Tag Archives: Tips and News

A Home Remodel Series (Part 5-Retile a Shower)

At last, today is moving day for my friend!  Her mini-home remodel is complete and the construction dust is gone.    My friend went from vanilla everything to “wow” by making subtle changes with color and a few finishes.  Concluding our home remodel series we started last week, her master bath shower and tub, like the rest of her home,  were white on white.

To see where we started and what we’ve done, click here:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/

For such a large and bright space, it lacked a lot of personality.  With some paint and new tile, see the room take on a new life below.

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A Home Remodel Series (Part 4-How to install wood flooring)

The finished project

Continuing our series on following the progress at my friend’s home remodel, part of their wood flooring in the dining room had been damaged by a water leak from the adjacent kitchen.

See what all we are covering in this series by clicking the link below:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/

Wood floors add a lot of warmth and character to any room.  They are exceptionally durable and a good quality wood floor is meant to last for years and years.  Unfortunately, in the case of my friend’s home,  wood and water do not agree and the resulting buckled wood flooring was not salvageable.

Wood floors damaged by water leak

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Bathroom remodel inspiration

A Girl Can Do It!!!

One project truly does lead to another when you are able to start small and gain confidence in yourself along the way.  My friend and neighbor, Marian Takushi,  recently completed one bathroom remodel when she decided to take on another.

Check out her before and after for a little inspiration:

Before

What the project included:

Existing counter top and cabinets were replaced with standard order black cabinets (available in a variety of finishes and sizes from Lowes and Home Depot and these are very reasonably priced from around $200-500); granite top was done at a steal from scrap pieces for around $350.

Existing builders grade mirror was removed to reveal about 3 layers of wall paper. Ordinarily, this could have been a nightmare.  But instead of removal, Marian repeated the stucco finish on her wall by troweling stucco patch in the same stroke pattern as the rest of her bathroom and painted over it.  New framed mirror is now in place.

Smartly, she re-used the existing light fixtures but repainted with  Krylon’s hammered metal finish paint to give them a new look.

And this is a neat idea….instead of replacing her medicine cabinet which would have cost $200, she found a picture frame for around $20, placed hinges on it and mounted it to the existing recessed medicine cabinet box.  Now she has a framed art medicine cabinet.  Very cute and practical.

Now Marian has a chic and updated bath that took less than a week to finish!  You can do it too!

A Home Remodel Series (Part 3-How to replace a kitchen sink and faucet)

Day 3 has everyone hopping at my friend’s house!  With white cabinets and dark granite, she decided to switch from a stainless sink and faucet to a nice white Kohler sink with a Delta oil rubbed bronze faucet.  I love the contrast the new sink provides.  I think she’ll be very happy with the finished project.

Continuing with our series on quick and easy home improvement projects, lets move into the kitchen:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/

Advice:  This type of project requires a little more advanced plumbing know how since it may involve some modification of the underside drain plumbing if a new sink’s drains don’t match up exactly to the old ones.  However, this is not a complex job that takes many hours, so if you do decide to hire a plumber, allow 3-4 hours at the most in their estimate; the parts should also be relatively inexpensive since they are standard PVC pieces that they are reassembling.  A little time and money can be saved though if you do the removal yourself following the steps below!

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A Home Remodel Series- Part 2 (replacing bathroom faucets)

Continuing the progress at my friend’s home remodel  http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/ , they had 5 bathroom faucets to replace.  With new faucets running as inexpensive as $40 and up, this is an affordable update to make to your space style-wise.

First and most importantly,  make sure that your new faucet needs the same number of holes as your old faucet.  In other words, some sink faucets only need one hole in your counter tops whereas some others need 3 or 4.  Sometimes it might just be easier to take the old faucet with you to your local store to ensure a match.

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Frame a mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall, you ARE the fairest of them all!


Mirrors never lie, unless you find yourself in a fun house.  You stand in front of the big rectangular beast every day, and you don’t like what you see and surprise, it has absolutely nothing to do with YOU.

Besides its plainness, your mirror may be *gasp* showing the harsh truths of its age with the little age spots setting in around the edges.  Kindred spirits.  The plain and drab favorites of builders everywhere do a lot for making a room appear larger but very little for actual aesthetics.  Before you decide to spend money on a cuter, sleeker model, there are few things that you can do to boost your mirror’s self esteem.

Sizing it up

First determine where you want the frame to be.  If you want to attach the frame to the mirror on its edges or cover up age spots, it will reduce the mirror’s apparent size.  Opting for this method, you will simply want to measure the width and length of the mirror.  If, however, there is a space between the mirror and the wall and ceiling, you have the opportunity to make your bathroom mirror look even bigger than it really is, by having your frame attached to the outside edges of your mirror.

To go bigger, use a level, draw a line on the wall around the mirror at a distance of least 2-4 inches (depending on your frame selection below). This line will be your guide showing where the frame will end and will be your new measurements.   I highly recommend adding 1 or 2 inches to any measurement you take, to offset any errors when it comes to cutting the corners of the frame.

Picking the frame

There are a wide variety of wood trim options: unfinished ready for staining with wood finishes, pre-primed (great for painting), less expensive MDF board frames (also great for painting).  The wider and fancier you get, the more expensive.   You can match the color of your cabinets, paint them to contrast the room or whatever you desire.  Semi-gloss paints make the best finish in wet areas for ease of clean up.  The simplest of trims can make a lot of impact for as little as $20-30 to complete this entire project.

Whatever trim you choose, you will need 4 pieces, long enough to measure the longest length or width of your mirror.

Making the cut

Imagine a picture frame; the 4 pieces you have will each be cut at 45 degree angles at the ends so they fit together to form a square.   If you have a saw at home that can cut at an angle (like a miter saw or miter box guide), then simply cut your wood at 45 degree angles. You will create two pieces for the width and two pieces for the length.  Remember to switch between right and left as you go so that when placed together, they make 90 degree right angles.

If you don’t have access to such a saw, most stores offer wood cutting services at no charge.  You may also find that many Home Depot stores provide a table with a handsaw and a frame for sawing at a 45 degree angle so that you can cut the wood yourself.

Frame it

After your pieces have been cut to measure and you have stained or painted as you desire, you are ready to frame it up!  Using a heavy duty adhesive (I like Power Grab because of its easy clean up and quick set time), apply the adhesive to the backside of your wood pieces that will make one corner. You will need to hold the pieces in place until the glue begins to set up.  You can also use some heavier duty painters tape or a brace of some sort to hold the wood in place firmly until it dries.

Once this first half of the frame is affixed, you can now attach the other half the same way, completing the “square”.

A small twist in the plan

If you aren’t convinced that wood cutting or framing is your thing, think of what your mirror would like like if you “framed” it with smaller bathroom tiles, or seashells, or glass mosaic tiles or whatever style your bathroom takes on?  Heavy duty adhesives can go a long way to adhering things directly to the mirror.  Tiles can be applied to the surrounding wall with a tile mastic.  Let your imagination run wild.  Your mirror will thank you for it!

Whatever you decide, your mirror will now look like a sharp finished companion that will share your deepest darkest secrets for days to come.

**In case you aren’t convinced, let me also add that these mirrors are also usually very heavy and glued to the wall; so proceed cautiously if you still decide to opt for replacing it.

Portfolio Bathroom Remodel 2

Another portfolio for bathroom makeover ideas!  This bathroom was a late 80′s vanilla room with oak cabinets, tulip track lighting, marbled vanity and tub with white tile and beige carpet. See how it goes from “ho-hum” to “wow”
Some of the projects completed like tile and faucet replacement will take a little more know-how, but in time, will be talking about all of this on this site.

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A Home Remodel Series (Part 1-Before Demo)

One of my friends recently purchased a beautiful new home and has decided to complete certain improvements before moving day.  Basically, with ivory walls and beige carpet along with white tiles in all baths, the home is a virtual blank canvas for aspiring do-it-yourself’ers!!  My friend has generously agreed to let me take photos of the work before, during and after in order to follow the progress; at the same time, I will provide step-by-step advice on how to complete some of the work so that you may choose to do the same in your own home!  Some of the projects have a varying level of difficulty that you may opt to hire profession help for.

Stay tuned!!!

The blank canvas awaits:

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Portfolio Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom remodel-Before

Bathroom Remodel Before

Bathroom remodel progress

Bathroom remodel-After

Bathroom remodel-After

This bathroom update project involved:
1) repainting existing cabinets in a satin black
2) Installing new cabinet hardware in brushed nickel and retro glass knobs
3) framing the existing mirror
4) new glass mosaic tile counter tops purchased from Home Depot, drop in sinks and faucets from Home Depot
5) new floor tile (4″ x 4″ black, 12″ x 12″ white and 4″ x 4″ blue glass)all from Home Depot
6) new tiles dispersed in shower(chiseled out random tiles so that a complete shower demo would not be required)
7) Paint-”Shale Blue” by Ralph Lauren from Home Depot
If you’d like to complete a project like this and just don’t know how, comment back and I’ll try to help with the “how to” advice!  Many of these topics will be covered on this site.  You CAN do it!

Cabinet Hardware-How to Install

Once you’ve determined the type of cabinet hardware you’d like to put into your kitchen or bathroom, its time to put the icing on the cake!

Cabinet Hardware-The icing on the cake!

The installation process is easy.  Here’s how:

1)     There are a couple of easy ways to determine placement of installation.   For cabinet doors, the lower right corner is the typical location.  For drawers, you will need a measuring tape to measure the middle distance between the two horizontal edges as well as the vertical edges.

Measure to find the middle of your vertical rise on drawers for correct location

Measure to find the middle point of the horizontal length on drawers Continue reading