Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bathroom Renovations!

As some of you know I have the honour of living with a wonderful warm giving woman named Lynda.

Lynda has been such a great support to me the last few years, even before I moved in, before I became a Christian, she was there for me. She was one of the first people I met when I first moved to Ponoka, and has turned out to be one of my best allies!

Recently Lynda took a much needed holiday to Halifax, for some time off, and to meet some family that she had never gotten the chance to meet before this trip.

I had a flash of inspiration as she was packing up to leave, this would be my chance at taking the cruddy old wallpaper off of the bathroom walls and freshening it up with a coat of paint! I thought PERFECT! A nice surprise, and it will look better!

I started innocently enough by ripping some of the wallpaper trim that was haphazardly stuck around the tub (probably in the 1970's judging by the colour and style!) then I realized that it was going to take more than just pulling to get the rest of the paper off. I researched the best way to take wallpaper off of the walls, and found not only "easy" but inexpensive too! A little perforating tool that you basically roll around on the walls, and then you use a spray wallpaper remover! Hooray! Easy! I was so excited!

It took me 3 days to take it all down because I had to work as well. I thought Bam, I'll get this all finished, and then I can prime it and paint it! Boy, mistaken yet again, who would have know one person could be so wrong in so little time when I had scarcely been wrong before!

I made a ghastly discovery of a large patch of mold nestled unobserved between the side of the tub and the toilet. At first glance, the discovery wasn't too bad, I thought oh whoa I can handle it! Its only a small part of the drywall, easy peasy to cut out and patch.

As I cut out the offending bit of drywall, I noticed the tub surround was pulling away from the wall... In fact the tub surround was pulling the DRYWALL away! EEPS! At that moment I knew I was in deeper than I had first thought. I thought long and hard about it (probably a whole 30 seconds) and decided come heck or high water I had to fix whatever was going on behind that surround. So I started the daunting task of pulling the tub surround off and seeing what exactly was lurking out of my sight!

All this time, I kept thinking oh boy, I can do this and I can do that, I can put wainscotting put a pedestal sink in, a new vanity, oh boy I had some grand ideas floating around. With the ever progressing list of work that needed to be done, I decided to tone down my vision and make the list of a more manageable length, somewhere around the 5 page mark.

I ripped the entire tub surround off the wall, finding a moderate amount of black mold hidden nicely at the tub line and it was creeping its way further and further up the drywall.

It took me a couple of days to cut all of the bad drywall out, and to clean up the mold, and re-plastic the one wall that is an exterior wall. All this time, I was trying to multitask and get other projects within the bathroom done as well. I bought a new sink and tap, I wanted to paint the vanity, and I bought a new over the john cabinet that I wanted to paint the same colour as the vanity.

I worked diligently for the 2 weeks while Lynda was away, and worked my job, and had some social time in the mix with my friend Amber, and it came down to the last weekend. My birthday weekend, July 19th, and Lynda was supposed to come home on the Monday or the Tuesday. I was working day shifts, and Amber was over helping me the entire time, trying to get it all done before she came home. On the Sunday, my b day, my friend Stewart came to put the drywall up for me in a mad rush, and Amber and I put the new sink in, finished painting the cabinet and after a solid 14 hours of work that day for me, we went to the pub to grab a bite to eat and a couple of beers. mmmm
We had a great time, sitting there in our paint covered clothes, quietly chuckling at the antics of the regulars at the pub. We took a 2 hour break, and decided to walk home to get back at our work.
As we rounded the corner for the back alley, I saw it, her car, she was HOME! What was this!? I wasn't finished! I ran to the house and there was Lynda on the couch, sitting a little like she'd never left, watching tv and dozing off. I walked in the house a little in a panic, and hoped that she wasn't mad at me for tearing the bathroom apart, and a little upset that I didn't get to finish and have the big reveal at the end! She casually said "well hello" as I stood there with my arms hanging at my sides in a stance of defeat. I opened my mouth to speak and she starting telling me how much she missed me, and calmly asked me what was going on with the bathroom. I hurriedly explained my goals of finishing before she got home.
Her reaction was fantastic, she was overjoyed that I was redoing the bathroom for her, and she said she couldn't wait to see what it would end up looking like.
It took a little longer yet to finish, again with working, and of course less pressure of a timeline. But I got it all completed! Lynda says she is so happy that the bathroom looks so great, and I really like it too.
I could not have finished all that work, first and foremost if God hadn't been there pushing and helping me, and giving me the money to be able to do it.
Next is Amber, who encouraged me, and was cramped up in the bathroom with me, sanding, painting, or whatever needed to be done, sweating, and sharing laughs and many beers! lol

Stewart who came and helped with the drywall, even if I had to convince him it was a good idea!

Mr. Jorgenson, who came over to tell me exactly how much drywall to cut out, and how to go about fixing it all. (He is the premier home builder in Ponoka, and he is fantastic, if I could afford a new house, it would be him putting it up - he is also a great man of God and a great example to how men should live their lives.)
Judy S for bringing a pipe wrench and laying on the floor to help tighten the sink drain up for me.
Anyone else who gave me words of encouragement, and of course Lynda, who after coming home from her vacation to a messy house, and unable to use her bathroom, but instead of complaining, she was encouraging me telling me she loved it all very much.
Thanks all for "listening" about the bathroom renos!


  1. Looks amazing! Great job, Crystal.

  2. Can you please do that at our house? It looks like the exact layout and size, and the mold sounds about right too!

  3. You are a BEAST!! That bathroom looks so great!!

    I'm glad you got to paint for someone else on your birthday. It's a good experience. : )

  4. Thank you Coralee, Ev, and Carrie!

    Ev- I would come and help you if you needed me too, but holy macaroni that was a ton o work!

    Carrie, I am glad I got to as well! I forgot you painted on your b-day!

  5. Great job Crystal, your a reno pro!

  6. Sheyne, I wish I was a pro, I would have done some things differently if I were!