Feb. 28th, 2011

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We finished up the master bedroom a week ago. Paint, flooring closets, lighting - but with the master bath not done yet I decided I'd hold off on posting completed pictures until the whole job is done.

We'd pulled the shower out of the master bath some time ago - before we knew entirely what the plan was. See we wanted to redo that bath since we arrived, the shower stall was small, badly placed, and you couldn't turn the water on to warm without soaking the wall behind you.


Shower stall Shower stall



The other issue and more critically - the shower stall was showing signs of mold - thanks to a bad installation and little sealing of the seams. It was minor - but it could be smelled, made the shower useless, and with my husband's asthma, it was critical to find out how far the mold went and how bad it was - and to get it cleaned up.

So we pulled the shower stall with the note that if we got the reno monies we'd redo the shower completely, if we didn't; well we'd clean the stall properly fix any wall damage and reinstall the same shower - only better.
master bath under construction


Ok so we have our reno budget, we scaled back some of our original plans for the bath (by about $5000 worth of travertine). The plan is a full length of the wall shower across the back wall (5'), thus taking advantage of the current plumbing. Leave the toilet and sink where they are, but change out the pedestal sink for a nice cabinet vanity. The pedestal sink is lovely, but in a tiny master bath (5'x9') we really really needed SOME storage. So we moved the pedestal sink to the downstairs powder room which was crying out for a more elegant solution than the dreadful vanity that was there.

With the master bedroom complete, it was time to tackle the stacks of materials we've had in the corner for a while and start the bathrooms.

master bath - stuff master bathroom - tiles



The larger main bath is just getting two new vanities and some lighting, but the master bath is getting a total overall.
master bath under construction
We pulled all the drywall around the shower stall to replace it all with water and mold resistant board. Fixes the minor mold problem that was there, and assures us that along with the Schluter Shower System we've done everything we can to do it properly water tight.

When the kitchen was complete we had about 6 boxes of that gorgeous slate tile left over, and it suits the whole rustic, natural, stone and plaster, oil rubbed bronze, gold tuscany look of the bedroom/bath - so we're going to use it instead of leaving the beige porcelain tile that's there.

Pulling up the tile was a pain.
master bath under construction
And it took most of a day to scrap enough old tile cement off the 1/4 inch ply they had it on to be able to unscrew and pull up the ply so we could lay fresh 1/2 inch. However, again, I feel better knowing that ALL traces of mold have been removed, better quality product has been laid (and yes we DID glue and screw it, even if I am grateful the previous folks only screwed theirs). It also meant we were better able to rerun the drain for the revised shower layout.

But by far the most horrific job was the popcorn ceiling.
master bath under construction

Usually this abomination can be removed simply - with a spray bottle of water and vinegar, and a good spatula. However, as it was installed in a bathroom, it was sealed; it was primed; it was painted; it was NOT coming down. The easiest solution in this case - especially in such a small space - drywall over top the crud! However, that said, it still was high enough profile that we had to at least sand down the worst of it to give a good surface to drywall over. Angle grinders with sanding wheels, and orbital sander, try and seal the bedroom doorway, dust masks and goggles. It was still a horrible horrible job I hope we never have to do again! (no I won't be tackling the bedroom). The dust and crud still got everywhere and is most gross, but it's done.

master bath under construction

It was a long week of hard slow demolition. But we now have a decent empty shell to build on in the coming week.
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As we were planning the bathroom the big design problem was the vanity - originally when we were going to use the travertine throughout the bath a dark wood vanity made sense, but then we scaled the travertine back to just the shower area, and decided to paint the bathroom the lovely dark green of the bedroom alcove.

green and gold




Ok now what we need is a beautiful antique white vanity. Now these are more limited. I saw one at Lowes in Hamilton - but that wasn't going to help much and it still would have busted the $500 budget for vanity and counter that we had. As would have ordering one from Vintage Tub and Bath (although I do still highly recommend them for well priced vintage look pieces). After much futzing and searching and debating costs. I found a gorgeous perfect vanity at Home Depot (hey even Sarah Richardson just used this same vanity last week on Sarah 101). It's solid wood (poplar with walnut veneers), has really nice organized storage inside, and is just a lovely piece - only problem - it's still dark wood.


However, by this point I had been gaining a bit of confidence with my spray painting techniques and decided "what the hell, it's perfect, it's inexpensive, it's gorgeous, I'll just spray it". I'd seen some of the gorgeous results of others having cabinetry and furniture resprayed - it made sense. Ok Ok - it also scares the dickens out of me - I've not done something thing complicated before. However, Home Depot was having one of their 20% Off Bathroom Events - with that price and that deal - I could throw in a bisque cultured marble countertop and still be under my $500. Sure I was still gonna have to buy a mirror and a medicine chest, but it was still not a big stretch beyond our original budget plan.

This had the added advantage of being able to buy the mirror, medicine chest etc that I liked and were cheaper options than buying the matching pieces to THAT set. So I was able to pick up a lovely unfinished cabinet at Kent for $60. I've done these pieces before and really had some fine results with them. Although to use this on a wall we had to turn it upside down and rebuild the drawer.

I was also able to pick up a nice framed mirror from Walmart for $30 instead of $200. I got a nice tall narrow butler's pantry cabinet (12"x14"x60") as well - did I mention there's a storage issue with this bathroom? I'm not sure we'll be able to use that one - it may not fit comfortably and I'm still debating more storage options so we'll leave that to last.

Now at one point I did chicken out and called a local fellow who does professional respraying of cabinetry - for the 3 bathroom pieces - $600 (taxes in). That kiboshed that idea. However, very worst case scenario - he'll spray the vanity for $250. I have a back up plan if I manage to completely ruin this beautiful piece of furniture. And if that doesn't work - well I guess I could paint the bathroom the same gold as the bedroom and buy the vanity again during the next Home Depot sale for $450. Ok - I have 2 back up plans.

Still I'd rather get this right the first time. First coat went on this morning. It's going to take a minimum of 4 or 5 sprays to get a nice even sweet finish - so I'm holding my breath for the next couple days (hopefully I can get two coats a day on - morning and evening).

I'm using the semi gloss hard wearing 'Trim, Door, High traffic' paint that has done such a lovely finish on the baseboards, door trims, and windows.

The colour is the same lovely 'Ivory Palace' that all the trims in the house were painted originally, and we've stuck with a) for simplicity and b) because it really does look fabulous back dropped against the chestnut hardwood and the wall colours of the master bedroom. It won't have the same 'aged' look of some of the other off white victorian style vanities, but it's also not going to be $4500.


The bathroom itself is going to have to wait for the painting to be finished. Because of the size and weight of the cabinet there wasn't much hope of painting it in my basement spray booth - so it's being painted 'in situ'. I'd hoped that I could work on 'non dusty' tasks around it while in between coats - but there isn't enough room to swing a dead cat in that bathroom so it's just going to have to wait a day or two.

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July 2011

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