Friday, July 19, 2013

Do unto others...

Let's post today about doing nice things for others instead of DIY'ing for yourself, shall we?  Sometimes it's nicer to do a project for somebody else than it is to finish your own project, and that is what we'll focus on today.

My mom has always been an insanely crafty person.  She taught me how to sew, craft, paint, make jewelry, decorate- you name it, she tries it.  When my parents built their house thirteen years ago, my brother was eight.  My mom and I worked together to paint and decorate the hall bath that was next to his room in a style that an eight year old boy would find fun.  Because my hometown is on Lake Ontario, we went with a boat/water/lake theme.  I'm not going to get into the specifics of what/how we completed that DIY, but I'll share a few pictures now:

That rope "chair rail" trim? HOT GLUE GUNNED and nailed to the wall.  Yep.
That's a lot of primary color action going on there.

Fast forward to present day, and we now have a twenty-one year old living in the house during college breaks, with all of his friends in and out of this child-like bath.  Yep, time for a change.  Several years ago, my mom bought this great poster of ship wrecks of Lake Ontario, and wanted to update the bathroom with a more "grown-up, non-kitchy nautical theme".  Get where I'm going here?  She and I went to the store and even picked out new paint on one of my trips home to visit, but then real life got in the way, and the paint and poster sat.  For a very long time.

Every Christmas, we bug, bug, bug my mom for a list of things she might want, and she has never complied.  (Despite the fact that she mandates that we give her lists ourselves!)  I hemmed and hawed over what to get her until I had a brilliant EUREKA!! flash.  Instead of a gift, we were going to redo the bathroom for her.

I enlisted my brother's help, and had him search out the bucket of paint to make sure it was still usable.  He searched high and low, and couldn't find it.  He finally had to come up with a story in order to ask my mom where the paint was, without letting her catch onto the plan.  I then had him measure the room for me, and we made our calculations of what we would need to get the job done.  From afar, my sister found a great shower curtain, and had the kiddos draw pictures for, "Nani's new bathroom".

Don't paint over sponge stamps without sanding it first.  You'll still see the outline.

Our plan was to paint the upper halves of the walls, install bead board on the bottom halves, and finish everything off with some trim.  We worked for two straight days on this, and told mom we were, "Working on a project, but that it was too cold in the garage to get it done in there."  Tools, wood, an air compressor, nail gun, and paint all traipsed back and forth through the house.  Any time Mom was around, we made her turn to the wall, shut her eyes, and yelled at her NOT TO LOOK.  We thought, Surely she knows what's going on at this point!!!  

Cedar tongue and groove planks- smelled heavenly.
(As a side note, I contemplated using the 8'x4' sheets of premade bead board, but that isn't recommended for use in humid/wet areas.  )

By Christmas morning, we got as far as half-finished chair rail molding, but were ready to reveal anyway.  We brought Mom into the bathroom, and yep, she was surprised.  She told us afterwards that she thought we were making picture frames for the family room out of distressed wood.  After living with her new room for a few hours, she decided that while we were at it and the baseboards hadn't been reinstalled yet, that we might as well replace the tile floors, too.  The tiles were uneven in places, and the subfloor underneath was creaking from an accidental flooding mishap the year before.  Whoops.  Along with the floor, she told us, "You know, I've never liked that big builder's grade mirror, either.  Can we put up a new mirror, too?"  We sure can, mom!

Genuine surprise, not reenacted:)

The next day, we picked out new tile for the floor, and hung a mirror to match the spiffiness of the rest of the room.  Mom did hire someone to put in the new floor and finish the trim, and BAM.  A new and beautiful bathroom.  The room grew up into a beautiful, adult version of its former self.

Ooh la la, look at that wood tile!

Our favorite picture of Dad on his sunfish hangs above the boat rope cleat towel bar.
The inspiration for the whole bathroom.

Go work on a DIY project for someone else soon- it'll brighten your day and make you feel good.  Happy Friday!!

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