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Master Bath: help me design to sell- HELP! (Apr 22 update)

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Apr 08, 2013, 02:09 PM
Master Bath: help me design to sell- HELP! (Apr 22 update)
We will have a property assessment soon- and I'm sure the realtor will give us good tips on what to do or not to do- but I want a head start.

Below is a photo of the master bath. Keep in mind- I was intending to do a total gut-job renovation, so it has not been updated in forever.

My goal is to concentrate, first, on anything that would prevent a buyer from making an offer. Secondly, to concentrate on things that may make a buyer mentally reduce what they are willing to pay. Then I can work on the finishing touches. The problem is, I'm not objective enough to recognize where each of the problem areas lie.

So- here are the potential problems in no particular order. Please tell me which problems you see as the priorities.

1. tile/grout. It's plain- but that isn't the real issue. The grout isn't dirty looking from lack of cleaning- the previous owners used a product that "painted" over the grout to make it look clean and new- but the finish came off with cleaning. I have the tools and skills to re-grout, if needed. Not expensive, just labor intensive.

2. walls. When I first moved in, I did my own mini-makeover and fell victim to the sandwash trend. Yup! The green walls are a sandwash finish. ::embarrassed:: So anyway- I could just leave them as-is. But if this would be a deal breaker for a buyer, it's a simple enough fix. Just Sand or skim coat the walls, retexture in an orange peel texture, prime and paint. (another labor intensive task)

3. gold finish. You can see that the shower surround and tub faucet have the gold finish. The shower fixtures also have that finish (as well as the sink faucets that are not pictured). Definitely dated. We've priced out a shower surround replacement- which would be around $1000 or so. The problem, as I see it, is that this is an all/nothing replacement. And it appears that if I were to change out the fixtures, I'd need to hire a plumber, and most likely have to rip out a portion of the tile on the tub deck to get to the "innards" of the plumbing. Even though the tile is a white- after 20 years I might not be able to find a perfect match. So tearing out tile may mean tearing out a significant portion of tile and re-tiling.

But the real problem is that the sinks (not pictured) are falling apart. Literally. Like I said- I let things go because I was planning a big renovation. If I replace the sinks, I will need to replace the faucets- and they kind of have to match the tub. Right?

So do I replace everything that has a gold finish? Do I just try and find sink faucets with a gold finish and keep the rest? Is $2000 (or more) too much to invest in this room? (thinking of shower surround, fixtures and plumber costs)

4. tub/shower pan. This house is 20 years old. So are the tub and shower pan, which are acrylic. They have some scratches and some places where the finish seems to defy cleaning- no matter what products I've tried. Obviously, replacing them would be cost prohibitive. Any suggestions on super duper cleaners?

5. towel bars. (or lack thereof) When we moved in there were towel bars. Cheap ones that were falling off the wall and were badly placed. Then we realized that a good place really didn't exist! We've been using the brass quilt stand in the corner- but that isn't going to work. Do you think buyers would notice if there were no towel bars?

OK... this is not even the whole of it. I have another side of the bathroom to photograph and show those problems. But what ideas do you have for me so far?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tomatoqueen,

Apr 08, 2013, 02:31 PM
Mary Ruth
1.Do the grout re-do thing... take your time and do an area at a time, CLEAN grout would turn me on to that bath!
2. IF walls are clean leave, if you can paint over, then sand lightly and paint the color of the tile for a less 'broken up' look. And it will look CLEAN and fresh.
3. Leave the gold finish, some people like it, I don't think they would turn down your house for that. IF it became an issue, then meet client 1/2 way and leave a $500 credit. At least you won't be spending before the house is sold.
4. You can have the tub refinished (same color as tile), we did in Virginia when a tool fell in the tub and caused damage when we moved in, we had it repaired and the whole thing repainted, lasted over 10yrs beautifully.
5. Don't worry about towel bars, the one you have showing is fine, IF the new owners want towel bars and you are not leaving that one, then they will probably buy their own that matches what they will do with the bath in the way of decor.

Do NOT WORRY about NEW owners, just make a clean and presentable house for sale... stage minimumly (get storage unit and keep moving things into it) The LESS personal stuff the better.

I think you have great space in that bath and I am sure someone will fall in love with your house, don't worry. Start to detatch yourself from the house, as soon as you put it up for sale, it is NOT your house any longer... in your mind anyway... so try to resist 'decorating' for the future owners. Remember, you do NOT know the new owners yet, so don't try and predict what they love or don't love. They will be shopping price point (their pre-approved mortgage price range. And they will only shop within those perimeters. So show them a CLEAN functional home that they will be able to see themselves in!
Apr 08, 2013, 03:20 PM
Thanks Mary Ruth!

Here's the other side of the bathroom. Oy! Here are the problems on this side:

1. You can't really see it in this picture very well, but the counter is more of the white tile with the stained/painted grout and a wood edging.

2. The sinks are metal with enamel coating and both the sinks and faucets are rusting through. They will definitely need to be replaced. No simple clean up here- this is a maintenance issue.

3. The corner cabinet and light boxes are my own creation. I don't know WHAT I was thinking! (oh yeah.. that we had no storage space above the counter level). The cabinet just sits on the counter and covers up mirror in the corner. I had added framing around what mirror shows- but using hot glue to attach it was not one of my brighter ideas. I need to either find a better way to attach things or tear it all out. You may also notice that I never was able to get the stain to match, so the above counter wood is lighter than the below counter wood.

There is rope lighting above the boxes, but it really doesn't add much light- so the light boxes really are insufficient for the room.

4. See the floor? It's cork! This is a great option for bathrooms when done right. Unfortunately, I didn't have a clue what I was doing and was ahead of my time just enough that I couldn't get good information on how to install it. As a result, there are mistakes and some other issues. I am not sure how to resolve them.

So- any ideas on what to do or not do?

Apr 08, 2013, 03:23 PM
I might add this little bit of information- all other bathrooms have been redone, and this room really suffers by comparison. Since this is the master bath- it should be the best- yet it is the worst!

This is the one area of the house that will need the most work. I'm just not sure how much work!
Apr 08, 2013, 03:47 PM
It has been my experience that buyers are looking for clean rather that up to date. Whoever buys your home will want to redecorate anyway, so no matter what you do, they will probably undo. I agree with Mary Ruth about the grout and paint. Keep the wall color light relatively neutral. As far as the brass fittings are concerned, lots of people like them and they are coming back into favor again.
Apr 08, 2013, 04:14 PM
I'm sure your realtor will know best what kind of buyer will be looking at your house with what kind of expectations. That will give you the best guidance of how perfect the bath needs to be to sell the house without a buyer discounting the price greatly.

I agree with you that the things that might make a buyer think that the house hasn't been well-maintained would be the first things I would replace. I definitely would fix the grout so that it looks clean and fresh and I would consider installing new sinks and brass-colored faucets, but I would remove the chrome towel rings and replace them with wood, brass or black. I would leave your built-in and stage it by de-cluttering it.

I don't know how bad the acrylic tub and shower pan are stained, but if it's really bad, then I would consider refinishing them. Here's a link to a DIY solution. I have no experience, but you seem like you are a savvy DIY-er.
Apr 08, 2013, 04:58 PM
TQ, you've gotten excellent bathroom staging advice. And Gracie hit the nail on the head about buyer expectations.

A savvy realtor will know how to price your home to get the best offer in the shortest amount of time.

Best of luck!
Apr 09, 2013, 11:51 AM
thank you, everyone! I'm already starting to see the bathroom a bit differently. Some of the things I was worried about are not as big of a concern as I had originally thought.

Gracie- I'll have to look into that refinishing link. It may end up being the plan if I really can't get things as clean as needed.

So here's another question- if I leave the built ins, should I paint or do a unifying gel stain to try and get them to match the cabinets better? It's not a big thing, and I could put that on my second or third tier of to-dos.

So far I think the priorities are:

1. regrout
2. floor repair and reseal (you can't see it in the photo, but there are some spots that need some help- and if I can do this instead of reflooring, that would be best.
3. walls- sand enough to at least reduce the texture somewhat and then try repainting. If the texture is still overwhelming, I can do a skimcoat and orange peel texture- but I'll leave that as the backup plan.
4. replace sinks and faucets (with gold/brass)

5. clean, clean, clean.

backup plan: if something just won't come clean enough and cannot be repainted or refinished, have money set aside as a back up plan or as a buyer's credit.

Does this sound about right? Am I missing anything?
Apr 09, 2013, 01:04 PM
I think you have a good plan. I would just paint a more neutral color and not worry bout the texture.

In your built-ins, I would leave the matching baskets and remove all of the bottles, etc.

As others have said, the new owners may plan to make changes to suit themselves.
Apr 09, 2013, 02:49 PM
I'm trying to look at it from a prospective buyer's opinion.

I'm thinking it's a nice bathroom. I love all the room around the tub. Heck, I'd be happy with a separate tub and shower never mind what work it might need. And I like the built-ins. I may like a door on them better though.

Overall, I'd keep it to a minimum and let the new buyer's decide what they want to change. You can't make everyone happy you know?

Apr 09, 2013, 05:08 PM
Mary Ruth
I think you got a good plan.

CLEAN, less clutter, NO personal items showing when staging.

I like the bathroom also and the stain is a non-issue, let it go.
Apr 09, 2013, 09:29 PM
Beau's Rose

I haven't read all the replies. But no worries about towel bars. Easy and simple to use hooks instead.

The cabs could be painted out (white or cream) to lighten the wood look in there.

I would also suggest removing everything in the corner cabinet including baskets. To me, it's saying "not enough storage" in the vanity area. Add some white fluffy towels on the two center shelves and a small decorative tray on the bottom. Place something decorative on the top shelf. Perhaps a small pic on a stand would work.

Good luck with your update and congrats on the move!

~Like sands through the hourglass
~So are the days of our lives
Apr 10, 2013, 12:16 AM
I think you've got a plan, but there are two elements I want to suggest that I think will get you a better result than to worry about sanding down the sand finish. Buyers are unlikely to see that the way you do as dated, but they will be less of a decor fan and only see it as an upscale / fancy finish. This is particularly true if you use it to your advantage by using a glossy color that echoes that brass. sorry this is so long :-)

IMHO, it does add texture which with the brass you can use to your advantage. I would do the walls in a pale goldish tone like a pale sw ivoire (the next lighter from blonde) in a satin gloss so that the whole room looks bigger, the white and ivory against each other look luxe and expensive.

All the sand texture will make the walls look more velvety if you use a satin finish, the brass / gold looks deliberate against this color and all the light reflects more so the size (this is a big room!) will show well. It will look very high end if you go in that direction just by changing the color - but it is so neutral it works with your bedroom still beautifully.

Then, consider one more task. Add doing the wood in a polyshades in a dark cherry stain, so you get a real craftsman look out of the cabinets you have, but paint out the back wall of your corner cabinet ivoire to add light in there, polyshade the rest of the cabinets. I've used these stain finishes and they are easy and one coat and it makes the wood gleam like it was new. If it is in the budget, go to the local specialty hardware store and look for something deliberately craftsman in oil rubbed bronze to put on the doors and don't worry about them being different. Another good investment is to purchase full spectrum fluorescents as it will not read cool in there but like sunlight.

If you are determined, you can find new faucets at a discount now in orb if you are doing new sinks, but here's the thing. Spend that money on your new bathroom instead. You can get them painted with the coating that hides things until they live with it for six months and scrub on it and figure it out. That is what most people do, sweetie, and it works = see note above about refinishing sinks for less - better than starting over with uninstalling sinks under counter tops etc. They are clean and with the new paint color and stain color the whole room will suddenly feel expensive with the then matching brass.

You can always try to find craftsman style in antique bronze to install on your cabinetry that will bridge back to the brass - that works. ps I love your floor, so yes, just repair. pps. paint the black candle sconces with orb spray paint for this scheme to keep everything happening warm. This could work brilliantly with your window treatment and floor.

At least you could get a sample pot and try it over the tub where you can sand it off if you hate it before it cures.

pps. Most pros wouldn't sand it off, they would add spackle / float new texture smooth over some areas on top.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: LibraDesignEye,
Apr 10, 2013, 09:35 AM
Thank you for all your ideas! I'm feeling better about the prospect of this bathroom.

I am working my way through the house, looking at each room and evaluating what needs to be done. This room has the most work- but there are other rooms with unfinished projects.

Speaking of which.... the family bath upstairs got a renovation which is 90% complete. Two things did not get done.

1- I had intended on installing an exhaust fan in that bathroom, but never got to it. and
2- I purchased a new shower/faucet set for the tub/shower, but it was not a DIY install job- so I would need to hire a plumber to do it.

Anyway- I think I'll pass on the exhaust fan expense, but should I go ahead and follow through with the shower/tub faucet? Right now it is in a box under the sink. I could just leave it for the buyers to do themselves. The expense is in hiring the plumber.

More pictures on other rooms later...
Apr 10, 2013, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by WWanda:
I'm trying to look at it from a prospective buyer's opinion.

I'm thinking it's a nice bathroom. I love all the room around the tub. Heck, I'd be happy with a separate tub and shower never mind what work it might need. And I like the built-ins. I may like a door on them better though.

Overall, I'd keep it to a minimum and let the new buyer's decide what they want to change. You can't make everyone happy you know?

What Wanda said.
Apr 10, 2013, 12:44 PM
Love, Lu
I echo Wanda and Ay.

Regardless of how beautifully your house is done, the new buyer will want to stamp their own imprint on it. You cannot anticipate what that will be.

Best to expend the least money and energy to get your house ready for sale to be cost effective.
Apr 10, 2013, 07:59 PM
TQ, agree about passing on the other bath's exhaust fan. WRT the unused, new fixtures, although you didn't attach a photo, it sounds as if it's not necessary. I agree with the previous posters that the new owners will want to put their own stamp on everything so I would return the items. The home centers usually have generous policies b/c they understand the pitfalls of reno projects. If you only receive a credit from one of the nat'l chains, perhaps you can use it in OR.

WRT your master bath, it has great bones. I wouldn't spend anywhere close to 2K but would modify your list, slightly. The main goal s/b (IMHO) to make it appear newer and more updated but w/o spending **$ you won't recoup on sale. (Incidentally, according to this year's statistics, those **$ won't be recovered.)

Taking the items on your list, in order:

WRT the grout, it appears clean on my screen. If it absolutely, positively needs to be regrouted (instead of more cleaning), I would update it with dark grout.

I would definitely repaint all the walls in a light, neutral color - something that works with the shiny brass/gold fixtures and flows from your b/r. White/ivory can be tough b/c of the multiple whites already in the room (trim and tile) so I would select a coordinating color. If you've already repainted your master in a light neutral, it s/b easy to simply move down the paint chip to something slightly lighter.

In conjunction with the repainting of the walls, I would remove the combo corner storage unit and lightbox plus the trim around the mirrors. IMHO, the combo of oak and lightbox plus the oak cabinets screams 80's. In addition, the corner unit impedes the space, making it feel smaller. Plus, it also highlights to potential buyers that the room possibly lacks sufficient storage space.

After removing the lightbox and before painting the walls, I would also consider removing the large mirrors - again for the purposes of updating the space. After repairing and/or retexturizing the walls to be consistent with the bath area, I would purchase 2 inexpensive, smaller rectangular mirror pieces and trim them with larger (that is, larger than what was used for the corner unit) picture frame molding, painted or stained to be consistent with your cabinets (see below).

Given the lightbox's position, I assume you have wiring and can easily (well, fairly easily) add basic, simple but updated, vanity lights above each mirror. Besides updating and enlarging the space, this change should remind buyers that you have dual sinks.

Considering your cabinets and also before replacing the sink fixtures, again to eliminate the 80's feel, I would have them professionally spray-painted - the color depends on the other colors used - probably in a high-gloss finish. Would also consider adding updated hardware.

Incidentally, it may not be expensive to have the spray-painting professionally done - if you can achieve a professional look on a DIY basis, go for it. Or, a hybrid project, e.g. the cabinet doors can usually be sent out and the base completed DIY.

So, I would prioritize these tasks before the sinks and faucets but would probably move up the crack repair to #1 (along w/grout cleaning or replacement) but only if the DIY spray can be used for your issue. If it's possible to replace the sink faucets w/o replacing the sinks, I would definitely do that. The round fixtures also date the space, IMHO.

You obviously understand the importance of cleaning and decluttering. Thinking about your list, I would place decluttering ahead of the regrouting and other projects. We always suggest the rule of thumb of paring down 50% of personal items, including furniture and everything else.

If you can use a local storage before relocating to OR, that's the way to go. Alternatively, you might think about packing things up and sending them ahead of you for storage there. BTW, if your daughter stays in the home, this can be a huge issue for her (and another reason it may be best for her to find her next home) b/c she has a young family and all the personal items required for children.

WRT the staging process, again you want to make the home (no longer your home, AYK) feel larger and updated but w/o spending significant **$.

Besides removing the corner b/r cabinet, I would remove the towel/quilt rack. With only those 2 items gone, I believe the mbr will feel much larger and more spacious.

WRT towels, I would pass on adding towel racks and allow the new buyers to select and locate their own, in their own style. (The quilt rack was also a huge reminder of their absence, IMHO.)

To stage the bath area and give it a more relaxing feel, I would place multiple large, fluffy white, neatly rolled, spa towels on the large/left (left in your photo) section of tile, under the window. In addition, I would place a collection of tall candles (different heights) or a nice basket of spa items (soaps, shampoo, etc) in the back corner.

BTW, very important - all these items (towels, candles, soaps, spa items, etc.) should remain unused. If you haven't relocated and are showing the home, then daily towels (and other items) can be used and stowed away, out-of-sight, prior to showings.

To stage the sink area, I would remove the gel soaps and other daily use items, leaving only guest towels and fancy guest soaps on the counter for anyone touring the home. Hopefully, if you're gone, your daughter could replace the guest towels and soaps with fresh, unused items after showings.

Also for staging reasons, I would remove the smallish candle sconces and replace them with 1 larger, staging item on the wall, e.g. a large grate or picture. Unfortunately, collections of smaller items can make spaces feel smaller, IMHO.

Can't really see your current window treatment but I would want something soft in that area.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Hope something's helpful. You have a great bath and it will show well with very minor updates, IMHO.

And, all of the above is JMHO. Take care and good luck with your move and the sale!

P.S. You could also go gold-toned or antiqued on the molding above the sinks. It's usually easier to use the extra paint or stain from the cabinets when you're pressed for time. Decluttering typically eats up most of the time, IMHO. Good Luck!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BearCat49,
Apr 11, 2013, 09:25 AM
Thanks again!

I feel the need to say- yes, I know about decluttering, and I've already attacked that a bit more since the picture. In my defense- the house isn't on the market yet and we are still in "living" mode as opposed to "staging" mode.

Once the house is on the market, I will be changing gears. But this is a 2800 sf house with many rooms to address, so I'm doing the general "get it ready for the realtor's assessment" and then I'll go into detail mode.

Funny thing though- I'm online daily checking out real estate in the area where I want to move. Let's just say that I'm amazed at some of the pictures. When I see a four bedroom house- and none of the beds are made in any of the pictures... or another that seams to feature a very dirty hallway carpet... well- let's just say it makes me feel a little better about my house.

Why, oh why do people bother putting pictures online in selling their houses if they aren't even going to pick up first?
Apr 11, 2013, 09:43 AM
Just to add, when I bought my present home, the previous owner had the bathrooms decorated beautifully. Enough so that I didn't notice the off white walls, builder cabinets, plastic faucets and 12 inch deep tub until we moved in and it was empty. Then I thought "how in the heck did she make this look so nice when it's so builder grade!" Smile

Apr 11, 2013, 12:38 PM
One thing I have to keep in mind. This is a 20 year old builder's grade home! It's not a custom home, nor is it fully updated- but neither are any of the other homes in my neighborhood.

Yes, I have made updates and upgrades to this home, and yes I do want to show it at its best- but buyers coming to this neighborhood and looking in the price range are not going to expect brand, spankin' new.

I need to let go of the improvements I had dreamed of making, and capitalize on what I have done. And I need to recognize that this is not (or at least, soon will be not) my house.
Apr 11, 2013, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Tomatoqueen:
One thing I have to keep in mind. This is a 20 year old builder's grade home! It's not a custom home, nor is it fully updated- but neither are any of the other homes in my neighborhood.

Yes, I have made updates and upgrades to this home, and yes I do want to show it at its best- but buyers coming to this neighborhood and looking in the price range are not going to expect brand, spankin' new.

I need to let go of the improvements I had dreamed of making, and capitalize on what I have done. And I need to recognize that this is not (or at least, soon will be not) my house.

Atta girl! Don't be better than the homes around you for sure, you won't get your money back.

Apr 11, 2013, 02:11 PM
Well, I'd like to believe my home is already better than the homes around it. Smile

We refinanced a couple of years ago. When the assessment came back, it was in that sweet spot of "better than average for the neighborhood, but not over improved".
Apr 12, 2013, 07:06 AM
Appraisers apply different, professional standards that may not coincide with buyers' expectations or wish lists. In addition, appraisals are technically only valid on the date completed.

It's terrific that you believe your home would stand out in a positive way, if compared to homes in your neighborhood. When preparing to list and sell, it's important (IMHO) to determine who your competition actually is, however. Buyers tend to tour homes and perform online searches by price range.

So, that means your competition may not be limited to your specific neighborhood but also include nearby tracts or other neighborhoods in the same general area. Moreover, if your area includes new home subdivisions, they could be your main competition.

Before you list, you may wish to inspect/review the competition yourself by putting a buyer's hat on, performing relevant online searches and doing drive-bys, if necessary. Open houses and/or touring comps with an agent can also be informative.

Hope the sale process goes very smoothly as you relocate. All of the above is JMHO.
Apr 12, 2013, 07:36 AM
Originally posted by Tomatoqueen:
In my defense- the house isn't on the market yet and we are still in "living" mode as opposed to "staging" mode.

I apologize - my intent was to help you - not place you (or anyone for that matter) on defense. I'm sure you have a lovely home. I mentioned above that my suggestions were for the staging phase, not daily living.

For the record, my additions to your to-do list should cost very little, assuming you complete them as DIY projects. (You've expressed your DIY skills in previous posts.)

You'd already planned to paint the walls so that's an insignificant increase in the overall cost, if any. The older, large mirrors could possibly be cut to size for each sink area.

Materials cost would include spackle and/or other supplies to repair the walls, mirrors (if necessary), picture-frame molding, basic vanity lights, extra paint for the cabinets and updated hardware, if desired.

You probably already own the other staging items and spa towels, if used, can eventually be enjoyed in your new home. Not including the sinks and fixtures b/c you'd already mentioned replacing them -

All together, my suggested additions to your list s/b a few hundred dollars to update the mbr and make it feel more spacious and stand out to potential buyers.

How important is the mbr? It's typically one of the last rooms toured by buyers, possibly leaving a critical last impression of the home in their minds. If it feels older, it can remind buyers that your home may have projects or require more maintenance than a newer home.

Anyway, sorry if I suggested more than you wanted to take on. As a result of your previous posts, I was under the impression that you were open to making a few minor changes in the hopes of maximizing your sale price and minimizing the days on market.

IMHO and good luck -
Apr 12, 2013, 07:53 AM
We just sold our home ( inspection pending) and I can positively tell you, no one knows what a buyer wants. The lookers were all different. They all turned it down for different stated reasons ( who knows if any of it was the truth) but not a one mentioned either of the bathrooms and they are , well how do I say this.... They leave a lot to be desired. Don't laugh but one had vanity, tub and toilet in raspberry. Yup, that is pink. The other you could touch all the walls if you put your arms out ( but had a wonderful shower) .

But the house was clean, clean, clean.

Don't worry too much now. Wait until you have to wait for the inspection......then you can start biting your nails! Smile
Apr 12, 2013, 09:27 AM
Another thought. We just bought a house too. Large master bath, jetted tub, you could hold a dance in it. Many people would love it. I hate it. Wasted space and very feminine wallpaper border I have to remove. It just is not what I would want. But I am not buying a home for a bath. We bought the home anyway.
Apr 12, 2013, 03:03 PM
Oh Bearcat- I wasn't offended by your post at all! I just wanted everyone to know that the things that are obvious (like decluttering) are obvious for me, too.

What I like from the feedback here is that there are many different ideas- many of which had not occurred to me. So I'm sure I'll come up with solutions that will work for my family and situation.

Meanwhile- I had thought of trying to get the entire house to a certain level before even bringing in the realtor for an assessment. But now I think I'm confident enough to try and tackle the bathroom this weekend, and then move on to the next room from there.

Part of the rationale there is that this is "bulk pickup" weekend in our city. I can put out the old sinks and faucets for pick up and won't have to get a dumpster or arrange for paid pickup.

I'll keep everyone updated on where we are with things.

Thanks again for your ideas!
Apr 12, 2013, 10:31 PM
Once again I am so envious of your skills Tomatoqueen. You talk of taking out sinks like its not a big deal. Good luck with your updates.
Apr 13, 2013, 12:36 AM
I started with taking out the sinks but didn't get very far. When I went to shut off the water, the handle to the shut off valve snapped off in my hand. No water damage from this... but it does mean that we have to replace all the valves (but what do I expect?)- Luckily my husband can manage this.

Meanwhile, I started grinding out the grout to redo that, and then we took out a piece of damaged cork to repair that part of the cork floor, then sanded it down to get ready to refinish it.

Then came the really yucky messy part- I decided to sand down the walls first before painting over the sandwash texture. Talk about green dust everywhere! It looked like mold spores covering the entire bathroom!

Tomorrow I'll be working on putting things back together. But for now? I need to use the family bathroom and take a shower and get all that dust off of me!
Apr 16, 2013, 06:22 PM
Today I refinished the floor and finally decided upon a paint color. After buying and testing three different samples, mixing the samples, checking it out in different light, etc. I finally selected a color.

As it happens, the color I ended up with was color matched from the color in the hallway. Once the floor is dry enough to walk on, I can get started on painting. (hopefully tomorrow).

I had originally seen this as a weekend project. Nope! It will probably end up being a weeklong project. Hopefully I will have it done before the property assessment (still no date on when that will be)
Apr 22, 2013, 10:50 AM
Adding another post asking for help....

First of all, I did post an update on another thread which shows my progress, which has been pretty good.

...except for the cabinets. (see photo above)

The stain on the upper and lower cabinets never really matched.

I could have torn out the corner cabinet and light boxes, but decided to just let it be, even if it is dated.

This is where I got into trouble. I decided to try to unify the stain with polyshades- the polyurethane and stain all in one product.

oh boy! disaster. I don't like the color, I don't like the way it covers, and I don't like the fumes it leaves behind.

I'm looking at several days of fussing with it and trying to get it to look good.

OR- I could just paint it all out. (even priming and painting would require less time and effort than the staining process.

So I'm leaning toward painting. But what color?

I could paint it white- like the trim and the WC door. Though with all the white tile, that could be overkill on the white.

I've also considered a black/brown. The room is considerably lighter with the new paint, so maybe darker wouldn't be bad. But the only lighting in the room comes from the light boxes. I don't want the cabinetry to suck up all the light.

So- any suggestions on paint colors for the cabinetry?

(I'll add an attachment showing the new paint color so you have an idea of the changes so far)

Apr 22, 2013, 10:53 AM
here's another photo- duplicated from the other post-

I still need to get a different shot of this wall so I can get suggestions on placing the prints.

The frames on the prints as well as the curtain rod make me think the black/brown could work...

Apr 22, 2013, 10:55 AM
Here's a black//brown color that I like:
Apr 22, 2013, 11:50 AM
Painting the cabinets to match the trim in your house is the most logical choice. Black-brown is something people either love or hate. I don't think a bathroom can be too light. Oak is dated, so a fresh coat of white paint will make everything look better.
Apr 22, 2013, 12:13 PM
You are a working machine!

I agree, I think white would be the most universal. It will give the clean, airy,"spa-like" feel you want in a bathroom.
I really like the color you chose for the walls.
You can add black accents with the frames you have and other accessories.
Keep up the good work!
Apr 22, 2013, 01:38 PM
Beau's Rose

Another vote to paint out the cabinets white. Good luck and we are pulling for you on this project!

~Like sands through the hourglass
~So are the days of our lives
Apr 22, 2013, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the feedback! I'll admit that the darker painted cabinets is something that appeals to me- but I was questioning whether it would appeal to buyers.

That's why I need you to keep me on track! Smile
Apr 23, 2013, 11:44 AM
I like dark cabinets too. But remember, you are trying to appeal to the the masses.
Apr 23, 2013, 04:03 PM
I've spent the better part of today sanding, cleaning, priming and painting the upper part of the cabinets. I will need to do a second coat of paint before it is ready to view- but it's coming along.

Now- my husband suggests just leaving the bottom cabinets as oak. I disagree. But perhaps he will need to see the uppers finished before he sees that I am right. And even if he disagrees... I'll paint them anyway. Just not today since I have enough to do.

When it's all done, there will be a LOT of white! I bought some white towels, too... which is just more white.

So- I will need to find enough of the right accessories placed in the right places to make this all work.

But it's coming...
Apr 24, 2013, 06:21 PM
Whoops! Guess I'm in trouble!

DH walked in and said "I thought we weren't going to paint the cabinets."

No.... YOU didn't want to paint the cabinets and I disagreed... and started sanding and priming while you were gone!

But I do feel bad when I make my husband upset. But doggonit! The cabinets looked stupid AND dated with the oak below and white painted above.
Apr 25, 2013, 09:32 AM
Paint them all. I'm sure when you get finished, he will agree that it was the right thing to do. There's nothing wrong with a lot of white. Put in some colored accessories and it will look fine. Remember, it's all about being clean and presentable.

Apr 25, 2013, 03:42 PM
still tryin
I thought you might be interested in seeing a house for sale in my neighborhood that has brass shower door trim and the wood stained cabinets. The faucets and sink aren't what you have but the color in the room may interest you. This house was completely remodeled about 5 years ago.

Here is a link to the realtors site with more pictures and tour.


Apr 25, 2013, 03:46 PM
still tryin
This picture shows the front of the cabinets.


Apr 25, 2013, 08:20 PM
still tryin: They did a really nice job with that house. It has a kind of a rustic feel to it, with a modern twist!

So here's another update on my part: We had the first of two CMAs (comparative market analysis) on the house today. The bathroom isn't even finished, but the realtor thought we were right on track with everything.

She had good suggestions on where to put our money and effort, and where it wouldn't be a good investment.

Oh- and the best news? The market is definitely improving. She thinks, priced correctly, we could be under contract in the first week or two! Not only that, but we may actually be able to sell at the same price we paid for this house. OK- it's not really a profit. BUT- considering how much the value had gone down in the past 10 years, it is good to think we could actually break even. (OK, unless you count all the improvements- but we did those for ourselves)

I promise I'll post pictures of the finished bathroom as soon as I'm finished.