Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Home improvement

For six months, my bathroom has been begging for a face lift.

The previous owners painted much of our house quite colorfully -- a splashy red wall in the dining room, hues of blue in the kitchen, and peaceful greens in the master bedroom and living room. But the bathroom walls were boring off-white blah. There's also a salmon-colored sink and bathtub, which really stumped me. Just what is one supposed to do with a pink bathtub?! And the mirror was simply horrid. It was chipped all along the bottom, plus it was the wrong shape -- a vertical mirror hung in a horizontal space, which was totally fengin' my shui. Oh, and it was hanging on the wall by a COAT HANGER. This must be what mirrors are like in prison.

So a few weeks ago during our vacation, I began the great bathroom do-over. First I spray-painted two really awful dark-wood fixtures: that light above the sink and this unusual medicine-cabinet-type thing built into the outside wall of the shower:

I used antique white spray paint to match the trim on the window. I also replaced those puny little transparent lightbulbs with fat, white compact fluorescents, because we here at CBJ.com are incredibly environmental.

Then I picked paint colors for the walls. On the wall above the sink went French Cream by Valspar, which makes the pinkish sink and tub look pretty neat. The other three walls were done in Babbling Brook by Olympic. I also used a 40-percent-off coupon to purchase a big silvery mirror at Michael's for just $30, and then I replaced the grody old wood light plates with brushed silver fixtures.

Now I'm all through, except we're still waiting for the arrival of a train shelf and towel ring we ordered from Restoration Hardware, marked down by about $100. So the entire project cost just a little more than $300. But can I tell you? My finest moment during this makeover wasn't finding a good deal. It also wasn't figuring out how to paint the wall behind a toilet, or how to open a 6-foot ladder in a bathtub. No, my finest moment was when I INVENTED SOMETHING.

So when I pulled off all the blue masking tape, sometimes there were little dribbles of paint on the trim or caulking. Horrifying. So, thinking fast, I looked around the bathroom at what I might use to fix the problem. I happened to find this:

What is a bottle opener doing in a construction zone? Well, me and a couple Sierra Nevada Pale Ales think that's pretty obvious. Anyway, then I grabbed my plastic container of paint wipies. I don't know if that's what they are really called, but that's what I call them. They are like Wet Ones, but for your paint-spattered hands:

Then, I wrapped the wipie tightly around the top of the bottle opener:


Isn't that outstanding?! I was able to wipe away the dribbles without disturbing the wet paint. I call it "The Paint Editor™." And because you were so nice as to read this entire blog post all the way to the very end, you may use my invention whenever you wish, absolutely free.


Anonymous said...

We could totally use your help in our THREE bathrooms over the Christmas holidays. We'll give you some eggnog and Southern Comfort...

Robyn said...

Oh, I know all about painting behind toilets. And oh, the joy of painting a bathroom that's about 4'x4' with a 12' ceiling. Try THAT ladder maneuver!

Looks lovely, by the way.

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Sheila said...

Beautiful! Love the colors!