We bought this house from my mom and uncles after my grandma died. The bathroom was the same light baby blue it has been since 1987, but upon inspection I realized it was going to need a hell of a lot more than a fresh coat of paint. There was a patch of ceramic by the shower that was coming up and broken. The grout in my shower used to be white before it browned and the caulk was seriously disgusting. The tape on the seams where the walls meet the ceiling had started to peel in places and I had a pretty good sized hole in the drywall where the towel rack used to be before my kids decided to use it as a gymnastics bar years ago only to find out that OOPS! Towel racks aren't meant to support the weight of small children. Go figure. I decided to do this while he was gone because quite frankly, we are great together, as long as we aren't doing projects on the house together. The only thing that has tested my marriage more than a piece of IKEA furniture was the time we tried to install a ceiling fan in the family room on a 90 degree day. The box it came in said "5 Minute Installation". I knew that was bullshit even before we took the fucker out of the box. Four hours into it, both of us stinky and perched on the ladder trying to mount it on the vaulted ceiling, I had visions of shoving him off the ladder. I knew I had a limited window of opportunity here so I had to strike while the iron was hot. My only real problem is that with the exception of painting, I had never done a single thing I was about to do before. I did the only thing any self-respecting, inexperienced, hopeful do-it-yourself-er could do.
I made Google my bitch.
I researched everything I needed to do from patching ceramic tile to patching drywall. I made a list of my supplies and headed off to make my purchases. I took advantage of the cash I make waitressing, ensuring my husband wouldn't log on to the bank website to see me making purchases at Home Depot. I'm sneaky like that. I had a moment of self-doubt when I was greeted with this sign:
Over the next three days, I went on a caffeine and music-fueled binge. I ripped up the damaged ceramic tile, patched the floor with the remaining tiles my grandma tucked away in the garage, grouted and sealed it. I stripped old and discolored caulk. I trimmed off peeling tape. I spackled and patched walls. I taped. I mudded. I sanded. I mudded and sanded two more times. I learned all about corner beading and conquered that particular aspect like a fucking beast. I repaired some small bits of the bathroom grout. I decided against tearing out all the old grout because by and large, it was still in great shape. It just needed a bit of a facelift and given the fact that we only have one full bathroom with all these people, letting three walls cure without getting wet for a couple of days before I could seal it just wasn't an option. Once I caught a whiff of myself, never mind the fact that I saw what I will look like once my hair goes completely white with all the sanding debris, whore baths were definitely off the table. I bought some grout paint that also reseals. I even came up with a freaking genius way of applying it. I used one of the extra syringes I got to irrigate from my oral surgeon to precision-apply it before scrubbing it in for an even distribution with an old toothbrush. I am nothing if not creative in problem solving.
|Grout refinishing comparison, look at that new caulk. Not bad for a newbie.|
I have just a couple of small areas I need to touch up where I got the wall paint on the ceiling. I was going to do that Friday night but I hurt my knee that afternoon and ended up in the emergency room. It appears as though I tore my meniscus.
I have to go for an MRI to see what other damage I might have in my knee. The ultrasound showed my swelling is from blood seeping into my leg from torn blood vessels. The irony is that I didn't hurt my leg by doing any of these wondrous feats of home improvement. I hurt it when I squatted down with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to tackle soap scum on the tub. Housework is dangerous, yo.