Home Making

Lessons From the Walls


Our bathroom was ugly. I mean, look at that picture


If you didn’t know otherwise you’d think it was sheet rock and mud. Nope. That’s the first coat of white paint on the edges and the gross brown original paint underneath. Hence my deciding to paint it.

I picked out how I was going to paint the bathroom a couple months ago, but the decision to paint it this weekend was spur of the moment. It so happened that hubby’s airsoft team was going to Kansas City for the weekend. I would be home alone for two nights. I don’t do alone at night very well. How was I going to survive?? Ah. A project. Bathroom re-do for the win! As an added bonus hubby’s birthday was the following week and so it would double as a birthday surprise. Not that he particularly cares how I repaint the bathroom, except that the plan was to theme it Mass Effect N7. White walls with a black, red, and white accent wall. (If you don’t know what Mass Effect is, please see your nearest gaming teenager or young adult) We already had N7 towels that we bought here and so the re-do was just begging to be done.

That being said. Tutorial on painting a bathroom: First you need paint.


That one’s pretty easy.


. . . I’m going to just go ahead and skip the easy things.


Here are some of the things I learned while painting the bathroom.


#1. Washing the walls

Do it right

As you’re supposed to do, I “washed” the walls prior to painting. And by “washed” I mean that I stuck a broom in a pillowcase and swept the walls. I thought this would suffice, walls aren’t that dirty, right? Well, no, they’re not. The top of door frames and showers, though, are. This became an issue as I attempted to tape the plastic to the top of the shower.

Lesson: If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.


#2. Toilet tank

Mop out extra water
Turn off the water supply, flush the toilet, and sponge out the left over water.
Detach hose
Detach the water hose and the bolts connecting the tank to the base.
out of the way
Remove tank and set somewhere out of the way.
Bam! Done.
Bam! Easy to paint behind-toilet.

I came upon the problem, as many a bathroom re modeler does, of painting behind the toilet. Upon looking for ideas of how to get around this problem I found many “hacks” to paint behind it without taking the tank off. It looked like a hassle. I mean, is it really that hard to take off a toilet tank? I looked up how to do it. Seemed simple enough: shut off the water supply, flush the toilet, mop out the remaining water from the tank, unhook the water line, unscrew the tank from the base, lift off and set somewhere out of the way. So, being the handy dandy house wife that I am, I got to work and took the toilet tank off. I only ran into a couple problems.

First off, don’t use one of those car cleaning-soap embedded sponges to mop up the remaining water. . . At least my toilet bowl and tank are sparkling clean now.

Second, I don’t actually own a socket wrench, which made detaching the tank from the base a little tricky, but creativity trumps giving up every time.

Lesson: Who says girls can’t use tools?! Toilet tank removed in less than ten minutes!


#3. Edging

Short stack

Being short is not awesome. Ever tried to use a paint edger on 9 foot ceilings when you’re only 5’1”? Even with a step ladder (the kind with three steps!) I couldn’t reach the ceiling. So I added a 12” handle to the edger. . . And could still barely reach. It took some awkward maneuvering with the ladder half in the tub half out to be able to paint above the shower. And over the sink? Well . . . let’s just be glad my Mom wasn’t watching, and I wasn’t wearing socks.

Lesson: Don’t be short. But if you are, don’t let your Mom wander into your work area, because then you’ll have to get a real ladder instead of adding big books to the top of your step ladder. And what fun would that be?


#4. The runs

Paint scraping

Paint is a liquid. Which means that if you set it on too thick gravity will take over and it will run. This happened to me while I was painting this super awesome red stripe.

I didn’t notice until almost an hour after I painted it. Then I tried to fix it by mopping up the drip with the roller. Not a good plan, as the drip had (obviously) started to dry. What resulted was a cracked peeling grossness which I then had to scrape off with foil, before waiting a couple hours to re-do the whole thing.

Lesson: Always check for paint drips, before your paint dries.


#5. Pee-ling

Accent wall

Painting the accent wall was incredibly fun. It is what kept me going when the white became downright discouraging; when you put on two coats that each take an hour and a half and it’s still not good enough, it’s easy to get downtrodden. So when I finally took off the blue painter’s tape covering the white stripe separating the black and red I nearly peed myself. I stood there for almost five minutes just freaking out because it looked so incredibly sharp. My design skills were “on point”.

I almost broke down and texted a picture to hubby right then and there to share my excitement. I held it together though and made it through until Sunday when he came home.

Lesson: Always visit the restroom before doing the “big reveal” of your art work so there aren’t any accidents.


#6. Hard work




Before 2Lookie here.




After hours of back straining work, taping, re-taping, painting, painting again, realizing I needed a third coat, running for more paint, painting more, balancing on ladders and books, taking apart and reattaching a toilet tank I finally – finally – finished the job.

And it looks absolutely fabulous, if I do say so myself. Fortunately, my husband thought so too.

Lesson: Hard work and perseverance pay off. Don’t be afraid to tackle something big. Go for it! You can do it!


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