Monday, January 26, 2009

Bathroom Remodel, a Budget and Bengay

We have been pretty busy around here the past couple of weeks. What started out to be a simple project turned out to be a major undertaking...go figure.

We needed to remove some wallpaper from our master bathroom and texture the walls and paint. Sounds simple enough....right? Well, not so much. Seems with 4 layers of old wallpaper on the wall, that removing it was not an option. That stuff was not going to budge...not one little bit.....

I should have taken a before picture of the bathroom, but by the time I remembered to do so, this is where we were in the work....See the stubborn wallpaper? It did not take me long to throw in the towel on this.....

We called our friend who is a wonderful handyman....He is the one who did the remodel at our cabin last summer....Oh, I forgot to show you that project? Well, I will post about that in the days to, back at the task at hand. After a quick consultation, we decided to re- sheet rock the whole bathroom. Simple really. Should not run into any problems...right?

As long as everything has to come out in order to hang the new sheet rock, I might as well get rid of this out of date Hollywood light fixture. I had planned to save the vanity and put it back, however my son and husband demolished the vanity when they removed it. Seems my husband was under the impression a new one could be purchased for around...maybe...$150.00?! Are you kidding? Not in my world. I was not too happy about this situation, as I was not intending to spend the amount of money I knew that a new vanity would cost me.....and trust me, nothing that $150.00 could buy would I all. What to do???

Well, as long as we are talking about a re-do, I might as well have the old linoleum removed and tile the floor. Boy, this type of thing is going to blow the budget out of the water......or maybe not. I remembered I had tiles left over from the bathroom remodel we did at the cabin, so I knew I had enough to tile the floor, and the price was! Say goodbye to these out of date floors.....See that mess? That was from the vanity demo, and that is what I was looking at when I first discovered the smashed up vanity laying in the backyard.

Now, I hate the popcorn ceilings. I have removed all of it from my house except this bathroom and one bedroom. long as we are in the process of updating, might as well strip off the popcorn ceiling too. I should have reminded myself what a job that can be. Have you ever got started on a project and it just snowballed into a major undertaking? This was going to be a quick weekend project that has turned into much more than a simple weekend job. This has been a major task.....But if you like, I will take you on this journey. I will give you a couple of demonstrations and explanations on how-to's and maybe ask for your opinions on some pressing decision making.

In case you are wondering what you need in order to strip the popcorn ceiling off, it is really quiet simple. You will need a putty knife, a step stool and a spray bottle of hot water. That is it. Oh, and a bit of elbow grease....nothing more!

Here are the directions:
1. Fill spray bottle with hot water.
2. Spray generously the ceiling in a small area with the hot water. Let set about 2-3 minutes.
3. Scrape with a putty knife. Once the ceiling is wet, the stuff will scrape off very easily. Please remember to wear a mask for protection from the dust. If you live in a older home it is a good thing to check for asbestos before beginning any project. Stay safe!

This is what I have left. Newly sheet rocked walls, freshly scraped ceiling. Floor waiting to be tiled.....did I mention the fact that I have been busy? Did I mention the fact that for such a small room, this is becoming a lot of work? Did I mention the fact that I am a few years older than the last time I did a home improvement project, and I am feeling every bit of it? Did I mention the fact that my shoulders and back hurt so bad I needed Bengay Cream to help my old tired muscles?

Or did I mention the fact that this is just the kind of thing I love? The planning? The searching? The finding all the right elements? Did I mention the fact that it brings me great pleasure to update a room, on a very strict budget, not overlooking any elements of design I was looking for originally. I just love that type of thing. Yes, I love it, tired bones, smelly Bengay Cream and all....... and I want to show you how you too can make major changes on a very small budget....with a little work, time and can turn your dreams into a reality. Check back for the rest of this journey.


  1. Too much fun! A huge headache, mind you, but so much fun :) I'm right there with you... I love this stuff...

  2. I was reading along with your procedure and really agreeing with you whole heartedly on the part about knowing whether its asbestos or not.
    My father was a drywaller and operated the hopper to spray popcorn ceilings (never wore a mask) as well during his younger years and later died from complications of lung cancer at 55. We never knew if it was from the mixing the drywalling muds or smoking, my guess would be both, one exacerbated the other.
    Well, good luck with the remodel, just keep thinking how good it will look when your done and all the Bengay will be worth it.

  3. I can almost smell the Bengay! Oh how I sympathize. It always seems one thing leads to another in the remodel area. Can't wait to see the finished project if you are not too sore to snap a photo!

  4. I like remodels and re-dos. the best part is the end result. can't wait to see your finished bathroom.

  5. Been THere! Done that!
    Hey thanks for tip about popcorn ceilings...the house I am in now has it in EVERY room and I HATE them~! Can't wait to see FInal results!

  6. My bathroom needs redone so bad but Im just not up to all that work.

    Can't wait to see yours when it's done.

  7. i love the outcome of our bathroom!! Can't wait til you post pictures ;)

  8. Hi Suzanne,

    Wow...what a project! My hubby and I have often talked about wanting to remodel a house. You really have inspired me! I can only imagine the joy and satisfaction you'll feel when it's all finished and you can finally enjoy the hard work you put into it! I can't wait to see more!

  9. You GO, girl! The worst part is over, and now it'll be a blast! Oops, wrong choice of words.

  10. Oh my goodness. You are a brave girl and it makes me worried about wall paper we are getting ready to strip. It sure looks nice now that it is done. I know all about having a house that smell like muscle rub!
    Good wishes for a really nice day,
    Roberta Anne

  11. Hi Suzanne...whew, after reading all the agony you've been through on prepping this room...I think I need some Bengay! LOL.. I can't wait to see the end result!
    ;-) Bo

  12. just gotta love those "simple" projects!

  13. Wow! You are going for it all, good for you. We had a realtor go through the house (we are putting our's on the market in spring) and the only room he told us to paint was the master bedroom. I guess its dated with my purple walls. So neutral it will become.

  14. I can't believe that you did all this yourselves. I'm very impressed.

  15. To be honest? I'm sore just reading this. I'm so impressed with do-it-yourselfers. I never learned how to do any of this stuff.

  16. Reading all this involved in remodeling, hs made me tried too.

  17. I can't wait to see the finished project. That snowball effect happens to us every time we begin home renovation also. But if we just do this....and this...and this....there's no end!

  18. Does medicine make you happy? It made Ben Gay. (Yes, I am 12 yrs old again.) I have those same lights in my bathroom and hate them. The only remodeling I ever do is watching HGTV. I can't wait to see your bathroom when it's all finished.


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