Friday, December 14, 2012

The Latest on the Bathroom Overhaul

Even the inside is purple

Here is the list of to-dos:
Tear out corner cabinet
Remove tub and sink
Tear out old tile
Open wall/floor, replace pipes to sink and tub
Replace 80% of drywall on walls and ceiling
Strip and refinish medicine cabinet (in progress)
Strip, refinish and repair original sash window including broken pane and rope pulleys
Replace bottom pane with stained glass if affordable
Refinish window
Install fan in ceiling
Tile floor
Replace and patch baseboards
Replace shoe molding
Float and tape walls
Paint walls
Paint baseboards and shoe molding
Replace tub and sink
Fabricate hook and hang antique cup holder
Purchase properly sized storage cabinet

I am currently working on the medicine cabinet. I used my go-to stripper, Soygel. Both the exterior and interior were painted dark purple. Beneath the purple paint, I found several layers of white and offwhite, a layer of lavender, more white, then finally a beigey yellow.

Ready to sand
The hardware was also covered in layers and layers of paint. The striper softened the outer layers. To get the older stuff I tried latex paint remover (eh), paint thinner (eh), baking soda and boiling water (so-so) scrubbing with a toothbrush and textured sponge between each attempt. After several hours, I finally got down to bare metal. It appears they are copper and have a nice patina except for the top of the cabinet latch. The coating has peeled away to reveal dark flat metal.


I wonder if the hardware on the window is also copper. The sash pull is rusted and corroded and there’s no telling what the metal was. The sash lock is covered in paint. I’ll find out what’s under it later.

Rusty sash pull and rotted window sill

The window sill and side frames are pretty rotten so will be replaced. Once removed you can see the original window weights--two on each side. The front set controls the bottom window and the rear set controls the top. The top window is currently painted shut. The previous owner even painted the rope for the weights, so it will have to be replaced. Both windows will be removed and refinished. If it's affordable, I will replace the broken glass in the lower window with an antique stained glass window. Old Is Better Than New has a nice selection. Hopefully something will fit!


Painted rope, weight pulley

Dusty and rusty
The lighting, sink and tub fixtures are all chrome. Do you think the copper cabinet hardware will clash? Should the window hardware match the sink, etc. or the cabinet? Decisions, decisions. Below is the pinboard with paint colors, tile and some inspiration photos.


  1. I like mixing metals. As long as you make it look intentional, like using a decorative copper bowl on the countertop, I think it will work.