Showing posts with label Master Bathroom. Show all posts

Cheap Change

Let’s play ‘spot the difference’, shall we?  What’s changed from this picture:
to this picture?
IMG_8676I mean, they’re not exactly a reflection of each other anymore.  One is the fairest (or fairer) one of all.  A mirror image they are not.  Ok.  I’ll stop.  You get it, you had it before I even started up with my ridiculousness. 

I painted the mirrors.  We ditched the dark, dusty rose for lighter and brighter white with a gold touch.  (And yes, in case you noticed this too, I spray painted the light fixtures quick-like.)

Here’s how:

Making Granite Out of Laminate

Since the beginning of our master bathroom mini-makeover, seen herehere, and here, we've been tossing around ideas in regards to replacing the dated, cream-colored, laminate countertops.  After shopping around and realizing that nothing we could buy in a store would fit in our budget (or be worth the investment in this house, with this market), we thought we were on track to create some concrete countertops, and then Tuscan Accents from Lowe's came into the picture.  Tuscan Accents is a line of paint products made to give your walls a sort of Italian charm using two different kinds of paint - one as a base and one as a top coat with a cool spotty effect achieved by using a stippling brush to dab on paint, waiting for the paint to semi-dry, and then wiping excess paint from the surface.  You can read more about it and see some examples by clicking here.  We, on the other hand, took the idea to our countertops, thinking that we'd conduct a little painting experiment - if it didn't work, we had the concrete to fall back on and if it did, well, we'd be two happy little jumping beans.  :)

When we decided to paint our tops, we actually toyed with two different techniques before we chose the Tuscan Accents route.  The other idea was to use a spray paint with a stone-looking effect.  So, to decide which idea would win, I tried out both on a piece of backsplash we removed the week before.  First, I primed the entire piece with a spray primer - Rustoleum's White.  Then I went to work using some leftover paint from our living room.  Here's what it looked like when I was done (with a little photoshopping for results sake):       
1 - Stone spray paint - a no go.  We weren't crazy about the colors - speckled ivory with a sort of greeny-beige - and couldn't find another color we liked.
2 -  Tuscan Accents with a semi-gloss white base - I liked it, Anthony didn't.  The lines between the dried, stuck on paint and the wiped off paint were very obvious.
3 - Tuscan Accents with the white primer as the base coat - nope.  I put too much paint on here so that when I wiped the excess off several minutes later, most of the paint was still wet and therefore came off leaving large splotches.  It really wasn't bad but in the end we liked...
4 - Tuscan Accents with the white primer as the base coat - winner, winner, chicken dinner!  Just the right amount of paint was dabbed on, left to dry, and wiped off to create this look.
5 - Tuscan Accents with the white primer as the base coat - nada.  This was actually my first attempt at the Tuscan Accents but I didn't wait long enough to let some paint dry and it ended up just looking like one big smear. 

So, after we decided on #4, I applied a glossy polycrylic finish (more on that later) over the area make sure it wouldn't yellow the TA finish and to see the look of it.  It worked great.  Then came the real test.  I pulled out my curling iron and straightener to test the durability of the future bathroom countertops, thinking they would be it's biggest ransackers.  It passed with flying colors!  Even though the surface became pretty hot after I left the straightener sit on it (on it's highest setting for 10 minutes), the surface was unscathed!  So anyway, on to the good stuff after I just rambled on for about a million words to set the stage...

First, we prepped by removing the sinks and covering all surrounding areas (thank you Catholic Weekly) since we'd be using the same spray primer as on the test strip.

Then I took a hand sander to the top to remove any sheen and build-up and to create a surface the primer would stick to.

After wiping any and all residue caused by sanding, we were ready to prime.  We made sure the window was wide open and even set a box fan in it, blowing any fumes outside.  While I sprayed, Anthony held a large piece of cardboard underneath the front lip of the top to protect the cabinets.  Here it is, all primed and ready to go:

Next up - painting or should I say, stippling.  I mentioned above that the TA look is achieved by dabbing on paint with a stippling brush.  They sell the brush at Lowe's for 20 bucks.  But, I wasn't going to spend 20 bucks for it considering it was basically a glorified scrub brush.  On the tester strip I 'tested' with a scrub brush we had on hand and it worked wonderfully, so why not continue using that same scrub brush, right?  It saved us $20 and now can brag that it's multi-purpose - "for all of your cleaning and painting needs".  :)  
All I did was dip the brush into a tupperware dish filled with paint and dabbed it onto the top.  I worked in sections, dabbing one section, waiting 17 minutes for it to dry, wiping excess paint, then moving on to the next section.  It was hard to get good pictures of the process as the paint we decided on was so light, but I tried... 

Waiting for it to dry:

Right before wiping (see how some of the paint is dry and some is shiny and wet?):

(Side note:  I might be worth mentioning that to wipe, I used an old, cut up t-shirt of Anthony's and also used a fresh, dry piece for each section.)

To do the front face of the tops, Anthony ran a line of tape underneath the lip to protect our freshly painted cabinets:

Here it is, all painted and ready for poly:

For added protection and to achieve the glossy sheen we were looking for we used Minwax Polycrylic.  After searching "painted laminate countertops" on Pinterest, we decided to go with the popularly used, non-yellowing polycrylic over epoxy ($$$) and polyurethane (yellows).  Using our best paint brush, I painted on seven coats over three days, leaving at least 2 hours of drying time in between each coat.  I also lightly (and I mean lightly) sanded down each coat before painting on the next because the poly directions said to and to get a smooth surface (in the beginning, the paint was a little bumpy so sanding each coat eventually leveled the top out).

This is after two coats of poly:

And this is after the lucky seven coats:

We are SO happy we decided to take the painting route.  You'd have to see it for yourself, but we honestly think that you'd have to take a second glance to realize it wasn't quartz or granite.  As for what it cost us:
Primer - already had
Paint - sample size at $3
Scrub brush - already had  :)
Polycrylic - $16.50 at Wal-Mart (cheaper than the same stuff at Lowe's) and we only used about half of the can bringing the total down to $9 
Paint brush - already had
Grand Total = $12

Some other possibly pertinent information:
1.  Our countertop is 18 square feet.
2.  The paint color we used for the top coat is called 'Oatlands Subtle Taupe' by Valspar.  (I had them add only 75% of the color at Lowes so that it was a little lighter but then added more white at home so really it's a custom light grayish-tan color.)

[Three years later, the countertops are still doing good!  Read the update post here!]

Anyway, I feel like I just wrote another ba-jillion word post about diy but I hope you enjoyed our little, muy successful painting experiment!  As I type these last few words, Anthony is putting the sinks back in (muttering "I hate plumbing" under his breath) so I'm gonna skidaddle and help him and then I'm off to play hair dresser and make-up artist for the day for some teens as Homecoming is this eve.  :)  Have a great weekend everybody!  I'll be back next weekend with more diy craziness!

.           .           .

P to the S:  If anyone has taken on the task of revamping their laminate countertops with paint, please send us pics and tell us how they've fared so far!  We'd love to hear from other peeps who are as paint crazy as us!  If you're contemplating it, we encourage you to take the leap...and then send us your pics!

3 P's - A Tutorial On Painting Cabinets

Prepping, Priming, and Painting...the three important things you need remember and to stick to when revamping cabinets.  This past week I spent about two hours a day working through each of these P's to get the sleek lookin' master bathroom cabies we've got right now.  In this post, I'll go through the hows, whats, whys, and even wheres in case anyone else feels the motivation to take on some cabinets.  :)

 Process Numero Uno:  Prepping
Step 1:  Remove all doors and drawers, hinges and hardware.
Step 2:  Sand.
Our cabinets had a dull-with-time polyurethane coat on them that had to be removed before any priming and painting was to begin to ensure the best adhesion.  To remove said coat, I sanded down each drawer and door until the sheen was gone.  I took it outside so that I didn't have to worry about sawdust making it's home in our casa.  I must also mention how blessed we are to have friends who let us borrow this beauty of an electric palm sander, saving my hands and arms from back and forth sanding doom.  
Using medium grit sandpaper, I quickly went over each piece, making sure I sanded just enough to take off the dull sheen of poly.  I also made sure to sand both the fronts and backs.  I thought I'd have to do another once-over with a light grit sandpaper, but found that after the medium grit, the cabinets were as smooth as babies cheeks, so I skipped that step.  To sand inside the routed square, my fingers and some sand paper were the best option since the electric sander wouldn't quite fit. 

Step 3:  Clean.
After the entire piece I was working on was smooth and poly-free, I simply brushed off the sawdust and wiped it down with a damp cloth, then moved on to the next piece.

Doors and drawers down, frame to go.

Step 4:  Sand the cabinet frame.
The process of removing the poly from the frame was very similar, however, there was no way of doing it outside.  For this step, I simply attached the sawdust canister to the palm sander and went to town.  (Side note:  If you're using a plain sheet of sandpaper without holes like I did, you need to make sure you punch holes into the sandpaper once it's attached equivalent to where the holes on your palm sander are to make sure that the sawdust is sucked up and into the canister.  I simply attached the sandpaper and poked the end  of a scissors through the paper into the holes.)  After a quick sanding and wipe-down, the frame was ready to go:

Step 4:  Tape.
After laying out each door and drawer in our living room (a.k.a. workshop) atop a bed of old sheets to protect the floors from dripping, I completed the last step in the prepping process - taping.  I wanted clean lines around the backs of each drawer so I just stuck a layer of masking tape around the edges like so:

Process Numero Dos:  Priming

Step 1:  Oil-based primer.
To make sure no stains would seep through the finished paint, I first applied a thin layer of oil-based primer (Kilz), which is awesome at preventing stains.  Because I'm lazy mineral spirits (what you have to use to clean up oil-based anything) intimidate me, not to mention that we just don't have any, I used a sponge brush to apply this layer and then threw it away when I was finished.  :)
Here's what the frame looked like after this step:

Step 2:  Water-based primer.
This step really is optional, but I've found that applying two coats of primer means that you usually only need to apply one coat of paint instead of two or more, especially when you're dealing with going from dark to light (in this case, wood to white paint).  I already had the stain-blocking layer of oil-based so for my second coat, I opted for Bulls Eye water-based primer from Lowe's.  I used a paint brush (2 inch) to get into hard-to-reach-with-a-roller areas like the backs of the drawers:

and crevices and corners of the frame:

Then, to prime the flat surfaces I used a small foam roller in order to get the smoothest application.

(Important side note:  You can paint water-based over oil-based but you CANNOT/SHOULD NOT/BETTER NOT paint oil-based over water-based!)

Process Numero Tres:  Painting

This step flows exactly like the priming step - brush for corners and crevices, foam roller for flat surfaces.  For both instances, this was the timeline I worked along:
1.  Paint backs of drawers with brush.
2.  Paint corners and crevices of frame with brush.
3.  Wash brush.
4.  Paint backs of doors with foam roller.
5.  Paint drawer fronts with foam roller.
6.  Paint frame's flat surfaces with foam roller.
7.  Making sure door backs are dry, flip doors over and paint fronts with foam roller.
8.  Wash foam roller and done!
Why such a strict process?  I value my brushes and hate when paint dries on them so I painted all areas requiring a brush first.  Also, when rolling, I painted the door backs first,  painted everything else, then painted the door fronts.  This gave the backs time to dry (around 45 minutes) before I had to flip them over and paint the fronts.  The color I used is called "Promenade" by Valspar.  It's an almost pure white but without the glare white can sometimes give off.

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I also took a little bit of time to spray paint the door hinges, which were brass, with Krylon's oil-rubbed bronze.  I painted the door handles a few months ago but hadn't yet gotten to the hinges.  (I might also mention that if it was up to me, I'd have bought new ones but Anthony really likes the current ones and didn't want to dish out dough for new ones (even though I ensured him I could find some on clearance) and I really love him so...)  If you're interested in doing this, know that it doesn't affect the workings of the hinges one bit and they look like they were bought that way.  A couple of light coats should do the trick and don't forget the paint the screw tops to match!  :) 

Step 5:  Clean and Organize (my last but completely optional ,unless you're semi-OCD like me, step).
I can't put dirty things (not that anything in our bathroom was really "dirty") into shiny new things.  In other words, I couldn't put plastic baskets, toiletries, and other bathroom stuff into newly painted and clean cabinets.  So, I organized every space and cleaned every bottle and basket.  Just for kicks, here's some before and after of just underneath the sinks to illustrate my need to have order.

Under my sink before:
Yeah, a mess and a lot of it.  But before you go reporting me to "Hoarders" let me tell ya, I haven't had to buy lotion, body wash, or perfume since high school.

More organized after I found some stacking baskets at JoAnn's for 70% off and vowed to start using body spray and lotion more often.

Under Anthony's sink:
 Clearly not as bad as my side - men require less maintenance, right - but still unkempt.

After adding a helper shelf and creating neat little rows of bottles.

Now that I've gone maybe a little over the top in revealing our personal lives via pictures of what's inside our cabinets, I'll coyly get on with it and show you what you're really interested in - the finished cabinet product.

In the past month we've gone from this...

to this...

...and the best part is that we're just half-way done.  (To read about the tile we installed, click here.)  Up and coming we've got possible countertop ideas floating around, paint to slap onto the walls, and some decorating that will bring our bathroom into 2011.  Anywho, that's another day, another few posts.  Off we go to work on something else on this beautiful Saturday.  Have a great weekend! 

Tile Shmile

As promised, here's a post about tile...all about tile...ceramic that is.  Yep, that peel-and-stick's out of our master bath and the new stuff is in.  By no means is this 'instruction guide' of sorts the best tutorial in the world (if you're reading and wanting a tutorial, this one is awesome).  I'm really just writing about it to toot my horn since I did a little over half of it myself.  :)  Under the apprentice-ship of my handy hubby, it was my very first-ever tile job y'all!  But anyway, enough about me and my horn, here are the deets:

First, I carefully picked up the next-in-line tile:

Then, I slathered said tile with pre-mixed mastic using a ridged tile trowel:

Once slathered, I made pretty little lines in the mastic to ensure it's thickness was even across the entire tile:

Then, I carefully placed the tile in it's destined spot and smooshed it down just a tad:

In went spacers to make sure grout lines would be consistent throughout (might I add that it's no coincidence they're cross-shaped - Jesus loving sacrifice, mercy, and grace serves to keep us nice and straight):

And last, I appeased my perfectionist self by placing a level over each crevice to further ensure a level surface was evolving:

After the laying part was all done we waited, and waited, and waited...48 hours to be give the mastic time to dry and harden.  Then my taking-a-study-break hubs went in and grouted, which I didn't take any pictures of.  Again, that's why if you're lookin' for a tutorial, welcome, but you're at the wrong place.  :)  To grout, basically all he did was smoosh (my fave word of the day?) the pre-mixed grout we bought into and over each space separating tiles with a foam-padded trowel.  He worked in sections, or study breaks, however you wanna look at it.  After each space was filled he first let the grout sit in the cracks for an hour to begin it's hardening process.  After an hour he went over each particular sat-for-an-hour section with a large sponge to remove excess grout.  Then after the first sponge go-over, he waited another twenty minutes and went over that section again, repeating that process every twenty minutes following until all of the grout residue sitting on the tile was gone and we had some smooth little grout lines.

And that, my friends, is how we unpeeled and unstuck...

our happy little selves to a more happy, solid, underfoot surface.

And that's all we've got for ya folks...this weekend anyway.  We've got about 30 projects up our sleeves (not even exaggerating) ranging from painting to sewing to gluing to reupholstery, mixed in with nailing, filling, and spraying.  Whew!  There just aren't enough hours in the day for us...or maybe we're just a little to obsessed with doing.  Either way, our list will just continue to grow because our minds never stop and I'll continue to do and write, do and write, do and write.  :)  Have a great weekend! 

Out With The Laminate

(Post Disclaimer:  My intention was to have this post posted last Saturday...I thought I did but it turns out it wasn't...was it me?  our crazy computer?  the wacky world wide web?  who knows...but, better late than never, eh?)

A few weeks ago at the end of this post I had y'all guessing about our next project.  Well, I'm here to tell you that it's going to be our master bathroom and that we officially started on it last weekend.  :)  Here's the plan:

~ Short-Term ~
-rip out the icky laminate tile and put in new, ceramic tile
-paint the walls Valspar's Smoked Oyster
-paint the cabinets white
-install new cabinet hardware

~ Long-Term ~
-add a little Hollywood glamour by adding a semi-homemade chandelier  :)
-replace the countertops (concrete?)
-stencil either the cabinet wall or all walls?

Last weekend we started by ripping out the laminate tile.  First, we had to remove all of the quarter round molding to be able to remove the laminate that was installed underneath it. 
Anthony started by sliding a razor blade along the top of the quarter round, where it meets the baseboard, to cut through the paint.  Then he wedged the end of a pry bar in between the baseboard and the quarter round and carefully pryed the quarter round loose.  These we set aside to be re-installed over the new tile.

Next up, ripping up the laminate tiles.  This is where it got a little sticky...quite literally.  Lucky for us though, all we had to do was get a hold of a corner of each tile and lift, causing each one to come right up.  We hadn't ripped out but a few tiles when we realized that whoever installed this tile installed it right over another layer of laminate flooring. 
Great.  More junk to rip up.
At this point we realized it would probably just be easier to get underneath the second layer of laminate and rip it up, with the top tile layer coming out right along with it.  So, we started at a corner of the room and began tugging when lo and behold...

...another layer of laminate!  That makes three layers for those of you counting!  :)  See?
For whatever reason, whoever installed the laminate layers was lazy found it too much work unneccesary to remove existing flooring before installing new. 

To make matters worse, the third layer of laminate was a pain to get up.  Anthony removed all he could by just lifting and pulling before he had to get back to studying so in I came with some music, the crowbar, a hammer, and my super woman strength to hammer, pry, lift, and pull.  Let me explain.  First, I had to find an edge, place the crowbar at said edge, and hammer the end of the crowbar until I was under the laminte piece I intended to remove.  (Side note:  using a scraper with a handle attached would make this job much easier, but we worked with what we had on hand.)

Then I stuffed the crowbar underneath the laminate, slowly prying and disconnecting it from the concrete floor. 

It came off in pieces so the cycle continued - find an edge, hammer, pry, lift, and remove - for about an hour until every scrap was out of sight and our bathroom looked like this:
It still looks like there are laminate remnants on the concrete but it's really just some glue residue which we can tile right over.  We hope to get the tile in within the next week.  We still have to pick up some mastic adhesive to attach the tiles to the floor and matching grout and then, unfortuntely, we're going to also have to remove the toilet to install the tile underneath it.  But, we've banked the experience of doing this before in our first home's basement bathroom so we can do it again.  :)

.           .           .

Between the loveseat and the master bathroom, we've got lots going on in this house and lots of updates to keep you posted!  For today, we're going to try to start tiling while wishing we were really at World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain with some beloved friends (not to mention Pope Benedict XVI!), taking in the beauty and enormity of the Church here on earth and relishing in Her truth. 
 Lord, bless all of those there and
set their hearts on fire with Your love
and incredible mercy, that they may
ignite the rest of a world
that is in desperate need of You.