Monday, July 28, 2014

And now my greatest source of shame

There's one area of the house I never photograph because it's so awful. I don't ever want guests to see it, which means it's always the first place they peek.


Our bathtub looks like someone was murdered in it, after which time they cooked up a batch of meth. Or maybe the meth came first, but then something definitely died in here. I tried bleach, vinegar, scrubbing bubbles, Oxyclean, you name it. Ironically, it's harsh cleansers that cause or intensify those discolorations. You live, you learn. (Can you spot all the Alanis Morissette song titles in that paragraph?)

Our grout is cracked and missing in places and looks awful. We have both that weird pink bacteria AND black mildew. Greg flew to Germany for a two-week business trip this spring, so I decided to finally do something about it (that wasn't a full on remodel).


I had that f*cker refinished. Take that, meth corpse! Then I poured myself a glass of wine, put that one Neko Case song on repeat, and went at the grout with Q-tips and hydrogen peroxide. Then I patched the missing grout in places. It still looks pretty terrible but it's MUCH better.


The tub didn't turn out perfectly. There are tiny holes where bubbles formed in the finish and there's what they call a "sag" where it looks like the paint dripped.


I called the guy at Premier Glaze and asked if this was normal or something he wanted to fix? He came out to see the results and declared, "I want to redo this for you." So that's still in our future. But our bathroom no longer looks like a crime scene! It just looks like a pretty normal bathroom with mauve shower tile from the 80's.

Then, since I wasn't having enough fun showering at the gym, I had the walls replastered. Before, we had a giant hole in the wall where the previous owner had removed the medicine cabinet. I kept the hole, hidden behind the mirror, just in case I wanted to install a new medicine cabinet later. It's been five years, so I'm guessing that cabinet ain't going to happen.


The wall was terribly rutted and poorly patched (by me!)


I used John Macnab and the process took two days.



The finish is SO DREAMY. The walls look beautiful. I wish I'd had him replaster all the walls instead of just these two.

Last fall when Anna helped me pick out a color for the living room she tackled the challenge that is this room. The original purple and yellow tile is easy but those awful pink shower tiles throw everything out of whack. Anna ended up finding a color (BM Hampshire Taupe) that matches the grout in the purple and yellow tile. Then she picked out a metallic (Ralph Lauren York Purple) for the wall over the shower. 

The main color initially went on the color of a flesh colored crayon and I totally panicked. Then I decided to just go for it because hey, I can always repaint. And you know what? I love it. It's the perfect taupe-gray with just a touch of purple.



I know what you're thinking: "That looks like the same color." Greg couldn't even tell that I had painted it a different color, but look:



We refer to this as "the butt painting"

The new tub finish cleans up beautifully using Scrubbing Bubbles and a soft sponge. Did I mention it only cost $355 to refinish? Why didn't I do this earlier?

And some day I will have the money to hire either Tommy from This Old House or Chris and Meryl to retile the shower and there will be great rejoicing.

And just to recap, when I moved in:


And then:


And now.


Yay!

34 comments:

  1. You have skills, my friend. Many many skills. I may hire you.

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  2. I think you did a great job making the best of what you inherited with the house. Bathrooms (and kitchens) pose the most expensive challenges. I had similar problems with a bathtub in a rental apartment and had it refinished (with similar results, btw) because it gave me the creeps every time I showered. And our first house had that same mauve tile, which I never did convince my husband we should "invest" in replacing.

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  3. We should start a "survivors of mauve tile" group. The 80s were so full of bad ideas.

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  4. Looks great! I agree that picking paint to work with existing tile colors is always difficult - especially when lighting is so variable in the room (I'm guessing the toilet nook is always in shadows).
    Hope the floor tile is in good enough shape to keep - it looks rather unique! Chris & Meryl can tile a bathroom like nobody else - although they are gluttons for punishment - their attention to detail is amazing.
    I would have been afraid to even question the quality of the tub refinishing - so happy for you that he looked at it and said it needed to be redone.

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  5. The floor tile is in great shape. I hope to keep that as long as possible, as it's original to the house. Someone reminded me recently that it's not whether everything goes perfectly on a construction job, but rather how they fix mistakes (which always happen). I was really upset initially and then thought, "Okay just call him as see if it's the quality he wants to stand by." Whew!

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  6. I just avoid our bathrooms as much as possible. You can see how that might be a problem. This is pretty great.

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  7. Isn't it time the outhouse had a resurgence in popularity?

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  8. I thought your bathroom looked gorgeous when I visited , but I didn't peek at the crime scene.

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  9. Thank you for that (not looking AND your compliments). :)

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  10. You're so practical Heather, both in the garden and home! I like the subtle and elegant changes, and your original floor tiles too.

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  11. Wow! It's gorgeous! Reminds me that we need to call John to fix our plaster. I luv luv luv the floor tile!

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  12. Thanks! I love that tile too.

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  13. Thanks! I love the floor tile too. The shower tile, not so much.

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  14. Bravo. And kudos to you for your bravery in showing the before pic of the tub. You are truly devoted to your craft to put that out there for all eternity.
    Our entire house was painted by the sellers in that color you so Euro-centrically call flesh, without the dusky purple of yours to make it all right. It makes me gag a little bit. I'm thinking granny smith kitchen, warm yellow livingroom, slate blue master bedroom. As soon as I'm caught up in the garden, or until monsoon season hits, whichever comes first.

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  15. I keep it real! All of the rooms in this house were painted two different colors. I'll never understand it. Your color choices sound delicious.

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  16. I would like to hire you for grout cleaning. I'll even include a glass of wine.

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  17. You need some chartreuse to balance all that purple...oh wait, this is your bathroom, not your garden. Well done! I hope the guy does show up to fix the tub drips. That's not acceptable.

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  18. I think it looks great! :o) Very smart to refinish the tub instead of replacing it. I once lived in a house built in 1895 that had bright Tweety bird yellow paneling in the back stairwell. It was migraine inducing. One day in the middle of winter I just started ripping it all off and throwing it out the back door. Maybe the mafia or drug lords were the criminals at your house. There might be money buried somewhere. Or a body.

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  19. looks fabulous, darlink. also, baking soda added to that peroxide is excellent for grout scrubbing...

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  20. Oh god, that made me laugh really hard!

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  21. Every time I dig in the backyard I worry about finding a body. I have found so much weird stuff back there.

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  22. Well done Heather!!! I have retiled around a tub, it isn't too hard if you have cement board behind the tiles. (if not then you need to replace with that...waterproof) My first error was not redoing ALL the tile. Old house = different sized tiles than what is available now. Think the old ones were 4.25 x4.25 and the new ones were 4 x 4. (or something like that...this was over ten years ago.)

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  23. That darn bathroom was one of the trickiest spaces I've ever had to deal with. I'm so glad you had faith and went for it! When that first coat went on, even I doubted myself a little, so I'm extra happy it worked out. Thanks for the challenge - I think it looks great! Maybe I can come over and take a picture some time?

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  24. You can do anything you want in our bathroom. :)

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  25. Oh dear, she knoweth not what she is saying....

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  26. I love the subtle redo. Are you happy enough with the tub refinisher to want to share his name? Sometime in the hopefully near future, we will be recoating our main bath for the second time. I ruined ours because the sellers didn't tell us it was refinished. Good to know how properly to care for it, if and when.

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  27. I used Premier Glaze: http://www.premierglaze.com

    What kind of refinishing did you use that ruined it? I know they have to treat it differently if it's been refinished before but I don't know what all that entails . . .

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  28. You, pal are one impressive person! I would love to have you attack our house!

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