All posts by Emily

Product Review: Rapid Roller

 


Let’s not kid ourselves – no professional painter is going to buy a rapid roller.  This review is for someone like me – you’ve got a small job to do, perhaps a few bedrooms that don’t justify the purchase of a paint sprayer.

I was drawn to this tool for a few reasons.
1.  The paint is stored in the handle of the roller, so you aren’t constantly going back to the paint tray to fill up your roller.
2.  There is an attachment that goes over the paint lid allowing you to simply suck the paint into the handle, reducing the mess left from pouring paint into the tray.
3.  It claimed to reduce the paint time by 50%.

I will admit, it is a cool idea!  I was skeptical how well it would work.  For the most part – for being a $30 tool, it does its job well.

Step one:  Assembling the pieces
Not difficult at all.  Hardly needed to look at the manual.

Step two:  Sucking up paint
I did have a little difficulty my first try.  The lid that goes on the paint can has to be really secure.  And you have to hold the paint roller at a 45 degree angle to the paint can.  It takes some decent force to get the suction going.  It wasn’t terrible, but it took more effort than I had imagined it would.

Step three:  Painting
Pretty simple.  You squeeze the trigger to push the plunger up inside the tube holding the paint.  The first time you fill your roller head with paint, expect to use most of the paint in the handle just to get enough paint on the roller.

The roller is perforated and has small holes throughout.  This allows  paint to flow evenly across the roller surface.  For the most part, it did its job very well in this regard.  I didn’t have one side or area more full of paint than another.

The con in this section would be – it is heavy.  Heavier than a regular paint roller.   By the end of painting a 10×20 room, my arms were sore.  Sore from the effort of sucking the paint into the handle, as well as holding a heavier roller.

Step four:  Refilling paint
Easy peasy.  This is my favorite thing about this tool.  It is so simple to reattach it back to the paint can and slurp up your next round of paint – seriously no mess involved.

Step five:  Clean-up
This is the deal killer for me.  The entire contraption costs $30.  A new roller head costs $7.  A considerable amount of paint gets left in the head of the tool, even after you’ve plunged any extra paint back into the can.   Is it worth cleaning it out for another paint job???

In order to get this cleaned well enough for another use later, you’ll need a large space.  As in, a bathtub or a large sink in your garage that you don’t mind getting dirty.  You can use the same technique used for painting for cleaning.  Suck up water, and spit it out the perforations.  But, it won’t do the job completely.  I found I had to take each piece apart separately and scrub with soap and water.  I would estimate it easily took me 30-40 minutes, just for clean up.

Overall Pros:

  • Assembly is simple.
  • The mess is minimal during painting.
  • The paint flows evenly out of the roller.
  • It’s inexpensive. ($30)
  • It does reduce actual painting time .
    (while painting, but not for cleanup!)

Overall Cons:

  • It takes some muscle to use.
  • Clean-up takes a long time and is detailed.
  • Roller heads are too expensive to dispose each use.
  • If in a tight space, it is awkward.  It has a swivel head, for this purpose, but I found the long handle made it difficult to paint in a tighter spot such as the hallway.

 

Would I buy another one?  No.
Did my husband use it?  No.
Did he make fun of me using it?  Yes.

But it worked, and did it’s job for $30.  In that I don’t have another large area to paint, I guess it would be worth it as a $30 disposable painting tool…

The Long Awaited Sailboat

1900_mancave

Scott enjoys hobbies.  I was over the whole “motorcycle” thing, and he had been dreaming of building a small sailboat for a few years.  We compromised and decided if he sold the motorcycle to pay for the kit to build a sailboat, I wouldn’t complain.

He wanted a boat that was large enough to fit the 4 of us, but small enough it didn’t require a full trailer.  Ultimately after a lot of research, he opted to build a Northeastern Dory, and purchased a ‘kit’ from Chesapeake Light Craft.

  • Building a boat is not for the faint of heart.
  • It is not for a novice woodworker (even though you can buy it as a ‘kit.’)
  • Building a boat is not for an impatient person.

Those are my disclaimers.

The end of November 2013, the long awaited kit arrived:

11-26_arrival (6)
Scott immediately got to work gluing (with epoxy) the puzzle piece lengths together:
12-21 (2)

A boat shaped started to take form:
12-28 (14) 1-2 (1)his is a ‘stitch and glue’ build.  Meaning, the wood is a thin plywood, that can bend and you stitch it in place with wire.  While the wires hold the wood together, you then epoxy the wood.  Once the epoxy is dried, you clip the staples / wires and they aren’t visible anymore.
1-2 (7)

The progress wasn’t as ‘visible’ from this point on, until the end.  Lots of meticulous sanding and gluing…  (hence all those clamps!)
1-12-14 (5)_mancaveDSC_6529DSC_6541DSC_6832DSC_9435

Building the seats.  Using a ‘spokeshave’ to get a nice beveled edge on the lip of the seat for added comfort:
DSC_6926
DSC_1795 DSC_1798
All complete!  Set sail in May 2014.
Scott worked a little on the boat almost everyday, from January – May.
1948_(8x10) 1905_(5x7) almanor (36) DCIM100SPORT DSC_6968
It really is a lot of fun.  Sailing if there is wind, rowing if it is calm.
We are able to pick the boat up and carry it to the waters edge with 2 people.  I wouldn’t say it is “light” but it is manageable with 2 men.  1 man and 1 woman – it’s pretty heavy.  But, the boys help on my end and we make it work.

LINK:  Chesapeake Light Craft - Northeastern Dory

Baseboards: Finishing Touches

No matter how meticulously you measure your baseboard joints, there are bound to be gaps in the joints.  If left like this, your DIY baseboard job is bound to look like a home job.

baseboard (2)

Above is a rounded 45 degree corner joint.  It’s a tough one.  Caulk is the obvious answer to filling the joints, but before you jump to the caulk, sanding down the transition edges will give you a finished product with an almost invisible joint.

Might I suggest using a set of hand files, instead of regular sand paper.
#1 – It’s easier, and
#2 – It comes out looking much more professional.

After using the files we a have nice smooth transition, no wavy bumps, and very minimal gaps:

Now go ahead and caulk your baseboards!

Bathroom Remodel – Transformation

before_after_1 It took a few months!  Not going to pretend this was a weekend project.  We demolished the bathroom to the studs.  We moved the toilet across the room.  We removed a pocket door and added a hinged door.   Scott built all the wainscoting custom for this room.  I laid the tile.  We also revamped a dresser into a vanity and buit a wood countertop.  (Post on that here) Doing all the work yourself takes time.  No question.  But, in total, the entire project and all supplies cost us $1,750.  And, I even got the toilet that can flush a bucket of golf balls.  Ha! We are so pleased with the end product.  A bathroom we aren’t embarrassed to send guests into. Here is a layout of the bathroom before / after:before_after_layout Such a nice change to have a vanity worth being a focal point!before_after_2 Removing the tub gave us a lot more room, and allowed the toilet to be in the room, not the doorway.  It’s a powder room, we had other bathrooms, this one didn’t need a tub. before_after_1 Removing the pocket door and adding a hinged door was such a good change.  So worth the effort.  There are now cabinets where the toilet once was. before_after_3 The wall covering is much improved. before_after_4 Tile was disgusting.  It had blue and pink veins running through it, and permanent stains from who knows what.  We opted for an 18″  travertine, laid in a diamond pattern.  I love it. before_after_5 Another view of the previous tub area turned toilet area. before_after_tub

 

 

SUPPLIES:
Paint color - Restoration Hardware “Silver Sage”
Wainscoting color – Behr Semi-Gloss Enamel “White”
Tile – Travertine from Home Depot (it only came in bulk, so I bought an entire pallet.  We have other bathrooms to redo…)
Vanity – Custom, garage sale find, turned vanity.
Light – Craig’s list find.
Toilet – American Standard “Champion 4″
Sink & Faucet – Kohler, purchased at Lowes.

 

 

Wood Countertop

wooden_countertop_mancaveinvadedI salvaged an old dresser from a garage sale.  It had a wood countertop, but the countertop was veneer – meaning I couldn’t sand it down and restain it.  It was trashed, and simply needed replacing.

In the end, we opted to convert the dresser into a bathroom vanity.  The full transformation was a fun project (found here).

As, we went about revamping the vanity, I had intentions to do a marble or granite countertop.  Once I priced out the granite and marble, I just couldn’t justify it.  I paid $15 for the dresser.  I couldn’t dish out $250 for a custom granite slab.   We thought about buying the tools to do the granite ourselves…but in the end we decided to stick with something we know about – wood.  And, I love the result.

DISCLAIMER:
If you are wanting to build a wood countertop, we are going to assume you know the basics of woodworking.  It’s not a beginner, whip it out in a day type of project – just giving fair warning.


STEP 1 – wood selection

Choose your wood, preferably a dense wood.
(A link to a good way to select wood for your project HERE)

We opted for hickory for a few reasons.
#1:  It’s a dense wood that’s going to hold up well.
#2:  We have excess of it (making the countertop free).


STEP 2 – prep wood

Be sure your wood is all planed,  and ready to be joined together.  We laid it out to see where the grains looked good together, before actually joining the wood together.


STEP 3 – join wood

The Biscuit Joiner is the perfect tool for connecting wood together.  First, mark the wood across both boards with a pencil, showing where the center of your biscuit joiner cut will be. 280_countertop_biscuit_markings_mancaveinvadedProceed with cutting all your biscuit holes.  Then, place a good ‘coating’ of wood glue on each biscuit as well as the wood ends  that will be connected together.  You’ll want to work quickly as wood glue can dry faster than anticipated, and you want it to adhere really well.278_countertop_biscuits_mancaveinvaded

 

STEP 4 - glue and clamp
Clamp the countertop together.  The biscuits and wood glue are what are going to hold the countertop together.  There are no screws or nails needed.  This doesn’t mean it’s necessary to drench the pieces in glue.  Be generous, but not excessive.

283_gluing_countertop_mancave

287_countertop_glue_MessNotice the glue squeezing out of the joints as it’s clamped tightly?  This is fine.  It’s not coming out in extreme amounts.  I personally do not like cleaning glue off once it is dried.  It takes a lot of work to sand it down.  Once the piece is all clamped and secure, we take a  a putty knife and gently scrape up the glue, and then wipe clean with a damp rag.
288_countertop_glue_clean


STEP 5 – be patient

Let it stay clamped overnight.
Hum…de…dum…


STEP 6 – cut to size / shape

Cut it to size!  Our vanity had a rounded front.  Therefore, we needed to cut a rounded front edge on our countertop.  We used the band saw to cut our traced pattern.

307_countertop_rounded

 

STEP 7 - add trim (optional)
We also wanted a decorative trim around the countertop.  Although it isn’t necessary, it sure is a nice finishing touch.  You don’t want the end joints exposed.  It’s not going to sand as well, or absorb the stain the same.  The quality way (in my opinion) was to add a decorative trim.

In that Scott is building a wooden sailboat, we had some extra mahogany laying around.  Mahogany is very dense wood.  Since it is so dense, it is difficult to just ‘bend’ into shape – even this slight curve.  Scott rigged up a little steamer, and was able to get the wood moist enough, allowing it to bend into shape a little more easily.  Once it was steamed, he bent it to shape and left it there overnight.

The next day, he didn’t use biscuits or screws/nails to attach the trim.  Instead, he used an epoxy.  Epoxy is really fast drying, therefore, he had to work and clamp quickly (not pictured)

(epoxy is discussed later in the post)

312_countertop_edge314_countertop_edge2 321_countertop_edge3

We let that front piece dry clamped overnight.  The next afternoon we added the side trim pieces using the same epoxy method.  No bending necessary for those.


STEP 8 - smooth edges

Using a router, he gave the edges a nice rounded edge on top.


STEP 9 – cut sink hole

At this point it was starting to really look good!  Next up was using the template provided with the sink, to cut out the sink hole.

As you can see in the picture, drilling a hole first is necessary to allow a spot for the jig saw blade to get access to your cut line.

335_countertop_sink

 

STEP 10 – fixing gaps
Finishing touches before the stain can be applied are critical in achieving an overall end product you’ll be proud of.  Sometimes, no matter how meticulous you are, there are going to be slight gaps in wood joints.  The countertop didn’t have any gaps, but in one corners joint of the trim we had a slight crack:348_countertop_crack

This is quite simple to solve.  And makes such a difference!

First, you need some matching wood shavings.  Using a saw, just create some wood dust (in our case we used a Japanese hand saw and the mahogany)
343_countertop_crack_dustNext, get a dollop of wood glue and mix the wood shavings and glue creating a paste.
350_countertop_crack_fixThen, proceed to fill the crack, deep down, really mush it in there good!
357_countertop_crack_fix2Once the gap is filled, don’t be in a hurry to sand.  Let the glue and sawdust paste really set…like overnight…again…
363_countertop_fix3

Now that blemish is all fixed we can move on…


STEP 11 – sand countertop
Sanding the countertop.  The surface was sanded using the orbital sander with a 120, then 220 grit sandpaper.  Then quickly  hand sanded with a 400 grit over the entire surface.  It didn’t need much sanding.


STEP 12 -  get the right color
This was the part we were a little nervous about.  We knew the piece would eventually be finished off with an epoxy and a lacquer.  Both of which he had used for his boat, but I didn’t want it the natural hickory color.  I was hoping for a stain on the wood first…  He wasn’t sure the epoxy would adhere to a stained wood.  After some attempts on scrap wood, Scott declared it ‘should’ work.

We stained (technically, oiled) the wood with this:
- Walnut Oil
2043_countertop_oil
Trick here is to let is DRY DRY DRY.  If you attempt to do the next step (epoxy) on top of stain or oil that isn’t dry, no chance it’ll work.  Believe me, one of our samples was garbage because we (I) tried to rush the process.  Let it dry for a few days.


STEP 13 – epoxy finish
Finishing with epoxy.  In that this is a countertop, with a sink, in a bathroom, it can’t simply be finished with a lacquer.  It wouldn’t last the way we want it to.

As mentioned earlier, Scott’s been building a wooden boat.  We decided to finish the countertop the same way the boat is finished – water tight and impenetrable, with epoxy and varnish.

First up was coating it in epoxy.  The epoxy is extremely fast drying, so you have to work quickly.  It comes in 2 containers, you mix equal parts of resin and hardener 1:1 and stir it up before application.  These are really big containers as we had it for the boat, you can purchase it in smaller quantities…

983_countertop_epoxyYou’ll want to use a disposable brush, one you can just chuck after application.

When the epoxy is applied, it’s not going to have a smooth surface.  I tried my best to get a picture showing the uneven surface and bumps.

492_countertop_epoxy
Let this dry for a few days.  That’s right – multiple days.


STEP 14 – sanding the epoxy

Start with a 120 grit, and lightly sand.  If you start to sand and the epoxy seems ‘gummy’ STOP.  You didn’t wait long enough, the epoxy hasn’t cured completely.  This might be due to the weather, or impatience.  Regardless, just wait longer.  :)

If your sanding is successful, it’s time to apply another layer of epoxy.  You need two coats, minimum.  This second coat is going to get in the “valleys” and divits left from the first application.  You should see a smoother finish after this second coat.

Again, let dry – for days.  Patience, patience, patience.  Once dry, sand again.  NOTE:  When you sand the epoxy, it’s going to look milky.  You haven’t ruined it.  This is normal (below).  This was between a first and second coat.  You can really see the divits accentuated.  This is why 2 coats are needed, to fill in all these low spots.
509_countertop_Sanding

 

STEP 15 – varnish (or lacquer) finish
Once the second coat of epoxy has been sanded, it’s time to apply the varnish (or lacquer).  We had varnish left over that was marine grade, and had a UV protectant in it.  I don’t think this is necessary for a countertop.  But, it’s what we had, so it’s what we used.  I think a normal lacquer would suffice.

Depending on the finish you want, carefully select your lacquer.  It comes in gloss, semi-gloss, and satin finishes.  The Schooner brand varnish that we used says “High Gloss” but in my opinion, it compares to the “satin” finish of the Deft brand lacquer.
979_countertop_lacquer Left – what we used, it’s really expensive – unnecessary for a countertop.
Right – lacquer found at big box stores, which would be totally fine.

(Below)  This is what it should look like after you’ve sanded the epoxy, prior to the lacquer finish.  Has an interesting texture and looks really dull…don’t worry!

Applying the lacquer.  Look at that beautiful wood grain shine through!  Gorgeous!
638_countertop_lacquerLet it dry…again…
Wood projects take patience.  I am not patient…
Lightly sand with 220 grit.
Repeat the lacquer application.  Let dry overnight.
Lightly sand with steel wool.


STEP 16 – installation
Now it’s ready for installation!
Secure the countertop to the vanity from the underside.
Mount the sink using caulk.
269_countertop_sinkMarked to be sure it gets centered just right…
271_countertop_caulkYou’ll want to use a tub and tile / kitchen and bath type caulk – clear.
272_countertop_caulk

STEP 17 - celebrate

Admire your handiwork!  It’s beautiful.  It’s got just the right amount of ‘sheen’ to it.  It doesn’t look plastic and fake.  Yet, it’s smooth and easily wipes clean.
2004_countertop_final
2041_countertop_final

 

TOOLS & SUPPLIES NEEDED:
A knowledge of wood working – not a “beginner” project.
Hard wood (for countertop)
Biscuit Joiner
- Biscuits
Wood Glue
Orbital Sander
- 120 / 220 grit sandpaper
Steel Wool
Clamps
Epoxy
Disposable Paint Brush
Varnish (or Lacquer)
Caulk Gun and Caulk
Band Saw (optional if need a slight curve)
Patience…

 

 

File Cabinet Bench

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I was in need of a file cabinet system in my office.  I am also in constant need of places to sit in the office.  I wanted the cabinet to double as a bench.

I found this old wooden crate at Goodwill.  It was $3.  It was only worth $3 as it was full of spider webs and didn’t have a lid and had obviously been used to hold soccer balls in the garage.

The thing it did have going for it was
a) it was solid wood
and
b) it was a great width and depth for a file cabinet.

box_before

After bringing it home, I cleaned it all off, and sanded it just a little bit.  It was never finished off properly, and was dried out wood begging for a coating.  After a light sanding, I primed with kilz and then went with a semi-gloss white that I had left over from my stair project earlier.

I then had Scott help me engineer how to go about making a hanging file system inside.  The tabs on the hanging folder are a bit tricky, and require something not too wide, or too round.  At Home Depot we were easily able to find a piece of steel that worked for our needs.  We made a few braces, and notches for the steel to fit into.

I don’t have picture of the process to make the top, as Scott gave me the top as a gift.  But, it is made from hickory.  The pieces were put together using a biscuit joiner.

The lid was then attached with a simple ‘piano hinge’.  These are a nice option because they come in a variety of lengths, and if you can’t find the right size, it can easily be trimmed down to a custom width for your project.

inside_file_cabinet_mancaveinvaded

I love that this mostly looks like a hope chest / bench.
That all my bills and files are hidden away in a not so obvious place.

file_cabinet_end_mancaveinvaded_WEB

Update your floor vents

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Brass isn’t my favorite.  Our house unfortunately has a lot of it.  It clashes with the wood floor in my opinion.  I decided a mini makeover might do wonders.  I started looking online and was surprised to find that floor vents are quite expensive!  If you want something other than the ordinary metal slats kind.  I like the style of mine, just not the brass finish.

Therefore, I opted for the fast spray paint method.

This was such a fast and easy revamp of the floor vents!  And, it makes such a difference!  They now are a nice contrast to my wood floor rather than a clashing contrast.

1.  Remove floor vents.

2.  Clean them of all dust and crumbs and hair and gross stuff.

3.  Lightly sand the surface.  This will help prepare the surface to better accept the paint, and not scratch off as easily later.  I used 120 grit sandpaper, and then a metal wire brush after the sandpaper.sanding_vents

4.  Wash and dry the vent.  You want to remove all dust to get a nice smooth finish.

5.  I put paper inside my vents so the vents_paperoverspray wouldn’t go down into the rest of the vent as mine open and close and I didn’t want the paint to interfere with that.

6.  Apply the spray paint.  Follow the direction on the can.  It says multiple light coats a few minutes apart is better than one heavy coat, so that’s what I did.  Spray, come inside and fold a load of laundry.  Spray.  Empty the dishwasher.  Spray, check my email…

7.  Dries to the touch in 30 minutes – 1 hour.

finish_vents8.  Replace vent cover and admire your handiwork!  The pictures might not show it very well, but the oil rubbed bronze (metallic) finish is really cool.  Has just a few flecks of the bronze in there when the light hits it right.  It’s not just a matte black.  Which, I didn’t want.

before_after1updated_floor_vents_mancaveinvaded

really like the color and the overall finish of this spray paint.

spray_paint

COVERAGE:
I was able to complete 8 floor vents with one can of spray paint that cost me $7.00.  Not bad!

SUPPLIES NEEDED:
Floor vents
Sandpaper (120 grit)
Wire Brush (or 000 Steel wool)
Rustoleum metallic paint & primer in one – OIL RUBBED BRONZE
Rag to clean off dust
Soap / Water to wash vents
Paper (optional)

 

Remodels, Renovations, and Revamps

budgeting_header

It can be difficult to pinpoint a realistic dollar amount for a home improvement.  I look at each project separately, and identify which kind of project it really is.

Revamp – a makeover.
Renovation - to make new again.
Remodel - to reconstruct.

These are just my words I use when budgeting for a project.  Not sure that other people think of it the same way I do.  But, it makes sense to me, and helps me stay realistic in my budgeting.

REVAMP – “To redo”
Some makeovers we see on the internet are really just a ‘revamp’, yet people still call it a ‘remodel’.  When all a bathroom needs is new paint, a new mirror, new towel bars, and a few accessories, this is simply a makeover.  Adding to the existing space.  Not changing anything structural or even any of the major fixtures in a room.  It’s inexpensive and can often be the lift your room needs.  But, its budget shouldn’t be compared to a Renovation or a Remodel.

RENOVATION - “To restore to good condition”
A step up from a revamp, when you want to swap out the cabinetry or the lights and fixtures.  But, overall, you will be leaving the space in its existing form and function. Perhaps re-tiling or new carpet.  Updating fixtures and such.

REMODEL – “To reconstruct”
Obviously going to be the most labor intensive and biggest budget breaker of the 3.  To reconstruct – or in my mind, to construct it the way it should’ve been when the house was first built!  The remodel project might involve moving a toilet across the room. Changing electrical locations.  Adding a real door instead of a pocket door.   Swapping the light fixtures out for recessed lighting.  Replacing the sheetrock.  Adding a wall,  etc. etc.  This kind of project will have a demo phase where the room is stripped down to the bare walls and insulation.

———–

Budget Breakdown
It’s important to be realistic.  Start by making a list of all the things you’d like to accomplish in the project.  Put a $ amount next to each item.  You’ll probably quickly find that your $250 budget makeover is quickly approaching $2500.  :)  Slowly work your way down the list deciding which of the items is absolutely NECESSARY vs. which is wishful thinking…  What will make the most dramatic improvement to the room for the most minimal cost?  Do you really need marble or will porcelain tile do?

Don’t expect your dream bathroom for $250 like you may see on pinterest.

Here are some numbers  that come from general contractors in my area, and real numbers from projects we have done.  Obviously, the numbers will vary depending on (a.) where you live and (b.) if you upgrade to really nice finishes (c.) how good of a DIY-er you really are!  :)

project_comparison

 

A few examples:
revamp_example

renovation_example

remodel_example

 

 

 

Removing Nails

nail_removal_mancaveinvaded

How to remove a nail the easy way or remove a nail that’s missing it’s nail head!

The way I learned to pull out a nail as a child is much harder than the way Scott taught me.  Let the hammer do the work!  I used to use all my body weight and strength against a nail, with little result for all my effort.  Often resulting in my falling on my rear end when the nail gave way.  :)

Simple steps:

1.  Secure the nail
nail_removal mancaveinvaded.com

 

 

 

2.  Rock the hammer from side to side.
nail_removal mancaveinvaded.com

 

 

 

3.  Regrip the nail, and repeat step 2.
nail_removal_3 mancaveinvaded.com

 

 

 

4.  Done!
nail_4 www.mancaveinvaded.com

 

 

 

You’ll have that nail out in no time!
And, you won’t even break a sweat or fall over when the nail head gives way.  :)

Below is a video clip to demonstrate.  You’ll get the hang of it after one or two nails.  It’s kind of fun to take on those challenging nails you thought you’d have to hammer out the other way, or clip off…

 

Bathroom Remodel – Demo

demo_header

When the whole “remodel the bathroom” started, I had every intention of just doing a renovation.  Updating the tile, the vanity, fixtures, etc.

I began calculating costs.  Scoured the internet for ideas and inspiration.  I came across an article detailing how to revamp (paint) your bathtub.  I thought that perhaps this option would save me a lot of money, so I looked into it.

I researched for hours.  I read customer reviews.  I compared the $50 DIY kit to the professional epoxy, painters reviews.  I really wanted this option to work.  I was really hoping to save money.  I eventually called the company that makes the DIY kit.  Their customer service was nice enough, but there was 0% guarantee on their product.  Not only that, when I asked how long they anticipated their epoxy lasting, the answer was 5 years.  That right there settled it for me.  I didn’t want a  5 year fix.  I wanted a permanent bathroom solution.

So, when I started the tear out, I anticipated replacing the tub with a white one.

Work began.

First up – removing the cultured marble.  I was worried it was going to be really stuck to the wall.  Pleasantly surprised.  First, I cut the caulk away with a box cutter.  Then, I used my mini pry-bar and mini hammer (it’s just too cute) to get behind the cultured marble.  :)

cultured_marble

The marble basically popped off once I loosened it all the way around.  We knew we would need to replace all this sheetrock anyway, so I wasn’t worried about damaging it.

tub_surroundThis then left the bathtub edges visible.  The tub is really crammed into this space.  In order to remove a bathtub, you need to remove the drain.  Depends on the style of bathtub, but most screw onto the pipe, so a pair of pliers can often grip allowing you to twist the drain free:

bathtub_removal2

Besides the drain, there will also be something anchoring the tub to the wall.  In this instance, some simple nails:

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Once the nails were free, the bathtub could rock.  But again, it was such a tight fit, we had to remove some of the sheetrock:

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The tile floor was also installed after the bathtub, therefore it had to come out before the tub.  I used a chisel to gouge the grout line:

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This then allowed me to get under the first tile with my hammer.  They came out quite easily after that.

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Now we were ready to pull that tub out!  No pictures as it was a 2 man job…  But here is the space once it was removed.

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At this point I was beaming ear to ear.
Finally!
Getting rid of this gross bathroom.

I walked around the new space.  I then sheepishly asked Scott, “So…the plumbing is open to the crawl space…is it possible to move the toilet over here???” (6 feet away…)

Not what a man wants to hear…  :)
Scott grumbled around the house for a bit and I could hear,
“Move the toilet, she says!”
He is a good man.  :)

As I stated when I started this post – I had every intention of just replacing and updating things.  But, once the tub was out I couldn’t help but wander the space and feel how OPEN it felt!  The way a powder room should feel!

Secondly, there were a few things that really bothered me about this bathroom and it’s layout:
1.  The toilet is basically IN the door.  When someone uses the loo, you hear it…I wanted the toilet elsewhere in the bathroom.
2.  The pocket door was old, meaning it would often stick and scrape and was just a pain.  I wanted a real door.
3.  The bathroom is off our main entry – it does not need a bathtub.  There are no bedrooms near this bathroom.  Therefore, why not get rid of the bathtub all together whilest moving the toilet?!

bathroom_before_mancaveinvaded

These 3 items were details that could only be fixed with a major overhaul.  The other details – gross tile, replacing toilet and sink, new mirror, all that could’ve been done with a renovation.  So, those were going to be changed no matter what.

After Scott scoped out the crawl space and plumbing situation, it was reluctantly announced that yes, it was possible to change the location of the toilet.

Dream come true!

The next day entailed more demo.
All the way down to the bare studs and insulation.

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We bribed our boys with a 99 cent chocolate frosty from Wendy’s.
Cheapest hired help ever!

My favorite was when we handed them wrenches to remove the old toilet.  Our oldest began dry heaving.  :)
It’s good for them to have to do gross hard things now and again…we’re raising real men, not sissy’s!toilet_removal

We hauled all this to the local dump.  Cost us $28.50 to dispose of it.  It was work, but worth the money saved from hiring someone else to come do the demo and haul away for us.

 

COMING SOON – Bathroom Remodel – Transformation!