Friday, July 26, 2013

He Was Such a Fungi!

In case you were wondering, no, I haven't been able to keep my paws off the awfulness that is the pink bathroom. It sits in wait down the hallway and STABS your eyes with it's pinkness when you walk by it. It's a bit of an eye sore.

So I got a hankerin' for some reno-action and decided to paint the exposed walls of the bathroom white to help get rid of that eerie feeling that's given off by the reflected brown paint. First, though, I had to take down the giant cabinet above the toilet. It was way too big for the space and looked old and outdated, so it needed to go. We are planning on eventually replacing it with some floating shelves, so I knew it needed to happen anyway.

So I opened the doors and saw that there were eight screws holding it to the wall. With one shoulder under one of the shelves and the other hand working the drill, I started what I believed would be an easy removal. This was not the case. Seven of the eight screws were only attached to the drywall, not a stud, which meant many of them sat spinning for a while before I realized that no progress was being made.

Finally I decided to use a little more muscle and got out the hammer. I hooked the hammer head behind that little strip at the very top of the cabinet and yanked out. The cabinet swung off the wall! The only thing holding it up was one screw in a stud! I unscrewed the one screw and bam! Job completed!

This is the top of the cabinet once it came down. It explains a lot of things

Without the cabinet up, I was able to start painting! Right? Wrong.

Because behind the terrible cabinet lay a terrible secret: wallpaper. They had wallpapered up to the back of it, but not behind it. They had also done such a good job on the rest of the bathroom that this is the first I'd seen of it. This was suddenly becoming more involved.

So I started the wallpaper removal process, which I have done many times before, but was thwarted again.

That stuff right on top of the tile? That's mold. Fortunately, after researching, I found that it wasn't black mold, but a common mold that forms in dark, moist areas (like bathrooms) on the surface areas when there is organic matter present. The wallpaper had been put on top of a wall that had been painted with acrylic paint, so the paper itself was moldy, but not the wall. This meant that once it had been dealt with properly, we could continue to work on the bathroom (cautiously) without tearing out all the drywall.

Covered in safety, I headed in with my bleach and Box of Rags.

And scrubbed the ba-Jesus out of that wall. I used straight bleach and continued to scrub until the wall looked like this.

Since that was taken care of, I then started to take down the paper on the other side of the bathroom. At this point, the top layer of the paper had already come down, so I was just left with getting the backing off and exposing the painted wall behind it.

For this, my weapons of choice are a bottle from the dollar store filled with water, and a kitchen scraper. The water will get the paper soggy with no fumes while the scraper is sharp enough to get under the paper, but not damage the wall. Just wet the wall (Not damp, wet. Soak that SOB!).

Then scrape away at the areas that appear to be really saturated.

Eventually, your bathtub will look like this.

But your wall will look like this.

Which is an improvement over this.

Have you had any issues with mold in your home? Or wallpaper? Sometimes one is just as bad as the other! Let me know in the comments!


  1. Remember the nasty mold under the floor tile in my bathroom? I never researched to see if it was The Black Mold because I didn't really want to know. So far, I haven't died and it's going on a year now, so I guess, so far so good. :)
    The bathroom will look MUCH better with white walls. Can't wait to see it.

  2. Thanks Beth! You'll probably be helping me tear our the tile in no time!