Friday, June 1, 2007

Last Step: Write About It...

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

The Bathroom Facelift Saga.

For brevity's sake, and in consideration of the value of your time, I will condense to a reader friendly "Blogger's Digest" version, while trying to retain details that I want to preserve in personal record.

We undertook the bathroom facelift exactly thirty seven days ago today, when I blogged farewell praises to this wallpaper. (*Shudder!*) Upon coming to the bitter realization that the paper was adhered to the dry wall like white on rice, we decided to commit the cardinal sin of home improvement and paint over it. Many tubes of sealing caulk, knives full of spackling putty, and coats of oil based primer, later--we successfully concealed the dizzying vortex with a serene shade of Silver Sage. Concealment of the paper took two weeks because we could only work during nap times, after Henry's bed time, and on weekends, in Henry-less shifts. Since we don't like to devote the entire sum of our spare time to manual labor, the project progressed at a pace slightly faster than Snail's Saunter.

When the painting was done, we tried to hang the new light fixture, and realized we purchased one that wasn't large enough to cover the unnecessarily large hole in the wall where the previous eye-sore-of-a-lumination-source had been. This oversight necessitated a trip to Lowe's to search out a replacement fixture with a larger plate to cover the existing un-handy work. In transit from Lowe's, I broke one of the frosted glass bulb-cover-thingies which necessitated an additional trip and an additional $7.37 for a replacement.

When the fixture installation process was complete, the vanity painting commenced. First we removed cabinet doors, hinges and hardware. Then we primed. Then we painted. And waited for drying. And painted. And waited for drying. And painted. And...

Three thick coats of white paint is what it took to cover the quintessential eighties oak and it still looks uneven and gloopy in some spots. We rehung the cabinet doors, and despite our darndest efforts with scrutinizing eyeballs and trusty levels, they are, obviously uneven, but by this point in the process, we were way past caring.

Oh, and I have failed to mention the crown jewel of the facelift project: the removal of the toilet tank, to allow accessibility to the wall behind the toilet and the side of the vanity that butts up to it, for painting purposes. We actually had to remove the tank twice because Nate forgot that we were painting the vanity and accidentally replaced it after the walls were painted. After round two of toilet reconstruction, we started celebrating completion, slapping high fives, admiring our handiwork, cleaning up saw dust, scratching stray paint splatters off of the tile floor with out fingernails, preparing to host guests in our snazzy "new" bathroom, and what did I hear? I heard the dreaded drip! drip! drip! that said one of the three water sources in the bathroom was leaking.

"Please tell me that's the tub faucet."

But a swab of the floor under the toilet pipe confirmed my ugliest fears--we had a leaky commode. There we stood. Me, in my unmentionables, because that is what I prefer to paint in. Nate in some old rags that I am unable to recall. With sweat in our knee pits and on the bridges of our noses, at 10:30 p.m. on the eve of our company's arrival, we discovered we had a leaky loo! Lowe's closes at 10:00. Lucky for us, however, it opens at 6:00 a.m. And guess who was bright eyed and bushy tailed, Korky Quietfill Toilet Valve in hand, at the check out counter the next morning? Nate. And guess who had to call his boss and say he'd be late to work because "Uh...our toilet won't stop leaking"? Nate, again.

When he finally fixed the problem, we had just one more step to completion: find cute mirror compatible with very particular measurements of the "Mirror Space" above the sink, which, like most home improvement endeavors, proved to be a task much easier spoken of than carried out. After one reject purchase that had to be returned, we turned to Target Online, hoping to accommodate both the wall space in our bathroom and our pocketbook, and well...let's just say that it was more kind to our aesthetic and spatial needs than our pocketbook.

Well, I have been neither brief nor considerate of your time, but all this is to say that after thirty seven days of construction zone conditions, and many more dollars spent than were anticipated in the initial Bathroom Facelift Estimates, we finally finished the project that we ignorantly thought would take one Saturday afternoon's worth of sweat equity and about a hundred and fifty bucks.

Here's what we have to show for all that work (my only regret is that I don't have Before Pictures to help you appreciate the magnitude of the transformation, and that our bathroom is such a cavernous curiosity of a space that I could not snap a decent picture of the whole thing):

Please notice the mirror and the little hand towel holder, which I found at TJ Maxx and am especially fond of. And yes, those are my jumbled limbs in the reflection of the mirrors. I tried in vain to hide myself, but I wasn't my most nimble self, crammed up in the corner of the bathtub, trying to take an anonymous picture of two mirrors.

There's nothing in particular to notice here, this is just as close to a "full-room" shot as I could get from any one spot. I took this standing in the doorway to the bathroom.

Please notice HOW CLOSE that toilet is to that vanity, thus necessitating the second removal of the tank. Please also notice painted vanity cabinet and new hardware and hinges. We are pleased. Please ignore sea-shell-shaped-sink (and say that five times fast, whydon'tcha? )

Just in case you were hoping for a close up of the light fixture. I realize now that it is covered with installation fingerprints; I'll probably never get up there to wipe them away.

And this silly shot because the robe hook is my favorite feature of the whole room! Pack up your bathrobe and come visit!

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