Refinished Bathroom Tub & Tile

If you have been following along, you are familiar with the progression of our main floor bathroom which has primarily been made over with paint. It started with adding some shiplap, then painting the laminate vanity, followed by stenciling the laminate flooring. With each update I fell more and more in love with this room and the time and energy spent have been so worth it! It has slowly transformed into my most favourite room in our home. Seriously! So next on my to do list for this bathroom was to tackle the tub and tile in the shower. It was a cream colour that looked so dated and dingy next to the white shiplap. It stood out like a sore thumb after replacing the toilet and sink and the decorative tiles had to go! BUT we were not prepared to gut it or to even consider a bath fitter situation so I started researching the Rustoleum Tub and TIle Refinishing kit. For under $60 I could transform my shower so I decided to go for it.

**This is a long and detailed post about my experience , so grab a coffee or a glass of wine and settle in :)

So here it what the tub and tile looked like before;

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Gross right?! Ugh, it's a bit embarrassing sharing these. Even after cleaning well, the tile grout was stained with mildew and the tub, well it's seen better days.

I read the instructions with the kit and also several online reviews for people who had used the kit and had a positive experience with it. It didn't seem too challenging but everyone stressed the importance of cleaning and preparing the surface well and provided strong warnings about the strong chemical fumes.

So I gathered my supplies;

  • Rustoleum Tub and Tile Refinishing kit from Home Depot
  • paint brushes and small foam rollers with tray from the Dollar store (*I always get my paint supplies from the dollar store because they are good quality and inexpensive so I don't mind when they get ruined and I just throw them away)
  • green painters tape
  • rubber gloves and respirator ** super important to protect yourself from the product. I would also suggest grabbing some goggles
  • bleach
  • comet
  • CLR bathroom and kitchen spray cleaner
  • abrasive sponges

 I followed the directions and cleaned the tub and tile using bleach water. I wiped everything down with this and a rag and then rinsed with water. I then used comet and a sponge and scrubbed well, rinsing with water. I finished by using the CLR bathroom and kitchen cleaner to remove lime scale, scrubbed with a sponge, wiped with a rag and rinsed with water. I then left it to dry for over an hour. The kit says to remove any caulking beforehand. I tried by best to remove the caulking with an exacto knife but it didn't come off easily and after a half hour I got pretty fed up and figured I had removed the majority of it. Then I used my painters tape to tape everything off which I didn't want painted, I did not remove anything like the faucet, drain, shower head, etc. I did remove the grab bar and didn't replace it. .

My next step is one you may want to avoid as this is where things might have gone wrong. According to the kit's directions, the next step would be to sand with 400-600 grit sandpaper in order to remove shine and ensure the paint can adhere to the surface. My tiles and tub were far from shiny so rather than sand I decided to apply primer instead. While researching use of this kit, I came across a tutorial in which the person had primed prior to using the epoxy mixture. In my mind I thought priming would help with the adhesion. Also, when I had painted my kitchen backsplash tiles I cleaned the surface well and then primed prior to painting with an oil based paint and sealed with polycrylic. This process has held up incredibly well but given that this is a tub and tiles that will constantly be exposed to water, moisture, humidity, etc I knew the process for the kitchen wouldn't be the same and thought that's why it requires the epoxy. Truthfully, I didn't know much about epoxy as this was my first experience with it so I thought priming would be a helpful step. In retrospect, I would not do this again. Honestly, I cannot say that this was necessarily what caused the problems but it is not in the directions so it is probably safe to assume this affected the process.

 After priming

After priming

So, now my tub and tile had been cleaned and primed. I waited about 2 hours for the primer to dry and then continued with the kit. I made sure I had the exhaust fan on as well as a oscillating fan blowing to help with the fumes as it is beyond stinky! Remember your gloves, respirator and goggles. The directions state that you mix equal parts of the base with the activator. Now the trouble I ran into was that all of the tutorials I read online were likely US based and the US kit provides a larger base can that appears about half full and allows room for you to pour the activator in. The Canadian kit is two small cans so they need to be mixed in a separate container. The kit explained the importance of mixing the two equally and also stresses that you only mix the amount you will need as you can only use the mixed product within 6 hours from mixing. Unsure how long this would take I decided to mix half each can together. I did so in a red solo cup. BIG MISTAKE. Again, not being familiar with epoxy, I didn't realize the strength of the chemical and that it would literally eat through the plastic cup. I didn't notice this until I was dripping pink residue everywhere. I went ahead applying the first coat which was quite thick and sticky. I applied it mostly with a bristle brush in order to get in between the tiles and grout lines. After the first coat, many of the decorative tiles were still visible. I left it to dry for an hour as stated in the directions. I mixed the remaining base with the activator in the cans as they were only half full so now allowed for room to mix. This time the consistency was very thin and when applying to the tub it appeared almost translucent. I was immediately concerned as the first and second coat appeared so different. The second coat did not appear to be applying any additional coverage so I started to worry, knowing that I would now need to purchase a second kit. I was bummed as this would immediately double my cost of the project.

 After two coats of epoxy mixture

After two coats of epoxy mixture

So I let this dry overnight with the exhaust and fan running and the door shut. When I entered the bathroom the next day I was super disappointed to determine that the surface was not drying. It was quite sticky and tacky to the touch. I was instantly concerned as the directions state it should feel dry to the touch within an hour but you leave it for 24 hours before applying a third coat and then let it cure for three days. I went ahead and purchased another kit and while at Home Depot I explained my situation to a sales associate. He informed me that he hates two part epoxies for this exact reason. He encouraged me to leave it alone and see if it dries as applying another coat at this point with only make more of a mess and the current sticky parts will never dry. So I listened and let it sit for 72 hours. Every once in awhile I would check and see if it was drying and each time was super disappointed to find that it was still tacky and leaving noticeable finger prints in many spots. Some of it had hardened but at this point I was panicking. Remember I said when I said it was not in the budget to retile and replace the tub or pursue bath fitter? Well it still wasn't in the budget especially after spending $130 on product. So then I started researching what to do with epoxy if it isn't curing. I had a heck of a time coming up with results at first. Although there were lots of negative reviews I was finding for the refinishing kit, no one was talking about a solution. Panic continued to settle in, I even woke up in the middle of the night and spent about 2 hours on my phone researching how to fix my mess.

I then came across suggestions to use a plastic scraper to remove the wet/sticky material and then apply acetone to it which dissolves two part epoxies, This gave me a little bit of hope. So I returned to Home Depot and grabbed myself a bottle. Again, this is a chemical solvent and should only be used with gloves, a respirator, goggles and ventilation. I went at the sticky areas with the plastic scraper but this didn't do much so I applied some acetone to it to dissolve it slightly and then scrape. Well it certainly works at dissolving and you have to be careful with it as I was starting to make a mess with what it was dissolving and how to properly wipe it up. Don't use paper towels as this will get stuck in any of the sticky residue, use a rag and throw out after. Also, ensure you area is prepped well with a drop cloth, I didn't take this precaution and unfortunately managed to drip some of the acetone on my painted floor.

The acetone worked fast and soon I was down to the original floor of the bath tub which seemed to be the area that wasn't curing at all. I scraped what I could and for the areas that were only mildly sticky, I wiped them gently with the rag with a bit of acetone to try and remove the sticky-ness. Then I let it sit overnight.

I came back in the morning and for the first time since starting the project, I was finally feeling better and hopeful that I could now apply the kit again and pray it would cure. I used a handheld plastic container meant for paint and mixed both cans completely together in it. I definitely think this made a difference immediately as it was likely a more appropriate mixing ratio. I still blame Rustoleum for suggesting that you don't mix both cans together at once but only encourage equal ratios. This was definitely a misstep with my first try.

 I applied the mixture to the bare areas first using a foam brush. Then I used a combo of a bristle brush and foam roller to all of the tiles and the tub. I was so relieved that it appeared to be covering all of the decorative tiles and everywhere was looking bright and shiny. I applied a second coat to the areas that had been scraped and cleaned with acetone and it was finally starting to appear that the coverage was even. I had about half of the mixture left when I let everything dry. Again it says not to wait more than 6 hours to use after mixing but the first coat also didn't appear dry after the first hour so I decided to leave it. I was content with the coverage if I wasn't able to use the rest of the product within the 6 hour time frame.

 After the third coat of epoxy mixture

After the third coat of epoxy mixture

Also, I am not sure if it was the mixture of the acetone with the epoxy or if I was just more sensitive to it, but I had to leave the bathroom on several occasions this time around as I started to feel incredibly dizzy. I went outside for fresh air and opened all the windows in the upstairs to allow for a cross breeze and additional ventilation. It took quite awhile to feel better and it left me with a pretty nasty fume headache. Please be careful when using these types of products, make sure you take the proper precautions and breaks as needed! This bathroom is directly beside our two spare bedrooms, thankfully our bedroom is on a different floor. I am thankful to have completed this project now as it is not something I would ever consider if I had children in the home and I also made sure my dog wasn't near it.

I let this dry for several hours and practically cried when I did a touch test and it WASN'T sticky!!! FINALLY!!!!! There were a few small, slightly sticky areas but I knew I would be leaving it alone for at least 3 days so I crossed my fingers. I ended up leaving the tub and tile for about 5 days before having a shower in it. Again, it  isn't perfect. There are a few areas that appear to have bubbled since being exposed to water and heat. Nothing seems to be peeling yet, we will see what happens when I have a bath. But it looks much better than it did even if it is only a short term fix! I finished it by applying fresh caulk around the tub where it meets the tile and along the front of the tub where it meets the floor. I also added some caulking in the holes left from the grab bar. I almost cried when I removed the painters tape after caulking and some of the paint from the tub peeled off. Seriously?!?! I didn't know how to fix it given that I had thrown the remaining amount of the epoxy mixture out days ago. I decided to chance it and applied some ultra white semi gloss paint to it and it seems to have done the trick!!

 Painters tape prep for caulking

Painters tape prep for caulking

 After- the finished product :) :) :) plus a new shower head !

After- the finished product :) :) :) plus a new shower head !

When I finally felt that this project was almost complete, I decided to try to fix my floor where I dropped acetone and ultimately decided to repaint and stencil it. In my original post on this project I mentioned how when applying the polycrylic, it pulled some old paint from the brush across several of the "tiles". I also didn't properly space the stencil the first time around so I decided I could quickly redo it.

 Floor after spilling epoxy on it

Floor after spilling epoxy on it

 Stencilled floor BEFORE

Stencilled floor BEFORE

 AFTER

AFTER

 Side by Side comparison

Side by Side comparison

It took me two evenings and I followed the same process as I did the first time. The only thing I did different was I started in the corner against the tub so that I wasn't bending the stencil against the tub and the entire wall and I also spaced it properly. It still isn't perfect as no stencil is but I am much happier with it! One project always turns into another.

One other thing I did during this process was apply a fresh coat of paint to the shiplap. Has anyone else had their white shiplap start to yellow? I know paint can do this and wondered if the moisture in the bathroom contributed to this but the shiplap in our entryway has done the same thing. I'm confused considering I used a paint + primer. Moving forward I will use a primer then paint. I plan to repaint the entryway shiplap at some point too, just another thing added to the list :)

So there you have it. For those of you who hung in there and read the whole thing, good work!! heehee. This definitely wasn't the easiest project I have ever completed but looking at the BEFORE and AFTER pictures makes it all worth it !!

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Jess xx

Laundry Makeover Part 2 - Paint, Paint + More Paint

In my last post, I shared the demo and prep process for getting my laundry room ready to paint. In case you missed it, this required scraping wallpaper and removing carpet as well as lots of cleaning and prep to get the surfaces and space ready.

In the spirit of honesty, I will apologize now as the photos in the post are not the greatest. They were either snapped quickly in the process of painting or have poor lighting since the ceiling light is fluroescent drop lighting and lots were taken at night. Just keeping you informed :)

Anywhoo, my painting started with the dated laminated cabinets.

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I knew I wanted them to be white and I didn't want to waste any time priming the surfaces before painting so I decided to use chalk paint. I have talked about my love for chalk paint before since it adheres to any surface and you don't have to sand or prime prior to painting. My only complaint is the cost. So I decided to try making my own chalk paint for this project. I turned to Pinterest for directions and then headed to the hardware store for Plaster of Paris along with a gallon of the store brand (cheap) ultra white paint in flat. I used a red solo cup for mixing and sort of "wung" it  I put about an inch of Plaster of Paris in the bottom of my cup and then added some hot water and stirred well. Once I had a thick, smooth consistency, I added my white paint and again stirred well. I applied this to the cupboard doors using a combo of a bristle brush and a foam roller. I applied two coats, allowing the paint to dry in between. I sanded the doors lighter as chalk paint usually leaves a rougher texture and visible brush strokes.

I also spray painted the cabinet pulls with black spray paint for an updated look. I am really happy with the outcome of my DIY chalk paint and have a ton left for other projects. I am thrilled with the updated look of the cabinets and at this point of the project, was very excited to continue to see progress!! 

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Next, I painted the walls. I had half gallon of Behr Silver Drop on hand which I used for my main floor and entryway. I decided to use this for the walls (because I had it already and) because I wanted a light and airy grey. It was really easy painting the walls since the chair rail and trim had been removed so I really only had to cut in at the ceiling. Then I used a roller for the rest.

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I also painted the plumbing pipes that run from the ceiling to the laundry tub to camoflouge them a bit  

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I also had Behr ultra white semi gloss on hand so I put a fresh coat on all of the trim and chair rail which again was super easy since it was off the wall. I also painted the furnace/ hot water tank closet door and spray painted a spare set of pulls I had to match the cabinet hardware. 

    I also painted the back of the door to match the patio door and spray painted the door knob black (Which isn't even visible in this photo) 

 

I also painted the back of the door to match the patio door and spray painted the door knob black (Which isn't even visible in this photo) 

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Now that the cabinets, walls, doors and trim were all painted, it was time for the floor! I mentioned in my last post how it was important to work from the top to the bottom. This allowed me to be a bit careless about drips while painting the cabinets and walls since I would be painting the floor anyways. 

I did a bunch of research on painting concrete floors and ultimately decided to use Behr Porch and Patio paint in Slate Grey which is a pre-mixed colour. I could have chosen my own colour but I was already wanting grey with a slight charcoal/blue undertone and thought this would work well. 

I started by moving my washer, dryer and freezer out of the way and painted underneath each of them. I let this dry for about an hour and it seemed dry to the touch so I moved the appliances back into their place. I could have painted around them but they were easy to move and now the entire floor is painted. Painting a floor is literally the easiest thing ever!! I cut in with a brush but didn't have to be too careful since the trim wasn't attached. Then I dumped a small circle of paint on the floor and used by extendable roller to roll it out. I worked my way from one door to the other. Make sure you don't paint yourself into a corner! I turned my oscillating fan on and let this dry for about 2 hours. I was sooo pumped at how perfect it looked! It obviously isn't perfect when you really inspect it, but for a laundry room basement floor I would say it looks pretty awesome! I didn't even do a second coat because I was so happy with the results of the first! I did a few touch ups with a brush where the roller hadn't completely covered a spot or crack. I purchased a gallon but a quart would have sufficed. Now I have lots on hand should I need to repaint it.  

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I absolutely love how paint can transform a space like it did for this room!! Taking it from dark and dated to bright and fresh, it makes me so happy!! Although I did have some of the paint on hand when I started this makeover, I also purchased just over $100 worth of new paint for the cabinets, walls and floor with plenty leftover.

Paint for this Project;

DIY Chalk Paint for Cabinets

-Plaster of Paris 

-ultra white paint in Flat  

Wall Paint

-Behr Silver Drop in Eggshell  

Trim/ Chair Rail / Closet Door

-Behr Ultra White in Semi-Gloss 

Interior /Exterior Doors  

-Premier Door and Siding Paint in Lights Out  

Floor paint  

-Behr Porch and Patio Paint in Slate Grey  

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Im not quite ready for the full reveal as I have more details on styling as well as a few more DIY projects I did to complete the space. So excited for the room to be finished and to share some nicer pictures with you. But I'll save that for another post :) 

Jess xx  

Laundry Room Makeover Part 1 - Demo + Prep

Lately it has seemed that my To Do list is always a mile long and that there are not enough hours in the day! I was taking a bit of a break from bigger projects and room makeovers and instead worked on completing some furniture painting/updating along with a few wood projects using materials I already had on hand.

Recently I decided to tackle making over my laundry room. I had originally planned to work on it this winter but then decided to hold off in an attempt to save some money and finish some smaller projects around the house. I knew I didn't want to spend a ton of money but wanted to be able to give this room a much needed update and fresh look. I have seen a ton of beautiful laundry room makeovers lately, especially those revealed recently for the #oneroomchallenge. This inspired me so much! Typically, I wouldn't really care too much about a basement laundry room, however our house has a walk out basement and the downstairs exit to the backyard is located in the laundry room. I couldn't stand the pink wall paper, burgundy carpet and dated laminate cabinets any longer!! 

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We don't have much carpet in the house and this was the only place that was wallpapered. Seriously, who wallpapers and carpets a basement laundry room? So one night, I decided to start demo-ing. I was really curious to see how easy or difficult pulling up the carpet was going to be so I moved the furniture and started at the corner. I had already started reading tutorials for removing carpet and glue from concrete to prepare it to paint. I was SOOOO happy to find out that there was barely any glue used other than at the door and under the washer and dryer.

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The trim was really what was holding the carpet in place so I quickly popped it off the walls (without even needing tools) and rolled the carpet up to take to the trash. This really got the ball rolling! Goodbye stinky old carpet, see ya never! To prep the floors for painting, I did not do everything that I had read in the tutorials. I had learned about removing carpet glue by applying lacquer thinner but since there was barely any glue, I skipped this all together. I was not concerned about the glue under the washer and dryer as it was probably 30 years old and therefore wasn't sticky any more, it just left a bumpy surface after the carpet was gone. Similarly by the door, there was a small section of glue but I knew there would always be a door mat here covering it so I decided to skip removing the glue all together. Call me lazy, but I wasn't going to waste time or money purchasing the lacquer thinner required and taking the time to remove something that wouldn't be showing anyways. This lady has got better things to do! The concrete floor had been painted prior to the carpet so there were some areas that were chipped. I used my palm sander to smooth these areas down and then swept and vacuumed, swept and vacuumed as best as I could. Then the floor was ready for paint!! I will be sharing all my paint details in another post :)

Removing the carpet and prepping the floors was pretty straight forward. The wallpaper was a bit more labour intensive. I remember peeling wallpaper as a kid growing up in a century home but had never done this on my own. Thankfully, only the upper halves of the walls were wallpapered and the bottom half was painted with a chair rail separating the two. Bizarre, right?! Anyways, I peeled the top layer off pretty easily, exposing the paper backing. I got a bucket of hot water with some vinegar and fabric softener added to it. I used a rag to saturate the paper backing with my hot water mixture. I did small sections at a time, getting the paper wet and waiting a few minutes. Then, I used my scraper and removed the paper from the walls. Some pieces came off extremely easily and in large sections. Some were more stubborn. I worked my way around the room until every bit of paper was gone. Then I got a new bucket of hot soapy water and wiped down the walls to remove any glue residue. I let this dry overnight before painting.

 What the walls looked like after the wallpaper was removed and the walls were wiped down. 

What the walls looked like after the wallpaper was removed and the walls were wiped down. 

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In the midst of removing carpet and wallpaper, I also painted the laminate cabinets and spray painted the hardware. More details to come on this and my DIY chalk paint.

 Cabinets after chalk paint, prior to distressing slightly and reattaching spray painted hardware.  Such a difference the white makes in brightening things up!!  

Cabinets after chalk paint, prior to distressing slightly and reattaching spray painted hardware.  Such a difference the white makes in brightening things up!!  

 This is the hardware before spray paint  

This is the hardware before spray paint  

It was important with this project to work my way from the top to bottom. Since I would be painting the floors, I made sure that all the painting of the walls and cupboards was done prior to this step as I didn't want to spill or slop on my newly painted floors or destroy them with wallpaper glue.

If you follow me on Instagram, I have made references to my laundry room makeover the past few weeks but have yet to share any progress photos. I am really excited to share the entire thing once it is completed and styled!! I thought I would share the demo + prep process as this was a huge part of the project. Our house is just under 30 years old and was in good condition when we moved in 5+ years ago therefore we have never had to prep a space like I did for the laundry room. Some aspects were really fun and made me feel accomplished but it was also challenging and time consuming. I am so excited for this room to be done! Stay tuned for all the painting details and then the final reveal :)

Jess xx