Showing posts with label plaster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plaster. Show all posts

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.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I guess you could say I'm a fan

Since we're preparing to install insulation and upgrading our electrical, and blah blah blah, I asked our contractor to sell me one of those super quiet super fans that Panasonic makes. He told me it would be cheaper to just have my electrician install it, BUT! I suspect he knew that the plaster would end up cracking and that's why he gave me this advice.

So yeah, the plaster cracked when we were cutting a bigger hole for the new fan. It wasn't even our fault; this was one of those weird places where there were short bits of lathe left and when we tried to cut through them everything crumbled.

So I watched some videos on YouTube about patching plaster and headed to Home Depot for supplies. There was a column of hot air coming down from the attic so I wanted to get it patched as soon as possible. I used the wrong kind of screws to connect the wire mesh to the ceiling but it seemed to work okay.

Oddly, my plaster job didn't look as smooth and beautiful as the guy's on YouTube. Of course, we have a weird sanded texture on the ceiling that I was never going to match. I'm thinking about having a pro skim coat the entire bathroom, since I did such a poor job patching when I first worked on it.

Shitty patch job aside, this fan is awesome. It's hard to tell that it's on, especially if air is blowing through the register. Our old fan sounded like a jet engine and we had it rigged up with drinking straws around the edges so it wouldn't rattle so badly. Really.

The bathroom mirror no longer fogs up when we shower, it pulls steam out so well. The window does fog up but it clears so much faster than before.

They have a whole line of super fancy fans, some of which have motion detectors incorporated (!!!) and I think there's even one that murmurs you look nice today when you turn it on. Highly recommended.