Best Laid Plans


I had grand plans for what I could accomplish in one weekend. I really did. I was going to get the dining room list completely knocked out and start on the upstairs hallway list. Have you ever heard the saying “men plan and god laughs”? That was my house this weekend. I came down with strep throat and the baby had an ear infection. I spent the entire weekend sick on the sofa trying to take care of the baby from a safe difference.

Since I can’t show you anything new I’ve done, I thought I’d show you a project we did to improve our home a couple of years ago. I scrapbook so I photograph everything! So this is a look back at our upstairs bathroom reno.


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The upstairs bathroom was a plain white box that needed to be brought to life and I was up to the task. It’s hard to tell from the pictures but this room has the same amazing woodwork that the down stairs has but was painted white like the rest of the room. I knew this called for a little sweat equity. I suited up…

Stripping Gear

Armed with paint stripper, I used Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Stripper (in an orange can), and a hand scraper I started on the inside of the bathroom door (after I took down the towel bar). For those who have never done it, you paint on the stripper with a cheep brush (now is not the time to use your nice paint brushes), wait 15 minutes, and start scraping.

Hard at Work

After a week of hand scrapping I was frustrated. My very wise Uncle Frank suggested I invest in an oscillating tool. So off I went to the local home improvement store. We have 3 and I shop at all of them.  He suggested and I purchased a Rockwell 2.3 amp oscillating tool and attachment kit. I don’t recall what I paid for mine but I can tell you Lowe’s currently has a 73 piece kit listed for $149. Mine came with a scraper attachment and I quickly made progress.

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At this point I took a little break to go shopping and chose new fixtures and flooring.

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Sorry no picture of the flooring sample, but I wasn’t planning a blog at the time. I will say we went with an 18 x 18 peel and stick vinyl tiles and hired my Uncle and his friend to install the flooring and our sink. I will say I was very willing and excited to do this myself but my husband did not have confidence in my mad skills and over ruled me. Once they were done my dad came over to install me new wall sconces. Again my husband decided I was not to be trusted but I couldn’t possibly leave the crazy glamour bulb fixture circa 1980. YUCK!

Then I was allowed to return to work painting and staining. I didn’t feel the need to match the woodwork down stairs or the hallway. I wanted this room to stand out. I went with Minwax “Jacobean 2750”. As you’ll see it’s a very rich, deep color. I didn’t exactly follow directions applying it. I did use a wood conditioner as directed. It was then recommended to paint the stain on, going with the grain and wipe it off. When I did this I didn’t feel that the color was dark enough. So I painted it on and then just left the room to let it dry. It turned out great!

Because this is a bathroom and some of the wood is right next to the shower, I used a water-resistant sealer. I chose Minwax Helmsman Semi-Gloss Spar Varnish because it’s water-resistant and works with temperature changes, ideal for the humidity changes in my bathroom.

After that I caulked and painted. We used Valspar paint. For the lower half of the wall I painted it “Linen”, the upper portion of the wall is an olive color that they called “Barrell”, finally the chair rail and bathroom cabinet were painted “Cloth”.


I finished up with the fun details. I hung an oil bronze towel bar on the back of the bathroom door, a hand towel ring, and new outlet cover. Instead of a curtain I chose a cordless accordion blind in off white. After putting all that work into the molding, I just couldn’t bring myself to hide it behind a curtain. With a little elbow grease, family helpers and $1000 I had a bathroom I was proud of…


We finished this upgrade in the spring of 2011. I hope you enjoyed this look into my house. The girls are home and I’ve started to feel better so tomorrow we’re back to the list. I’ll be sure to fill you in on all the madness that ensues.


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