Impromptu Redo II

No, it did not take us an entire year to finish the bathroom remodeling project. Yes, it did take me an entire year to blog about it. Could I be a better blogger? Sure, go ahead judge me, but who cares our bathroom looks AWESOME! After the demolition was complete, it took us almost two weeks to get our bathroom put back together.

Bathroom After 1

We installed new paneling and new molding. We used the same window and base molding which matches the remainder of the molding we upgraded here. Caulked all of the seams using paintable molding caulk. There was so much of this to do that it took me almost one entire day. Then we painted on a fresh coat of gloss white paint. We opted for gloss paint in this room to make the surface of the paneling easier to wipe down.

Bathroom After 4

I researched different flooring options for a bathroom application, and based on our choice to leave in the existing flooring(not necessarily the best way but this worked for our budget), we opted for cork patterned floating vinyl plank flooring. I loved the look of the cork but needed the durability and installation perks of vinyl. The color turned out great it was warm, and it doesn’t show every single speck of dirt and hair. We had some tough corners to get the flooring around where two door frames met and inside of the linen closet. I created paper templates which helped reduce the number of mistakes on actual material. We found it easiest to cut the flooring with a pair of snips. We used a carpet installation razor blade in some instances, but the planks of floor were two layers thick which made it difficult. The floor installation took us a day and overall the installation was fairly easy especially once we got to the straight pieces. The thing to note when installing this floor is to make sure that all of the planks and adhering strips align correctly. Once these babies are stuck together, they are tough to get apart and the adhesive comes off making the piece nearly useless.

We also removed the doors and sanded them in preparation for a new coat of paint. While they were removed, we cut them down using a table saw to fit over the new layer of flooring.

As part of our remodel, we selected a new pedestal sink, a new medicine cabinet, and light fixture for above the sink. Everything looked so new and we were really excited once these items were installed. Max ran into the issues with the sink installation and we had to install some wood behind the wall to brace the sink.

Bathroom After 2

Bathroom After 3


For the paint color, we followed along with the inspiration picture with white paneling on white walls. We picked almost an ivory shade to keep the bright fresh warm feel. We used our favorite paint, Valspar Paint/Primer mix. Since the walls were in such bad condition, we applied two coats of paint. Once the paint was on the walls it really started to bring the room together.

Finally, we got to accessories. It took us a while to finally hang pictures on the wall and hang the shelves.

Bathroom After 5

These items put the finishing touch on the remodeling project. There are still a few more improvements we would like to complete in the room, but as I seem to be reminded in all aspects of my life lately, my work is never done!

Recent Reno – Post 6 of 6

Who’s ready for some before and after pictures? I know, I know, I’m super mean for making you read five whole blog posts and wait three weeks before showing you the before and afters (or well progress pics). Max and I had to work for it, so I thought it was only fair that you did too!

Remember when the LR and DR looked like this:

and this:

Well not anymore! Shazam! Now it looks like this:

and this:

Next up – the nook/landing. Remember back to this picture?

You should see it now!

We know the condition of the hardwoods could be better, but we love it!

Oh, and I can hardly remember when Elsie’s room looked like this:

and this:

Not anymore!

The other spare room has shown major improvements over its previous condition too! Shown here:

Buh-bye paneling and wallpaper – hello awesome paint and new molding!

Then there’s our room, which I hated when it looked like this:

and this:

and this:

Now I LOVE IT!!!!

My favorite part is that all of the colors go so nicely together. You can see how well they coordinate where the master and Elsie’s room meet at the end of our hallway.

We love the progress our big little renovation made to our house. All of the space feels so different, and it is actually looking like us and our style. We’re super happy with the way everything turned out. There are still many items on the “to-do” list which I’d consider as is par for the course for most DIY projects. Here are a few things that were left undone:

1- Filling in the holes in the molding from brad nails

2- Caulking the molding

3- Painting the molding

4- Actually hanging things on the walls (curtains, pictures, etc…)

5- Painting Elsie’s Room’s Ceiling

6 – Desperately need to pull out the SLR to take better pictures (Whoa!)


The first three items  encompass easily another whole weekend of work, and since we needed rest before getting back to the grind we just let it slide until later. Number four is already in work. I have purchased a lot of items that just need hanging and ordered some photo prints before Christmas.  So again, all these remaining items will just have to be sidelined to wait for some free time. I just have to remember that  life is about the journey and not the destination.

Recent Reno – Post 5 of 6

WOOO! FIVE! We’re almost to the end! This day was a mismatch of solving problems, returning unused items to home stores, working on the finishing touches, and wrapping up cutting the molding. Again, my parents came out to support the efforts!

My Dad and Max kept plugging away on the molding. My mom and I painted some of the old molding in the family room (not replaced), ran errands, and painted the previously yellow spare room’s closet. It was a pretty full day and I was happy to reach the end of a few tasks. Nothing too major to show from my mom and my efforts. The window sill in the family room and the closet door appeared a bit yellowed which we repaired with a fresh coat of white gloss.

The major issue we were working on this day was that the HVAC register we removed needed to be replaced, but the slot for the register was very skinny as shown below.

The issue is that when we install the register grate over the hole, the molding has to sit on top of it. This is not a big deal and would probably never be noticed by the average home visitor (see below).

The problem is that once we nail down the molding there is no getting that register out of there, and when we go to replace the floor we need to be able to remove the register. In many cases, we’re going to do our best to follow recommended/best practice procedures, but sometimes snafoo’s like this one pop up. Then you’re faced with the dilemma or doing everything the “right way” just the way the works for us within our budget. We decided to temporarily install this molding by drilling pilot holes and partially hammering in some finish nails (not the threshold kind). This way  they could be pried out to remove piece of molding and the register when we go to install new flooring. Here was our solution:

We left  the nail sticking out about 1/4 inch, and only used a few nails to hold the molding to the wall until new flooring is installed at a later date.

As for the remainder of the changes on this day no progress was apparent in pictures, but it was important to call this day out for a very important safety lesson learned. When using  power tools,  exercise proper safety precautions and remember they are dangerous. This day came to a close with a visit to the ER, and Max getting a tetanus shot (he shot his thumb with the nailer – oops! We’re just glad it wasn’t the saw!). We were in and out pretty quick and Max was good to go in the morning. The next day’s plans were exciting- clean up and get the house back to normal!

Recent Reno – Post 4 of 6

From my previous experience, the first several days were smooth sailing as far as old house renovations go. Day four was the beginning of experiencing set backs. We started out first thing in the morning by tearing up the carpet in the upstairs. At this point we discovered two fun things. First, we found our closet floor was covered by contact paper (OMG- who does that?). Second, we found out that the carpet installers GLUED down the carpet padding to the hardwood (seriously what were these people thinking?). We didn’t have time to care at that point, so we just kept moving by taking all the old carpet to the Gucci Dump

Next, we stopped by Home Depot to pick up all of the molding. We had already pre-shopped, and we knew we were purchasing contractor packs of 5 and 1/4 inch base molding for just about $1.10  a linear foot. We hadn’t concretely decided on a casing molding for all of the doorways and windows, but we landed 3 and 1/4 in width of  a fairly traditional style which was again about a $1.12 a linear foot.

This quickly added up to most of our budget, so we were careful to only re-do the molding on walls we knew we were keeping (there are some major wall moves and removals in the planning phases). We made the decision to remove and replace all of the base and casing molding for several reasons: the molding had been painted poorly many, many times; the molding was not coordinating throughout the house; the molding was not capable of hiding many of the imperfections in the drywall around the floor left from removing old school HVAC registers and paneling. The list could go on, but I won’t bore you. The first snafoo with the molding we ran into was getting the 16 ft long pieces/packs of molding to our house. We own a pick up truck, but Max was rightfully nervous about the extreme weather conditions (very windy) and crazy drivers in our area with us scooting along with 6-8 ft of molding sticking out behind our truck. We rented a 12 ft bed Home Depot truck for an hour to get the molding home, and we made it home with no damage to our load.

When we arrived at the house, my parents were already there hard at work removing the carpeting tack strips and staples. (SWEET!) I took on the task of returning the Home Depot truck and picking up our truck, leaving Max and my parents back at the house to work.  When I got home, all of the tack strips and staples were removed except for in the master bedroom. The master bedroom was double tack stripped, which at first didn’t seem too bad, but it definitely took double the time. Also, the installers used finishing nails ( the kind made for thresholds) made it that much more difficult to remove the tack strips. After finishing up with the removals, I tackled the contact paper in the closet, which luckily came up with no problems. This was not so much the case for the glue and double sided tape.

My mom and I spent more than a few hours with a bucket of warm water and soap just wetting and slowly scraping the glue and tape off the floor. It came up but there was still some damage to the floor. All in all, I’m happy because we did the best we could and we eventually plan on doing something to the floor down the line. Plus any angle I think about it from, the hardwood is still way better than carpet.

I’m sure you’re wondering where were my Dad and Max all afternoon while my mom and I were on glue duty? My Dad was showing Max how to measure and cut the base and casing molding. All I know is they were in and out a whole lot, every once in a while I’d hear, “it’s 38 1/4 and a line – what do you think?”, and someone would reply, “oh yea 38 1/4 and a line” then they would scamper around back to the saw set up. They got pretty  far before we decided to call it a night, but there was still plenty to be finished up the next day. Here are a few shots of the hallway and bedrooms with the base molding placed, but not installed. Also, some/most of the case molding is adhered to the walls, and the carpet has been removed.

Here’s the master bedroom:

Here is the spare room that I call Elsie’s room. There has been no molding around these doors and windows for months. Also, this is  the room I plan to paint stripes in at some time. As you can tell from this blog post, in order to make progress for the molding we had to remove a lot of the items we were storing in here.

This is the upstairs hallway, and it is apparent that the doorway at the end of the hallway was left incomplete at the end of this day.

And lastly, here is the stairway and nook.