home improvement · Life

Get lost popcorn ceiling

I’m way behind the game with posting, but I’ve been a bit busy. Many of my posts about projects don’t get posted until usually after the project is finished (or damn near close to finished). Let’s jump in my time machine and head way way back to early June 2016…

Walking into our house you are greeted with a pretty awesome view of the backyard and an stupendous wood stove in a big ol’ square of a room we’ve affectionately named “the great room”. One aspect of the great room that I detested from the start…popcorn ceiling. The terrible popcorn ceiling was on both sides of the room. One side had beams that were awesome-ish and a terribly old and slowly dying track lighting fixture. Oh and it has the spectacular sliding glass doors that allows you to bask in the glory known as our backyard (one day to be the Ewok Village).


Fun fact: the beam side is where the Christmas tree lives in for the almost three months of the year it resides in the house with us. Yes…we are that couple that get up early the day after Thanksgiving to get our Christmas tree. The BH gets to use one of his many power tools to cut down our tree, I take coffee and enjoy the show and get lost wandering in the sea of Christmas trees for a few hours. It’s awesome, like us.

The other side of the room, where the reading corner and the best seat to enjoy the wood stove is, had two pot lights and the do-hickey for the wood stove. Oh, and the AC vents. Otherwise it was just a sea of gross-nasty-disgusting-grodie-icky-popcorn ceiling. There lies a deep repulsion of popcorn ceiling within my soul. If you have it in your house, I don’t judge you…about that at least…


Back to the story. In early June 2016 the time had come to attack the great room project on our to-do list. It was now or never. It is the biggest in size from all the other rooms we’ve tackled, and the room that required the most areas of help. i.e. practically the entire room.

The popcorn ceiling wasn’t the first thing that needed to happen in that room. It could have been, but in all honesty — I wasn’t looking forward to actually doing the removing. I managed to reason with myself that since I had to take down all the curtains and the furniture had to be moved away from the walls anyway, I really should pull the wallpaper off first.


And like with most all the other wallpaper (exception — the bastard wallpaper in the HTTM), it came down without a hiccup. Goodbye green wallpaper.

With the paper all off, and only teeny tiny amounts of mold behind the wallpaper (that’s something I’ll save for another post) it was time to face off with my enemy. With excited anxiety, and more YouTube video viewing than I care to admit…I put on my goggles, donned my trusty face mask and went to work. Safety first kids…always protection…


Removing popcorn ceiling is incredibly easy. A nutless monkey could do the job. (bonus points if you know that movie). I tackled the project with a six foot ladder, a 1 gallon sprayer filled with water, a scraper (I started off using just this one but switched later to a different set up), and a shit ton of plastic bags.

Spray four foot section with the water sprayer. Let the water sit for about three minutes. Don’t let dry…scraping dry popcorn is no-good. Up on ladder (you could use a pole) and push scraper along ceiling and popcorn, now more like cottage cheese consistency-wise, just fell away. Get down from the ladder, and repeat. Over and over and over again.


Of course…it was hot and humid out that day, so i was extra hot, extra sweaty, and super fucking pleasant to be around. It didn’t help that the original mask I used wasn’t strong enough, so I had to upgrade to one that was thicker and more substantial. As a result it made me feel even hotter. It was fucking awesome. (sarcasm)

But after about two hours, maybe three, one side was all scraped. And I only sorta gouged the ceiling once! Can’t see it in the photos, but I did repair the slight gouge with spackle. One thing noticeably absent in the photos is the removed popcorn…where did that go you ask? In the plastic bag that the fancy scraper I mentioned earlier uses plastic bags to catch the stuff. BUT the bag got real heavy real fast for my weak-ass arms. So I switched up my action to use one of our basic flat edge scraper and let the stuff land on a drop cloth that I would drag to each section I was scraping. Probably more bending over, but made it move so much faster. Plus my shoulder was quickly wearing out.


We had to put the couch back so Dr. Spaceman (the cat) could still nap in his normal spot while I worked on the other side. Yes…he’s that spoiled. You’ll also notice on the couch, paint chips. The paint guys at Home Depot know me at this point.

Our original plan was to take down the beams and either put new ones up or leave it smooth like the other side of the room. But upon closer inspection…the beams are pretty solidly attached to the ceiling and I was in no mood to even remotely damage the ceiling. Plan B was called for…after all the scraping was done.


Almost forgot! Before I started scraping the beam side, our electrician came out to the house to disconnect the three baseboard heaters in that room. While there, he also thankfully disconnected the depressing track lighting fixture. One step closer.

With the electrical work done, off to work I went on the side with the beams. And I’m not gonna lie…it was a bitch of a job. The previous side went so smooth and easy I got pretty spoiled with how quick I was able to make awesome progress. But the side with the beams took more time and required more up and down on the ladders. Plus having to try to scrap underneath those beams that weren’t flush to the ceiling (my OCD head exploded a little, but I did like Elsa and let it go) added more time to the whole thing.


After a total of about 12 hours, any and all traces of popcorn ceiling had been banished from this house. Banished forever. It was then the time to figure out what our Plan B was. Because our neighbor is awesome…she floated the idea that the we paint the beams the same color as the ceiling. Great idea…and I quickly put her idea into action.

But first — a coat of Kilz Max for everything in that room. Walls, ceiling, and beams. I had already gone around and pulled up all the baseboard that was in the room when taking a tiny break from my scraping. That is yet…another post.


After letting the first coat dry, a second and final coat of Kilz was used…just to be safe. The mold spots, which were cleaned the moment I found them, made me queasy so I gave it another coat just to be safe. Plus we had over bought on the stuff and I didn’t want it to go to waste.

The weather gods played nice during the Kilz time, thank the heavens I was able to have the windows open the entire time I was painting. The wind wasn’t kicking up all that much either so I didn’t see too much of the outside coming in thru the screens. Apologies to my neighbors for the loud music…I needed motivation to keep going…


After a total of about 35 working hours, I now loved looking at the ceiling. The room was finally a blank canvas and ready for me to get my Martha Stewart on. First on the agenda was paint color. Because some decisions for me is never simple, I brought home seven different paint samples in similar shades of grey…and then promptly stared at them for hours trying to decide which shade tickled my fancy.


But decisions were made…so stay tuned…more to follow…eventually…

home improvement · Life

Crafty Obsessions

It’s no secret I like to get crafty.

Not surprisingly when I see something I like in catalogs, at stores, or even while watching something on the boob-tube, my inner voice says ‘I can make that’. This Martha Stewart-esq part of me started my most recent crafty obsession. String Art.

While researching HTTM finishing touches, I came across some suh-weet string art ideas on Pinterest. It wasn’t long before my brain connected the “tree” dots that is going on in the HTTM and I had decided on adding just a little more tree to the room.

With my brain synapses firing like mad, I made my way to Home Depot with a mission to get myself some ply board or other like materials for my first string art project. While perusing the selection I found this gem of a plain pine circle. The circle shape wasn’t my first thought, but at under $6 — I was SOLD. And in true Courtney fashion, changed my design plan while standing in Home Depot.


Once home I gave the piece two coats of grey stain I had on hand and used for the pallet wall project in the laundry room. After everything dried, I spent roughly two hours nailing in all the nails of the design. You’ll notice some of the ring nails aren’t perfectly straight — that’s due to knots in the pine. Annoying, but hey…I made this so it’s not perfect. And I’m not perfect.


Time to start the string fun. There are a few ways one could go with this piece, but I opted to go for a negative aspect. aka — the tree would not have any string. Only outside the tree.

I managed to score some perfect yarn while at Tuesday MorningPremier Yarns has this incredible and VERY lightweight yarn that was ideal. Sock yarn could work also pretty great too, but I don’t have any of that in my inventory because I haven’t made my way to knitting socks (YET). I digress.


A short three and a half hours after I started, I was all done and my crafty piece was ready to be hung. The piece of wood had no hardware, so I had to make another trip to Home Depot (oh drat). The finished piece is rather light, so I didn’t need anything super heavy duty. Just a very simple sawtooth hanger. Full disclosure, the nails they included with the hanger were too short, so I happened to have the same size nails just a smidge longer that worked perfect.


And voila, it’s up on the wall. Last bit for the HTTM is to make (shocker, I know) a smallish ladder out of tree branches from the backyard to replace that sturdy yet not really fitting in the room wood cabinet thing. Don’t mind all the junk on the counter top…that was the new toilet paper holder which I love love love. Pivoting toilet paper roll holders, where have you been all my life? Ignore the bad reviews, I haven’t had any trouble with it.


The new string art in the HTTM went over so well, the BH was rather impressed with me. He usually is, but this seemed to really wow him. He suggested we do some string art in the laundry room and I immediately loved his idea and went with it. Back to the Home Depot to get myself more circle pieces (I knew there was a smaller circle option) and another box of nails. With all my needed materials and the letter font selected, I gave the circles two nice coats of the trusty stain we’ve used literally all over the house. Another two hours or so to nail everything in and I was ready to get my string on.


I love how awesome the stain looks on the circles. For about a moment I was sad I didn’t use the same coloring for the HTTM tree piece. But then I realized I liked how there was some variety. This project was a little more tricky than the tree piece, but it was still addicting and soothing. About 3.5 hours since I nailed my first nail, I was all strung up and ready to put the hangers on the back.


The BH graciously helped mark the wall to make sure they were hung level, and then we were in business. Finished, all up on the wall and lookin’ freaking awesome. Please ignore the small pieces that look like tails that I hadn’t yet snipped before taking the photo. I was anxious to take a pic and patience isn’t one of my virtues.

laundry string art

Yes, there are three wine bottles on my favorite shelf. Those empty bottles are sentimental to me, so they lived on that shelf briefly while all the other 60 bottles were being cleaned.

I like the string art so much, I would absolutely love to make them all the time. I’m planning to make one for the MIL for her birthday in August. I’m gonna branch out and use multiple strings a multiple colors. Hopefully it turns out, cause she’ll love it.

home improvement · Life

Laundry room stairs and stupid bronchitis

It’s been almost two months since my last update…and that’s embarrassing. But I have a somewhat good reason for being MIA. Sorta. Long story…longer…

When we bought our house, there were these gross red-maroon carpet things that were nailed to the treads and the risers on the stairs going to the laundry room. I disliked the carpet pieces so much, that I pulled them up one random day in May 2014. Pulled em up knowing the stairs would be just as ugly, if not more. But I didn’t care, they had to go. Then ‘to-do’ list got crazy thanks to the basement revamp (ahem, leak in the bulkhead) — the bastard leak in the kitchen sink, which if you remember required the laundry room to be completely pulled apart. If you need a refresher you can see the start of the laundry room saga here and here.


Fast forward to mid-April 2016 and I finally had the time and ability to get back to giving the stairs some love and attention. The BH nicely put up the dreaded plastic wall to keep dust from getting EVERYWHERE, I got all my tools together — i.e., sander – sandpaper of various grits – goggles – face mask – etc, and was ready to get my sand on. I jumped in head first with round one of sanding.


There was quite a bit of varnish (or lacquer, not sure which it was) on the stairs which translates to a SH!TTON of dust. Remember how I mentioned that face mask in my list of things I got ready? Well…I didn’t remember them when I started. So I got about 4-5 stairs all done with round one before noticing my face was naked. I immediately stopped once I realized I was skinny dipping in sanding dust and grabbed my mask.

But the damage was done. The dust was already in my bronchi irritating the sh!t out of them. Roughly two days later and with only one more round of sanding left, I felt the dreaded tightness in my chest. I was less than pleased — this was not only stopping my progress on the stairs, it was overtaking my birthday weekend. Subsequently knocking me completely out of the game for one full month. I was miserable dealing with bronchitis and one of my least favorite things. post. nasal. drip. gross gross gross gross.

So…fast forward again to mid-May, and I was finally able to get back to the stairs. I quickly got the final standing round done, got the treads conditioned and all set with three coats of the stain that can be found almost everywhere in the house. Then, I got all three coats of polyurethane applied and put the stairs out of commission for 7 days while they cured.

laundry stairs

During those seven days, I went about figuring out exactly what I wanted to do with the treads. With the help of the BH, it was decided that we wanted to bring the cool cucumber paint color used throughout the laundry and basement bathroom. It helped I had at little less than half of a can of the stuff. Over two days I got all 12 riser pieces all painted and ready. The BH did the cutting for me, cause he’s awesome — and I was also tackling the great room. (another post, and it’ll be a doozie).

laundry stairs 1

What you can’t see in the finished stairs photo below is the AWESOME support post that I took the rope off and painted with my newest favorite…Rustolem’s Hammered Copper. I’ll be sure to include that when I get around to posting about the laundry room…it’s about 90% finished. Just need to get the new flooring put in (cause that red-maroon crap just ain’t cutting it.) Don’t mind the books piled there, they were acting as support while the wood glue dried…

And voila, the stairs are so so so close to being done. Just need to add a small stopper where the bottom of the riser meets the top of the tread. They look great, don’t they?

laundry stairs 2

home improvement · Life

Hot Tub Time Machine…finishing touches

While the laundry room stairs are drying after sanding round 3, figured I would post an update on another project that is in the finishing stages…the Hot Tub Time Machine (HTTM) Again I’m kicking myself that I don’t have a real good photo on my phone of the HTTM before I started tearing it apart…but to give you some background — the room had a very bland and boring mirror on the wall with a terribly boring light mounted above it.

After some time on Pinterest, I had formulated a plan. I was gonna use fallen branches from the backyard and make the most spectacular wood slice mirror ever. And bonus, I was gonna get to put the band-saw into some major use.

A quick trip to Home Depot and we had what we needed. First we measured the space where the mirror used to live and added three inches all around and then cut the board to the specific measurements. Then using some serious mirror adhesive, we glued the mirror in the center and added the three inch pieces all around to make the mirror relatively level with the framing. Is it a perfect job? No…but I don’t care, cause we did this ourselves.

HTTM Mirror

Once the glue had the time it needed to cure, it was time to paint the frame. I didn’t want any of the frame showing thru the wood pieces, so I painted the framing black. Just a basic black matte paint that I had in my ever-growing inventory of paints and stains and a trusty foam paint brush. Please…pay no attention to the gross popcorn ceiling in the mirror.

HTTM Mirror2

Before I started doing anything permanent to the frame, I painted to the very edge of the frame for the mirror. That odd looking edge wasn’t there for too long. Just required more attention and concentration when I was painting than I was willing to give it the first time around. I am lazy when it comes to taping…so…there’s that.

But I did start laying out wood pieces to get an idea of what my brain was picturing. See those little plastic tube things? Those are Crystal Light containers…I had about 12 of those filled with different sizes of wood slices.

HTTM Mirror3

After touching up the edge on the mirror, I started laying out all the wood pieces. Figured I would rather lay them all out and THEN start gluing, just in case. Over the next few days I spent a few hours each day hunched over the mirror on the floor putting down my template pieces. I ended up spreading all the slices I had, well — most of them — directly onto the mirror which ended up working out great. That brown paper in the background is Dr. Spaceman’s paper playground.

HTTM Mirror4

In between all the work on the frame, multiple trips to the workroom were made to make different size slices or to increase the number of slices I had in one size. A few trips were made outside to the backyard to grab newly fallen branches, or use some pieces we have stored for kindling and/or outdoor fires (the latter of which, by the way, we haven’t had yet)

HTTM Mirror5

Once everything was laid out (exception: corners that will be used to screw the mirror into the wall with some serious wall anchors that the BH got) I spent an entire day gluing each individual piece of wood. It wasn’t as simple as I had been hoping, I wasn’t able to lift each piece…put glue on it…and then put it back down. Once one was moved, the whole section around it moved.

I basically was starting over with the placement of the slices, but it worked out in my favor in the end. Doing it piece by piece gave me the opportunity to make the slices fit nice and snug together, but this also was slightly troublesome — on at least three occasions the sleeve of my sweater (it was cold and rainy the day I was gluing) knocked the unglued pieces off the frame. The word ‘shit’ and my other favorite curse word was muttered often.

HTTM Mirror6

Once everything was glued and have at least 24 hours to cure (and I could stand up without my back killing me), it was time to mount the behemoth and monster of a mirror. It was SO HEAVY. And it’s not the wood slices, it’s the actual mirror and the board the mirror is glued on that is hefty. We got it all screwed in, and then to add some extra holding power (because the top screws weren’t as strongly in place as we would have liked) we used some liquid nails at the top.

HTTM Mirror7

Now that it was up on the wall — it was time to put the pieces in the corners and start some of the crazy detail work. Thank the LORD the BH was more than willing to make all the teeny-tiny super small slices needed to fill in some of the gaps. I spent almost an entire Sunday with some needle-nose pliers, wood glue, and some of the smallest slices of wood I’ve ever seen. Seriously shout out to the BH, without hesitation he would make me new slices that kept getting small and smaller.

And to boot, I was able to fix up that hole where the medicine cabinet used to live. I didn’t do a great job, but it’s good enough that I could paint it to match the rest of the room. That little wall space above the outlet is going be where the new string art piece that I’m making is going to live. It’s gonna look great.

HTTM Mirror8

Ta-Da! We have a finished wood slice mirror. Pinterest WIN! It took a lot of time but I think it was well worth it. I mean, c’mon — how awesome does that mirror look! (except the mirror itself isn’t clean yet).

Also, notice those two shelves above the toilet…I made those too. Saw them for around $80 each in a catalog and was no where near willing to pay that much for them. So I just made some myself with left over posts we had. I’ll post about those with better photos soon.

HTTM Mirror9

Last little bit needed for the HTTM before we can officially stamp the bathroom ‘finished’ is some paint touch up (notice that ugly line right above the sink), a good cleaning of the mirror, some fun artwork (I’m leaning towards some string art that I’m going to make — shocker, i’m going to make it…) and finally a good overall cleaning of the room.

Then the hunt for a ladder that I can incorporate into the room between the sink and the actual hot tub begins. Want something fun to hang the towels from 🙂

home improvement · Life

Laundry room ceiling…and more

We’ve done it! We’ve finished the laundry room ceiling with only a few tiny details remain i.e. overhead lighting and some other details that my creative brain is still working out.

While I was enjoying some time with a couple of friends on a lovely Saturday afternoon, the BH was busy putting the grid for the new ceiling up. It’s better that I’m not around when he’s doing this part — we learned that when working on the basement ceiling.

laundry ceiling

And because the BH is totally awesome, he got the grid up in a few hours AND he used some of the left over grid materials we had from our previous ceiling project, so we only had to buy the tiles. Have I said how awesome he is?

I would like to point out the glorious orange, yellow and brown paint just above the door in the next photo. That fab color combo was hidden behind the terrible pink/mauve that the room was painted when we bought the house (notice the color of the door…that was the color of the room). I was strongly considering changing my entire room plan to bring back the Brady Bunch coloring — but the better half vetoed the idea. Probably for the best.

laundry ceiling3

So with the BH finished with grid, it was my turn to pick up the next part of the project. The ceiling tiles…which for the most part is easy, just a real pain in the rear. Literally, a pain in the rear end.

laundry ceiling4

A few hours spent going up and down, up and down, up and down, on the step stool and I had made some great progress. Full disclosure, I went the easy route doing all the tiles that didn’t require cutting first. One quick cameo appearance from the BH during my work…and he helped move that pesky light we were clipping to the floor joists. That fecker gets hot.

laundry ceiling5

Took a step back to snap a few photos…here’s a view from the basement into the laundry room below…notice all the special cuts? Ugh. But I have to say…I love the ripple tiles so much. They match the basement tiles, only the basement tiles are black.

laundry ceiling6

Saved the part I like the least for last, special cuts. While delaying the inevitable, I put new feet on the bookcase that has been relocated from the master bedroom to the laundry room. Since it’s going to be living right in front of the bulk of the plumbing in the basement, I wanted to ensure the bookcase could survive at least four inches of water in the room. Everything else in the room would be ruined…but the bookcase will make it out unscathed. Cause that makes sense…

Laundry ceiling tiles3

Spent the better part of a Monday morning on the step stool, measuring once and twice before making all the cuts needed. Can’t see the set up I had in the photo below…but I was using a marker, measuring tape, a card table, an old ass cutting board, a box cutter, and a t-ruler.

Laundry ceiling tiles2

And after some singing, cursing, sweating, a little dancing, and lots of up and down — all the special cuts were done and I didn’t make any wrong cuts! Score. I love the ceiling texture…and I love that I did it without ruining any of the tiles. All the measuring really does pay off. easter egg in the below photo…the  mirror on the card table is the mirror from the basement bathroom, and it’s all done and ready to be back up on the wall.

Laundry ceiling tiles5

The new ceiling really makes the floor stand out as nasty. Nay, it’s Gross. I’ve got to figure out what I want to do to make the bookcase fit in more with the room. I’m thinking of somehow incorporating the bead board, maybe as the inside backing of the bookcase. Plus I’ve got to figure out what the heck I’m going to do with that IKEA dresser and that wall mounted thing that was in the master. I’m thinking that’s going to make it’s way into the office/craft room…maybe…

Laundry ceiling tiles4

Last but not least (and the most annoying)…I was 4 tiles short. FOUR TILES. So, I had to order a box of 12 (ugh) and patiently wait while they ship out…in the meantime, the basement bathroom still has an exposed ceiling corner.

My friend walked into the bathroom this past weekend to see the progress and exclaimed “It’s a Pinterest orgasm in here!” You can kind of see a snippet of the fun wall in that bathroom in the corner of the photo. It’s coming along super, and should be finished by the end of this week.

Laundry ceiling tiles6

Up next…sanding and staining the stairs, finishing up the basement bathroom, flooring for the laundry room, and giving the door a good face lift. In that order.

Plan for the door is to take it off the hinges, sand off the three or four layers of gross paint it has on it, and give it a new life. Cheaper than buying a new door…and I love to sand and paint (or stain).

Then it’s onto working on projects in the room(s) upstairs…and the dreaded POPCORN CEILING REMOVAL. I’m considering playing The Imperial March on a loop while I’m removing the popcorn…it’s gonna be messy.


home improvement · Life

The laundry room wall, part 2…

Progress continues in the laundry room with each day knocking a little more off the to-do-list. The most recent work that we finished up was that wall in the laundry room. With the frame set up, it was time to start giving the wall it’s much needed dress.

Yet another trip to our local Home Depot and I was all ready to start using the nail gun. First up, was putting the pine pieces in place. The longer piece on the far wall was a tad bit more of a challenge than originally expected, but we powered thru and got it done.

Laundry wall2

The BH is always so willing to let me try out ideas that I either dream up, or (and more frequently) Pinterest. When I announced that I wanted the wall over behind the washer/dryer to be bead board, he didn’t bat an eye — just bought me two big ol’ slabs of the stuff. When I said I wanted to paint it, he asked what color. Because names of paint are important to me, say hello to ‘Chilled Cucumber’. That pesky light is as annoying as it seems, but I can’t remove it until we are ready to put the ceiling in right behind it.

Laundry wall3

As the weekend came to an end, the BH added a few more beams for support in the frame of the wall and then hung up all his tools. The next task was one of my favorites. Staining. Using the same stain used in the basement and will be used on all the baseboards in the house, I went to work. The pine pieces closest to the door turned out spectacular (the photo shows two of the three coats applied).

Laundry wall5

Another week passed with me finishing the staining and working on a few other projects simultaneously. The following weekend the BH and I put the rest of the dress for the wall. A nice sturdy peg board above the slop sink, and some basic birch boards and we had a wall. A wall that we built. Finally.

Laundry wall6

With the staining done and the wall built we were ready for some more paint. The color of the walls of the laundry room, ‘popped corn’, went onto the second half of the wall (excluding the peg board) and we were officially in the final stretch of this project.

Laundry wall7

And because the BH is so great, when I said I had an idea for a shelf…he went along with it and agreed to help me get it installed. Over the week, I had worked on staining a few additional piece of pine boards for the shelf. When they were all done, the BH went to work getting the shelf into place.

Laundry wall8

Voila, I’ve got a gorgeous (and very simple) shelf that also hides the cords and the dryer exhaust. Plus side, if we ever need to get behind the machines we can remove the shelf without doing too much damage. SCORE.

Laundry wall10

With anything related to building the wall, we were finally finished. Up next — the ceiling! We’ve got all the supplies needed and the BH was able to salvage most the existing drop ceiling frame edge pieces which was awesome. The tiles match the basement (except they are white versus black) and they should brighten up the space. The previous ceiling was pretty dingy colored, so the new white tiles should look great.

Laundry wall11

It’s so close to being a real room I can barely stand it. Next update will NOT include the terrible lighting. Up next…the ceiling. Following by some much needed flooring.

home improvement · Life

Hot Tub Time Machine gets a face lift

Our second bathroom is affectionately known as the Hot Tub Time Machine, or HTTM. Partly because that movie is awesome, but mostly because said bathroom has a jet tub straight out of the 80’s. My first instinct was to yank the tub when we first bought the house, but during the inspection my eyes were opened to just how awesome the tub truly was. It worked, and it worked great.

To go along with the spectacular robin-egg blue tub and tile, there was gold wallpaper with a leafy-flowery looking pattern. The leaf-flowers were in bunches of three with a white, robin-egg blue, and a darker teal color (I think). I’m kicking myself for not taking “before” photos of the bathroom with the wallpaper — and the real estate listing didn’t have photos of the bathroom either. grrr.

A few Fridays ago I made the decision the day the HTTM facelift was gonna get started was that day. Right then at that very moment. The removing of the wallpaper began…and rather quickly it was apparent that the paper itself was going to come up no trouble — but the adhesive had something else in mind.


It didn’t help that access to the paper (and the asshole adhesive) on the tiny wall above the tub part was only made possible via the ladder that had to be put into the tub. There was a terrible sounding creaking of the fiberglass every time I stood on the ladder. Part of my brain told me the creaking was normal, but another part told me I was going to go crashing thru the tub at any moment.


After a couple days fighting with the asshole adhesive, it was time to take the toilet out of the room so I could get the last portion of the room that needed attention. It’s incredibly simple to remove a toilet. Gross, but totally simple. Full disclosure: I did NOT remove any of the toilets, the BH did that nasty job.


See that little bit of paper? That was the last remnant of the wallpaper I couldn’t get to with the toilet still in the room. Imagine that paper…all over the room. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. Overall it had to come up regardless of it’s greatness, the paper was already starting to peel up in many sections. Just ooozed old.

With the toilet outta the room I was able to maneuver slightly easier, and spent the better part of a day working on getting ALL the adhesive off that I could before throwing in the towel and deciding that it was time for sanding down what remaining asshole adhesive wouldn’t come up without tearing up the drywall.


As you can see, the drywall behind the toilet got a little beat up. Can’t say for sure if that’s because I was starting to lose my patience, or I had started using the blade do-hicky that the BH got me. I officially stamped the remaining adhesive “texture” for the wall. With the adhesive battle over and the room getting a nice sand and smooth down, it was time to paint. A quick trip to the Home Depot for the paints (also nabbed ceiling paint) and I was ready.


In true Courtney fashion, just as I was finishing the wall, I tapped the plate cover for the tub jets. Let’s just call that…my signature move.

With the walls, and the ceiling all painted it was time for the toilet to return and attempts to clean the HTTM went into effect. I don’t think the tiles and the tub itself have gotten as thorough as a cleaning as they got that day. I dare say it looked better than the day we got the keys (disclosure: the previous owners had the entire house cleaned by Merry Maids the day or two before we officially got the keys. They were awesome)


Up next was the lighting and what to do with the medicine cabinet. The medicine cabinet hole was smaller than most of the standard cabinets now — so we made the call to just close up the hole.


I also had waffled on whether or not to epoxy the cultured marble counter, but ultimately decided I would make due with the current counter. Everything I had read and heard about the epoxy project sounded intense and way too stinky. Instead I’m going to spruce up the cabinet part and just deal. (Until I can get my hands on a dresser that is perfect for my vanity idea)


Another trip to Home Depot and voila — we had a new light fixture and my favorite light switch cover. Ended up grabbing the wrong kind of plate for the plugs, so my next trip to Home Depot (next week) will include grabbing the correct plate. With some electrical help from the BH, we got the old light out and the new one up. A little time touching up the walls around the new light and we were in business.


Now the medicine cabinet…that’s another story. Not sure what I was thinking…but I got a little crazy with the Spackle. And not surprisingly, my craziness was just that. Crazy. SO…the current piece is going to come out, I’m going to put in a few small pieces of 2 x 4 to give the frame behind the drywall piece a little more support and THEN clean up that piece.

And now I’m working on the finishing touches for the bathroom. Got something special going for the mirror and trying re-purpose some of the left over 4 x 4 post materials that the BH used last year when he was building the wood platform. Progress!