Home Improvement Part 9

Home Improvements, Part 9

This is part 9 in a sequence. If you want to begin at the beginning, you can go to Part 1. The following shows the contents for this and adjacent parts.

Part 8 (separate page)
  • Closet Repairs
  • House Painting, etc.
  • New Fence
Part 9 (this page)

(initial section posted 5/21/20)

Guest Bathroom Refresh

I'd been wanting to do some fixing up on the guest bathroom for quite a while. Some time back I was thinking I'd like to go for a pretty major remodel, replacing the cabinets and all, but by this time I'd decided to just do what I felt was the minimum necessary: removing the wallpaper and painting, replacing the shower door, and fixing the toilet paper holder.

Wallpaper Removal and Painting

Like most of the other rooms, the guest bath had been wallpapered when the house was built, and that wallpaper was showing its age. It needed to come down, so I hired Chaz the painter again. Pic at left is a "before" pic, showing the old wallpaper and the brackets of some shelves that I was getting rid of. (I'd taken the shelves off before I took the pic so you could see the wallpaper better. I had removed the whole thing as part of the prep work before Chaz arrived.)

As usual, once he was scheduled he was quite efficient. It took 3 half-days. At the end of day 1 he'd removed all the wallpaper, which had covered the ceiling as well as the walls. The first pic below shows the same basic area as the "before" pic at left. The second shows the area near the tub, along with his equipment. In that one, you can see (kinda-sorta) that the old glass shower doors and the top rail that held them have been removed. I figured that would be helpful for Chaz to be able to access the ceiling in the tub area, plus it was something that was going to have to be done as part of replacing the shower door anyway. I did it myself, after checking some Youtube "how-to" videos on the subject. The doors themselves lift out pretty easily, and once the doors are out, the top rail pops off the sides pretty easily too. (The side and bottom rails were still there at this time).


After that he painted the ceiling and walls. For the walls, I chose a color called "Tame Teal" that was a light-ish teal, about the same value as the green I used in the master bath but the color is more saturated besides being, well, teal. Hard to explain, and alas I have yet to get a picture that I think shows the color decently. In any case, it looks good, and very different from what it looked like before. The painting was completed, actually, just before the new fence got put in, in mid-February 2020. Following are some "after" pics. The first one is, again, basically the same area as the "before" pic above. I included the stuff on the counter in the hopes it would help the camera to get the wall the right color, but no such luck. The second pic has the wall color maybe closer, but still wrong, and the tile looks wrong too-- although it looks pink, the tile is actually more like almond, and looks more accurate in most of the other pics that show it. (When this pic was taken, I'd also removed the side and bottom rails from the tub.)


Shower Door Replacement

I wanted to get rid of the old shower door because of a couple of issues. The doors were originally clear glass, which I don't like because you really need to keep them perfectly clean and that's way too much work, plus I prefer more privacy when I'm taking a shower. So, shortly after we moved in, I had "frosted" them with (Contact-type) adhesive plastic made for that purpose. We liked that much better. But that was over 30 years ago, and the adhesive was getting a bit messy, mostly around the bottom edges, and there didn't seem to be any way to just clean it up. Also, the track was a bit wonky as well because the hubby had messed about with it a lot. It was functional, but not quite right, and again, there didn't seem to be any good way to correct it.

So it seemed the best thing to do was to replace the whole old sliding glass shower door assembly with a new one, and that was my plan. But as I was poking around Youtube looking for tips on how to do remove the old door, I found that I might have another option. Some of those door-removal projects were to convert to a curtain rod and shower curtain, because some people prefer that (because they have little kids they bathe in the tub, for example). I was excited by that idea because it would be so much easier than installing a whole new glass door; in fact, I could use a compression-type shower rod and not have to do any actual new "installation" at all. All I needed to do first was clean up the caulk and stuff that was left in the tub after I'd removed the rails.

I started with the sides (pic at left), where there was some caulk, and the expected screwholes with anchors. It took a little elbow grease, but the caulk came off nice and clean with no damage to the tile. I was able to pull out the anchors nice and clean also (after a Youtube check for more "how to" advice). So, now just a matter of filling them to look OK (got Youtube tips on that, and even another tip on how to hide them if it doesn't work out).

Then to the tub itself, where the bottom rail had been. This was a lot messier with caulk (pic at right), and required a lot more elbow grease, but was still coming clean OK. At least at first it was. But when I got close to thinking I was going to be done, I reached an area where the tub surface seemed to be damaged. I was quite certain it wasn't something I had just done with my elbow grease. But it did not look good. I'd have to fix this somehow in order to proceed with the curtain rod fix. I had a couple of ideas about what to try next, but I got really discouraged. I lost my momentum.

So, as of this writing (mid-May 2020), I have made no further progress on this particular project. But I do figure, worse comes to worse, I can always put in new glass doors, as I'd originally planned.

Toilet Paper Holder Repair

This issue happened so long ago that I had mostly forgotten about it. Many, many years ago, not too long after we'd moved in, the hubby dropped something heavy against this TP holder and it broke. And because it's the ceramic type that's basically built-in to the wall, it's not that simple to replace. So we had just glued the pieces back together best we could, and lived with it. Figured one day we'd paint it and it'd look like new again.

The thing is, under my normal use of this bathroom, I'd really only see the crack lines in the top, which do look pretty minor and fixable with a simple paint job. That's why I hadn't given it much thought until I was doing the prep/clean up from the painting and the hole in the side caught my attention. That was gonna need more than just paint.

Some Internet research on ceramic repair suggested epoxy putty for larger holes, so I got some from Home Depot, and made a first pass at filling the hole (pic at right). Better, but not ready for paint yet.

At the instant I write this, that's as far as I've gotten. I was thinking that whatever I use to fill the screw holes on the tub would probably be good for the last layer before paint on the TP holder. But I'm thinking I should do another layer of the putty first.

But as of the time I write this, I haven't progressed further on this either.

(following section added 5/27/20)

Front Door Stain

After I first had the new front doors installed (back in 2008!), I'd been planning to stain them. But what with one thing and another, that didn't happen. But lately I've been trying to do things to prep the house for sale, and one of the things I've heard is that it's generally worth your while to spruce up the entrance to your house. The doors didn't really look too bad without the stain, but I figured they'd look a lot better with. So I decided to go ahead and do it.

One of the issues I'd had in the past with trying to do this was finding gel stain, which is the kind you need to use on a fiberglass door like mine. But nowadays you can go on the Home Depot web site and find out not only if the item is in stock at your local store, but exactly where it's located. Plus you can have that location texted to your phone so you have it with you while you're shopping. So, armed with that info, I was finally able to pick some up; I chose a color called Hickory.

Then, armed with tips from Youtube videos, I was finally able to get the work in early May 2020. It took a couple of weekends. The first weekend I did the stain on one door each day. (After doing a lot of masking and prep work the first day, I didn't have much energy left after doing the first door. But I did get an interim pic, at left.)

After the staining, I needed to clearcoat with spar urethane, but I had not had the foresight to get that at the time I'd gotten the stain. And when I checked Home Depot, they were out of stock (presumably because everyone was doing home projects during the pandemic shutdown). But I was able to order from Amazon and get it in a few days. Although that shipping time was longer than their usual, it was just as well since the stain takes 24 hours to cure.

Anyway, a couple more days to do the required 3 coats of clearcoat, let it cure, and re-install the doorknob hardware, which was a bit of an adventure but worked out ok. And I'm really happy with the result (pic at right).


To be continued....


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