A Bathroom Refresh at My Mom’s House

We are back from our epic 18-day trek across the USA. We spent time in three different time zones, and we actually rode planes, trains, and automobiles. It was not the most relaxing vacation I have ever had, but it was very satisfying spending time with friends and family. I have to say that my own bed feels pretty fantastic right now. (Leesa FTW!)

During our vacation, we spent a few days in Missouri visiting my mom. While we were there, we gave her guest bathroom a quick refresh, and we fixed the caulk around the sink in her master bathroom.

The Master Bathroom

The master bathroom has a long vanity with double sinks. On both sides, the caulk was cracked, moldy, or missing. Gross.

Bad caulk drives me crazy because It is not difficult to make it look nice. It just takes a little patience and the desire to do a good job.

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First, I removed the old nasty stuff with a Red Devil smoother/remover. Honestly, that tool was pretty magical. I have always used a utility knife, but the Red Devil smoother/remover was so much easier. It even peeled the caulk off the wallpaper without damaging the paper.

Next, I used blue painter’s tape to outline the seam. This step is not necessary if you are eventually painting, but it is a good idea when you want a crisp, straight line of caulk between two different surfaces such as wallpaper and a vanity top.

After taping, I put a thin bead of caulk down the center and smoothed it gently with a wet finger. I removed the tape while the caulk was wet, and the sink vanity looked as good as new.

The Guest Bathroom

Mom was so happy with that project that we moved over to the guest bathroom. Her chief complaints were that the mirror edges were peeling off, she did not like the quality of paint on the walls, and she thought the light fixture looked dated.

Our problem was that we were only there for a short visit, and we could not do everything. We chose the light fixture and the paint. We will fix the mirror on our next visit.

Mom selected the color Warm Alpaca by Valspar. It is a soft beige with pink undertones. It was very similar to to the old color, but it was lighter and brighter.

Before painting, I popped off the towel bars, outlet, and switch covers. I cut in with a short-handled, angled brush, and then smoothed on the rest of the paint with a 4″ foam roller.

I knocked out the room in one afternoon. My mom thought I was the fastest painter on the planet. I chose not to tell her differently.

The Light Fixture

Before we made a decision about buying a new light, we talked about some options. Mom was concerned that the fixture looked dated. Honestly, I did not believe it was better or worse than anything on the market right now. The finish was the main issue. It was shiny brass, and the surface was mottled with rust spots. She also thought the light was way too bright for such a small room. However, she had very bright light bulbs in three of the bases, and none in the other two.

I suggested that we paint the light fixture with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint, consider new glass shades, and buy light bulbs with lower wattage.  After some consideration, mom decided to go with my suggestions.

Right away, I put her to work. That’s just the kind of daughter I am. Andy took down the light for us, and I asked her to put painters tape on each light base to keep the spray paint out.

I stuck the screws into some styrofoam. The knobs fit perfectly on top of finish nails pushed into the styrofoam too. I gave them a light layer of spray.

Then, the wind kicked up, the styrofoam blew over, and the freshly painted knobs flew into the grass.

Luckily, we found one, but the other one lives in the yard now. I hope it has a happy life. We found a replacement knob at the hardware store, and I started over. This time, I took the styrofoam inside to dry. Lesson learned.

After that, the rest of the project was straightforward. Using a small piece of sandpaper, I roughed-up the surface a bit and scrubbed off the rust.

Then, I painted the fixture with three thin coats of oil-rubbed bronze by Rust-oleum, letting each coat dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

By late afternoon, we were anxious to get the light reinstalled.  The guest bathroom does not have any windows or natural lighting. Everyone used flashlights and candles while the light was down. Personally, I thought showering by flashlight and candlelight was awesome. Not everyone agreed. My son told me he felt like he was at a séance each he needed to use the bathroom.

While I held the fixture and the flashlight, Andy reconnected the wires. For a gentle effect, we chose 45-watt, soft white bulbs. The difference was huge. It no longer felt like interrogation lighting. Mom still feels like it is a little too bright, so she plans on shopping for some frosted shades sometime soon. We would have done that together, but we simply ran out of time.

Now, the bathroom looks fresh and updated. Never underestimate the power of paint.

On our next visit, we will tackle the mirror project. The plan is to add wood trim around the edge.

Excluding reusable supplies, we spent about $40 total on both bathroom projects. Not too shabby.

Even on vacation, I cannot seem to tear myself away from DIY. Can anyone else relate? We were very happy to knock out these easy projects for my mom so she would not have to call someone to do them for her.

Now that we are home, I am hard at work on my #30ProjectsIn30Days list. Tomorrow, there will be a post about our progress, and it will be a link-up post for those of you participating with me. Some of you are killing it with this challenge. Keep tagging me and using the #30ProjectsIn30Days on your social media posts. I love to see your projects.

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