Monday, January 2, 2012

A $5 solution to a $200 bathroom problem

So, we have an old-ish house (1947), and only one bathroom.  The bathroom was remodeled some time in the 80's or 90's we think.  It was done mostly tastefully, if a bit retro.  It's black and white (which I love).  The tile is getting old and cracked in places.  The toilet and pedestal sink are black.
But we can live with all this.  The only work we've really done since moving in is to remove the wall heater (a fire trap), install a light/vent/heater, replace some fixtures, and paint.

We've had a problem with the medicine cabinet, however.  It's a recessed cabinet coated in some kind of enamel.  And 7 years of my husband's shaving cream has chipped and scratched the heck out of it - the enamel is basically completely gone on the bottom shelf, and it's rusting.

So we've talked about replacing it with a wall-mounted wood one one, trimmed in black. We know exactly what we want it to look like -  my friend Beth in San Francisco redid her bathroom, and I said "this is EXACTLY what I've been wanting to do to mine!"  Right down to the sink on a furniture-type cabinet.  (While the pedestal sink is fine for me, someone who does not wear makeup, it would be less practical for others.  And more storage would be nice.)

We've hemmed and hawed and delayed doing anything.  Part of me doesn't want to replace the medicine cabinet until we are ready to replace the sink, for placement (my husband says it's fine).  We also couldn't agree on the cabinet.  I want a certain one, and we didn't find one with a cursory look online.  I like the LOOK of this one, but I'd prefer one with three doors.  This one is $200.  Inertia, and life of full time work with a child, is a powerful force towards doing nothing.  Not to mention, we really should re-tile the bathroom because of the cracked tiles.  The problem with that is that we only have one bathroom.  And then your "let's replace the medicine cabinet" turns into a "let's remodel the bathroom".  While I have utmost confidence in our abilities at DIY'ers, that would take time, and I'm not sure how long I want to be showering at the gym or at work.

In any event, we enjoyed our New Year's Day with a swim at the Y, then came home and I prepared lunch (leftovers).  I started smelling a god-awful smell, and eventually traced it to the bathroom and a can of spray paint.  My spouse shut the door, opened some windows, and pulled out the fan.

And here is the end result.  Not the neatest job in the world, but it's no longer cracked and peeling, and all for the cost of a can of spray paint.  Now it should last at least 5 more years.
Edited to add: it was actually "free" because my husband used a can of spray paint we already had, and used to make our son's halloween costume a few years ago.

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