Bathroom Makeover Day 6 – What A Mess I’ve Created!

The end of day five of my bathroom makeover ended on a high note, with my new flooring installed, and my bathroom vanity completely finished.

Now all of that pretty is covered in dust and debris. But I keep reminding myself that this is, in fact, progress.

Bathroom makeover, dust from scraping a popcorn ceiling

Let me start at the beginning of day 6…

Remember that massive eyesore of a cabinet that was above the toilet?

Bathroom makeover - cabinet above the toilet makes the room look smaller

Not only was it just plain ugly, but it was way too big and made the room feel so small and closed in. And now it’s gone.

Bathroom makeover - large cabinet above toilet removed to make room for shelves

I knew in my mind that removing that cabinet would make the room feel so much more open, but I didn’t realize the full impact until it was gone. The room feel so big now!

Bathroom makeover - cabinet above the toilet made the room feel so much smaller

But let me tell you…getting the thing off the wall was not an easy chore. And you can see that I even left some holes in the wall. I pried and pried and pried until I was almost in tears, and the thing simply wouldn’t budge.

I didn’t think it would be hard, because the whole cabinet was being held on the wall with only one strip of lumber inside the cabinet with about five or six nails going into the wall.

But those nails were 3-inch nails, driven into the studs, and they had been there for almost 30 years. They were there to do a job (to keep that cabinet securely on the wall), and they were determined not to give up easily.

I was beyond frustrated. After about 30 minutes of prying, pulling, pushing, with absolutely no progress, I finally made a trip to Home Depot to get a special tool that I was sure would work. Similar to a crowbar, but flat instead of rounded, I was sure the Wonder Bar would be just the thing I needed.

It wasn’t. Instead, it punched holes in my wall, even though I was using it INSIDE the cabinet. Yep, it punched right through the back of the cabinet and into the wall. And the nails didn’t even budge.

At one point, Matt came in to see if he could offer some advice or encouragement. He was almost about to suggest that I just leave the cabinet on the wall, but once he saw that fire in my eyes and the sheer determination on my face, he suggested instead that I just get a hammer and take out my frustration on the cabinet by whacking away at it and taking it apart piece by piece.

It worked. And boy, did it feel good! I whacked away at that thing, and took out every bit of my frustration on it. Not only did I finally get the thing off the wall, but it was incredibly therapeutic at the same time. :)

With the cabinet finally off the wall, I moved on to scraping the popcorn ceiling and the popcorn texture off of the soffit (is that what these things are called?) above the sink area.

Bathroom makeover - soffit above the sink area

Unfortunately, that ugly thing has to stay because there are air ducts in there. It’s a bummer, but I can live with it.

One more thing that I accomplished was uninstalling the door that the “professionals” installed, and reinstalling it the correct way. Remember how it was raised off the floor about 1 1/2 inches?

bathroom before 3

Now it sits right on the floor, just as it should…

Installing a pre-hung interior door

And instead of the gap being at the floor where it shows, the gap is now at the top, where it will be covered by trim.

Installing a pre-hung interior door

So that’s my day 6 progress. It doesn’t seem like much in hindsight, but after wrestling with that stubborn cabinet for so long, and the installing the door, I was exhausted.

And you know what? I didn’t even clean up the mess before I went to bed. Nope, I just left it. ‘Cause that’s what I do when I’m exhausted.

Oh, and one more thing…

I keep having people ask me stuff like, “Why did you do the floor first?” or “Why didn’t you do such-and-such first?” So let me answer that question once and for all. :)

I work on these projects alone. While Matt is my biggest fan, and offers all kinds of wonderful support and encouragement, he can’t help me with any of the physical work. And I don’t have helpers showing up at my door each day. It’s just me and my power tools.

So when I start a project, I know from the beginning that if it’s going to get finished, it’s all on my shoulders to get it done. That thought can be overwhelming, and when I get overwhelmed, I don’t get anything accomplished. Plus, not getting overwhelmed was one of my goals for this year.

So the way that I’m learning to work with my personality (instead of continually fighting against it and getting frustrated with myself) is to allow myself to do projects as I feel inspired to do them, if at all possible. In other words, if I wake up in the morning, and I feel totally inspired to make a countertop for my bathroom vanity, that’s what I do. If I feel super inspired to do one thing, I just go with it if I can. That often means that I end up doing things in an order that isn’t completely logical, but somehow when I do that, it always seems to work out in the end. :)

Next I’m moving on to the walls. Stop in tomorrow and see my progress!!

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Comments

  1. says

    I think it’s amazing that you do it all by yourself, and I’m so inspired by you because of it! You give me hope for the future, because I know my boyfriend does not like this renovation kind of stuff, so it will be mostly on my shoulders to do it. I grew up in a house where my dad was incredibly handy and made lots of stuff and renovations for our home. I actually helped him a lot, learned some of it along the way, and that’s where my love for it came. I just need to put it to practice! I’m curious where it all started for you?
    I can totally understand doing projects as you feel like it. In the end when all is said and done, no one will be able to tell which project you did first or last, so who cares?!

  2. Diane Mansil says

    You are on fire, girl! It’s really starting to open up and look great! And I’m glad you found a way to “de-frustrate” and “de-cabinet-ate” the room. LOL I know the shear joy of destroying something that frustrates. Sometime, if you’re really, really, really frustrated, go break some glass (in a controlled setting). The shattering sound is cathartic!

    Can’t wait to see ceilings and walls come to life!

  3. Robin says

    I think you are making great progress. I removed kitchen cabinets once with similar thoughts of ease. How hard could it be with four nails in there right? And I ended up bashing them out in pieces as well. It sucked. It took more effort and time to remove the old cabinets then it did to install the new ones. And without the cabinet your bathroom looks larger in the pictures already. As for the door, for the fact that you got that done alone and in one day you have my awe. Replacing/retrofitting doors has never been my strong suit. As for order of projects, who cares? If you have this “order” that you feel you have to do it, but are totally uninspired you get stuck. And the last thing you want is to feel paralyzed and overwhelmed because you can’t get through your mental road block of how other people think you should be doing it! I think you are doing great and can’t wait to see the finished product.

  4. Katy says

    I am loving following along with your progress! I think I may be almost as excited as you to see the room complete. Can’t wait to check back tomorrow and see how its coming along. Also, I absolutely *love* what you did with the cabinet and countertop. I never would have thought of creating a wood countertop, but it is beautiful!

  5. says

    You go girl!! As someone who just single handedly remodeled her bathroom ITA with you! Some days I just didn’t feel like doing step X and moved right on to step Y. Since I am going to have to do everything eventually.. why not do what I like doing first?

    It is going to be beautiful. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  6. Kristi's mom says

    So proud of you, Kristi!!! Must say though, when I glanced at the last sentence I thought it said–Next I’m moving the walls. I almost grabbed the phone and said, “NOOOOOOOO!” That one really would have caused me some sleepless nights. :-)

    • GilmerGal says

      Mom, I’m thinking you wouldn’t be surprised? Every day is fun at Kristi’s house. So inspirational. Kristi, my husband has some sort of saw that he cuts the nails with. It has a long sort of thin blade. I think it’s called a Reciprocating Saw, and you can get different sized blades. The blades have a little bit of “give” in them for hard to reach spots. Takes less than a minute to cut through a nail. He uses it all the time for all sorts of things. Love the progress, and goodbye old ugly cabinet!

  7. says

    That is precisely how I work, as well. If you’re not inspired to tackle a job, why tackle it. That seems to be when things go even MORE wrong for me. I think you’re a rock star for doing it all yourself!

  8. julie says

    I LOVE your gung-ho spirit! I’m like you (only a couple decades older) and when I want something done around the house — I just DO it! (in whatever order strikes my fancy) I am new to your blog and am fascinated by what you are able to accomplish. Bravo Krisit! You inspire me. :)

  9. Geneva says

    my dear, you are my twin! And I do the exact same stuff like you, all by myself, so you have my heartfelt support. Hang in there – be inspired, or be tired – you do what makes you happy, when you are ready. I’ll be here watching, and cheering you on. I am very happy to be able to watch the progress, and learn!!!!

    G

  10. Guerrina says

    That sure does look bigger! I love it! A determined woman is unbeatable! Had to laugh at the 3″ nail comment. I just started a wood treatment in my back hall and used 3″ nails into studs and also managed to damage a wall when I had to remove one! Am officially considering this a permanent treatment after your to-do and mine!

  11. Jen in Jersey (Germany, Jersey, Wichita, Japan, Wichita) says

    I love that you do things “out of order” and as you are inspired – it really relieves me from having to plan and plan and plan and never get anything done. (Because what if I did it out of order? Horrors!) So thank you for your inspiration.

  12. Pat says

    I just happened upon your blog yesterday and I am sooo.. glad. We bought a fixer upper late last summer. Progress has been almost non- existence due to other priorties with both my husband and myself. After reading your blog I am ready to step up to the plate and jump in instead of waiting for somebody else to tell me what to do. I do have my own tools and some knowledge, I just have always waited for someone else to direct. Tomorrow I will start on what I can do. Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. says

    Kristy I am just so impressed that you have done all this work totally by yourself. Very few women can say they did their bathroom makeover themselves! I am so glad you got that cabinet out of there. Even though it wasn’t all that big, visually something like that in such a small space sucks up all of the space! It is looking better every day!

  14. Anat says

    You are right Kristi, the order of working on projects absolutely depends on inspiration, ’cause you are the Artist. The inspiration is the powerful drive. Just cover those treasures (your babies) – the floor and the vanity with an old rag and continue your another messy project.

  15. Sue says

    I was amazed at how much bigger the bathroom looked after you wrestled that cabinet out of there! Wowzers! Not sure what you have for storage in there but maybe you can use the space under the sink cabinet to store towels and ‘stuff’. You’re doing an amazing job and I’m excited to see what treatment you have in store for the ceiling and walls. Keep on keepin’ on Kristi!

  16. Kathleen says

    Kristi,

    This makeover of yours has got me so excited. I love this type of job. Unfortunately I live in a new house – no work! :( Except for my new craft room that is in the works, I’m going crazy. I want to do what your doing!!!! Can’t wait to see how it looks tomorrow! Hey did you ever see my question about buying a domain name? I sent it from my gmail account to your contact me page.

    • says

      I’m sure many people have that question. :) I’ve written about it a couple of times, but I know that people have probably missed it, and think that I’m married to the laziest husband around. Ha! :-D But to answer your question, Matt has M.S., and is in a wheelchair. He was diagnosed about two years after we got married after we noticed some weakness/balance issues, and over the last few years, progressively got weaker and weaker to the point that he could no longer walk. He’s still very independent, and is doing MUCH better since we changed our diet at the beginning of 2012. While he seems to be gaining strength slowly but surely, he’s still not able to walk, so that really limits his ability to help me with anything.

      • says

        I didn’t think he was lazy! I noticed that you always say “can’t” help, not “won’t” help but didn’t want to ask in case it was something really personal. I did miss the posts where you talked about it though – thanks for explaining. I’m glad to hear that he is doing better! I hope he continues to get better too. Some times all you really need is someone to talk you through it. =]

      • Charlotte says

        Thanks so much for your explanation about your husband ! I was wondering about that, also.

        You are truly an inspiration to me . . . I haven’t left your page since I found it over a week ago . . . I just leave my computer turned on (hibernate) but leave your pages up on my tabs up there . . . You have SO much to see that I don’t want to lose my place . . . hahahah !

        I LOVE THIS PAGE !!!!

  17. Leslie Wilks says

    It has been awesome watching your bathroom renovation and your tenacity. Every day I look forward to next accomplishment!

  18. says

    I admire your fearlessness, Kristi- fear always seems to paralyze me and I don’t tackle things I would love to do. Whatever order you like, and however you need to do it to get it done is just fine, and will turn out wonderfully. Whoever the new owners will be, will be blessed!

  19. Kim says

    Kristi,
    I have just recently found your website. I look forward to it everyday. But, that said, I believe I am so fond of your blog because you come across as a “real” person. I think it is cool that you do things as the mood hits you. I also love how you explain your frustrations. If you didn’t blog for a few days, I would think you had something else you had to do. This is the first time in a thousand years that I have a chance to stay home and work on my projects. You have been a wonderful help getting me motivated and also kind to myself when things don’t work out as planned.

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