Progress on the new bathroom is, er, progressing. The latest thing that’s happened is I’ve given our new rolltop bath a bit of a makeover, but more on that in a minute. Let me update you on what else we have done, or rather, not done!
Around the time of writing this post about what we want to do in the new bathroom Ste and I were both raring to go, and because we are doing this renovation on a very tight budget, we started looking for things we need on eBay. Ste even bought some pipework for the new waste pipe, with the intention on starting work on that asap (it’s going to be a lot of digging through concrete and drilling through solid stone walls). Then we both got a bit waylaid with a tonne of freelance work, and nothing much else happened. We quietly won a sink on eBay, and then a rolltop bath, and suddenly realised we would actually have to go and get these things, and then we would have a bath hanging around, so we needed to get a bit of a move on.
We went to collect both one evening last week, thankfully fitting them into the Land Rover without too much trouble. Both are in absolutely fantastic condition, and considering their unbelievable prices of £15 and £56, we are over the moon with them. We came home and juggled the dining room furniture around until we could fit the bath in. The poor dining room becomes a dumping ground every time we start a new project – at the moment it also contains a beautiful cast iron bed I’ve bought that needs painting, and our old dishwasher which we are trying to get rid of because we upgraded to a full size one (to stop Tarquin disappearing down the side of ours and under the back of our kitchen cabinets!). And as of today, it also contains my temporary home office! I am sat in one corner of the room, with my desk and computer all set up, and some pretty hydrangeas I picked in Anglesey last weekend, and I feel quite comfy here, even if the rest of the room is a disaster. No bath anymore though – because that is in situ in what will become the bathroom! Yes, I packed up most of my office over the weekend, and made room for the work to start. Because we have run out of excuses not to get on with it, and I really want it done by Christmas – the idea of another full winter in our old, freezing bathroom is just too awful.
So, this is what my old office looks like right now, half office, half useless bathroom. (Sorry about the photo – the paint makes it very hard to photograph – the walls are going white with a hint of french blue and it will be much brighter).
And here’s my new desk set-up in the dining room. I can’t show you the rest of the room – it is too messy for the internet to cope.
The eagle eyed among you will have noticed that the beautiful rolltop bath has no feet. This is because they are currently receiving a bit of TLC. They were absolutely fine when they arrived – a cream colour to match the bath, with a few small knocks and bits of paint missing, but I decided they needed cheering up a bit. My paint stash had some chrome spraypaint hanging around, as well as a primer spray. So the decision was made – a rolltop bath makeover was in order. I was actually not keen on chrome feet when we were considering a brand new bath, but the spray paint is not as bright and shiny as actual chrome, and I much prefer it.
So, with just a couple of cans of spray paint (probably about £20 worth), I have given this bath a really simple makeover. Here’s a step-by-step if you are tempted to try the same thing.
Sand your piece with some medium sandpaper. Do not worry that your sanding doesn’t get into all the nooks and crannies – the main thing is to help the paint adhere to the areas which are most exposed and likely to get knocked or rubbed, and your sandpaper will reach those just fine. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.
In a well ventilated area (I went into the garden), lie your pieces on a dropcloth (folded double, chrome paint can be quite liquid and seep through). Shake your can thoroughly, and spray as directed. It is always better to spray from further away and do several thin light coats with a quarter of an hour in between sprays (or as directed by your paint).
Time for the shine! You will find that a chrome spray paint splatters out of the can, rather than giving even coverage, it is lots of droplets. This is fine – just let the first coat dry and do another, and build up the colour gradually, spraying from different angles to cover it all. At this stage, keep your cats inside, if you don’t want a sparkly-nosed feline.
Leave to dry for a long time! Do not make the mistake I did of testing whether it was dry right in the middle at the front – poke an inconspicuous spot instead!
If the back of your feet will be seen when on the bath, repeat steps Two and Three for the other side.
Put your feet back on the bath and admire your handiwork.
Now, this is a tutorial specifically about spraying clawfeet for a bathtub, but actually it goes for pretty much any metal spraypainting. If it is an object which gets heavy use, e.g. a bicycle, you may want to add a topcoat of lacquer to protect it, but for my bath feet, which won’t be getting a lot of wear and tear, this is plenty.
So what next for our bathroom? Well, we need to take down the plasterboard on the back wall, and insulate and re-position it (currently there is a 20cm gap behind the board before the wall begins!). We also need to start on the plumbing – the entire room needs to be plumbed as having been a bedroom before it was my office, there is nothing. The window also needs replacing with a double-glazed one, and we need to build an end wall. So, nothing major then! So far our balance sheet is looking quite healthy as our purchases have been cheaper than budgeted due to savvy buying, but we’ve not paid to fix and move the boiler yet, which I imagine is going to cost a lot more than we want. Still – it has to be done. There’s no point in having a beautiful bathroom if the hot water still switches itself off randomly when you’re in the shower!
What do you think of the new chrome feet?