Just a fair warning that this is going to be a rather long post, but I want to include as much info (and pictures!) as possible.
This post is also completely about my experience prepping the shower/tub for paint. No painting actually occurs in this post, that’ll be the next one!
So the hall bathroom upstairs is primarily used by tenants when I rent the bedrooms out. Well, I found myself without any tenants in October. Usually I have at least 1 person living at my house at any given time. So, I used the opportunity for a much-needed bathroom makeover.
Everything is original to the house, except I believe the tile surround (but I could be wrong because the same tile is behind the vanity), the sink countertop, and the sink/shower faucets. Peach tub, beige tile, pink/purple vanity. Weird mosaic peach colored flooring.
If you look closely you can see the remnants of wallpaper between the mirrors above the vanity.
And then these weird polka dotty accent tiles?
And gawd, that light fixture!!
Oh yeah, and the peach toilet.
The vanity is super short, but it’s solid. So I plan on making new doors and raising it up to normal counter height. The counter top is Corian (like every other counter in the house – kitchen and 3 bathrooms). I don’t plan on replacing it since it’s in good condition. The faucets are too. The countertop looks slightly purple to me, but that may just be a trick of the eye with the pink vanity below.
All the little ceramic soap dishes, tooth brush holders, and towel rods are going bye bye. I was lucky enough to be able to save some tiles behind the vanity to place in the holes left behind.
Bye bye soap dish in shower!
It was stubborn.
Bye bye, weird shower towel rod thing.
Replaced the tiles here. The tiles are actually 4.25″ which isn’t the standard square tile size anymore. But like I said above, I was able to salvage quite a few from demoing behind the vanity.
And I thought I was done patching tiles. But then I went to go remove the caulk and the whole bottom row just fell off. Luckily no tiles broke. I almost cried. I guess the caulk was the only thing holding the tiles in place.
Some more caulk removed around the tub.
Here I had to cut and replace some tiles. Instead of baseboards (on the right), there was a row of tiles that extended underneath the tub tile surround.
And that plastic caulk remover tool pictured above was absolutely useless. I ended up buying a 5-in-1 scraper tool to remove the caulking.
I couldn’t get the edging piece completely flat against the wall without breaking it (I know because I already broke one, and I have a very limited supply of the bull nose pieces). So that one bull nose sticks out a tiny bit, but honestly you can’t tell unless you’re really looking for it.
This is the reason I think the tile surround was replaced at some point. If you look closely, the tile hangs over the tub quite a bit. Or maybe they made a mistake, not sure. Who knows.
And then I had more tiles come off 😭
Unfortunately the caulk also existed in the corners of the shower surround. Those two corners sucked. But it is imperative to remove ALL caulk before painting. I researched this heavily, because I really didn’t want to remove the caulk in the corners, but the paint will not stick to caulk. Assume all caulk in a shower is silicone and remove it. It’s a pain, it sucks, but the success of painting a shower hinges on proper prep work.
And I lost more tiles 😂 I guess it’s a blessing in disguise, because if they came off that easily, obviously they weren’t firmly attached to the wall.
Got all the tiles back in place. I used Gorilla construction adhesive instead of mortar because it was quick and easy. The tiles obviously lasted a while just being held in place by caulk, so I’m not concerned.
Also, it is so obvious in these photos when I was working during the day and at night. The night photos are super orange-y!
After grouting. I used Red Devil Grout in white. This tube worked well for grouting the tiles with existing grout. Just went right over with the tube, smushed it in with my finger and wiped off with a damp towel.
I figured this used to be an old 3-hole faucet shower, because they had this remodel plate Escutcheon (I learned a new word).
I was going to keep the remodel plate, because I was just sick of patching tiles. At that point I was starting to feel like just replacing the whole tile surround would be easier (but not cheaper). However, since I do plan on renting the rooms out again, I wasn’t about to spend a whole bunch more money.
After re-reading the paint instructions, I realized I had to remove the shower fixtures. So since I had the remodel plate off anyway…
And yep, it was covering a huge gaping hole in the wall. So I removed the tile closest to the studs. Again, thank goodness I was able to salvage a bunch of the tiles behind the vanity.
And there’s an even bigger gaping hole. Had to buy a whole 3×5 foot sheet of cement board just for this little section. I had some pieces of regular drywall that would have fit, but it’s so close to the actual shower valve and I already know water has gotten behind the shower wall before (hence the whole bottom row of tiles falling off), so I wanted to err on the side of caution there.
Cement board in.
Tiles in! And my handy dandy grout tube came in, well, handy again.
I actually used mortar behind these tiles. Lowe’s only sold 7/16″ cement board instead of 1/2″ (well, they had a 4×8 sheet but a 3×5 was already way more than I needed), so I had to build the mortar up a little bit to make the tiles level with the surrounding tiles.
So the next day, after work, I finally got to cleaning the shower and tub. I wanted the grout and mortar to set a bit before I started scrubbing and throwing chemicals at it.
Scrubbed everything with Tilex (what I had on hand), rinsed, scrubbed with comet, rinsed, then scrubbed with Limaway, and yep, you guessed it, rinsed. After that I broke out the mouse sander. I *thought* I had bought 400 grit sanding pads for this, but I couldn’t find them anywhere, so the finest I had was 240. I used the 240. I’ve read some bloggers using 80 grit, so I think it’ll be fine. I rinsed one last time and let it sit over night.
Oh yeah, totally rinsed everything with toilet water, because I took the shower handle off and had turned the water off to the sink a few weeks ago. The toilet was my only choice! Luckily my last roommate was super super clean.
Way more prep work than I ever imagined. Guess other bloggers don’t have tiles just falling down when they remove the grout. 😂
Stay tuned for the next post where I actually paint!