New Apartment: Bathroom


bathroom pano

In 1928, the year our place was built, people didn’t bathe as frequently. What this meant was that nobody ever build proper ventilation into the bathrooms here–and there’s no way to do so either…at least not without risking electrocution at every turn. Why does this matter? Because the moisture can’t escape and it makes the walls get moldy and rot. So my first task was to figure out how to get the window open. After hammering out the places it was painted shut, I finally had no choice but to pry it open–which worked!

The bathtub has places that, from the looks of it, were previously patched up, but have since become messed up again. You can see the old repair, the top coat, and whatever the bottom is. Because it’s not black, we assume that we’re dealing with a fiberglass tub, rather than a ceramic one (which would be coating iron, or something).Bathtub

These spots were all over the tub. And the tub was pretty yellow and filthy, as you can see. Next, since it looks like there’s some mold underneath the caulk, I cut it out.


To get the caulk between the tiles white again, I used the strongest bleach gel I could find (for toilets), which you can see dripping into the tub here. The black stuff is mold that’s come out from behind the caulk. Here’s some closeups from before I began spraying the stuff out from the cracks. I used bleach and mold killer to get rid of the black mold, with plenty of irrigating, and then used a hair-dryer on high heat.IMG_4782IMG_4859

You can see in the following photo a bunch of yellow spots–pretty nasty–but they’re fiberglass patches for the tub.


The next steps are easier to just list:

  • Sand down the fiberglass patches
  • Clean the tub with an abrasive cleaner (Comet) and brush
  • Remove lime deposits on tub and hardware using LimeAway
  • Sand tub with a #400 wet/dry sandpaper
  • Rinse, dry, and remove all dust with a cloth
  • Paint Rustoleum Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit
  • Wait 2 hours and paint a second coat
  • Wait 2 hours and paint a third coat

We then tackle the rest of the bathroom, which includes dirt like this:


Do you see this giant black spot painted on the wall? That’s the color we’ve decided to paint the walls. Seems like the worst idea ever. It’s Sherwin-Williams “Naval” and we’re convinced that it’ll look great surrounded by all this white.


We’re still not sure what to do with the industrial toilet or with the sink. The sink seems pretty horrid until you see consider an original context, being the 1939 World’s Fair “House of Glass #4 – Master Bath.”

house of glass

Anyway. We painted the walls, as planned, using “Naval” and “Eider White” for the trim. We used leftover metallic black spray paint from the kitchen to paint the sink hardware, which was a brass that was too far gone to shine back to its former glory–also, it had left green discharge all over the counter and floor.

Our old shower curtain still worked, and we received a gift of the towels and rug–everything fit together pretty nice!


New toilet seat, and a good scrubbing in general, and finally re-caulking the tub and the sink.

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