Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve and Our Bathroom Facelift is DONE!

Here it is, Christmas Eve...  We would like to wish everyone a blessed and loving Christmas.

I think we have everything done and ready for Steve's family celebration tomorrow on Christmas Day.  We are journeying down to his sister's home in Belgium, WI to be with Steve's dad and all of his siblings.

Then on the 30th we will get together with all of our grown kids and grandkids for an overnight gathering in Oconto.  It is much easier to get them all together on a day other than the actual holiday date. That way they can all be with their own kids in their own homes on Christmas and not running out 100+ miles to other gatherings.

As for our own Christmas for Steve and I, we are cooking up some steamed crab legs tonight for dinner and staying home and cuddling in front of the fireplace, with the tree in the background and soft Christmas music playing as it snows outside. It's a Wonderful Life is supposed to be on NBC at 7 p.m.  It already started snowing and should continue all day!


I am happy to say that our bathroom facelift Christmas Present to each other is DONE!

Yesterday, we finished the trim around the room and it was a REAL CHALLENGE on the slanted ceiling where it meets the wall with the window. The problem is that not only is the ceiling off by an inch horizontally across the wall, but it also is off close to an inch and half vertically from one corner to the other! (yellow arrows) We needed it to meet up with the beadboard on each side wall (red arrows).

We pondered about four different ways to combat that situation:

  • Short of ripping out the entire ceiling and re-sheetrocking it across where it meets the wall, with shims and creative cutting. Then the wall would also have to be shimmed out and redone as well.  hmmmmm I don't think so.
  • Next was to get a really WIDE piece of trim and lay it on an angle all the way across, but a wide piece wouldn't meet up evenly with the two top cap pieces on each side.  But it would cover the awkward area where the ceiling meets the wall? hmmmmm I don't think so.
  • Third was to build a long "chase" box similar to a soffit over cabinets and cover the entire area with new sheetrock and paint, then go down from there on the walls with the beadboard. But again, that would not meet up with the side pieces of cap trim.  hmmmmm I don't think so.
  • Soooo fourth:  I came up with a really "out of the box" idea!  Our main goal was to make the piece of cap trim meet at both the cap trims at the left and the right corners of the room, for it to be horizontal, and level, and not have to rip out a bunch of stuff.

And after some intense deliberation, Steve decided to say "let's try it!"

He wanted to try my idea??? 
 Little Triangles! 

Triangles of varying sizes in graduated height and depth.

 I think you can see where we are going with this.... 

The triangles will hold up  the trim vertically perpendicular to the room....

By making varying sizes of triangles, going from larger to smaller, all with a right angle cut, we could make the same long piece of trim cap appear horizontal from across the room. Even if the wall below it isn't even, it would appear to meet evenly along the ceiling.

We moved each triangle around 
until we found the right place- 
level and plumb in both directions,
 for each graduating piece of triangle.

Once we got the triangles into place, testing each one with a sample piece of trim cap to determine their placement.  Steve nailed them tight and I ran a bead of adhesive caulk along the edges just for added insurance. Then we were able to scribe a long board to act as a bottom surface of the triangles. I pre-stained the bottom surface of the board so we didn't have to work upside down once it was in place.

Now we were able to nail on the cap trim
 and it was perfectly horizontal!!!

Unless you go right up to the wall and stick your fingers underneath the lip edge, you can't tell if it's off by one and half inches on the left side or a half an inch on the right!


It was done and we didn't have to jump through hoops to do it!

Now we needed to finish the trim around the bathtub.  We have an access panel for the plumbing located at the end of the tub. We weren't sure how much baseboard trim would be left at the end of our job. We didn't want to commit to doing it until we knew what we had left (2 lengths of beadboard, and about 8 pieces of assorted small bits of trim. Pretty good figuring with my cut list eh?)

Steve added the baseboard and quarter round sections after I painted a fresh coat of the white on the main panel.  He had to be so careful to not nail into the floor when doing the bottommost section of quarter round. We have to be able to remove the panel in case of a plumbing situation.

There.... the tub trim is all done! 

Next up was the medicine cabinet.  We found it on Craigslist for $10, already sanded. I stained the outside and painted the inside with white enamel paint.  Our son Dan ordered us a beveled mirror for it, and it's ready as soon as we get up there to pick it up.

The two wall sconce lights are kinda close together, so a small cabinet is just what we needed.  Most of our personal bathroom type stuff is kept out in the linen closet in the hallway. This cute little one is a bit smaller than what we had before.

Steve had to make a support frame in the open space to fit the cabinet into, and allow the surrounding trim wood to be nailed to the support frame instead of into thin air or plaster.

After mounting the cabinet in the support frame, now he carefully cut four pieces of surrounding trim to accent the cabinet and cover the old opening.  He did such nice 45 degree cuts and they all met perfectly in our trial fitting.

Then he showed me a "Trade Secret" of his woodworking skills!!!  Taking a dark brown marker, he had me draw along the edges of the wood where they join at the 45 degree angle. That way at the fresh new cut there wouldn't show any raw wood....  and if there was any slight gap or variance, it would not be so noticeable.

Now for MY secret... A message for the People of the Future from the People Of The Past! I wrote a message in the support frame box with a marker... noting who we were and the date we restored the bathroom with the beadboard and cabinet. Our daughter Heather has written a message to the People of the Future from the People Of The Past in the walls of the house while were building up in Oconto when she was 12 years old.  I had also done this in our kitchen, when we were installed the vintage restored cabinets I found on Craigslist.  I wrote a similar message on a end panel of bare wood before enclosing it.

This bathroom lovingly restored to it's original era with beadboard and cabinet 
by Steve and Karen Pfundtner Dec 2017

Someday, somehow, many many years from now, maybe someone will see it and wonder about us? Maybe if the house was being torn down or some pieces salvaged for another old house? or who knows? I just hope it's many many years after we are long gone and forgotten.

The cabinet was in place even before we made breakfast.  
It sure looked great!!!!

We have to decide if we are going to put up the little glass shelf
that was over the sink. I like it and it's old fashioned.
It held a few of our bathroom toiletries like toothbrushes, etc.

My last project was to add some Minwax Polyshades to the wood around the window.  It was a bit "off" reddish and the beadboard is more brownish.  I didn't want to coat that frame until our other work was done, because I didn't want sawdust or caulk getting on the drying polyurethane.  Polyshades is good because it lets you change the color (slightly) of already stained and varnished wood without sanding it down to start over. It's a colored polyurethane that can be brushed lightly in thin layers over an existing finish until you reach the desired effect.

I had repaired all of the holes with colored wood putty... these were holes from the old curtain rod brackets over the years.

It only took one thin coat of a more brownish color to tone the window frame and sill to match the rest of our bathroom.  Wheeeee! I think it looks great!

 And one final problem... my lovely lace on the glass was starting to curl up! I think it was from the cold or perhaps the sun shining on it?  I thought it might have been from a curious grandkid peeling it off, but more lace was coming off after the sunshine yesterday too. The lace on my downstairs french doors looks fine over the last 2 years, but those are interior doors and not facing the south sun.

Anyhow... I decided to remove the corn starched lace with warm water, and cut two more pieces of lace. (lucky I bought two valances at the thrift shop and had extra material to work with!)  This time I taped off the window frames and used a spray adhesive from 3M called Super 77.

It went on very easily, and had a vertical spray pattern to the nozzle. I almost didn't need to tape the edges of the frame, but with the tape I was able to get nice and close in the corners. , It sprayed evenly across the glass.

I carefully patted the lace into place, lining up the corners first, then smoothing it flat to the glass with a foam brush.  It adhered nicely and no wrinkles or bumps!

I let it dry a little bit before I pulled off the tape and drop cloth.  It came out so pretty!   It is hard to take a photo against the light coming in to show the detail of the lace pattern. I think this will hold with the temp changes of cold winter and warm southern sun. I hope.

So here it is ...
our completed Christmas Present to each other! 
On Christmas Eve.

Our project was accomplished in 2 weeks ... well 15 days if you count the day we picked up the wood.  We would have gotten it done a lot sooner.  It seems that we get busy with Steve's part time job, babysitting grandkids here and there, school concerts, and having a few family commitments to attend to.   But all in all, it was a fun project and we are really really liking the finished product. 

We would like to say to everyone:



  1. That project shows the Love and Commitment to Detail that you both strive for. Even with the modern shower it still says "This Old House".
    Love the Christmas Picture, that probably took some bribery to get.
    Wishing your entire family a Safe and Happy Christmas Season.

    It's about time.

  2. Beautiful, just beautiful. I wish we had your talent. Merry Christmas!!

  3. What a wonderful job your and Steve have done. I don't know if it is just me but the lace doesn't look as transparent as before which would be a good thing.

    Merry Christmas to your and yours

  4. Great job on your bathroom remodel! What a wonderful present to each other. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!


Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog! I moderate all comments so it may take a little while for your comment to appear.