Bathroom Before and After

I have already alluded to the bathroom makeover when I blogged earlier about de-brassing the girls' bathroom.  Well, it is FINISHED!

Almost.

I still need to paint all the trim since for whatever reason the baseboards were only primed and never caulked or painted when the previous owners replaced the floor.   However, the big exciting part of the makeover is finished! 

I really love it.  I still wish the engineered marble was gone, especially the weird little shelf over the toilet, but for now, it will do.  I will blog about the details, especially cutting down and framing the mirror but for now.. the big reveal.

Before:

After:

 Before:
 

After:

 Before:

After:



The Laundry Room: Before and After


After the girls room, I decided to makeover my laundry room since I wanted to get my cabinet painting skills up to speed before I tackled rooms everyone was going to see on a daily basis.  Because my laundry room has the lovely golden oak cabinetry it was the perfect place to start.
 


I have always wanted a second floor laundry room and I finally got it! And although, for a laundry room there isn't that much wrong with it, it could definitely use some upgrading!

Let me point out all the problems I wanted to address:
1) Awful Oak Cabinets
2) Commercial looking fluorescent light fixture
3) Electrical Panel
4) Awful baby blue formica
5) Unusable storage (nothing big enough for laundry baskets or any decent area to sort clothes)

First things first.  Replacing the light fixture.  This was what it was before. A standard two bulb fluorescent.
I decided to change it out with a track-type light because I wanted as much light in the room as possible.  Unfortunately when I took down the original light, there was no box.  It was hard wired directly into the ceiling, so it looked like this.
Not only was it only a wire in a hole, it wasn't even centered in the ceiling.  Therefore I had to cut a new hole, feed the wire (using a coat hanger) and install a box.
Once the box was installed (which was a delightful learning experience: Did you know there are "new work" and "old work" electrical boxes?  Well if you are retrofitting an already existing wall get an OLD WORK box.  Since trying to cram in a new work box is not going to work.  They are designed to be nailed into the studs before drywall is up.  Trust me on this.  Lesson learned.)
Anyhow, once the box was up it was easy peasy.  Connect the wires and hang the fixture.  I got this "Tiding" one at IKEA. LOVE IT!  The halogen bulbs are super bright and the true white color makes my dirty laundry look beautiful.
Here it is all lit up.  She is so purdy.
 
Next dilemma. Removing the base cabinets that were useless, along with the awful formica.  As I blogged about previously, I pulled them out and practiced painting them to turn them into a work bench for the garage.  I then went to IKEA and bought two base cabinets WITHOUT DOORS and installed them in the nook that was left behind.

IKEA cabinets are a dream to install.  It makes me want to do my entire kitchen with them.
 I did bring my laundry baskets to the store to make sure the widths of the cabinet interiors would be large enough to accommodate my baskets and sure enough there was plenty of room.  I also purchased a butcher block countertop and cut it down with my circular saw to fit in the niche.
Next up.. Paint and covering up the awful electrical box on the right side of the room.  I waited to get the new light fixture up before I finalized my choice of wall color, but you can see that from the beginning I was looking at blue-green colors. 
I settled on Velspar "Mermaid's Song" because Martha isn't really into the super bright color palette.  I couldn't even find it in Behr, so I had to trek out to Lowe's to find the perfect color.  To me the seafoam color reminds me of fabric softener.. a perfect color for a laundry room! I left the ceiling soffets and the white corner soffet where the dryer vents to the roof. I didn't want to much blue since it was a very bright color.
I found a darling print ($19) on allposters.com which I added to a $5 frame to cover up the ugly electrical panel. I cut down the matte that came with the frame instead of having one custom cut.  I already had a matte cutter from previous projects so that was free.
 
I hung a $15 hook rack which I got at Target since there was no hanging storage anywhere in the room. Perfect for things I want to drip dry!
I also added bead board to the bottom of the wall.  Instead of using sheet bead board, I used the panels which slide together.  They were a DREAM to work with. They are tongue and groove and come with prefab baseboards and chair rails.  I did have to cut them down so they were slightly shorter (so not to run into the countertop) but they still worked wonderfully.
 Finally, of course, I painted the cabinets.  BYE BYE golden oak. 2 coats of oil-based primer, 2 coats of paint (Glass of Milk by Martha of course!), and 3 coats of polyacrylic. Both sides.
 Even the interiors. Nothing is too good for my laundry room!

Lastly I added a small shelf above the washer and dryer with a couple pics of the girls and a couple baskets to hold the stuff I find in the pockets of the laundry.  The brackets were $1.50 each and I bought, sanded and painted a 1x4 as the shelf ($5).

I added darling little laundry basket labels I found at Pottery Barn ($10), 3 jars (clothespins, detergent and fabric softener sheets) as well as a vinyl transfer that says "Laundry Room.. wash, rinse, repeat" that I found on Etsy. ($15)
And that is that! 

Before:

After:

I LOVE IT!

Here is the breakdown of what it cost:
Cabinets: $180 (2@$90)
Countertop: $59
Ceiling box: $3
Light fixture: $40
Primer: $15
Paint (cabinets, beadboard, trim, shelf): $25
Paint (walls): $25
Paint thinner (oil primer clean up): $15
Floetrol (to keep the paint finish smooth): $8
Tack cloths: $3
Cape Cod Bead Board Panels: $24 (2@$12)
Bead Board Chair rail/Baseboard: $13
Cabinet Hardware: $11
Shelf Brackets (2): $3
Shelf Lumber: $5
Print: $19
Frame: $5
Wall hooks: $15
Glass Jars: $21
Wall decal: $15
TOTAL COST:  $504

Not included in budget:
Sandpaper, sanding supplies, spray paint (brushed nickel for hinges), baskets, frames, laundry basket tags (I had a gift card or I wouldn't have bought them)


It took me a long time.  I can't even figure out how many hours, but it took me at least 2 weeks of working on it every day.  I would say at least 40+ man hours.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Sharing: on CheapCraftyMama, Remodelaholic

OUT OUT DAMN Brass!

I don't know what was up with people in the late 80s and early 90s, but they sure did love brass.  Maybe it was a Midas complex and it reminded them of gold, but heavens knows the trend did NOT stand the test of time.  Who in the world thought THIS was a good idea?
courtesy of: www.ofcatsandcardstock.blogspot.com

Since my house was built in 1988 it has it's fair share of brass.  I mean it is EVERYWHERE. (Goes great with the lovely golden oak!)

So, here is a quick run down of everything I have de-brassed thus far.

There are a couple of options for dealing with brass fixtures and hardware:
1)Remove
2)Replace
3)Repaint
4)Cover up

In my house I am doing all four..

First up: Remove
I am taking out as much needless brass to just knock down the sheer volume of the shiny metal in this place.  Check out this lovely shower door for example.   It is a GIANT pain in the butt to bathe your kids in a tub with a door.  Plus, it is butt ugly.

Remove 3 screws and voila:

You are left with a whole LOT of nasty:

Nothing a little elbow grease, razor blade and Comet can't get rid of:

Second: Replace
I am replacing all the fixtures that are outdated and where a coat of paint just won't update it. This includes things like faucets, switchplates and light fixtures.

For example check out this lovely bathroom combination of brass switchplates, faucet, vanity lighting, mirror and medicine cabinet, (plus, of course, lovely golden oak!)


First up, the faucet and drain.  Bleck!
 After:

Whew! Much better.
And now, onto the shower fixtures..  Remember them?

And after:

This was really a nightmare because the valve which supports the shower handle would only accept Price Pfister faucets manufactured before 1994.  Therefore I had to use a retro trim kit for the actual hardware and splash guard and used a new faucet set for the handle, spout, and showerhead.

Next up: the light fixture. Looks familiar right? Although mine is much classier, it has clear lightbulbs.
Before:

After:

They were even brass fixtures on the outside of the house.  Look at this lovely exterior light (again, my neighbors, but I had the same one.) Yes, this used to be brass:
 I ripped that baby down and put up something in rubbed bronze which much more in the spirit of our outdoor space (unlike our neighbors, ours is behind a pergola):

I also replaced all the switchplate covers in the house (yes, even the SWITCH PLATES WERE BRASS!!) 

And even after all those changes.. there was still plenty of brass to deal with.

Option 3: Repaint

This is the cheapest option (other than remove) and although it isn't as nice as having new fixtures, it is pretty darn close.  Let me introduce you to my new best friend:
 

I previously experimented with covering up brass hardware back in the old money pit and I loved how it turned out so I knew it was what I was going to do when I saw this front door hardware!

It was nasty, originally brass, but the shellac had come off and it was discolored and peeling. (this is actually my neighbors door, but mine look a lot like it!)   A little light sanding, a few coats of brushed nickel and a topcoat of clear flat and you end up with this:

Sure beats spending $300 on a new lock set!  I also sprayed my doorbell (which was trimmed in brass) and my intercom box (again, BRASS!)  The whole front entry looks so much better!

In the bathroom example, I had a lovely brass trimmed medicine cabinet.  I considered a new cabinet but they were 100$+ and mine isn't in bad shape (not to mention the headache of a tear out and replacement)

I knew that the brushed nickel spray paint was an option, however I just spent all that time and money putting in chrome.  I needed to get the cabinet to be shiny silver.  BRING ON THE SPRAY PAINT! First thing I did after buying the Rustoleum Metallics in chrome was test it out on the nasty old light fixture which was also brass.. and here is the result:


Not bad at all! (It was actually quite reflective)  Bring on the cabinet! I taped it off, and I also covered up pretty much every surface in the bathroom since I didn't want chrome anywhere else. The brass trim actually wrapped around the door so I also had to spray the interior.
 

It covered really well.  Only two thin coats was what it required.

Taaa Daaa!!

Even the interior looked really good.  Best 99$ I ever saved!

Next up on the list of things to paint is all the interior door knobs (since at 20$ a set, it would be in excess of $1000 to replace ever single interior and exterior door and closet knob in the house.) Also, as mentioned previously, I am also using the same technique to give myself brushed nickel hardware on my cabinets when they get repainted.

Option 4: Cover Up
 So after all that, what brass is left in my bathroom? Well, the frame that holds up the mirror. I am not going to paint it (although I could) but instead I am going to use some crown molding and frame out the mirror to make it look less like a sheet of plate glass.  Right now this is my inspiration mirror that I found on Pinterest:
Courtesy of: www.fullofgreatideas.blogspot.com


Awesome right?

Once that is done, there will not be one single speck of brass in the girls' bathroom.  Too bad I can't say the same for the rest of the house.