Bathroom DIY


As I mention previously, I have been renovating my bathroom. I haven’t blogged about it yet because I didn’t know which approach I wanted to take to talk about it. This is part a DIY instructional part my adventure in updating my life. It’s mostly my adventure.

My family moved into our home in 2000. I was 12 at the time and I was not only getting my own room, I was getting an entire side of the house to myself. I have an en suite bathroom, a massive closet (I can fit a twin sized bed in there and still have room), and a small storage room with a troll door. At 12, this was monumental and my parents allow me to pick the wallpaper that was to go in my bathroom. My parents would have picked something sensible that would be extremely generic and last the test of time. I picked smiling bugs in bright colors. It was great when I was 12 and it stayed great until I went to high school. A whole whopping two years. *Sidenote: My bathroom doesn’t vent well. A hot bath or shower make that room feel like a sauna for hours. Just keep this in mind for later.*

I guess in high school I zoned the childishness of it all out. The bathroom was not a retreat then. It was where I took a shower at some ungodly hour of the night only to get up a few hours later and go to school. Through my college years and my first job in South Carolina, it didn’t bother me because I was never home long enough to care. That job was miserable and I moved back home 2 weeks after my contract ended. This was the moment I started living at home. Still that wallpaper did not bother.

One year later I started getting a little crazy about the bathroom. It had turned into a retreat as a bathroom should be and the happy little bugs were starting to make me mad. When I had a bad day their silly little faces would remind me how much more fun being a kid was and frankly they were not calming at all. They riled me up when I wanted to unwind.

To give them some credit, on sunny mornings they were so wonderful. Just so happy bathing in the sun through the window. Silly bugs. That’s all they were good for.

Back to them making my head spin. As more time passed I started making changes to my bedroom. The bedroom was youthful as well and had to be changed. I had to ignore the bugs for the time being. I painted my bedroom over the summer and I was hooked on the idea that things had to change and I that was going to do it myself. Only question now was when? There should have been a lot of other questions like how, what I was actually going to do, who was going to help me, but that’s not how I roll.

First problem to arise was that I started working my new “job” (I’m a ballerina, work doesn’t actually ever feel like work) right as I was finishing the painting in my room. I was dancing in four programs with Carolina Ballet and that didn’t leave time to do anything. I managed to clean my room in time for Nutcracker. On my layoff in January I thought about the bathroom some but I didn’t do anything. I would imagine what I wanted to do. I would look at the seams of the wallpaper as they were curling and already coming off the walls (remember that sidenote about the sauna…this is why the wallpaper was already coming off.) I had even tried to paint over the wallpaper which did not work.

This is what I wanted to do. First of the wallpaper had to go, then I was going to just add beadboard underneath the chair rail molding and paint above the molding. That was going to be all. Ideally I would have also changed the tiles in the shower to subway tiles and rip up the floor and go with radiant heat over pebble floors, but nice tile is not cheap, nor is renting a tile saw or installing tile with zero experience. I nixed that idea. The pebbles would also look a little strange with the beadboard (cottage meets spa…eww.) So I was going to keep it simple. (Honest moment, when is any DIY project kept simple? They grow like weeds.)

Now for the funny part. Well I think it’s funny. February rolled around and my days at work were fairly light. I learned a new ballet and then rehearsals were no more than an hour long after the learning process. I was home early, but I was also having a hard time dealing with so little to do. (This is a problem I have. I need to do things and I like to be engaged. I think it will ultimately lead me to Grad school in the next few years.) One Friday I went to pick my little sister up from school in Greensboro and she was upset. She was cut from a sorority who asked her to come back to their house after they botched their rush the first time. She cried, I cried and at that moment I said, ya know what, were pulling down the wallpaper.

Rant: My sister is an amazing young woman with a miraculous life and for some reason some women don’t know how to see that. UNC-G your Greek Life needs some order. Who has a formal rush, cuts girls and then asks them back for informal rush to cut them again? That’s rude. If you cut her the first time, don’t ask her to come back, lead her on, and then cut her a second time. Seriously. Your Greek Life seems to be extremely unorganized. Get it together. End rant.

So Saturday we went in the bathroom and just started ripping down wallpaper. Talk about liberating. I didn’t even save a little bit for memories sake. I save everything.

Here is a DIY part of this.

Wallpaper removal: I believe this is suppose to be a fairly difficult process. My experience with it has been absurdly easy. My wallpaper is a little over 11 years old and the moisture from my showers and baths had started to so something to the wallpaper and the seams were already starting to peel back. Below is what I used and how I removed the paper. If you are lucky it may work for you too.


Spackle spatula thing

Spray bottle filled with water

Crafting knife (the little blade you can use to cut paper)

A ladder

A steamer (for a little bit)


What I did:

I picked a seam in the wallpaper and I just started pulling the paper off. The top layer of the wallpaper came off. Just like that. I managed to pull the top layers of wallpaper off in whole sheets. This is the only pulling off picture because I was so floored by how easy it was. I was left with that yellowish paper underneath.

After I pulled all the top layer of paper off, I got the steamer out now and started to steam the paper that was left on and wall and scrape it off with the spatula. After half a panel (because the steamer wouldn’t reach) I thought what if I just wet the paper. So I took the spray bottle and sprayed water on the paper. It came right off. I started each sheet with the spatula and like the top layer pulled the bottom layer off in sheets with my hands. Basically, my wallpaper came off with water. I used the craft knife to cut around the outlets, light fixture (I couldn’t figure out how to get it off the wall) and the shower curtain and threw all the wallpaper away in the trashbag. Oh yea, the ladder was used to reach places up high. I didn’t need to tell you that information. Now the top half of my walls were free of wallpaper and I thought I was almost in the clear. I was wrong. My creativity bones started tingling. This was going to get big…

Now what? Choose a paint color

Now I had to get some paint samples. I thought I would go with a light color to keep from overpowering my room. I picked these and put them all on the walls. I didn’t love any of them. Actually they just don’t look good. The gray looked dirty, the pink looked white, and the beige was the same color as the unpainted rooms in the house. I’ve been to Home Depot, Lowes, and Sherwin Williams to find the perfect color. I am still working on that, but I have some solid contenders now.

I’m a scatterbrain. If you have read this far/this much/ this blog you already know that. Thank you for putting up with my train of thought.

Because I could not/ have not picked a paint color I decided to skip the painting and do a different part of the bathroom. I determined how much beadboard I was going to need and dictated the height I wanted it to go to. My chair rail was placed at 2.5 feet. Looking at it without the wallpaper it looked terrible. It was so low and it pulled the whole room down in a bad way. Time to remover the chair rail.

Chair rail removal:


crafting knife or razor blade

hammer or something with which you can pry the molding off

Use the craft knife to cut the caulking away from the wall. Look under the chair rail to make sure you it is not caulked underneath as well. Mine was not.

Find the nails in the rail. You will want to know where to apply leverage. I could kind of see where they were in mine.

Take your hammer and wedge the back of it under the chair rail where the nails are. Try to get the hammer under the rail. It will help in not chipping the wood.

Pry the rail off. Move the hammer around the whole piece from underneath. Once I got the areas closest to the nail to come off the wall a little I moved the hammer to the ends of the piece. You will have to keep moving the hammer to various spots to get the whole piece of molding off. Mine came off without a hitch. Just keep prying at that molding!

Again, my bathroom project has been much easier than I ever thought it would be. I was honestly afraid the molding was adhered to the walls and I would rip giant holes in the drywall. I hope yours is as kind and giving as mine has been.

This is the place in which I have not made anymore progress, but I have conjured up more ideas. I don’t know if that’s really forward or backwards. My bedroom is uncomfortably cluttered with the contents of my bathroom. My bathroom is in disarray. It looks like a construction site. Between the paint samples, the primed walls, and that heinous light fixture making everything even duller I need to finish this project! Standstill: Did you know you have to let beadboard sit for 48 hours before installing it? Now you know. It’s been sitting in my living room since Monday. My beadboard is “cured” now. I hope it can be cut and installed this coming Monday. I should go ahead and start measuring it now and measuring the walls again to make for an easy “cut and paste”. Progresion of Ideas: 1. You see that door? Its a regular door. I want to make is a double door. How do I do that? I’ll have to buy a bi-fold door and convert it. Reasoning behind the changing of the door is this, I believe having double doors that open into the room the bathroom will feel a little bit bigger. 2. I want to change the knobs on the vanity doors and also paint the vanity to match the beadboard. 3. I want to install a new light fixture. 4. I want to try my hand at plumbing…not. I’ll ask my dad to put in a new faucet in the sink and the shower.

As things have come down I see more “problems”. I was only going to remove the wallpaper and add beadboard. I ended up giving myself a blank slate and a head full of ideas for improvement. I’m making a board on Pinterest to keep track of potential, vanities, fixtures and faucets. Thanks for reading!

Oh! Here is a list of my current spending for this project. I want to see for myself how much it really takes to makeover my bathroom. I also want to show that making changes in a room doesn’t have to be expensive.

So far I have spent:

Wallpaper removal: $0

Paint Samples: $10.00

Beadboard: $20.00

Adhesive: $4.00

A whopping $34.00. How ’bout that for a renovation!


The Bathroom


I’m actually not going to say a lot here.  I’m trying to get you excited about what I’ve been doing! In short, I have been ripping down wallpaper, buying paint samples, taking many many paint chips, making up my mind then changing my mind, creating a theme to running from any continuity, to running back to wanting to make a cohesive living space…its been nuts.  That was not short, sorry.  Anyway, I am collection my thoughts to figure out where to start in the writing process of this new project.  That is all!

DIY Chalkboard paint


I “blame” Pinterest for this project.  When I was clearing furniture out of my room I left just one piece other than my bed and Herb’s crate.  It was this little side table.  My plan was to spary paint this table white with a lacquer finish.  I sprayed an old mini shelf with key hooks and a picture frame the same way and they were all going to match wonderfully.  Well I ran out of spray paint around the same time I finally got invited to Pinterest. As I was looking through endless DIY projects I ran across chalkboard paint.  Ive always wanted to do a full wall with the stuff, painting a wall black or that awful green was just not going to happen and that paint is fairly expensive.  The DIY version is not only easy it very inexpensive and you can make it ANY COLOR YOU WANT!  I got really excited and pinned it up to my own board and browsed through some other things.  Guess what I found, a dresser painted red with DIY chalkboard paint.  When I saw that I knew that that little table was no longer going to be white.  It was going to be the green I didn’t choose for my room…Sea Anemone by Martha Stewart (told you to remember that one, there ya go).

This project only took a few days and really, if I had started earlier in the day I would have probably made it a day project, but that’s not here or there.


Naked top table

First thing I had to do was sand that sucker down.  Did you know you have to sand in stages? I didn’t. I got the sealer and the stain off the table with the electric sander.  It was harder than I thought.  I assume since it was a store grade piece of furniture the finish was put on it to stay on it, but I got it all off.  The surface was not smooth at all so I switched my sandpaper from course to fine and went back at it.  It made no difference.  I’m somewhat impatient so I put the sander down, asked my sister to help me by cleaning the legs of the table while I mixed my paint.  I was going to paint that table.

Enter my dad (he is always in on my projects in one way or another).  I told him about the table top and how both me and my sister thought it wasn’t very smooth.  He informed me that you have to work your way down to “fine” in sanding.  I have another step to do.  Ugh.  I was ready to paint.  Back to the garage (its also winter and cold when you are outside the insulated walls of any building) and I wanted to get it over with quick because it was getting later and cooler.  I found the medium, fine, and extra fine and even a 400 grit sandpaper that was absurd because it didn’t even sort of feel like sandpaper.  I sanded my table a few times over with the medium – better, much better actually and a few time over with the fine – workable. I skipped out on the extra fine.  After all the table was about to be a chalkboard and they aren’t extra smooth.

Now I got to mix my paint.  I had my little samples from testing colors on the wall.  I found an old container with a lid to mix the paint in and save whatever I didn’t use right away.  It took all of 5 minutes on my deck to mix that paint (yes!) and I was back in the warm house only to go back to the garage.  But this was the fun part !  I painted the surface of the table, then the sides thinking I was going to leave the legs to be a shade darker with regular paint.Image  I let it dry a little and brought the whole thing inside.  Then I just kept painting.  I ended up painting the whole table.  * A note on painting with chalkboard paint.  Use a foam roller.  It works.  I read it on a few other blogs and went with it.  The foam doesn’t leave brush marks and makes it easier to sand when you are done*

I let my first coat of paint dry for an hour or so then I put on another coat of paint on the top and the legs.  I tried to keep going over it for better coverage, but the legs were getting streaky so I called it a night.  Next day I put another coat on and let it dry.

I stuck some pretty scrapbook paper in the drawer since I didn’t paint that part of the table and I put the pull I got from Anthropologie on the drawer before putting the “finished table back in my room.


Almost done/Hi Herb

I went to the craft store to pick up some chalk and hot glue (for another project).  I was very eager to write on my table.  It was gritty.  I knew what I had to do.  I didn’t want to do it.  I read that the paint could dry gritty and the solution was to sand it.  I choose to be lazy about it and grabbed a piece of sandpaper and took it to my room.  I was only sanding the top.  I was not going over the whole table even if it is a little bitty thing, however I felt it best to test on a leg.  Well I sanded some of the paint off exposing the original leg.  Easy fix, I have extra paint and can cover it up later.  I also realized to sand the grit off was easier than painting the table or putting the pull on the drawer!  I took everything off, gave it a little sand down and By George, it is nice.

I drew an angel on the top, wrote “I’m a chalkboard”, put my pictures and jewelry back where they belong, drew arrows pointing to my pictures, wrote the date on one leg, and drew lines on the front “to add dimension”  I love the table. I really want to do a wall now because its so easy and fun and the wall doesn’t need to be sanded in three stages! And this is the finished product!


Weekend Warrior


I like to consider myself a weekend warrior.  I love doing projects and decorating when I have some free time.  Over the summer my sister decided to paint her room.  I helped her and goodness was it fun.  A lot of fun.  Perhaps a Pandora’s Box of fun.  It was my turn.

My first project was painting my room.  Easy right…wrong.  I had a paint treatment on my walls, stripes to be exact, bright blue and white stripes.  I headed to Home Depot to pick a new color for my room.  (Side note, while picking a color I meet a crazy woman who demeaned me for having/starting my own business.  She was really weird.  Moral of this story, don’t take business cards from strangers who don’t have a business or work for someone. ) Anyway, my room has been most acceptable bedroom colors.  I’ve had yellow, pink, purple, and blue, so where was I suppose to go from there?  Red would make me a maniac so that was a no, I hate orange, and my sister’s room is light gray.  That left me with a shade of green.


Which green to go with?

     I chose Beryl and Sea Anemone* by Martha Stewart. I got some samples went home and did a test on coverage (of my three samples, two had primer in them and two were the same color.)  It did nothing to cover up the change in color between the stripes. (^what is she talking about?)  Don’t let those commercials that say it does fool you.  I did it and it doesn’t cover, even with three coats of paint.  Positive that came out of this was I knew what color I wanted.  I went back to with Beryl.  Now back to Home Depot for darker primer.  (Truth be told, I really didn’t want to prime the walls after all the work I had already done in the room)


Goodbye stripes

^Oh my goodness, I forgot a huge step in this process. Remember that paint treatment, I had to make it go away.  When you paint stripes and go to cover them, there is a fine line between the paint colors.  I spent a day SANDING my walls. I did not realize how large my room was until I sanded the entire thing.  I also don’t have a standard shaped room.  I have ten walls in my room.  They are not all “full length” walls, but that doesn’t matter there are TEN of them.  Sanding did a number on my arms and left a layer of blue and white dust everywhere.  Ok, now the walls are smooth, back to the paint.

(I taped the walls which I highly recommend.)

So I had to prime my walls dark gray.  I had thought about using a dark color on my walls, after I finished priming and I saw this dim room I was not only saddened by it but I was tired of painting and my arms were killing me.  I was also sure this minty green would never cover the gray.  Lord was I ready to quit.  Here comes daddy to the rescue.  My dad started helping me with my first coat of paint.  Real paint this time.  We got the first coat on and were going to leave it overnight to dry and see if a second coat was needed.  It was about 9:30 p.m.  This is important. I went to bed happy I was “done”

My room sits on the east side of the house, the morning sun wakes me up every morning.  So naturally I went to my newly “finished” room to see how it looked.  Good Lord it was glowing.  I HATED IT.  The sun made the room feel like the inside of an aquarium.  1. I didn’t want to pick a new color because I didn’t want to paint anymore. 2. I was beyond bummed.  I wanted to love it. 3. I was not done painting.  I went downstairs and sat dismayed on the couch.  My bedroom door was open to aid for ventilation. It was still glowing. A weird ethereal green glow.  It had to be fixed ASAP.  My dad and mom assured me it was going to be OK, and we went back to the room to do the second coat of paint.


Finished color

What a difference as coat of paint makes!  The second coat subdued the glow.  I was so pleased with the color considering how unhappy I was with the first coat.  I allowed that coat to dry and put the outlet covers back on the walls, put my bed back in the room and smiled because I had finished my first project mostly on my own.  It was awesome.  It also was the beginning of my rooms facelift.  A few days later I went to IKEA and got this bed. I think it was a great addition to the room.

*This color comes back into play. Don’t worry.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding


So I am fascinated by the TLC show “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”.  I don’t really know why.  That’s not really important, I just want to share my thoughts about it.  I started watching the show because I was up really late.  Now when the show is on, I’ll sit down and watch it.  Let me make some points to get my head straight.  This show has me hooked because; 1. The weddings are huge and fantastic.  There really do look like fairy tale princesses.  cool. The mini bride dresses are also pretty cool.  2. The Gypsy communions are almost just as big.  again, crazy but cool. 3. I really feel for the Gypsies.  They are a minority group that the country just lives to hate.  I don’t like hating people and I tend to want to “side” with groups that other people attack because the are different.  4. Thelma Madine is an amazing woman for the work she does.

I’m giving up on writing something that makes sense.  I just really love this show.  Anyway, I shared this with one of my good friends in hopes she too would love the show.  Boy was I wrong.  She told me how much her brother hated Gypsies.  She even joked about disliking them herself.  I was hurt.  How can you just outright say, I hate this entire group of people.  Then she said something along the lines of “don’t Gypsies just beg for things and steal”.  I guess I started to feel like I too was a Gypsy and I was hearing every stereotype that was wrong describe me.  OK, so I take some things too personally, but really, why so much judgement.  😦 I would hate to live in a country for hundreds of years and not feel like I belonged there…..humm.  I feel bad for these girls on their weddings because they have to hide their dates and things from venues because venues will cancel on them just because they are Travelers.  It kills me.  I don’t understand discrimination. Frankly I think its stupid.  Jesus didn’t hate.

Im joining a gym


Im about to join a gym so I can meet more people to increase the number of potential trunk shows I can have.  Im all in for my new business.  I also think pilates, yoga, and some cardio will do me some good this summer.  I dont know how much dancing I’ll end up doing.  Actually I do, It will probably quite a lot, but I want to do something else to keep my brain from going crazy.

Anyway I meant to do this yesterday, but I didnt get around to it so now Im catching up.  I went to the bank yesterday to close my account.  The bank discontinued the account I started with and switched it to an account with monthly fees.  I wanted to close it because I dont use it.  So I went in earlier last week to find out the account was locked, BUT they were still taking money out of it, they being the bank.  So I had to go back.  So when I said I wanted to close the account, the woman in doing her job was suggesting other accounts I could open.  Right now money makes me pretty upset so I didnt want to think or talk about new accounts.  I had the one at that bank since 2005.  I got a little upset and told her that I felt the bank was taking advantage of me because the account is old and when I set it up it was one thing and then it was changed and I was being punished with fees.  I also really dont like that the bank is becoming so impersonal.  Anyway, I started crying, the woman felt bad, then I felt bad for making her feel bad.  I just wanted this stupid reminder of how I have no money out of my life.  In the end, I didnt close the account.  The bank changed it to an account that as long as I never go in the bank or talk to a person there, I wont have any fees.  I really hate that.  Oh, I can go in to cash a check thats ok.

I dont know if Im done with this post yet.  Oh well.



Ok, pun intended.  So I’m taking on some massive knitting projects for the winter.  The yarns I’m going to use are not already in a ball so I would have to wind them myself.  Now if I knew how to do that it would be great, but I don’t.  Enter child of the 21st Century, I look it up online.  So one can use a swift and a ball winder, and electric ball winder, mechanical ball winder, friends, there are lots of options.  Ive used people before, its hard so I was thinking I’ll move up in the technology of yarn ball winding.  Mechanical winders still need an extra person so that is out.  Swifts cost $50 and up, no thank you.  I found an electric winder (still a little pricey) and it seemed like it would work and then I read customer reviews.  Now, you would think, oh this is helpful.  No.  Most of these reviews just insulted knitters like myself.  Sorry lady who spent $300 on a professional winder, you are no help.  Stop bragging.  I obviously don’t do this all the time if I’m looking at a craft store at at $45 winder.  Again, you are no help.  Everyone else was pretty informative.  Overall I learned that the winder is good for small lightweight amounts of yarn.  That doesn’t work for me so back to looking.  All that to say, any suggestions? and I hate reviews that are not helpful.  If you want to talk about yourself or how much you spent on something and how much better it is blah blah blah, get a blog.  Review space is not space to toot your horn.  Hoping to find a helpful review and a winder.  Cheers.