Friday, December 30, 2011

How to: Disassemble your shower trim

Okay. Someone asked for a tutorial. Here is the best I can do.

How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

Begin disassembling your shower by pulling out all of the rubber braces from both the inside and outside of the shower. If your shower does not have these, I guess you just omit this … and maybe find another tutorial because I can’t tutor you on a subject I don’t understand myself. ;)

How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

Once you have removed all the rubber braces things, you’ll want to carefully begin unscrewing the different pieces from one another. WARNING: This is a two person job, minimum. No exceptions. You cannot do this yourself. Even if you are Superman.

How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

We started at the back corner of the shower, opposite the door, pulled the top section off, and then kind of followed an obvious order on what to take apart next. PLEASE make a note of where each piece goes and how it fits back together.
There are so many pieces … and it’s difficult to put the puzzle back together once you are done. Difficult. Not impossible, just difficult.

Once you have all of the pieces taken apart and your shower is totally disassembled, you’ll need to start soaking. Soaking? Yes. Soaking. Our solvent of choice was Xylene (you can find it at Home Depot). That stuff eats through plastic cups in 3 minutes flat. This is good news … cause you’ll have an awful lot of silicone caulking that will need to be soaked and eaten up by the Xylene. Soak all the parts with silicone in the Xylene for about an hour. Then, it will be loose enough to scrap right off with a razor blade.

After you have successfully removed every shred of silicone (and I mean every shred – paint will not stick to silicone … NOTHING sticks to silicone), you can begin sanding. Use a very fine grit sand paper and lightly sand all of the surfaces of the trim.

Clean and dry all trim pieces … and then … rig up a ridiculous apparatus in the garage so that you can begin spraying all the pieces. Your ghetto rig job should look something like this:

How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

(Don’t judge me based on my garage right now. We are in the middle of re-doing our entire house … by ourselves. This is our workshop for now.)

Superman took fishing line (you can use very thin string as well) and tied several pieces back and forth across 4 boards in the garage. Then, he laid the pieces of trim on top of those and sprayed the top and bottom and sides all at the same time. (You’ll want to string your lines high enough that you can get under them to spray them at the same time.)

When he was finished, there was just tiny little spots that needed to be touched up with a small brush, which I did after the shower was put back together. (I just sprayed some of the spray paint into the lid of the can and used a small water color brush to touch up the imperfections) You’ll need to do a few touch ups after you get the shower put back together, so don’t panic if you chip any paint in the process. Once you touch it up, it holds up REALLY well. We’re a month in (and about 50 showers in) and there is no visible wear. :D

When you put the shower back together, you need to make sure that you put silicone caulking under each piece that touches the surface of the shower, whether it is on the floor or wall. Then, use silicone caulk to caulk all of the edges of the trim around the entire shower.

Like I said, it’s intense. But, totally worth it! :D

And, you can enjoy your very own before and after pictures!!
How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

Table for Five

table for five using laminate shelf shelving and ikea chairs

I think this is my very favorite thing in my house … it’s definitely the most used project we’ve done.
Superman built this at the end of the summer, when I presented him with a challenge: seat 5 kids in a 6 square foot space. The outcome was perfect!

The table, or ‘bar’ if you will, is a 6 foot shelf from Home Depot. I picked one that was laminate (read: WATER PROOF) for $13.

Then, I found a couple two way shelf brackets and spray painted those with a white enamel spray paint to match. $6/each. (But cheaper on Amazon)

The chairs are from IKEA, and came in at $12.99/each (although, you can apparently buy them on Amazon and have them shipped to you for free, for $22.95 ... in case you don't have an IKEA close by).

He mounted the table just under the window sill and then caulked the tiny gap between the two. It was a super easy project, took a couple hours of time, and cost about $90, including chairs. In the event that you find yourself needing to seat quintuplets in a small space, you now have the solution. ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

$50 Master Bath Re-do


After 6+ years of loving the size of our master bathroom, but not loving the look of our master bathroom, we decided to change it.

Only problem? Our budget.


I honestly had no idea how much we could accomplish, but set out to change the look of our bathroom as much as possible … using our tiny little budget. I would love to change out the light fixture and faucets … but in order to change all 3 faucets, the shower head/kit, and light fixture, it was a hefty $1,000. Um. No.

Instead, using my trusty Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint … we stuck with the old and pushed forward with the face lift.

Gary took down the old light fixture and spray painted it with oil rubbed bronze (it looks black, but it’s not). He taped off the entire bathroom and used the same oil rubbed bronze to spray the cabinets. They. Are. Gorgeous.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze after1

He also built the mirror frame using baseboard from Home Depot. The baseboard was around $18, give or take a few cents.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 2

He also took down the towel rod and sprayed that to match.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after3

By far, the trickiest part was the shower trim. Superman had to take the entire shower apart, sand down all of the silicone, spray paint everything to match, put it all back together, and silicone everything to make it once again water proof. Serious work. I will not lie to you. However, what would have cost us around $800 to replace … wound up costing us a mere $5 to paint. And, I’m happy to report that after several showers, it is holding up nicely. (Rustoleum is an indoor/outdoor paint, so we knew it could take the water)

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 4

All of the handles on the faucets were brass. I hate brass! So, we unscrewed them and sprayed those too. Why not?!
Then, I dug out a couple of treasures that I bought while I was in college. Yes, 11 years ago. I’m impressed that I still had them.


Even more impressed that I once purchased something so ugly. They were $1 each … and I needed somewhere to store my paints. Fast forward 11 years, and bam:

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 5

I now have a unique washcloth bin/holder … and …

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze spray paint buckets

a convenient cubby to hold 2 extra rolls of toilet paper in my toilet closet …

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze spray paint toilet handle

… so simple and so perfect! We didn’t care for the trash can that was in the toilet closet; however, I wasn’t about to spend another dime on a trash can … so, we spray painted it. Again, why not?! We also spray painted the toilet handle and toilet paper holder while we were at it. :D

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze spray paint outlet covers

And, since we were already spray painting everything else, we decided to take off all the outlet covers and switch plates and spray those too. Because I am OCD … and I like it when absolutely everything matches.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 6

This chic towel rod/holder used to be a brace for my Grams to help herself on and off of the toilet. It was a shiny chrome that matched exactly nothing. We spray painted it … and now it’s a towel rod … much better looking than the builder grade circular towel holder that used to be in its place.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 7

These are not the most aesthetically pleasing light fixtures; however, if I use what I have, I spend less. This is the goal.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 8

On Black Friday, I stood in line at Kohl’s for 2 1/2 hours. As a reward, I scored 4 bath mats, 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, and 4 wash clothes for $23. Well worth the wait … at 3am. ;)

So, here is the breakdown:

$18 for baseboard
$23 for towels/bath mats
$10 for spray paint

The project took us a solid two weeks. Although we didn’t spend much money, it was very labor intensive … but oh, so worth it! Here’s a final before/after look:

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation before after1master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation before after2master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation before after3master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation before after4

Worth every penny … and every minute! :D

Saturday, December 10, 2011

$5 Powder Bath ‘Renovation’

I know this isn’t really a renovation … but we managed to ‘disguise’ all of the previous ‘builder grade’ aspects of the small little room.

This is what the bathroom looked like when we first bought the house, 6 years ago. The craziest part to me is that this bathroom was built in 2005. That is LINOLEUM on the floor. And brass hardware on the doors/sink/fixtures. Linoleum and brass.

In 2005.


powder original

So, a couple years ago, while my husband was on ‘forced vacation’ for 2 months, we upgraded the floors to 18x18 tile. Tile … which was free. Before my husband was laid off, he worked in the construction industry and was given all sorts of materials. He was also the only Spanish speaking supervisor (or employee, for that matter) at his company. Which meant that when it came time to have a little tile installed … my husband’s tile crew was there. And did it for … nothing. Who does that?!

Since then, we decided to change out all the hardware throughout the house. No more brass. Anywhere. I hate brass.

Problem is … it’s expensive to change out every piece of hardware. I know, because I shopped. And shopped. And shopped. The cheapest that I could change out JUST door handles for the whole house was $400. Ridiculous for something totally cosmetic.

Well, we got creative recently and bought a few cans of Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I’m telling you … that stuff is magic in a bottle. We got busy. And, here is the result.


My husband built that mirror frame a couple years ago out of some old flooring pieces he was given … but, we had painted it black, which didn’t match anything in our house. So, he took it down, along with the iron hanging above the toilet, and sprayed them to match the light fixture, faucet, toilet paper holder, towel ring, doorknobs, trashcan, and yes … step stool. That $3 step stool used to look like this:


And thanks to a little spray paint, it now matches everything and looks like this:


I know. I’m hysterical. Laugh yourself all the way to Walmart and pick yourself up some Rustoleum. :D
Here’s a few more pictures:


Like I said, yes, we painted the trash can … AND the toilet handle. Sounds silly. LOOKS awesome.


Oh. And the toilet paper holder. Can’t forget to spray paint that one. ;)


The light fixture (which doesn’t photograph very well with the lights on OR off), towel ring, faucet, and electrical plate:


The handles on the faucet used to be … you guessed it … brass, along with everything else. We simply unscrewed the handles and sprayed them along with everything else.


And, there you have a simple $5 bathroom ‘renovation’. Of course, you’ll want to budget a little more to lay tile. This was just one aspect of our overhaul that we lucked out on.


We found Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint to be the cheapest at Walmart: $5.77/can. (Although we also found it at Lowe’s AND Home Depot) Worth every cent!

Here’s one last side by side comparison:

powder before and afterfoot stool

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Refurbishing Hardware

**** UPDATE to this post can be found HERE.

It finally happened. After 6+ years of living in this house with brass hardware everywhere … and cheap white plastic light plates and outlet covers … I decided to take the time to take off every single door handle, lock plate, dead bolt, outlet cover, switch plate, etc. and used Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint to give everything a face lift … for pennies. That’s what I call MAKING CENTS!

So, here is everything before:

oil rubbed bronze hardware6

Builder’s grade brass …

oil rubbed bronze hardware7

… and cheap white plastic covers on everything.

oil rubbed bronze hardware5

Superman set up the garage, covered everything of value with tarps, and went to work.

oil rubbed bronze hardware1

He had everything down to a science. He stuck all the screws through a shoe box lid so that the tops of every screw got painted as well.

oil rubbed bronze hardware2

But, he wasn’t about to stick bright white safety covers into those outlets … so he rigged up a few more box tops and painted all of the safety covers to the outlets to match. Here is the result:

oil rubbed bronze hardware4

Uncovered, I think they look great (sorry about the blurriness) …

oil rubbed bronze hardware3

Slap the painted safety covers on and they blend in well and look so sharp on the wall.

spray paint oil rubbed bronze hardware8

I am not going to lie to you … this project was intensely time consuming. Plan on about 2 full days of work. It takes lots of time to get every piece of hardware off of every door and wall … and then a couple hours to get everything painted evenly without drips.

spray paint oil rubbed bronze hardware9

Speaking of drips … see how the handles are lined up across the 2x4 in that picture? Yeah. Don’t do that. Drip. City. Instead, paint them while they are upright (as shown in the picture just above that one). Much better result … way less frustrating. (ps- Check out the mismatched frames hanging up … they all got a coat of paint to match. However, again, I would lay them flat/horizontal, not vertical. Way less dripping that way)

spray paint oil rubbed bronze hardware10

This is the hardware on the front door (please ignore the dirty paint … we’ll get there eventually). It was so weathered and worn out. It used to be brass. But, by the time we painted it (and made it look amazing again) it was looking really worn out. I had priced out hardware to replace it: $180 on the low end. Um. No thanks. How about 50 cents worth of spray paint instead? :D

spray paint oil rubbed bronze hardware11

The inside of the front door. Light plate, handle, deadbolts … all painted to match.
Don’t they look so sharp?!

In all, we replaced 29 door handles and probably 100 outlet covers and switch plates. Total cost? About $15 worth of spray paint. Total savings? About $1,000. Win.

Here’s the side by side, one last time:

oil rubbed bronze spray pain hardware deadbolt before after

And yes, everything is holding up GREAT!

oil rubbed bronze spray paint hardware doorknobs before and after