A Way of Living. Celebrate how you live your life!

Home Improvement Therapy 101

Home Improvement Therapy 101

The most daunting of tasks when looking at our dated floors and walls, wishing they were something fresh and new, can truly be a simple task with the right preparation and allotted time.

Yes we need to have the menfolk clear from target range, as their glances and unwanted opinions usually fuel that need for us to invent new ways of reconstructing the average genteel decorating tool/aid, into a lethal weapon or projectile. So, send him away on a lengthy errand, preferably one lasting 5 days to a week. If luck spins our way, we may have a couple of celebratory days, for a girly night out or two, left over.

So we have designated the bathroom and bedroom for our task. Of which bedroom has not been painted for ..okay…has not seen paint since the house was built. We have marched down to our store of choice for said paint. I personally was devastated upon realizing that I could purchase perfectly good quality paint (matte for the walls, semi gloss for skirting) in a lovely neutral color at Walmart for a third of the price of the previous four gallons I had used downstairs. I got over that epiphany quickly and purchased new rollers, the old ones could have been washed again but they are so cheap it is worth buying new for a fresh room and buy a decent thickness so as to ensure an even coat ladies. Also plenty of dust sheets canvas or clear for the floors, I recycled my old ones from my previous venture.

Then choosing vinyl medium self adhesive tiles for my new bathroom floor, these proved a very good buy, $32 for 12, 12ins tiles; more than enough for the space surrounding tub, sink and vanity. Now for the preparation. This was the back wrenching part and the reason for planning in advance for the activities to follow. Painting the bathroom walls and skirting prior to fitting your new tiles is recommended. Also using a Semi-gloss, as the moisture in your bathroom tends to absorb into a matte paint more.

Ripping up old linoleum from the bathroom floor would be easy one would assume. Well indeed the top layer does peel away beautifully, but apparently as with most things in this wonderful land, the lower layer is glued fast to the wood board floor…you know, just in case burglars want to pop in on a mad linoleum thieving binge and do away with my prize flooring.

Because of this little glue backing issue, I then spend the next 36 hours slowly picking at paper with a putty knife and figuring out better ways of getting this up, that did not involve a blowtorch and the local fire dept upon my doorstep (not that a few hunky firefighters would have not been a pleasant diversion).

I came upon the bright idea of my old iron and set it to warm/hot ..lay it on a thin sheet for a few seconds at a time, the heat melted the glue below the backing paper and safely I was able to peel it up. My mission was accomplished quickly thereafter. In hindsight, I would upon doing the same again, have plenty of ventilation, as the warmed lino backing did exude a pretty gluey odor and thoughts of yellow submarines and coffee beans were frequent when inhaling without wearing a safety mask. Note to self, purchase mask and open windows everywhere.

Without further ado I vacuumed all dust and debris from the floor, sanded any parts that seemed not to be level (this is a must as you want your tiles to lay flat and even) and set about measuring the exact center of the floor. Laid my tiles from the center outwards and then was able to cut and trim for the surrounding edges and around the door. Making templates for every area that require measurement, i.e. the toilet, doorway, etc. For those who are not sure of how to do this, wonderful advice can be found on youtube video and DIY store’s own videos and diagrams online, to guide you on making templates for fitting your tiles. Utilize these for a perfect looking floor. Caulking the edges afterwards to seal against moisture is wise, using a clear or white caulk depending on your choice of tile.

Just adding a fresh new shower curtain and using a cream steel cleaner on the bath faucet and vanity faucet, to remove water marks and bring to a lovely shine, replacing the old shower head and towel rail, even paint the front of that old cabinet. It will all add to a completely fresh look and does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

Now for that bedroom, and those new horizontal blinds that retract themselves. I wonder if I should buy an electric screw driver first or watch the “How to use an electric screw driver video.” first?