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  • Writer's pictureRebekah

Weekend #3 of our weekend bathroom painting adventure...

Optimism is usually a good trait, but it isn't necessarily a good thing to have as much optimism as I seem to have when it comes to project timelines. I should know better from my laughably low estimate for the basement reno, but no! I somehow thought that we could scrape all the paint in the powder room, prep the wall, skim coat it, sand it, put all the trim back, and get it repainted in a weekend. Now that I'm listing it all out, I can see that I must have been delirious or crazy when I thought this was a weekend task. WHOOPS! So here we are...going into weekend #3 of this powder room update.

Aside from the amount of work it's taking, the most annoying part of this is that we are down to one accessible bathroom in the house and it's upstairs. What this means it that if we want to hang out in the basement now, we have to go up two flights of stairs to use the bathroom. It also means that I have the tank from the toilet in the living room. Thankfully we don't have any plans to have guests in the house until the end of March because right now it's a dusty construction zone that's making me crazy. Seriously, the main motivation I have right now to get this bathroom put back together is my overwhelming desire to just clean evvvvvvvvvvverything once we're done.

Anyway, back to this bathroom... getting the paint off the wall took two full days of me and Mr. Handy being smushed in a 4x4 foot room. We removed 80 years worth of paint! You can see my other post if you're curious why we didn't just make things easier for ourselves by slapping on another coat of paint. There were some very creative color choices throughout this house's history, and apparently the previous owners have liked these colors to not only use them for the walls, but also for the trim AND the ceiling. Can you imagine loving pink enough to have a bathroom with pink trim and a pink ceiling. It appears that at one point the ceiling and walls were also brown. I do not understand either of these color choices.

I started trying to strip paint off all the trim in the room, but after two days of removing paint from walls and looking at the price of new trim, I decided that I did not have any desire to strip, scrub, and prep the old trim. It looks like it's solid oak, so that makes me sad, but I'm going to donate it all to our fave salvage place, Community Forklift, so someone else can use it in their old home. Speaking of old houses and paint removal, if your house is old and there's paint, it's very probably that there is lead paint so PLEASE follow proper safety precautions and wear the right protective gear.

well that escalated quickly.

Since we were working on paint that was on plaster, we used Smart Strip, a paint remover that is safe for use on plaster and PH neutral. It sorta smells like almonds, so it didn't stink up the house, but if you've never used paint stripper, let me just tell you it's awful and tiring. It always looks so easy and non-messy in videos. Oh well. We got the majority of the paint off this way, and then I could focus on any particularly troublesome spots.

I spent President's Day patching cracks in plaster and skim coating the whole room. The internet makes skim coating look WAY easier than it is. I was like "Oh yeah. I can definitely get two smooth coats on in an afternoon working with hot mix* joint compound." And well, technically I did get two coats on, but smooth....we'll say that I accomplished sort of smooth walls.... that still need to be totally sanded. UGH.

I spent last night sanding. I'm spending tonight sanding. Tomorrow the plan is to touch up any small imperfections and get the walls primed. Sunday the plan is to reinstall the trim, add board and batten, caulk it all, and paint at least the bottom half of the room so that we can have a toilet again. I think it's doable... I guess we'll see!


* when you buy joint compound there are two types. There's the kind that takes 24 hours to dry between coats (allowing you all sorts of time to work it for smoothness), and there's the type that cures using a chemical reaction that occurs in a set amount of time. I used the 45 min kind, and in retrospect, I think 90 min would have been much easier. I'm pretty fast from all my basement work, but 45 min to get a whole room skim coated is insanity. I did it, but I'm paying for it now with the sanding I need to do because I had to work so fast.

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