Australia: Renovating during COVID-19, Part 5

The renovating fun and games continue in Part 5 of this short Australian series, renovating a bathroom and en-suite during COVID-19.

Renovating background

If this is the first time reading this renovating series, then you may like to read Part 1 (the reason for so much renovating), Part 2 (internal and external house painting), Part 3 (Replacing the patio and enclosure), and Part 4 (kitchen renovating) before continuing.

This is a huge long-needed renovating project on the house, which my tenants left in a sad after 14 years. Initially scheduling 6 weeks to complete all of the renovations, ended up working 12 to 13-hour days during this time.

Renovating a bathroom and en-suite during COVID-19, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Oceania

As the realisation of COVID-19 sets in and the world grasps that this virus is lingering longer than expected, then more tasks are added to the renovating project. So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into renovating the bathroom and en-suite…


Renovating the bathroom

Of course, renovating doesn’t stop at only bedrooms, living areas, a new patio, kitchen, and the house’s external issues. The bathroom is also awaiting renovation as it’s in a sad state.

The old bathroom

The bathroom’s dark green paint makes everything appear small, dark, and dingy. So, it’s time to revamp this tired room with a little tender love and lashings of paint. But first, need to rip the heavy moulded plaster shells off the walls…

Bathroom renovating, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
Dated bathroom

A couple of decades ago, the ceiling was also painted in this dark green colour. Not only did this look bizarre, but it also made the room feel as though you were entering a cubicle or deep closet.

The green takes a couple of undercoats and several topcoats before it’s erased forever in time…

…and the bathroom is freshened-up nicely.

This, of course, is after cleaning filth, then repairing all of the dings and small chips in the walls.

Timber vanity

Instead of replacing the bathroom’s solid timber vanity, my partner suggests we repair and overhaul the unit.

So, more filling, sanding, and many layers of undercoat then several layers of topcoat paint, and finally, the cabinet looks presentable. I also apply an expensive clear coat left-over from the kitchen renovating on the outside of the timber – what a difference. Like the blue flowers and knobs?

To my partner’s surprise, I sell the old timber Snow White mirror you see in the above photo on FaceBook Marketplace, without too much hassle.

More renovating

Re-silicone the moving bath makes everything sturdy once more. Re-grouting grubby and missing grout is another of the never-ending jobs.

The bathroom chrome ware is cleaned with lemon juice first, then with a mixture of bicarbonate soda and vinegar to remove corrosion, making everything sparkle again.

The towel rack is re-drilled into the wall as this was hanging loose. Install a new exhaust fan, mirror and shower rose, finishes off that part of the bathroom.

Not wanting to replace the shower screen initially as it’s more expensive, I keep cleaning the glass over several months.

Bleach, a paste of vinegar and bicarbonate soda, and anything else on the market can’t shift the tenacious mould. This grows between the glass laminate, so finally replace the screen, which transforms the bathroom.

The separate toilet room also needs repairing and painting, of course. The metal toilet roll holder is hanging off the wall, so remove this completely. Then, fill and sand the wall smooth before painting. Also, replace the toilet suite as it’s yellowed, smelly, and awful.


Renovating the en-suite

Removing the ugly timber shelf above the toilet leaves behind deeps holes and indents in the wall.

Of course, everything needs filling then sanding smooth before it’s ready to undercoat. Maybe I should have just painted the shelf white?

renovating an en-suite, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Old toilet suite and timber shelf

I don’t have a photo of the old sink and exposed plumbing as this wasn’t a pretty sight.

A new toilet suite, vanity, exhaust fan, shower rose, a couple of chrome towel hooks, new splashback tiling and the en-suite is finished.

One room where the powerpoint and light switch doesn’t need replacing due to rough tenants.


Returning the hire car

Of course, during the 6-weeks of renovating madly, the hire car needs returning to Europcar at Brisbane airport.

It’s going to be tough without a car. Especially, when picking up materials from the hardware. So, decide to stock up with everything we possibly need to continue with renovating and also groceries, until we buy a cheap car.

Brisbane airport

Over the decades, I’ve been through Brisbane airport’s bustling International and Domestic terminals a plethora of times. Though today in April, it’s the most surreal experience with COVID-19 restrictions in force.

The security guard chases us out of the domestic terminal as no one is supposed to be here. Instead, we need to drive to the international terminal.

Everything is closed at both terminals. Not a car or soul around. Just grounded aeroplanes. The scene reminds me of the post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days later.

Finally dropping the car off at Europcar, the guy doesn’t even try to venture out of his office to check the car return. Instead, he just motions us to drop the keys in the small outside box.

Luckily, the Airtrain is still running to take passengers on the short 20-minute journey back to Brisbane city. The train is also ghost-like, with only a few people travelling today.


Nearing renovating completion?

As tools and paint reduce, it must be getting to the end of renovating. At the start of renovating, the lounge room looks like this…

roof install, renovating alfresco, house, Brisbane, Australia, Oceania
Tools of the trade

At least now, both lounges fit in the room. Though we still need to walk gingerly around the mess, for fear of tripping over paint cans and spilling paint everywhere…

renovating a house, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
A smaller mess

Check back next week for Part 6 in this COVID-19 renovating series, to see what’s left to renovate. You may be surprised at just how much more work there is still to finish!

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

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