DIY: Bathroom Redo and Painting Tip

All of our main bathroom fixtures were a horrible powder blue. Yes, that’s right powder blue! I have hated it from day one for the last 14 years. Let me tell you, all blue toilet, sink, and tub really limit your painting and decor options. And now due to about 25 years of age they were really wearing out. Much of the glaze had worn off from the inside of the tub making it ugly and dull and hard to clean stains. The walls of the shower were tile and had been repaired multiple times and really just needed to be completely removed or redone. Every time I cleaned the sink and counter little blue chips of the sink was starting to flake off.

So finally, over the course of the last couple of months we have been gradually redoing our bathroom. Jon replaced the toilet and sink/cabinet a couple of months ago. Jon started with the toilet as it was just the easiest part of the process. Then a few days later, the sink was a particular challenge as the nook it sets in is not any standard size and we refused to pay custom cabinet and counter top prices. But with some special cutting into the sheet rock and 2 sink/counter tops later it was in and looked good. Tip: If the counter top is a tight fit, the bubble in the level says it isn’t quite level, and it is still slightly wedged between two walls do NOT sit on it and bounce to coax it the rest of the way down. If you bought the cheap affordable cabinet with the cheap thin counter/sink it may spider into a million pieces. We can laugh about this now, but were not laughing at the time.


We broke down and hired a local reasonably priced plumber to replace the tub and shower. We were just afraid it was more than we wanted to bite off on our own (see previous paragraph). Even with professionals, it did present challenges. Again, nothing is standard size which caused yet again special cutting and such to accommodate a standard length tub. But it was installed along with new shower walls.  Yay! No more tiles and horrible grout to clean!!

But that left Jon with the task of repairing the walls around the tub/shower. He patched and replaced sheet rock where it had been cut away. We then decided it would be nice and easy to buy the white wall board for bathrooms to cover the rest of the walls in the tub/shower area. It looks good now, but Jon refuses to work with anything requiring adhesive ever again.

After all of Jon’s work I unselfishly volunteered my services to paint now that it was all done. That was my big project for yesterday. The crown molding was just stained wood. With all of the moisture over the years it was really needing a face lift. We decided painting it white would protect the wood and really look nicer too. It took three coats of semi-gloss white paint to cover the wood. Then I just painted the rest of the walls with a neutral color slightly darker than beige (Churchill Hotel Maple). This is the color we’ve used in several other rooms of the house. I like it because it isn’t super light beige and blah, but still a neutral. I would prefer to control my color with my decor like curtains, rugs, and accents. It makes life simpler, because I loathe painting.

I still have to put everything back today like the towel racks, outlet face plates, mirror, etc. But I am happy with it. It has been an eyesore and pain for a while now, but once the bathroom became a project it was even more of a pain. Projects in the bathroom and kitchen just make life more complicated.

I know a post like this should have before and after pictures, but I don’t have them. I am really amazed at people that take thorough before and after pictures during something like this. It takes patience and forethought, both of which we were running short on.

I will leave you with a few handy painting tips. If your paint project requires multiple coats, you can place your brush or roller in a plastic grocery bag, zip lock bag, or saran wrap without rinsing the paint out.

This can save you time and headache from properly rinsing the brushes between uses. It can also save wasted paint if you have several stops and starts. You can leave it like this for up to 24 hours and it can then be unwrapped and reused. This can be done with latex or oil based paints.

If you have a paint project that will span multiple days, you can do this and then put them in the refrigerator. They will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. This can be done with latex or oil based paints.

If your painting project spans more than 3-4 days like from one weekend to the next, you can do this and then put them in the freezer. I have read on one forum not to do the freezer option with latex paint as it is water based and its freezing point is much higher than oil paint. I’ve personally never heard of anyone having any issues with this trick. But with the freezer option, I would attempt to get the extra residual paint out just in case there is some deterioration in the quality of the paint. When you are ready to resume painting, just set your brush/roller out for about 15 minutes to thaw before using.

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