17. November 2016 · Comments Off on Half-Bath Mostly DIY Transformation: Finished! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Before… (and pardon the blurriness of the photos…it was tricky getting photos in the small space.)


After. To get these views, I’m taking selfies with the camera in the corner of the bathroom.

We are finished with our half-bath upgrades (and hopefully home improvements in general for a while)! Over the 3-and-some-change years we’ve lived here, we’ve done an assortment of little things to make our main floor half-bath look a little nicer.
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13. November 2016 · Comments Off on DIY Stairwell Transformation: All Done! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Back in October, while the contractors were working on the bathroom, Dave and I stained the banisters of our stairwell. Wow what a difference it made!


This is just before taking off the masking and putting on the polyurethane gloss coat.

We used the General Finishes Java Gel Stain. Be sure to take your time thoroughly masking the areas. I used brown paper instead of taping several inches down the balusters. After “washing” the oak-colored surfaces with liquid sander deglosser, I used an old clean sock to apply the stain on the broad areas. If you put the sock over your hand, like I had, be sure to wear a rubber glove — the stain will stain your skin for several days. For the fine detail area (such as the underside of the railings near the balusters), a small foam brush worked just fine. More »

13. November 2016 · Comments Off on Half Bath Mostly-DIY Transformation: A Bunch of Little Things · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,
The half bath as of today. There's one more task before I'll be truly happy with it...

The half bath as of today. A bunch of small improvements have turned it into an elegant space we aren’t embarrassed to show to visitors. There’s one more task before I’ll be truly happy with it…an updated mirror.

If you thought the upstairs bathroom was small, well, the half bath on the main floor of our house is REALLY small! Nonetheless, we were frustrated with the white tile counter—mostly because of the grout—and went with a similar resurfacing as the upstairs bathroom. But a different color.

The next thing about to happen is a frame around the large mirror. Dave and I can’t stand those mirrors, but as we learned from the kids’ bath upstairs, removing the mirror might take the wall with it…but we found a website called MirrorMates.com that offers peel-and-stick frame pieces for plate-glass mirrors such as these. So we ordered one. I’ll let you know how it looks. More »

12. November 2016 · Comments Off on Bathroom Transformation: The Final Reveal · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
Those little touches like faucets, mirrors, and lighting took us months to figure out.

Those little touches like faucets, mirrors, and lighting took us months to figure out. We are all very happy with the green color that Timmy helped to choose.

This past week we finally were able to put the finishing touches on the upstairs bathroom. At the last minute (while I was in Hong Kong) the plan for the bath towel bars changed: we decided to find a double-towel-bar version in the same design. Installing it was trickier than we thought, and some wall repairs had to be made. In addition, we had the bathtub and tile around the bathtub resurfaced as an alternative to replacing everything in that space. It’s more economical, and besides, the existing bathtub was VERY GOOD quality. There were some chips on the enamel that the resurfacing resolved.

Here are some pictures of the finished product. It isn’t the biggest bathroom, so it was a tight squeeze to get all the pictures I wanted. Enjoy some before-and-after collages too. More »