Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Extreme Bathroom Makeover 2K10

I know the title seems a little "extreme", but I had to do something to reel you people in! (-:

I redid our little half bath over the past couple of days, and I'm pretty proud of myself, so I just have to share. The bathroom wasn't bad before, my mom loved it, but you know, my mom loved it. Not quite the fun modern style I was going for. (-:

Here's the before picture:

Yes, that's wallpaper, and lots of it. And let me just debunk a few myths out there that you might have. (Or maybe it was just me.) You can't use a wet rag and a Pampered Chef spatula and take the wallpaper down in an hour or two and then paint the wall that night. I know, right? I sure thought I could do that. Easy cheap project. Ahem.

A good deal into my wallpaper pulling and spatula scraping, I realized I was not quite well-equipped enough for this job. So I texted a friend and asked for some wall paper removal tools, which he had and very generously shared, including this pretty cool gel stuff that really helps the wallpaper come off MUCH easier than the rag. Oh, and a wallpaper scraper REALLY comes in handy and works better than a mini Pampered Chef spatula, just to clear that up.

Then I realized that there are multiple layers of wallpaper. There's the outer layer, and then the under layer and then apparently there's some sort of paper layer of drywall. THREE layers. And they all had to come down. Because the next thing I learned is that if you don't get all the dry wall stuff off and then you try to paint it, that it will bubble. And that's just terrible.

After all the wallpaper came down, I used an electric sander. Seriously, I don't know why "This Old House" didn't come over and video the whole thing, because it was super legit. Although, next time an electric sander is used, I will absolutely use goggles. It's kind of hard to see what you are trying to sand when you are squinting so that sand doesn't fly in your eyes. So I kept my saline bottle handy and squirted it in my eyes every 2.5 seconds. (-: You better believe I wore a mask though, as my goal for 2011 is to not repeat my pneumonia hospital experience. The mask was pretty hot, in a Mark better be glad no guys saw me or he might have had to beat someone up kind of way. It was white and left an awesome red mark on my nose. (And no, I had no idea I would have to use a sander. And no, I didn't have one, but faithful Jeff came through and hooked me up. At this point I probably owe him at least one vital organ donation if he ever needs it.)

After sanding and putting on a mile of blue tape, I started painting. The bubbling effect went away mostly when the paint dried. Although apparently sometimes fuzz comes off of the paint roller and rolls onto the wall. Awesome. Man, so many lessons in one "simple" project. I just wanted a cute bathroom. Is that too much for a girl to ask for?

I will say I'm pretty proud of myself for keeping it all together, because I was teetering on the edge when I had spent hours upon hours in that 4 x 4 space and felt like my hand bones were all broken and realized the paint wasn't going on like I wanted it to. I very seriously considered just having a meltdown. But after a pep talk, I persevered, kept painting, and didn't shed a tear. Victory. And when Karlie came home, she and I worked on a wall for a good hour to make sure we got all the paper off to prevent further bubbling. And Mark knew that's where the party was at, so he sat on toilet lid the whole time and chatted with us. Livin' it up in the bathroom.

After the paint dried, and after a trip to my local Anthropologie for some fun decor items, I pulled down the tape and started putting things back together. I know you must be ready for the after pictures! (-:

Cute, huh? And here's the shelf with my decor from Anthro:

I really love it all. And the spool is actually a candle! How cute is that?!

Here's a wall with the cabinet. I got new knobs, and picture frame was a Christmas gift from Mark's cousins. Love it!

And here's a close up of the knobs. They have little keyholes. Super cute.

And here's another corner. It's such a small space it's hard to get the full effect so I had to take lots of little pictures.

And here's the wall where we hung a letter "J". I'm not quite sure what I'm going to put here yet, or just leave it, but we'll see. (-:

So there you have it. The only thing left is the doorknob. I think I'm going to get this one:

I also like this one:

Which one do YOU like?

Next time you get the idea to redo a room in a "couple of hours", come back and read this post. (-:


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Decor!

So I've been meaning to put up some pics of Christmas stuff for a while, but haven't hardly had the time to do it! We've been enjoying some fun Christmas activities this week and have had more time to relax.

I have to apologize up front for the poor picture quality. My digital camera has now lasted me a solid five years, and it is starting to fall apart. Literally. So whoever wants to get me a new camera, there's one on my amazon wish list. (-:

So, first I will show you my fun new Christmas plates that I got.

I have all 12 (of the 12 days of Christmas) plates and napkins! They are so cute!

And here's the ole tree!

And here's the fireplace!

And here's what you see when you walk in the front door:

And here's the piano:

Oh, and while we're in the music room, I know this isn't related, but I finished our wall o records. We don't have the exact records that we want all in there yet, but we're getting there!

from a distance, here's what it looks like:

So. That's all I've got for now! Here's a Merry Christmas photo from me, Mark, and Karlie!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Home Improvement Project

Tonight I did a quick and free home improvement project. All by myself. If you're like me, you just might be in love with your fireplace. My gas bill last month was kinda high - probably because we ran the fireplace pretty much 24/7. But, it was totally worth it. (-:

The cool thing about this project is that it was free. I have lots of things I'd like to do - ideas swirling around in my head, but I don't have the funds... or, I should say, we're using the funds to pay off student loans! But one day....

Anyway, you know how a lot of fireplaces have those gold door things? Nothing against the gold door things, but I was going for a little more modern look. Here's the picture of what I'm talking about. You could call this the "before" picture:

And here's a before picture with the doors open:

Not bad at all, but I thought we could update it a touch. So, I got out my trusty head lamp, my purple tool box, and an old metal wrench (I think that's what it's called), and I got to work. I shimmied up into the fireplace and started unscrewing things. I wasn't really sure what I was doing, but that made it more interesting. (-:

Finally, the gold door came loose and voila! We pulled it off, took out some insulation stuff, cleaned it up a bit, and it looks great! Here's the after pic:

Pretty cool, huh? It's kinda hard to tell in the picture, but it's a lot more open looking, and the gold is gone. (-: It's looks kinda rustic/modern. Very cool.

And, to prove that I did the work, here's I am, with soot on my hands, sporting the head lamp, and workin' the tools:

So, do you have any cheap home improvement projects?

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