. Oh, the refinisher wants $700. Incidentally, I also want $700, which means I will probably not go with this first quote. And cleaning. Tons of cleaning. I have vacuumed maybe 300 pounds of dust and debris, and gone through a box of Swiffer. And there’s still plenty of dust around.

I need sleep.