Project Bathroom: Sanding the window frame.

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_DSC8597-2With the walls ready for primer time, all I had to do was (thoroughly) sand the window frame. The wood looked decidedly dated, and the window rails had rusted a lot causing staining and what-not. I purchased a cheap korean-brand orbital sander at a local tool shop near Suyu for this specific purpose (and future projects, of course).

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Sanding was relatively easy once I got the hang of it (I had never used a sanding tool before), and the results were quite amazing. After sanding the window frame looked incredible, I almost wish we could leave it that way.

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Project Bathroom: Removing the mirrors.

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I wasn’t looking forward to this part, to be honest. Glass is not an easy material to work with, and both mirrors seemed pretty strongly attached to the walls. It turns out the smaller one was attached using just silicone, and the larger mirror attached using strong double sided sticky.. stuff. Its edges were also “glued” onto the wall with a thick layer of silicone.

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I started by taping off the entire mirror with thick, strong duct-(like-)tape to ensure things wouldn’t start flying around. For the sake of completeness, I also put on gloves and a hoodie to protect most of my arms and face. You can never be too safe, I figured.

_DSC8631After applying all the tape, I started following the edges with my knife, cutting through the silicone. I then started slowly pulling the knife towards me in several areas to start forcing some space between the mirror and the wall. Soon enough, the glass cracked, giving me access to more of the glass. Fortunately the tape held really well, nothing flew around except for the occasional small piece that simply fell to the ground.

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This took a while and some effort. After separating a part of the mirror I pushed it back against the wall to keep it from pulling all the tape off. The people who put these mirrors on didn’t want them to come off, so they used a bunch of sticky stuff in several places. With some patience and persistence, though, the entire mirror came off without any complication. Soon thereafter, the bigger mirror came off too, somehow being slightly easier than the smaller one (contradictory to my expectations).

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And with that, the walls are ready for painting! Well, the ground layer, anyway.

Project Bathroom: Cleaning, Preparing.

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As with most of these kinds of projects, you have to start at the cleaning and preparation phase. In this case that means taping off everything you don’t want covered in paint, taking everything removable out of the bathroom and, of course, clean everything.

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We started off by taking out all things detachable from the bathroom, and then taped off the floor with masking tape that has plastic attached to it (150cm long). This was quite convenient, as we didn’t have to separately place plastic on the floor. We also taped around the sink, toilet and shower water control thingamajig. I detached the shower head as it would only get in the way anyway. No shower at home for us the coming week.

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Next it was time to sand off as much as we could from the previous tenants’ paint job. Some parts were quite thick, so we wanted to smooth it out as much as possible. This was quite a bit of work, but it had to be done.

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I also took out the windows and their rails so we had full access to the wooden frame. As you can see in the photo, it’s quite old looking (and decidedly messy between the window rows. Yikes.

With everything cleaned up and out of the way, no we can get started with the real stuff. Excited? I am!

Project Bathroom: Introduction

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_DSC8579 For one of our first home improvement (or, DIY) projects, Younhee and I decided to take on the bathroom. While we’ll keep our projects mostly limited to things we can take with us (we don’t own this house), we wanted to make an exception for the bathroom as it doesn’t look very good in its current state.

Purple floor tiles combined with pink-ish white wall tiles. Previous tenants had an apparent desire to paint over the grout in-between all tiles but seemed to have lost all interest mid-way through, as paint was left all over the tiles and many parts had no paint at all. Odd.

_DSC8582Two mirrors are attached to opposite walls but both show their age, with damaged, non-reflective parts and rust-like effects, along with chipped corners. The windows are in desperate need of some fixing too; the wood has some water damage and looks old. The window rails is very rusty, making it both look bad and opening or closing windows more difficult than it should be.

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So, in short, plenty of stuff to fix.

With limited budget, we decided to do the following;

  1. Get rid of the bad grout paint job.
  2. Give the windows a thorough sanding
  3. Get rid of the existing mirrors
  4. Paint the tiles over completely

There isn’t much we can do about the floor, short of taking it all out, so we decided to keep it as-is. With the walls eventually looking (much) better (hopefully), it should end up looking quite alright.

I’d like to invite you with us on our journey to a better bathroom.  Let’s get started.

Welcome to Forever Lost.

For those of you that know me, welcome back. We’ve been through many revisions throughout the years, going from personal blog with many an article to photo blog to longer periods of silence. Today, I’m happy to say that Forever Lost is back, in time for the new year, 2015.

For those of you that don’t yet know me; Hi. My name is Dave, and I’m a dutch guy living in South Korea. I’m married to my wonderful wife Younhee and, together with her, love doing DIY and home improvement projects. I personally also love to follow other people with their projects, so wanted to get back to blogging by writing about our projects, too. Share the wealth, so to speak.

This blog will not just be about DIY projects, though it will be a main and oft-recurring topic. For those of you who are curious about what life is like in South Korea, you’ll likely want to follow along as-well, as I’ll be writing about things life, too. From personal challenges with small (cultural) differences to small things I notice that I just love.

Follow along, and I’ll be sharing with you written stories based on my experience here in Korea, photos of every day moments in life, videos and video compilations of our projects and everything else, and more.  You may have already seen my photos come by on Flickr, or my videos on YouTube, but this site here will be a nice and convenient place to see photos and videos, context included.

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you’ll enjoy what’s coming next.

Welcome to Forever Lost.

– Dave Jansen