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Friday, July 7, 2017

Inside House Work

I got the main bathroom redone yesterday.  Only too a year.  Really!

I had the tub and surrounding tile replaced June 2016.  It left raw plaster around it and all I had to do was repaint that.  But I decided the repaint the whole thing.  And didn't, and didn't and didn't.

I did Monday.  Now, when I repaint, I do it right. Remove all the outlet covers and towel bar and TP holder and mirror.  Sand the raw plaster around the tub and tilework to utter smoothness and use a tack cloth to remove any plaster dust.  Paint the raw plaster with a primer coat.  Wash the walls with TSP (Trisodium phosphate), rinse the walls with clean water 3 times, cover all the edges with tape, cover everything with drop cloths, paint the corners with a good brush, paint the walls with a roller.  I was only covering "golden bamboo" color paint.

I thought "a day".  It took 3.  And several hours yesterday after the paint dried for 2 days to re-install the outlet covers, towel bar, TP holder, etc. The mirror was a real pain.

Part of the problem was that all the screws that fitted the attachments were both rusty and clogged with drywall dust I could brush off.  I have a large assortment of screws, but of course none matched the type, size, and lengths I needed for new plastic anchors into the drywall.

I went around in circles trying to match what I had to what I needed.  No luck.  Then DUH!  Most of the towel bar attachments were wood.  So I just drilled the holes in them a little larger to fit the screws I had.  Sometimes the solution to a problem is right there.

So I got the outlet covers on first.  They were always slightly crooked, so it was easy to correct that.  NOT!  I had to adjust the actual switches and outlets a bit to get them straightened out.  Careful to not touch anything electrical inside the switches, almost.  I reached in too far once and ZZAPP!  A wasp sting, but I was wearing rubber-soled shoes so no grounding connection.  I got more careful after that.

But I got THAT done.  Then it was time for the 3'x3' mirror.  The mirror takes 3 hands to attach and I was just 1 hand short.  I will tell you that it IS possible to use your thighs as a hand to hold a drill in place with one hand holding a mirror upright and another hand to tighten a new drill bit in, but I WON'T say it is easy.

But it got done...

Last was the shower curtain rod.  When the contractor removed it, it came right off after removing 4 screws.  Somehow, it became a bit longer while it sat around for a year.  I attached one collar.  That was a mess itself.  I was expecting to just drill into drywall and tap a plastic anchor in the hole to hold a screw.  Instead, I hit wood.  Wood is good.  Except the hole I drilled for the plastic anchor was bigger than the screw (that is normal).  So I had to get a larger screw to to match the hole sized for the plastic anchor.  Which meant I had to drill a larger hole in the shower curtain collar,

It is ALWAYS something to adjust or resize.  It's maddening sometimes.  So I got that screw to fit the hole and went to the one on the other side.  The drill went right through the drywall.  No wood.  So THAT one needed a plastic anchor.

OK, so at least I know the pattern for the collar on the other side of the tub.  Right?  Wrong!

The other side hit no wood.  So more plastic anchors.  I ALMOST screwed the other collar into the wall, but realized the shower curtain rod had to be in them both first.  At guess what?  The shower curtain rod didn't want to fit.  It seemed a hair too long and threatened to scrape my nice paint job!

I had to play around with the rod a few minuted before I discovered that the wall there is not perfectly straight.  Moving the collar and rod to one side gave me just enough clearance to get it to fit against the plastic anchors I had installed.

Screwing them in was easy.  NOT!  The curtain rod prevented my electric screwdriver from getting a clean fit into the screw slots.  ARGGHH!

I finally found a really long screwdriver and got it attached manually.

It was a real pleasure to finally reattach the outer decorative shower curtain itself onto the rod and attach an inner mildew resistant shower curtain.

2 days work took a lot of 4 days.  But it is done.

You may think I hate doing this kind of stuff.  I don't actually.  Sure, the problems drive me mad sometimes, but if I wanted to avoid that, I would just hire people to do it.  I do it because I want to know *I* did it.

Mom use to laugh as she told friends about how, when I was even a toddler, I would refuse help with tying shoelaces and getting dressed, saying "Mark Do".  And I haven't changed...

Tomorrow, I attack cleaning and repainting the kitchen walls...  After the bathroom, "piece of cake", right?


pilch92 15andmeowing said...

Murphy's Law sees to apply whenever one is working on home improvement projects.

Megan said...

C'mon Mark - I know you well enough to know that you should triple the original estimated time for any project you undertake if you wanna be realistic about it! And the real reason who want to do it yourself is that you want it done properly - right? Yep - I live with someone just like that. LOL Things do take a while to work their way to the top of the 'to do' list here, but boy, once they're done, they're done well.