Bathroom blitz

Dude.

Duuuuude.

I had a busy weekend last weekend.

It wasn’t supposed to have been.

But it became as such thanks to this little guy…


Remember our fugly master coffin bathroom?  Well, I had this notion that I’d change out the hardware on the cabinets with some knobs that were gifted to us by Joey’s parents a while back.

So, I did.

And I liked them.

But… The stainless steel finish made the dingy almond paint on the cabinets look WAY yellow.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you know how adamant I was about de-yellowing the guest bath in our last house.

Samesies.

And that was all it took. My previous proclamation that I’d accepted our ugly bathroom as is until we could afford a full gut renovation flew out the bathrooms nonexistent window.

And the whirlwind began.

Before I knew it, I had the side splashes torn off (much like I did here)…


…and I’d busted out a quart of Clark & Kensington paint in Rockaway Beach, that I’d been sitting on since our last house.


I painted swatches on all of the cabinetry (also above the toilet) and decided… Hey, it’s free, I like it.  Let’s do this.

Aaaand here’s where the decision-making turned south.  Or maybe where hindsight was better than, um, presight.    I thought that painting the bathroom cabinets would be a good test run for our kitchen makeover since they were painted exactly the same. And it was.  BUT, I’d originally thought that stripping them of their poorly-applied beige paint was the ticket to the best possible finish.

So, I did that.

Ugh.

Now, I’ve stripped furniture before and it’s always time consuming (like here, here, and here).  But these cabinets were BEASTS.   The process was absolute misery.  Seriously.  Kathy Bates had nothing on these guys.   AND after all that work I didn’t even end up with as smooth of a finish as I’d hoped thanks to some stubborn paint chips that wouldn’t quit.  Once I started, I basically had to go all the way because it ended up looking like this for a while.

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And those chips were firmly attached.  And didn’t sand well since they were encased in waxy residue from the stripper.  All said and done, I worked for nearly two full days on stripping four cabinet doors and four drawer fronts… simply to get them back to a point where they’d be acceptable to paint again.  It took 4 applications of stripper, about half a gallon of mineral spirits, insane elbow grease, plus a healthy dose of sanding to get them smooth-ish and residue-free.  Given the final surface I was left with, I would’ve been better off priming and painting over the existing paint.

Thus, it was decided.  Oh.   It.  Was.  DECIDED.  There was no way in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks that I would be stripping the kitchen cabinets when the time came (…have I mentioned that there are FORTY FOUR doors and drawer fronts in there?).

Lesson learned.

I did, however, discover that the paint-riddled hinges were salvageable after a little time with some stripper (fresh! 😉 ) and a rinse in the sink.  That’ll be a nice money-saver for our kitchen reno (66 hinges!!).

The following day, after I finished stripping the cabinets, I primed them with Zinsser’s BIN shellac primer…

… followed by two coats of paint.


I have to say… The Clark & Kensington paint plus primer was pretty awesome.   It covered really well.

Once that was done, I took stock of the space.  And I had this sudden, unexplainable itch to paint the ceiling.    See, the walls were white and the ceilings were beige.  And it always bothered me.  And I was on a roll.  If you read this post, you know that I had a different color of white paint on hand that I’d always wanted to use for this space but hadn’t.  But it was a different shade of white than what was already on the walls. So, if I painted the ceiling, I’d also have to paint the walls again.


So, I did that.

Then, I caulked around the counters and mirror to make everything look more finished.

Did I mention that all of this happened in the span of three days?  Two full days of stripping plus one of painting. By the end, I was so ridiculously tired that as I was cleaning up, I wiped up a rogue drop of paint with a tissue.  Then, threw said tissue into the toilet.   Then, I stared at the toilet deciding how to proceed. Then, I flipped the light switch.   That’s right…. I was so exhausted that I forgot how to flush the toilet.  Once I realized what I’d done, I proceeded to bust out in inappropriate laughter every time I thought about it. (I’m laughing right.now) 🙂

So, as a refresher for where we started, here’s our master bath shortly after we moved in (peach walls and all)…

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And here’s where we’re at now.

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I love how the darker cabinets help the ugly 1970s purple marble fade away.  And they almost make the coffin-shower blend in more. Sort of.  Almost.

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I tried to add some “life” with a fake plant.  I seriously would LOVE to have real plants in here, but until we tackle a full reno of this room (which’ll include adding a solar tube), we have absolutely zero natural light in this space.   So, fake it is, unfortunately.

Anyways, onward…. here’s the “toilet room” just after we moved in…

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And now…

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Please excuse how yellow the glare is in that pic.   Like I discussed in this post, light bulbs make a huge difference.  I need to trade those babies out for cooler bulbs so that the proper colors are reflected.

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I decided to leave the doors off of the cabinetry above the toilet.  They always hit the light fixture anyways.  And, let’s face it… I wanted as few cabinet doors to strip as possible once the process got going. I really love the look of open shelving and this change just makes me jazz-hands happy.  I kept the styling simple with useful things that we’ll actually need…  towels, toilet paper, bars of soap.  Attractive function.  Totally my jam.

Next we’ll be changing out all the light switches from taupe to white.   I traded out the switch plates in the meantime, but we still need to tackle the switches.    I’ll also be deep cleaning the nasty floor grout.  I’ve been reading about how to do it with baking soda and vinegar, and I’m intrigued.  So, I may give that a whirl.   If that fails, there’s always grout paint.    In any case, I’m thrilled with the changes so far.   It actually took the space from the thorn in my side, to a cozier space that feels much more like us.  It’s just so much more in keeping with the other rooms of our home.   All in all, I only spent $31 (on stripper and switch plates) since I already had the hardware, paint and primer.   TOTALLY worth it.

So, what do y’all think?  SO much better right?   Have you ever had a project that started with something teeny, but then snowballed to a full-on makeover?? Spill!  I wanna hear your stories!

TDC Before and After

 

 

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“I’ve got nice legs.” – Our Nightstand

You guys.  I painted furniture.   And I’m here to admit.  It felt good.  Reeealllyyyyy. Good.

Ever since we moved into our house, we’ve been mainly focused on larger projects.  Taking care of major surfaces.   Correcting wrongs that needed to be righted.  Floors.   Walls.   Windows.  Front doors.   Pool resurfacing.  Rotted wall fixing.  Roof repair.  Basically, trying to set the stage so that we CAN decorate and do it right.  I mean, sure, some decor has crept in there, but it just hasn’t been the main focus yet in the way it was with our last house.  A new construction with no major issues… Thus, decor was really the ONLY focus then.   I feel like we’re getting slowly there, though.   Slowly.   And happily.   🙂

But… BUT… I painted furniture, y’all.

I feel like it’s been forever since I did that.

And it didn’t disappoint.

Ya see, I hit up a local antique mall last weekend and found this beaut of a nightstand…
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I’m sorry about this picture.  Somehow in my excitement to make over this badboy, this was the ONLY sad ‘before’ pic that I took.   Oopsie.   As you can see, I thought he would work well in the guest room to replace his dumpier predecessor.  His leggy profile made the space feel lighter which was totally my goal.

I have to say that I was so excited when I found him.   The antique mall that I purchased him from tends to be a bit  of a pricier one, but I thought I’d check it out anyways since it was close to home.   So, when I stumbled upon this little guy and a glance at his price tag revealed that he was only $29 (!!!), I pretty much sprinted to the cashier.   He was in need of some love, but sturdy.  A perfect find for me.

Now, when it comes to wood, many of you may know that I’m usually a purist.  Especially with antique furniture.  I like keeping wood-toned things wood to be true to the piece.  That is, unless the finish is damaged beyond repair or super ugly.   And in this case, the finish was uber fugly.  For real.    I’m sorry.  It just was.  The lines of the nightstand were retro.  The finish… dated.   It’s hard to tell from my blurry before picture, but it was a red mahogany tone.  But not good mahogany.  Fake, bright red mahogany.  And really, really glossy.  But, damaged in spots also.  Some scratches and chips. Wrinkling in the finish.  The whole chebang.  And it clashed with… well, pretty much every other wood tone I have in the house.

So, I decided to paint it. (Gasp! I KNOW!!!)

I gave it a light sanding with a fine grade sanding block, then wiped it down with some liquid deglosser to ensure a nice dull surface that would better accept paint…

I wiped it down with tack cloth (which decided to photobomb in the right-hand corner).  You’re welcome for that. 😉

Then, I gave it two thin and even coats of Valspar’s paint+primer semi-gloss in Ebony Field (leftover from when I painted the back door in our last house).

I sanded lightly with an extra fine sanding block between coats and wiped it down again with my BFF, tack cloth.  And then I let it cure for a few days before moving it.

Now, let’s move on to the brass accents and hardware.   I sort of worked on them throughout the process, so you’ll see some pics from before and after painting the table.  The knobs weren’t in the greatest shape…

That wasn’t just tarnish.   The brass coating seemed to have worn away with time.  Because of this, I doubted that I could rejuvenate them as is.  I wanted them to sort-of match the leg accents, although I knew it wouldn’t likely be a perfect match.  First, I tried spray painting them with some leftover Rustoleum Universal in Pure Gold…

But, the results when compared to the leg accents looked really plastic-y…

Not exactly what I was going for.

So, I decided to try a new product.   I’d read about Rub n’ Buff on several blogs and was intrigued.  Apparently, you simply rub it on to achieve a metallic sheen.  So, I ordered a tube on Amazon for just under $7…

The directions recommended rubbing a small amount onto your surface with a finger or a soft cloth.   So, I started with the legs.

Which is when I started talking to myself.

Which despite popular belief, means only good things.

“Holy WOW!!!”,

“Geez!  This stuff is amazeballs!”,

“Where have you been all my life??”.

All *may* have escaped my lips as I astoundedly rubbed the magical solution on.   This beautiful stuff covered imperfections almost instantaneously with just a tiny amount and gave a gorgeous metallic sheen that I’ve yet to find with paint.

Here’s a before…

And after…

I probably should’ve taped off the leg, but it’s nothing a little touch-up paint couldn’t cure.    That brass piece literally took me all of 15 seconds to do.   I completed all four legs and then treated the knobs as seen in this “after” shot…

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Metallic and lovely.

And what do ya know…. They ended up matching perfectly after all.  The knobs look a bit “rosy” here, but in person they’re definitely more of a gold.  I can’t attest to how well Rub n’ Buff wears, but I’ll keep y’all updated.  In any case, it was such a quick fix, that I’m sure I can handle re-treating the metal accents as needed.

And here’s the table in it’s entirety…

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I chose to simply accessorize with a cute lamp (found at Marshall’s a while back), some books, a shot of me and Lucas when he was only 18 hours old, and one of my easy mirrored planters (which are still rockin’ it, BTW).  This guy was in our bedroom atrium and wasn’t getting adequate light, so I moved him.  I’ll have an atrium update soon since I’ve been an accessorizing fool as of late.   Actually, I’ll have a lot of updates soon.  I’ve been a busy bee this weekend.  😉

Anyhoo, back to the point.  Here’s a view of the room from the doorway as it stands now…
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So, that’s my little painting project this week.   Like I said, I’ve got more in store including a few breakfast nook, living room and atrium updates as well as the results of moving our fence.  Joey and his dad are hard at it out there and it’s looking awesome.   So, have a great rest of your weekend!  Until next time…

*** For updated pics of this space, check out this (adding a new awesome $12 lamp) and this (creating DIY burlap wall art).***

TDC Before and After