Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bathroom Walls

As anyone who has ever done any work on an old house knows, nothing is ever easy or simple. When Tom (the plumber) came to take out the tub's faucets and drain to prepare it for Mr. Tubbs, the drain crumbled in his hand, it was that rusted out. It's probably a miracle that it hadn't leaked into the dining room below. I'm sure it was just a matter of time. The "new" sink also refused to drain and Tom figured those pipes were in the same condition. Sooo... yep, that's right. Tom had to open up the floor to install new pipes. See ->

(That's Dusty, our Heinz 57 royal PIMA.)

Well, hell. I hated that old floor anyway. Nothing for it but to go get a remnant from our local floor guy. Shouldn't be too expensive. It's a pretty small bathroom. Right? Wrong. Four hundred buckaroos ladies and gents. That's installed, of course. Oh, and to install the new floor - they're going to have to take OUT the tub and stool. Great.

Sooooo.... since I'm going to have a nice new floor to go with my nice new tub and sink, I figured I might as well paint the walls. Right? See how ugly they are? I blame my daughter for the color choice. But that formica crap - that's all the previous owner's doing. I've got that... crap... in both bathrooms and the kitchen. Ugh!

But, if you prime it with an oil-based primer it'll paint up nicer than nice. So, with high hopes, I started ripping off loose wallpaper. (Every frigging room in this house has at least 4 layers of wallpaper!) Now, I've painted over wallpaper before. In fact, in every frigging room in this house. And, for the most part, it turns out really nice. Just make sure any loose pieces are either re-glued or ripped off. That especially looks nice when you're going for that "European Old World" look.

All my walls are plaster. And, like I've said, the house is old (over 100 years old). So when you start to rip off wallpaper, you see that it was hiding a whole bunch of "problems". Like mold. The room was literally covered in black mold! Ack! I tried painting Kilz over it, but it just kept seeping through. I knew I was over my head, so I called in the expert - Angie Helleseth. Angie has a remodeling business called The Perfect Touch. She and the women who work with her are absolute magicians. I knew if anyone would know what to do, it'd be Angie. Of course she told me the "proper" thing to do would be to take out the plaster and lathe and put up dry wall. And I hope the NEXT person who owns this house does exactly that. But this "little" remodeling project is quicky turning into a money pit, and I just can't afford to keep sinking money into this room!

Her next suggestion was to completely wash down the room in a strong Clorox solution and fill every crack and hole with caulking. Then cover it all with... you guessed it - wallpaper. Shit. I give up. I can't wallpaper, but I can wash and caulk and paint. So I've hired Angie to come in after the floor is laid and put up this paintable wall covering that looks like stucco. Then I'll paint. Then Tom will come back and replace the tub and stool.

I keep reminding DH that it was hot water that was running down the drain all those years. And, boy - are we going to save money on that puppy! He knows that once we started we can't stop until it's done, but the doleful looks are starting to piss me off. It's not MY fault we have an old house.

Maybe I should have taken Steve's advice years ago when I was first making noises about remodeling. He suggested we bulldoze it over and build a new home. ...Nah. I kinda like the old place.


Glenda said...

Sounds like you have quite an ordeal there! Don't breathe in too many fumes from your Clorox solution, I expect to see you alive and well next Monday! I expect to see the work in progress on the bathroom too! *grins* Tell Mr. Honey it will all be worth it!

Sally said...

I take it then that you ARE coming to the party? Good! Sounds like I'm going to have a house full, but you're welcome to find a corner to "flop" if you like. See you Monday.

Tanna said...

I guess boats are worse but a house can really get to you. We've now had two ice makers go out and cause major damage at two different times - and I mean really major damage. We no longer have ice makers connected to water lines. And then we had a water heater overflow and the pipe freeze and then cascade down three floors from the attic. We have new water heaters, new washing machine hoses and a new dishwasher. Needless to say my husband and I are both pretty paranoid about running water. But a house really does become home and so it's worth it. Hope it all comes together soon for you both! Happy Holiday.

Sally said...

Oh Tanna!! I guess I shouldn't complain about a little mold. I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles and I hope your running water fear abates very soon. Take care.