Our DIY Project

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Over spring break, Nate and I took on the upstairs bathroom.  We’ve been wanting to update it for quite sometime, but as always…too scared to get started.  With the help of Google, Nate has figured out how to do many projects now and has built up his confidence and said, “Lets do this!”  Once you take that first step forward, there’s no turning back.

 Day 1… Nate began with taking off the shower doors.  We’ve decided to put in a shower curtain to eliminate standing water in the doors, which is creating the mold and rust.  He then moved on to cleaning the bathtub and removing all the mold, caulking, and cleaning the shower head which has hard water stains.  That took him the entire day, but a huge improvement over what we had.  I didn’t even take a a picture of how gross the tub was.  No one needs to see that.    Here’s a before and after.  The shower rod will be our last thing that goes up.

While he was busy doing that, I went out shopping for a shower curtain (I get to do the fun stuff).  I’ve decided to paint the walls a bright white, so I wanted to get a fun shower curtain to bring in some color.  I didn’t know exactly what that was going to be, but I figured whatever jumped out at me, will be the choice.  I have never bought a shower curtain before, but I found out that they are not that expensive, so I will probably get another one and can always switch them out while one is being washed.    The one I chose set the tone for the bathroom.  These colors made me feel relaxed, like being at the beach, so I will try and continue using these colors throughout.   I found a rug, now I need some towels to accent with.   Once everything is done, I will look at some art to hang on the wall.

Day 2… was way more work and when we finished our day, we felt like we didn’t accomplish much, but in fact, we had.  It was the non-fun day.  haha.   I started the morning off by taping the entire bathroom and getting it ready for painting.  With a cup of coffee in hand, Nate approaches and asks…”Are you sure you want to remove the mirror?”  Uh-oh…that’s never a good statement when he asks me that.  Translation…this is going to be a lot of work and I’m not sure how to do it.  I responded with a definite “Yes!” (don’t hate me Nate) but my reasoning was that I want a new look in here and that mirror is dated.  Off he went to Google “how to take a large mirror off a wall without it breaking.”

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getting the measurements

This by far, was going to be our scariest task of the project.  Both of us worried that this mirror will smash into pieces, thus leaving a monster mess in the bathroom.   Nate read that if you put Duct tape all over the mirror before taking it down, it can reinforce it and prevent breakage.  Okay, we will definitely give this a try…it can’t hurt right?  So we taped the crap out of it, just to make sure.  ha!

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Now it was time to remove it from the wall.  Before we did that…a quick prayer and fingers crossed.  We started to pull it away from the brackets on the wall and we discovered that it still stayed put.  Another “oh-oh”.  We found that it was glued to the stinking wall!  This was not good and Nate was back on Google.  We watched a video on using a shim to wedge under the mirror to help loosen it.  Okay, we have no shim!    Then Nate remember another video that he saw and the guy used a wire.  Strike two…we have no wire!  He then went and got one of his guitar strings that he bought for his guitar and we used that.  It was similar to wire and he was willing to give it up for the sake of the mirror.   I held on to one end of the wire with a needle-nose pliers at of the mirror, while Nate had the other end on the top.  We dragged and pulled that sucker from one end of the mirror to the middle and we felt some disconnect happening.  We went back to manually pulling it off the wall and viola, the guitar string did the job!  Now we were back to praying and fingers crossed again as we gently tugged it from the wall.  Success was ours this time and it was all in one piece.  We carried it out onto a tarp on the lawn, where Nate could have some guy fun and smash it with a brick.  We had to do this because it wouldn’t fit into the truck to carry it to the dump.  It was a good stress reliever anyhow.   I sure let out a huge breath after that was all over with.

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Man with brick…look out!

Neither one of us looked at the wall once the mirror was down until we went back inside.  We discovered the glue, and a bunch of indents, where the wall tore apart from the mirror coming down.  Ugh!   More work ahead that we weren’t anticipating.  Guess where Nate headed?  yep, down to Google “how to repair a wall.”  He found that he needed to buy some “mud” paste to patch up the holes, so a run to Home Depot was needed and he could swing by the dump and get rid of the broken mirror and shower doors.   While he did that, I was able to do all the trim around the bathroom.

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At least they wrote the mirror dimensions.

That was all we could manage for day two.  We were wiped out and mentally drained.  Nate did a trial on filling the “mud” needed to repair the wall.  He found that he would need to add another coat tomorrow because it was so deep and two layers were needed to fill it all in.  Layer one needed time to dry and we needed a glass of wine and some dinner.

Day 3…We both woke up hopeful that we’d have much success today and see some progress.  I got started and painted the first coat and then Nate did the hard part, by going up into the skylight and painting that.  He called it “the chute” cause it was so narrow.  ha!

He actually saw birds on our roof while he was up there painting.  He was one with nature~

We were both excited once that first coat was on.  What a difference we were seeing already.  So much brighter and it really helped that the sun was shining in.  Yay, we were feeling good about our color decision.

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Nate thought I should be in my own blog.

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A little preview.

Nate had one last task before his day was done.  He needed to put grout into the tiles in the shower area.  Again, he Googled how to do this and thought…this shouldn’t be too bad.  Famous last words.  This turned out to be his worse project so far.

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Grout can make you grumpy~

Nothing went like it did in the videos and he ended up finding his own technique on how to grout your tiles.  Luckily, he was able to laugh about it in the end (after a few choice words were spoken earlier) and it appears to look great.  We will find out if it worked…once we turn the water back on in a couple days.  Fingers crossed.

Day 4…got up today and we both had the attitude that we’ve had enough of this DIY stuff. We just want to be done now.  We were getting tired of looking at the mess and I was feeling like the entire house was getting dirty.

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Climbing over ladders to get to bed…enough already!

Nate got an early start by painting that last bit of wall where the mirror was because it would requite two coats, so we have more dry time on our hands again.  While he worked on that, I headed off to the grocery store so that we can eat this coming up week.  I was pleasantly surprised when I returned and the wall was done.  It looked great and all his sanding & mudding paid off.  It’s patched up and looks good as new.  Once it dried, we were ready to hang the new mirrors.  Kelly came home from rehearsal around that time, so she helped Nate so that I could have one surprise moment with my new mirrors.  I absolutely love them!

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A fresh updated look.

Next up, the shower rod and curtain.  This was super simple and it just popped right up and I threaded the curtain and we were good to go.  Finally, one easy task that worked like it was suppose to.  ha!  It is a nice pop of color that adds to the bathroom.  I have bought matching green and blue towels to accessories and a wonderful long blue rug to hide as much of the ugly floor tiles as possible.  Flooring will be replaced in phase two.  For now, it will have to do.   I need to visit a few stores and find a piece of colorful art to hang on the wall and a new light fixture has been ordered and is coming this week.  Can’t wait to get that up and be rid of our 80’s lightbulb fixture.  ha~

So here is our before and after picture…

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That ends our first big DIY project and we feel pretty good about it.  We are looking forward to a quiet, relaxing Sunday and no tools, paint, or tape will be needed.

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Cheers to Google!

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7 comments

  1. I’m thinking Megan had more fun on her Spring Break? Bathroom looks good but all those projects seem easier before you start. Congrats on a job well done.

  2. Very Good!!..Nate, we have this idea for OUR bathroom! After you google ” Taking out cast-iron tub and replace with shower”, What are you doing around August-September?….

  3. Looks great ,all that hard work paid off very stylish! Can’t believe you didn’t join in with the brick throwing a little therapy is good for all.

  4. Wow, what a project!!!! Love your color scheme. First thing we did when we moved into this condo was to take the doors off the bathtub. (Still wondering what to do with my Harvest Gold tub!!!)

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