Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bathroom Reno: A little plaster, a little paint, and - HEY! What happened to my tiles?!?!

After a sleep-in on Saturday morning, I got stuck into some sewing and R had some well-earned time out. I covered and taped up the bathroom, mainly so that the white grout wouldn't by damaged by people walking on it and dropping paint on it. After it's cured, I'll seal it to keep the stains to a minimum.

Then R put on the top-coat for the plaster-work, and when it was dry he sanded it all back to smooth. And let me tell you, when R sands something to smooth, it is SMOOTH. The downside is that he likes to make sure he has plenty of product to sand back, so there was quite a bit of dust. Everywhere. But if that's the worst of it, then it hasn't been too bad.

A note about cornices - they're tricky little things! R spent ages practicing to get the angles just right, and has even hung onto some templates to help him remember next time. He glued them up just fine, and filled any small gaps with the cornice adhesive. Bad idea. Cornice adhesive dries super hard, and remember how I said R likes to have plenty to sand back? Mmm. He was not a happy camper, and neither was I, but the lesson has been learned. Gyprock top-coat is the way to go.

On Monday, I painted a couple of patches of undercoat so the electrician could finish his work, and finished the first coat of undercoat on Monday night. Tuesday was painting day, and R helped me get another coat of undercoat on. I splashed some ceiling white on the ceiling, 'builder's white' on the walls, and she's all done! (Well, apart from those patches on the cornice, but when they're dry they'll be easy to finish.)

Having a light above the mirror was a must - the vanity is on the opposite side of the room to the window, so the natural light is behind you which makes applying make-up, or shaving, difficult. R found a neat little power-point with the switch incorporated, so it all looks very tidy.

After I painted and sat down for a rest, I cleaned up a bit in preparation for the plumber coming to do the fit-off. I peeled back the drop-sheet on the floor in the toilet corner, to find that my white tiles are no longer white. (I included a photo from last Thursday, after the tiles had been laid, to compare. I don't have a picture from the same angle with it grouted, but the grout just makes it all look whiter.) Yes, you can call me fussy, but if you'd spent the last 4 years planning your bathroom renovation and it turned out different, you might be disappointed too. Especially if your colour scheme is white-grey-black, with no warm, cream or brown neutrals at all. I didn't get overly upset (mainly because I'm so tired!), but I think I've settled on surprise as my main reaction. I realise that when you put two whites together, they'll look different, because no two whites are the same, and one of them will look off-white - I just wasn't prepared for half-strength milky coffee.

It's right before my very eyes, and yet I'm having trouble believing the amount of colour change. Matt from Beaumont Tiles dropped in on Wednesday night to check it out, and even though he thought I was just being fussy, he could see that they weren't white next to the walls. He suggested painting the walls again with a bit more colour, to see if that would help, but we don't really want to do that. (Besides, the colour we've picked for the kitchen cabinets is a very white white, so we'll have the same problem downstairs.) His other suggestion was to change the light-bulbs to a bluer light, which would probably help for the couple of hours at night that the lights are on, but we can't change the colour of the sun! 

I've taken a few deep breaths, and I'm learning to live with it. And in reality, this is what you'd call a 'First World Problem'. It will all look different when everything is finished and we've taken away the drop-sheets and cleaned it all up. I keep telling myself that it's just a two-bedroom townhouse that's going to be a rental, we're not going to be here forever. The irony is, we could have gone for off-white grout after all. Haha! Oh well, live and learn.

We were meant to be visited on Friday by a guy who does glass and mirrors, to organise the shower screen and the mirror, but it's Wednesday morning and we haven't heard from him... Apart from that, we're waiting on the plumber to fit the toilet and connect the taps, we need to paint the gloss around the window and door, put a blind on the window, and I keep forgetting about the accessories - towel rails, shelf in the shower, toilet roll holder. So close!

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