Another productive weekend down! Having a full time job is really eating into my house work time haha! I find myself planning supplies and organizing receipts at work as I can, cause I just can’t wait to come home and do the next step to keep this little bathroom moving along. I just can’t wait to see it all come together!
Over this past week we received the last piece I was waiting on: the mirror! I’m in love.
Work wise, Saturday I finally finished removing grout from the shower! Hallelujah! I went through five grout remover bits for the Dremel, but I got the job done. I learned a few tips in the process you should try to remember if you ever choose to
torture yourself do this yourself in the future.
- Set your Dremel between 2000 and 1500 RPMs. The slower the better so you don’t overheat the bit. I broke the first one because I had it set to a higher speed and the bit got too hot and broke.
- There is a special covering to add over the bit that sets the bit depth and keeps you pulling at the optimum angle. I did not use this cause it made it harder to see what I was doing. If you don’t use it, make sure to angle the bit so more surface area is being utilized.
- Go shallow on your first pass, then you can remove a little more on a second or third pass. Don’t push the bit in too deep to start or you will damage the bit early on and make life harder on yourself.
- Be ready for ALL the dust! Wear your eye protection, and a mask for sure. I also wore gloves and long sleeves just to be on the safe side, but they probably weren’t necessary.
SO. MUCH. DUST.
Once I had the grout removed and the bathroom in a complete state of disaster, I went ahead and created more dust by sanding the floor tile. I chose to move forward with painting the floor tile white because I’m really not a fan of it, and I’m gonna follow my gut on this. I was considering retiling the floor with something new, but after talking with Jordan about the logistics we are going with the inexpensive fix. I added some time to the timeline for this since there are multiple coats and curing time that needs to be accounted for before we can do much more in here. It actually works out perfectly with our upcoming trip this week. We won’t even be here to walk on it, so I’m hustling to get that done. I will be doing a more in depth post all about the painting process of the tile, so keep an eye out for that!
If Saturday started with a typhoon of dust and grim… it ended with the deepest cleaning I think this bathroom has seen since before we moved in. I shop vac’d up everything I could, then brought in the spray cleaner and a multitude of cleaning cloths. I scrapped off the excess bead of caulk that was the only thing holding the old vanity to the wall and scrubbed that wall down with CLR. EVERYTHING was scrubbed and de-dustified! By night time, it was smelling so fresh.
Then Sunday was the beginning of finally starting to put in the new! I headed out to Lowes in the morning to gather supplies for my game plan of the day. To stick to my new timeline with the addition of painting the floor, I wanted to re-grout the shower and get the first coat of primer on the floor. Quite a plan for someone that hasn’t grouted or painted tile before… but how hard could it be? We did paint a concrete floor before, so that’s gotta be basically the same, right?
I knew I wanted unsanded grout for the shower. It has a smoother finish and is for tile spacing under 1/8. I definitely didn’t want sanded grout because I didn’t want the grains to potentially scratch my vintage ceramic tiles. On my first trip to Lowes, I purchased premixed grout that I believed was unsanded. However… it was not. Don’t get me started on their terrible packaging. I went back and picked up some real unsanded grout, but it had to be mixed. So I also bought one of those cool egg beater things you add to a power drill! As far as color, I chose Standard White instead of Bright White because I wanted this to blend in with the old grout elsewhere around the room as much as possible. It’s still brighter than the old a little bit, but not as much as Bright White would have been.
Now that I had the right stuff, Jordan and I followed the package instructions for mixing the grout which was quite fun with a power drill in the mix. Then I was off to the races! I actually forgot to use my rubber float… I just pushed the grout in using a plastic pallet knife and doing something similar to my action of spackling. I pushed in the grout at around a 45 degree angle moving the pallet knife different directions across the grout lines. I worked fast in sections, starting from the top and working my way down the walls. In harder spots like corners, I pushed the grout in with my finger.
When I started sponging down the wall, I started from the top again and worked my way down. Be sure your sponge is only damp and not dripping. On my first pass, I used the rougher side of our sponge (we bought a fancier one!) to get the grout off the tile surface. Then I used the smoother side of the sponge to make passes across the grout lines to push the grout in even more and smooth out any rough spots. I got better and better at this as I went. I can see a slight difference from my first section to my last. But no one else will probably notice.
I let the grout dry for several hours, then went back over the tile surface with a dry cloth to remove the remaining haze and left the shower looking totally complete! Outside of this being a major shoulder workout for me, I actually enjoy grouting. It’s so nice seeing the shower looking so fresh and consistent throughout.
After a quick dinner break, we switched gears from grouting to painting. We cleared everything off the floor and anything we would need later since we wouldn’t be able to walk on the floor for a little bit. The day before I quickly cleaned the floor with the shop vac and one pass with the steam mop. But tonight we scrubbed that floor multiple times! We just used warm soapy water and stiff bristle brush. We did two passes with the sudsy water, and toweled it off after each pass. Next, we did a few passes with a clean sponge wiping down the tile with clean water to make sure we got all the soap residue up. Finally, we did a once over with the vacuum because even after all that we were still seeing a couple little bits of debris here and there. Finally, we sat a fan blowing into the room to dry the floor out faster.
At 8:30pm, we were able to start our first coat of primer. I was really hoping to just use the roller on the floor… but it wasn’t penetrating into the grout. So we hunkered down with some foam brushes pushing primer into the grout lines on that damn small tile floor… with Jordan helping, it went so much faster and he discovered that if we moved the brush in a circular motion over the floor, it filled in the grout a little faster.
This sucked so hard. We may have come to the realization that tearing out the old tile and putting down new would have been easier. I don’t think painting tiles would be that bad with larger tiles or tiles with a standard grid grout pattern. This old tile with the varying sizes and grout line lengths really tested us.
Around 11:30pm I made it to the end! WAY passed my bedtime and with super crampy hands! But we got it done and will be able to stay on our timeline.
Then Monday after I got home from work, I was able to get back in the bathroom and add the first coat of our paint – also white, but a little warmer undertone. It will need one more coat of the white paint to have full coverage, but I’m so incredibly happy to not see all that crazy variation on the floor already.
The plan for the rest of this week is to add the second coat of paint and top coat the days we are still home. Then off for our trip while the floor paint cures. When we get back home next week we will be able to walk on the floor without any issue. Then we will seal the new shower grout and install the new fixtures in there – knocking the tub and shower area off the to-do list! What a sweet day that will be! But first – our trip! It will be nice to get away for a few days since none of our summer getaways worked out due to the crappy weather. We are so looking forward to a little relaxation. Until next time folks, have a great week!
Last modified: September 18, 2018