Projects keep us out of the bars

So there was this project that I had been putting off for the longest time. In part the financial bits and pieces weren’t in place and sourcing all the things I needed to complete this one took some time and research, but the time had finally come……

It’s just a little makeover on a bathroom. Necessary because the bathroom started life as a walk-in closet. Some owner at some point in time decided it would increase the value of the property to have an en suite bathroom rather than a closet for the master bedroom. The closet did not have a heat vent in it, despite having an external wall with two leaky windows. Apparently clothes do not need to be kept warm. However, once the unknown owner decided to renovate the closet into a bathroom, it would have made sense to add a heat vent, just because a person has to take clothes off in order to take a shower. And of course the steam from said shower does not mix well with a cold room, especially one with a super cold external wall. So all of this moisture and cold resulted in damage to the paint on the external wall. Oh and did I mention it was the ugliest red paint that anyone would ever want to put into a bathroom?

condensation is never kind to paint, not even ugly red paint

condensation is never kind to paint, not even ugly red paint

In addition to the condensation damage there was also water damage that someone did a very bad job of attempting to fix. From the look of things the shower may not have a good water barrier. Silicone caulk all around the base of the wall tiles and at various places in the shower floor seem to have fixed the problem for the time being. Fixing things behind the tile goes beyond what I will do for a rental unit. The landlord knows about the problems, the water damage and the poor “fix” was there when he first showed us the property. The wall damage will be repaired as part of this project.

And did I mention that this is just an ugly color of paint? This brick red was apparently very popular back when these buildings were built in the ’90s. Now it’s time for this ugly red to go. And for the repairs to be properly done. Fortunately there is another bathroom in the condo, so I don’t have to use this shower while I make the repairs, and prep for painting. But this red will not go easily, I fear. It’s some kind of very glossy paint, looks like a gloss and not a semi-gloss, and the walls have sooooo much texture on them. Time for the orbital sander, I suppose. Something to rough this surface up and maybe knock the tops off the worst of the texture.

So, out comes the 60 grit discs and the little orbital sander and away we go…..slowly. This stuff is TOUGH! By the time I get 3 square feet done, the battery is dead and the disc is smooth as a baby’s behind. Off to the big box center….(I wish we had a real hardware store here.) So away I go armed with NICAD batteries, a new charger and a pack of 25 sanding discs (NOT the super discount ones.) And I spend an entire day sanding and charging and vacuming and sanding and charging and wiping dust and finally, things start to look dull and a bit knocked down.

Water Damage at the base of the shower

Water Damage at the base of the shower

Now the drywall repair kit with the little wire mesh patch cover, sandpaper and that funky spakle that goes on pink and dries white. What a mess. Good thing this mesh will give the thing some rigidity. Maybe I should replace the silicone caulk on the inside of the shower basin to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

the worst of the damage.

the worst of the damage.

And the rest of the evening and into the night…..This is not a pretty repair. I had to enlarge the hole quite a bit and dig out crumbling plaster that was just slapped in here. I got down to a fiberglass mesh that was probably part of the original corner. The wire mesh patches have an adhesive edge, and are pretty rigid so can be bent to the shape of the corner. Then the spackle clings to the mesh and the whole repair is completely independant of the broken stuff underneath the repair. By the time I had this done, it was time to go to bed and call it a day.

It looks like it will be every bit as big a project as I had thought and then some. Not that I underestimated the number of things to be done, just the time it would take to get any one of them done.

One thought on “Projects keep us out of the bars

  1. Kay says:

    Boy does that ever bring back memories of doing the same kind of stuff in that California condo last winter… I can surely appreciate the work involved! And yes, that’s the most hideous red. What on earth were they thinking… I’ll bet this is going to be a real nice little bathroom when you get done with putting that heater on the wall.

    your title made me snort, too. Ain’t that the truth?

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