You know when you dream up a project and you start said project, and then the next thing you know you have a loooong list of accompanying projects and you kind of forgot what the original project was???…no? Just me?
Well we started the bathroom an eternity go. (or a couple of months ago) The plan was to rip out the vanity while we had the carpet ripped out and tile installed. We wanted the tile to sit under our new vanity and the vanity be more like a piece of furniture than a built-in. Easy enough, right? Well, right away we realized an awkward outlet because our new vanity is a little taller than the old one. Then we realized we would have to rip out the mirror that was attached with the original vanity (which didn’t break my heart). But to get the mirror down we had to lose some drywall where it was glued. Throw in a toilet issue and replacing the light and this little bathroom update is growing by the second.
I thought getting the tile down would be the hardest/longest part. I was planning on plopping (that’s a technical term) in the new vanity, and slapping some paint on the walls and calling it done. I should have known that nothing is that simple when it comes to diy.
Here was the bathroom when we first moved in:
Then we ripped out the carpet and vanity and had tile put in.
Here is a close-up of the new vanity and the problem with the outlet clearance. Luckily the vanity doesn’t have to go all the way to the wall. In fact, I wanted it centered under the wall light above the vanity. There is about 6 inches from the vanity to the wall. The outlet can still be used by most everything we would use it for. (ie. hairdryer, flat-iron, electric razor, etc.) So other than looking somewhat awkward, the outlet is still super functional. One day we will have it raised up, but it’s not high on our to-do list right now.
Then there is the mirror. I planned on living with this mirror, by adding some trim around it to make it more up-to-date looking. But we bought our vanity on a whim while in Lowe’s one day so we didn’t really take the necessary measurements beforehand. After we brought the new vanity home and centered it under the light we quickly realized that the mirror wasn’t going to work. It was just too big. It also kept the vanity top from sitting flush against the wall. So bye-bye mirror.
Of course the mirror was well glued to the wall for many, many years and when we took it off we were left with this:
Here is a good picture of the original light fixture. I wanted the vanity centered under the light, and I knew I would want to replace this eventually if not now. Since we had no idea if the box for the light was actually centered, we figured we would just go ahead and get a new light (more on that later) now and then we would know for sure if it was centered or if we would have to fix that too. We didn’t want to be surprised later when we went to replace it and already had the vanity set in place.
Back to the wall. I knew the only real solution was to skim coat it. I tried to think of any other solution, but there really wasn’t one that would work for us. I was terrified to skim coat. I don’t know why. I watched several youtube videos and was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But I bit the bullet and decided to give it a shot. I was comforted by the fact that I could hang a giant mirror and cover most of it if I totally botched it.
I grabbed some compound at Lowe’s…or maybe Home Depot…I honestly don’t remember. I do remember that it was cheap, I think it was about $6 for this huge tub. I also grabbed a large putty knife.
I’m embarrassed at how scared I was to try it. Once I got in a groove, it was really simple. Like icing a cake, or smearing cream cheese on a bagel…but on the wall…If that makes sense. It only took a few minutes and it was already looking a million times better. (Sorry there is no pics of the process, but once I started, I didn’t want to stop!)
I started out with a really thin coat and then let it dry thoroughly before sanding it all down. I repeated the process in some areas about three times, some areas only need the one application. Waiting for it to dry was literally the hardest part of this project. I even found myself looking around the house for other places I could skim coat.
More on these bath projects later. I know, you’re on pins and needles but I feel like this post is already long enough and I better save some of this fascinating content for later!