Monday, June 17, 2013

The Bathroom, Patience and Failure: Part 1

We have three bathrooms in our house: the master bathroom, the "guest" bathroom (which is also the most convenient bathroom for daytime use), and the upstairs bathroom. The upstairs bathroom is the one I think of as "mine." Well, mine and my siblings. It's the one we all stumble to in the middle of the night, the one where my sister and I brush our teeth, and wash our faces, and pluck our eyebrows and shower... I didn't realize how much I took it for granted.

On April 13th, I decided to really clean my bathroom. We'd had a sink leakage problem, and a toilet leakage problem and there was a funky mildew sort of smell starting to brew. The over-the-toilet storage shelf legs were damaged by the toilet leakage, so I removed it from the bathroom, hoping that the gross swollen pasteboard was the source of the smell.

I scrubbed the floor very thoroughly, and washed the baseboards while I was at it. Then I tried to reorganize under the sink cabinet, only to discover it was wet and the sink was leaking again. So I loaded all the toiletries, etc. into boxes and mopped up the water again, but there was pasteboard there, too, and I was afraid it had already soaked up too much water and was also damaged.

My towel rack started falling out of the wall (probably because I installed myself, and I had no idea what I was doing) so I took that down. Then, Sarah and I realized that the bathroom was almost completely devoid of things covering the walls, and we had been wanting to change the drab brown/beige wall color ever since we moved in - 11 years ago. So we picked up some paint on Monday the 15th and got to work.

After a few days and the fresh paint, with nothing in the bathroom but the vanity, I still noticed the nasty mildew smell. We checked, and so far as we could tell without taking the cabinet out, there was a good chance it was the mildew source. When we ripped it out of the bathroom, it was indeed moldy and mildewed underneath, and composed entirely of cheap pasteboard which soaks up water like a sponge. (I have a determined and adamant dislike for pasteboard.)

So the search for a new cabinet began. I had already begun to seriously miss the completely functional bathroom (even if it did smell something of mildew) and was absolutely desperate to get something in FAST. Unfortunately, there were no non-pasteboard options available ready-made at Home Depot or Lowe's, and after almost 2 weeks of searching, we finally gave up and ordered something custom to match the counter top, which we were going to keep. Daddy stacked up some cinder-blocks and temporarily reinstalled our sink so we could have a functional bathroom for the next month.

Daddy's genius cinder-block idea!
We decided to wait on hanging the mirror because it was a tight fit between the light fixture and the counter top, and we wanted to make sure to hang it correctly. Sarah and I didn't want to put an unnecessary hole in the wall for a little temporary mirror, so we prepared ourselves to make do without a bathroom mirror for the next few weeks.

Most of our toiletries were still living out in the hall because there wasn't much space under the sink with the cinder-blocks, (and the sink was still under suspicion for leaks) but I was relieved to have the sink back, and eagerly looking forward to the arrival of our beautiful new cabinet, and condoling myself with happy thoughts of how nice the bathroom would be once it was finally all finished!

Draped with a pretty sheet to hide the blocks.
 What does this all have to do with patience and failure? Coming soon in Part 2!


  1. Yikes! I fear and loathe mold, and am so glad you removed the pasteboard. Can't wait to see how it all turns out! I love home-improvement stories.

    1. Yeah, mold is nasty stuff! I think it was starting to cause me some respiratory problems, so I was desperate to get it out! =)

  2. You have good idea on that Lizzie :)
    I love the fabric which covers the block. and cant wait to see the next.. It must be pretty space.

    You have beautiful house.


    1. Thanks, Delvalina! I started to think we should just leave the pretty sheet and forget about getting a new cabinet!

  3. Best of luck with your project, Lizzie! Love the creativity you used and pretty look you gave the sink despite what lies beneath. :)

    1. Thanks, Rissi! I think it's progressing pretty well! Just very slowly...