Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Remodel update: A study of mauve and gray

Main Bath Before
Gosh, its been so very long since I've sat down to post a blog.  You guys remember we finally bought our new place last October, and we've been remodeling.  So many problems have cropped up, like incompetent contractors, electrical problems, and sewage backups.  It's been just one thing after another, but we've finally gotten out of our rental and into the house a couple of weeks ago.  We still are living in major chaos with boxes and boxes of Stuff sitting in the various rooms, but we've made our bedroom as close to finished as possible, so we have a place to relax and close out the chaos and dust.  In the meantime, we're attacking one room at a time.  Case in point -- the main bath.

Main Bath before vanity area
This mauve and gray looked really cool in 1985, but not so much today.  After removing all the curtains and the shutters, I started stripping the old vinyl wall paper.  Now, I put this same paper in our house in 1980, so I know its supposed to be strippable, but this paper came off in 2"x 2" pieces....hardly "strippable".  It took FOREVER!  But after 2 long months of working on it, its finally all gone.  After the last piece was stripped, and I thought things would speed up, but then I found that I had to remove the Elmers Glue-all that was used to seal the seams and paste it up in difficult places.  They should have used, Elmers School Glue, not the Glue-all.

Old Elmers Glue residue
No, Elmers Glue-all does not come off with ease like wallpaper paste.  Grrrr!!!! I tried Dif, vinegar, ammonia, Chlorox, Windex, and then finally, Krudkutter which worked, huzzah, but it also took off a layer of latex paint as well.  With lots of scrubbing, I finally got all the goo off the walls, but it left a residue on the tiles as drip marks, sigh....more scrubbing in my future.  But, at least I could finally paint after a little sanding.  Whew! Thought I'd NEVER get out of this room!

Main Bath, after remodel
Here's the finished project.  I chose the darker gray for the walls which picks up the same shade of grey found in the lattice-patterned floor tiles.  I can't tell you how much push-back I got from my family about choosing a dark gray, but I think it looks fresh and clean and works well with the old 50s gray tiles (and, yes, the fam has come around after seeing it).  Leaving it white increased the dated appearance of those mottled gray tiles, and I thought it was just plain ugly.  Other upgrades are the new sconces and the addition of a medicine cabinet. I'm so happy we went with this recessed model.  It was a bit of an expense, but since we have such limited storage space, it's been really handy to have such a large compartment for First Aid stuff and bathing sundries. 

We still have a couple of small issues to address later in this room.  Like, the window casings which still have tons of holes (from the shutters we took out) that need filling, then painting.  I've also ordered a white roman shade which will replace those old Battenburg lace curtains I have up there now just for privacy.  One day we plan to replace this old vanity -- a low priority right now.  And then there's a large hole in the ceiling where the electrician replaced the old ceiling light with a new exhaust fan, so we've got to get this patched and then repaint the ceiling, sigh. But at least we can finally use this room as it was intended.  (especially now that the sewage backup problems -- yes, that's plural, problemS -- are finally behind us -- another long and sad story I'll leave untold)

Next installment:  The Hallway.


  1. Hi Karen! Good to get your update and the photos! You guys have sure had a time with your new home, but it will be amazing when you are finished. Love & hugs, T.

  2. Sounds like lots of work, but glad you're happy with the end result. They should never have used any glue for the paper. They probably didn't want to take the time to properly prep the walls...otherwise they wouldn't have needed glue. Bathrooms are sooooo tiny, light colors tend to be the more common choice so you don't feel closed in; but...with that window you've got the dark seems to work. I think gray goes with anything and have always loved gray and yellow and gray and white. I don't think white ever goes out of style. Congrats on getting another room done.

  3. Popping back in to say Happy Easter

  4. Happy Easter, to you, too, Sandy. Thanks for your comment. I agree they didn't prepare the walls at all. We've ended up having to prime and paint every surface in this house. Some of the trim was pealing because they had put a coat of latex over oil=based's needed a great deal of sanding and priming before we've been able to paint it again. Still plugging away, one room at a time. It'll come together eventually.

  5. Hi Terri! Glad you popped in to say Hi. We're gettin' it done bit by bit. Feelin' a bit more like home every week.


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