Journal

@SchuminWeb

Journal Archives

  • 2019 (24)
  • 2018 (38)
  • 2017 (37)
  • 2016 (41)
  • 2015 (30)
  • 2014 (42)
  • 2013 (61)
  • 2012 (91)
  • 2011 (90)
  • 2010 (111)
  • 2009 (142)
  • 2008 (161)
  • 2007 (196)
  • 2006 (199)
  • 2005 (207)
  • 2004 (233)
  • 2003 (104)

Categories

  • Advertising (17)
  • Amusing (46)
  • Cell phone (20)
  • Commuting (13)
  • Computer (57)
  • DC trips (120)
  • Dreams (20)
  • Events (24)
  • Food and drink (77)
  • Internet (20)
  • Language (9)
  • LPCM (9)
  • Nature (6)
  • Religion (12)
  • Restrooms (1)
  • Schumin Web meta (189)
  • Security (18)
  • Some people (38)
  • Space (6)
  • Urban exploration (10)
  • Vacations (34)
  • Video Journal (18)
  • Work (77)

A couple of small refresh projects…

July 29, 2019, 10:00 AM

In the past month, Elyse and I completed two small “refresh” projects in the house.  These projects were nothing too major, but still make a big difference in the quality of life in the place.  We repainted the half bath and also replaced the toilet, and then I also repainted the coat closet.

The bathroom project was the more involved of the two, since the toilet was getting replaced.  That one was something that I’d wanted to do for a while.  The idea was that the old toilet was so cheap that it wasn’t worth rebuilding, and then since I had to patch a few holes in the walls and the door (from the previous owner’s decor) anyway, might as well do a full paint rather than trying to match the old color.  The new toilet came from a thrift store, believe it or not.  We bought a brand new American Standard Cadet 3 at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Herndon back in May:

The new toilet at the Habitat store

As I understand it, this was a former display model, so it was completely built and just needed to be dropped into place.  And at $120, that wasn’t a bad deal.

Then in early June, we got started on the project.  But first, some “before” photos:

The toilet side of the bathroom

The sink side of the bathroom

And right after these photos were taken, it was out with the toilet:

With the toilet gone, we made a surprising discovery: there were three wax rings under there.  Yes, three.  They went out, too.
With the toilet gone, we made a surprising discovery: there were three wax rings under there.  Yes, three.  They went out, too.

The next day, we got rid of the old toilet at the Shady Grove Transfer Station:

Loaded up in the HR-V.
Loaded up in the HR-V.

Elyse sends it over the side.  It tipped over while it was sliding, causing the tank to shatter as it went.
Elyse sends it over the side.  It tipped over while it was sliding, causing the tank to shatter as it went.

Much to our surprise, the old toilet landed upright.
Much to our surprise, the old toilet landed upright.

The next step was painting.  The beautiful thing about this was that the painting part of the job didn’t cost me anything.  I already had all of the supplies from previous projects, and I used the same paint from when I did Elyse’s bathroom the year before.  Works for me.

I quickly learned that the existing paint in the half bath was no exception when it came to the quality of the paint job that I inherited when I bought the house: it sucked.  Seriously, my house had a surprisingly bad paint job, in that you could see roller marks, uneven application, and so on.  I couldn’t help but think that someone actually paid money to do this, and actually thought that it looked good when it was done.  In the case of the half bath, you could see evidence of the previous, darker paint job through the existing paint.  In any case, I was going to do a better job with my own painting, so as to obliterate any trace of past work.

The first paint to go on was the white semigloss paint, which I used on the ceiling and the door.  The ceiling was okay, but for the sake of completeness, might as well do it.  On the door, meanwhile, I had to patch some holes in it from a mirror that I got rid of, and gave it a fresh coat of paint.  My understanding with the mirror is that the intent is to open the door, check yourself over one final time before leaving, and then go out into the world.  I didn’t like it on the bathroom door because I didn’t want to see a reflection of myself using the bathroom.  If I were to put such a mirror in (and I have no plans to), I’d put it on the hall closet door.  In any case, after patching, the door got a fresh coat of paint as well:

The freshly repainted door.  I wasn't too worried about being neat with the trim around the door on the living room side, because the living room is also on my list of rooms to paint.
The freshly repainted door.  I wasn’t too worried about being neat with the trim around the door on the living room side, because the living room is also on my list of rooms to paint.  Also note the sanded spackling on the wall near the door.  More prep for the future paint job.

Meanwhile, the main painting came along pretty well:

(And yes, I did the painting around the toilet paper holder freehand, because I wasn't able to properly mask it off.  I didn't do too badly, though, and what paint I did get on there came off with a fingernail.)
(And yes, I did the painting around the toilet paper holder freehand, because I wasn’t able to properly mask it off.  I didn’t do too badly, though, and what paint I did get on there came off with a fingernail.)

All in all, the painting went pretty well.  I dripped on the trim in two places, but both places were spots where I wasn’t too concerned about it: behind where the toilet would normally go, and on the back wall under the sink.  Most people won’t look in those places.

The new toilet, meanwhile, was where the surprises came in.  We put a new extra large wax ring in there to replace the three old rings, and then plopped the toilet on.  Elyse hooked it up, since she’s the plumbing expert (I am “plumber’s helper” in these situations), and then it was time for a test flush.  Water everywhere.  That wasn’t supposed to happen.  After getting a bunch of towels to mop up the water, I got down on the floor under the toilet for another test flush to see where the water was coming out.  The water was coming out between the tank and the bowl.  Lovely.  We also had a leak under the toilet, as the bucket that we had placed under it in the utility room downstairs got water in it.  As it turns out, the toilet that we bought had no gasket between the tank and the bowl.  That’s understandable, because it was a display model, after all, and you don’t need a gasket for that.  So Elyse got a gasket while she was out with her parents, and we put that on.  Meanwhile, the leak under the toilet was because our extra large wax ring was insufficient for what we needed to do.  We evaluated a few options, including a flange extender, but ultimately, we just went with more wax.  After all, three wax rings worked before, so we added a second wax ring that we had left over from when we bought Bev.  That did the trick.  No more leaks!

And then I hung up a picture in the bathroom, put all of the stuff back, and the project was complete:

Viewed from the living room.  Note the different doorknob.
Viewed from the living room.  Note the different doorknob.

Toilet in place with contour mat around it, and lots of extra paper.
Toilet in place with contour mat around it, and lots of extra paper.

The sink.
The sink.

Overview of the bathroom, taken off of the mirror.  The picture is the Mars Cheese Castle photo feature.
Overview of the bathroom, taken off of the mirror.  The picture is the Mars Cheese Castle photo feature.

With the bathroom done, I tackled the closet.  I painted the closet because that project made me happy.  Elyse’s stance was that it was just a closet, so no need to paint it.  I, meanwhile, couldn’t stand looking at all of the scuff marks and other blemishes every time I went in there.  Additionally, the existing paint job was hideous.  On the door, it looked like there was once a rack hanging over the door, and they painted around it at a later date.  On the inside, it looked like they repainted the closet at some point, but they did the whole job in ten minutes, using only a roller, and not bothering to paint the corners or even all of the walls.  Look at how bad this paint was:

The door.  Note the white spots at the top, and the scuff marks at the bottom.
The door.  Note the white spots at the top, and the scuff marks at the bottom.

Around the top of the closet.  It was apparent that someone had repainted the closet before, but did a really poor job on it.
Around the top of the closet.  It was apparent that someone had repainted the closet before, but did a really poor job on it.

The bottom of the closet.  Definitely a lot of scuff marks, plus the same bad paint job.
The bottom of the closet.  Definitely a lot of scuff marks, plus the same bad paint job.

There was only one surprise here: the doorknob was broken on the inside, so I needed to replace that.  Just as well, as the previous owner had a locking knob on that door, which I felt was an accident waiting to happen.  Thus if I had to replace one knob, I might as well decide what style to use throughout the house, since it was very inconsistent.  I ended up choosing the style that’s in Elyse’s room, the Gatehouse Gallo, which tapers outward.  Right away, I did the closet, the half bath (have to coordinate), and the utility room downstairs, which also had an unnecessary lock on it.  So out of eleven knobs, five are the selected style, and six more need replacement.

And here’s the completed closet, which I did in white semigloss:

The repainted interior.  Note the nice, consistent paintwork inside.
The repainted interior.  Note the nice, consistent paintwork inside.

The closet after moving back in, with the painted door and new knob.
The closet after moving back in, with the painted door and new knob.

The door, painted and with new knob.  Again, I wasn't too worried about being neat around the trim, since the living room is going to get repainted anyway.
The door, painted and with new knob.  Again, I wasn’t too worried about being neat around the trim, since the living room is going to get repainted anyway.

So all in all, my house is now a slightly better place to live in because of these projects.

Categories: House