A post about my backyard shed. GET HYPE PEOPLE.


Powder Room Progress

Name that plumbing piece!

Hey mom, guess what I was doing while I was on the phone with you Friday night?  I was on my back on the floor in the powder room, wrestling with the nuts that hold the supply tubes onto the water pipes.  Those suckers were TIGHT and grody.   I spent most of our phone call on unscrewing two nuts.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

I was stoked to find a house with a half-bathroom that was downstairs in the public part of the house.  It’s a luxury you come to appreciate when you are used to only having one bath.  I was not stoked that the bath came with dated shell wallpaper, a vanity that can kindly be described as interesting (and unkindly, candidly, as a hideous DIY hack job), and a set of oak toothbrush and cupholders on the wall.  Ew.  These two photos are a good example of these “features.”

Faux-wood countertop with odd metal trim on the corners? Got it. Painted white front and hinges? Yup. Odd, 23″ square shape? Check.

Shells as far as the eye can see. Dizzying! I have no complaints about that closet though, that thing is awesome.

And then there are the roommates.  Did I not tell you this house came with roommates?

Larry is dead.

It did.

Sorry about that.  I should have warned you, but warning you isn’t really my style.  I’d rather ambush you with pictures of dead roaches in spider webs.  You are welcome.

So.  I wanted to remove that vanity.  I really, really, really wanted to remove that vanity.  Really.  I loathed it.  It was hideous.  But it has so much potential!  My mom has a really wonderful tiny half-bath in her house, and it is a little jewel of a room.  Small bathrooms can be really nice.  And this one is going to be really nice, some day.   In order to get it on its way, I had to remove the vanity.  After reading up online, I decided to go for it.  I went in here . . .

It is really difficult to take a picture of the inside of a cabinet.

The light makes the paint look pink.  It’s not, it’s white.  This, as they say, is where the magic happens.  Thanks to scouring the internet, I could identify the pieces inside this cabinet.  There is the U-thingy, also known as the trap, the shut-off valves for the hot and cold water, supply lines leading from those up to the sink, the sink drain coming off of the bottom of the sink, and then the contraption that makes the plug to the sink work.  See?  Not so scary.

All of the directions I read said I’d need to use a razor blade to cut the caulk around the edges of the vanity, but when I inspected my vanity, I didn’t see anything to cut.  Hmmph.  I also read some tutorials that included directions in removing the sink from the vanity top, and then taking the top off of the vanity.  That seemed like an unnecessary step to me, since I wasn’t replacing a sink.  I was going to chuck the vanity.  Meh.  This really wasn’t hard.  I shut off the water to the sink at both cut-offs — righty, tighty, lefty loosey, don’t forget.  I put a bucket under the trap and the cut offs and unscrewed the trap from the drain pipe and the pipe coming out of the wall.  A little bit of water came out right into the bucket, how satisfying!  Then I grabbed my wrench, hunkered down on the floor, and began slowly, ever so slowly, loosening the nuts connecting the supply lines to the water.  This really should not have been that hard of a process, but, like many plumbing projects, it was made difficult because I was trying to work in a small space, with crappy light.  It was also made difficult because they were crusty as hell.  I finally got them off, though, and bent each line up and out of the way.  Then I tested my theory – that being the theory that the top of the vanity wasn’t caulked to the wall at all, by yanking on the edges of the sink.

I like it when I’m right.

Success!  That thing wasn’t connected to the wall at all.  I guess that’s why they built up that peculiar backsplash.  Because I am hella strong, those nails you see sticking up were no match for me.  Grrr!

I think this counter top and sink look much better out here in the living room.

Look how grody it is inside this vanity!  Clearly, there had been a leak at some point and no one ever did anything to fix the wet conditions that resulted.


Enough of that.  Next step was to wiggle that vanity and see if I’d be able to just pick it up, and I could!  I had to wiggle it a bit to get the water pipes to fit back out of the hole cut out of the back, but eventually, I was able to get that puppy out of the corner and into . . . the doorway.  Why the doorway, you ask?

Damn you!

I mentioned earlier that the vanity was 23″ square, and that is true.  I forgot that the toilet paper holder was clapped to the side of this thing, and wouldn’t you know it, that was just way too wide to fit through the doorway.  The door opens into the bathroom, you see, so I had a dilemma.

Decisions, decisions.

You can see in this picture that the vanity is sitting in the doorway because the pipes from the wall are in the background.  Well, I could take the door off of its hinges, or I could take the toilet paper roll holder off of the cabinet.  Surely, that would be the easier route, right?

Me Hulk! You, busticated!

Well, or not.  I popped the metal shiny bits of the TP holder off of the side, but the little brackets it sad on were still just a little too proud to fit through the doorway.  It was only 3/16″, but it was an important 3/16″.  I grabbed a screwdriver to unscrew them, and I couldn’t move them at all.  I could have used my drill with the screwdriver bit, but it was at the other house.  So I hit it with a hammer!

I’m not gonna lie.  That was fun.  At first I thought I could just bash the back end of the screws holding the TP holder out and then use my needle-nose pliers to pull the screws the rest of the way out, but those screws weren’t budging.  I did notice that the cabinet was starting to pull apart, though, so I went for it.  It was just nailed together, not screwed, so it actually came apart really easily.  I took it out of the room in a few pieces.

I guess I’m really committed to that pedestal sink now, huh?  🙂

Tiny Update

1.  I need work gloves.  The calluses I have from lifting weights are not at all helpful when I’m using a wrench or dragging crap around the house.

2.  I need a screen door for the sliding door.  I’m sucking mosquitoes in from the outside when I leave that door open, but without that door, and without the HVAC working, it’s really stuffy inside the house.

3.  If you use a broom to sweep up a dead cockroach, you might find that it is so old it is dessicated and it flakes into pieces rather than behaving like a good dead roach and just going along where you wanted him to go.  On the upside, that carpet is getting pulled out, flakes of dead roaches and all.

4.  My next-door neighbor, Ms. Hinton, told me that the downstairs bedroom used to be the washroom (laundry room).  When the old carport was turned into the dining room, the current mudroom was added.  That explains the “extra” door to the outside in the downstairs bedroom.  Ms. Hinton also met Maverick and Goose tonight and wanted to know if they were good with children.  I said they were, so long as the children weren’t toddlers, because that’s the truth.  Toddlers scare the dogs, but they love babies and kids over 3.  We chatted about motion sensor lights – she loves hers and noticed the new one I have.  Well, it’s not new, but newly active since I turned it on.  Ms. Hinton is active in the neighborhood’s Citizens Advisory Council (CAC), which is wonderful.

5.  The dogs are not so great at being assistants, but they are good company.  Goose tried to taste the paint for the front door and ended up with a blue dot on her muzzle.  Guess that means she’s on special this week.  The door looks wonderful, and I think 3 coats of paint were enough!

I was hoping to get to work on installing the pedestal sink today, but that didn’t work out.  That plan was contingent on my friend Dave being able to come show me how to do it, and he had to do stuff for work. Stupid work!  Always getting in the way of the fun stuff.  I have now read or watched about a dozen tutorials on the internet about putting in a sink, though, and I am beginning to feel good about the project.  I need to take my level over to the new house and check out my floor situation.  If the floor isn’t level, it will need to be leveled before I install the pedestal sink.  How, you ask?  I don’t know.  It’s a mystery!  But it will all work out in the end.  It always does!  I keep hauling tools from my old place to the new place and I have found myself at one place with the wrong tools more than once.  Ah, the problems I have as a real estate mogul.

The more I look at that vinyl in the bathroom, the more I am wishing I had budgeted to get it replaced when the kitchen vinyl was replaced.  I am going to ask Steve if it’s possible to add it without breaking the bank.  It might just be.  If not, I’ll get create – watch out!  The floor is discolored and strangely yellow.  Not THAT kind of yellow, at least I don’t think so!  I should see what steam cleaning it with my trusty SharkVac does for it.  That thing is awesome for vinyl flooring.

I did a fun project at my (old) home this week.  I took a dresser I’ve had for a while and repainted it.  To repaint it, I used the paint I had around: leftover blue from my bedroom and leftover black from a bookcase.  I used the blue straight for the top drawer, and for each of the four other drawers, I added a little more black paint.  Then the body of the dresser I painted a darker shade of gray than the darkest one.  It came out pretty funky and fun, I think i like it.  I picked up new knobs for it at Target – $10 for 10 knobs.  I’d love acrylic knobs, but they were way more money than I wanted to spend on this project.  I think I got the dresser for $15-20 at a garage sale a few years ago – it wasn’t a huge investment.

Again, pardon the cruddy cell phone picture!

Fun, right?  I love torturing innocent furniture.  I even have a Pinterest page for ideas about doing just that!

Little Changes

I still haven’t taken a better front door picture for you, but trust me, it looks awesome.  It is a cheery happy delightful bright blue color from Benjamin Moore and I forget the name right now but I will look it up for the fantastic door picture.

A reminder of the kitchen when I bought Elephant Culo:

Cheery view out the kitchen window, valance over the sink.

Cabinets over the island block the view from the kitchen into the den.

Then, on Monday, Steve got started with a few little carpentry things.

Look at that view! You can see Russia** from the kitchen!
**Russia = the fireplace

OK, well, you can’t really see the fireplace because the den is really dark and there are no lights on in there, and even if they were on, there are no lightbulbs in the fixtures  – tee hee – but if the walls weren’t dark oak but instead a beautiful cool grey color, you’d be seeing the hell out of Russia.  My fireplace.  Same difference.

Do you see it? Up there, between the cabinets? Over the sink? Basking in the sunshine?

Please ignore the brass boob light in the middle of the kitchen.  Something must be done about that.

Hello pretty shiny lamp! You are the light fixture I’ve been dreaming of. Be mine.

Then this happened!  This is my gorgeous mini-pendant fixutre from Lowe’s.  It also doesn’t have a light bulb in it.  Note to self: buy light bulbs.  But isn’t it GORGEOUS?

I am swooning.  Now I want to fix that brass boob light, like, right now, except I’m not sure what to do with it.  I’d really like to have lights over the peninsula now that the cabinets aren’t there anymore, but I need to not spend money I don’t have on electrical work I didn’t budget for.  I might be able to just deal with the boob light for now, IDK.  I might just avert my eyes and focus on the beautiful light in my window, instead.