The Sparrow | Bathroom Talk


February 2, 2021

It has been a crazy week at The Sparrow full of a lot of waiting, but also a lot of grunt work to prepare for the next steps in the restoration. Since it has been snowy and cold, we have stuck to projects inside of the home.

As many of you know, the bathroom has been quite a surprise nightmare for us, but definitely a well-needed learning experience for future projects! We are trying to save as much money as possible on the bathroom reno, so we got my uncle Bucky to come over and advise us on what to do and how to prepare for them to come and put in the new plumbing. The biggest expense is the "grunt work"...aka THE DIGGING! Jonathan and my brother, Gabe, worked tirelessly into the evening with a concrete saw to cut a new hole in the concrete floor for the new claw foot tub plumbing, and a trench across the floor for the new toilet.

We got Cox Construction to order us our new claw foot tub faucet and tub kit, and are waiting on them to come out and do the rough-in for the new plumbing. The random wall plumbing pipes will be removed and put into the ground so they are hidden and safe. After they finish, we will cover the new pipes with concrete, tile the floors, and then have them back out to hook up the tub, toilet, and new vanity. LOTS TO DO! Thankfully, everyday we get closer and closer to having this **not so gorgeous** space become GORGEOUS!

A big part of the bathroom is the BATHTUB! A friend of ours who restores homes in Staunton, Will Wright, gave us this tub a while back for us to use for outdoor milkbath photography sessions. It was sitting outside of his restoration on W Beverley and we asked if we could have it. Thank goodness we did, because now it is coming in handy! After picking it up from the farm with lots of strong guys to help, it was brought to the basement of The Sparrow to begin refinishing it. Google claims that these babies can weigh anywhere between 300-500 pounds!! So, it was quite a feat!

Jonathan opened the doors and windows, and put on his respirator and began to fix this gorgeous tub right up! We are waiting on the tub refinishing kit to get here from Amazon, but we still had to strip the underneath part of the tub while we wait. Jonathan used Citrus Strip on the underneath part of the tub and began scrapping the years and years of paint off the tub. He said it felt like yucky honey. And it smelled STRONG!

After doing multiple layers of stripper and scraping, we left to go get dinner, and planned on coming back to remove the last layer before we used a wire brush on an angle grinder to get the last little bits of paint.

Also to note, Jonathan framed in a wall for the second part of the basement so we can put up barn doors for the enclosure of the "master suite." Before, it was just a huge open doorway, and now we have it framed up so we can drywall, and put up a gorgeous sliding door for privacy. The steps still need TONS of work, so don't look too close at those!

Jonathan and my two brothers, Gabe and Eli, went back to The Sparrow after dinner to complete the scraping of the last layer on the tub. And it is down to the bare bones!! The coolest part of the whole restoration is that the tub has a date on it that it was won't believe the date: 6-23-1930!! Only one year after this house was built!! The tub is almost a perfect year match!! Now, we just need to do a little bit of sanding, and the base will be ready for fresh paint! We will be painting it a fresh coat of shiny white to go along with the glamorous 1920's bathroom, and chrome faucet. We want this bathroom to be full GLAM!

To prepare for a new bathroom, Jonathan also installed two new can lights in the bathroom and a new ventilation fan over top of where the bathtub will be placed. We want to keep this bathroom ventilated and DRY!

While Jonathan was downstairs working on multiple jobs, I was upstairs preparing for all new paint, and emptying out the kitchen! One big part of preparing for paint is the trim... UGH. Some rooms have quarter round, and others don't. If it did have the original quarter round in place, it was yucky and falling away from the trim with a half inch of caulk holding it together and chipping paint. I wanted to make sure the trim lasted another 100 years, so I have been ripping the old quarter round off, cleaning out 100 years of dust bunnies that have gone underneath it, and chipping off old paint and caulk. And sanding. It is a never ending job.

I got all of the quarter round removed and chipped, and ready for new quarter round to be placed down and holes filled to prepare for our friend, Leo Nikitchuk, to come and bring our house back to life! One crazy find was underneath a window in the bedroom... literally a spot of trim that had been on fire!! It has years of paint over top of it, but I chipped it down to the original wood before the fire. Also, it looks like the fire began to burn part of the hardwood floors, but it was caught and put out. These old houses are full of so many surprises!

The last big part of the kitchen renovation are the cabinets. They are just stock Lowes cabinets, and not anything original, so I didn't have any love addiction with them..but I didn't know if I wanted to paint them, or replace them with new. We decided that we are going to get new ones from Lowes that are raw and unfinished, and I am going to put a coat of matte polyurethane on them so they can be wiped and cleaned, and keep the raw wood look in the kitchen. My favorite. The raw wood has a somewhat gray tone, with our planned gray concrete countertops with undercount sink, and off white walls, open shelving, new fixture... it is going to be gorgeous!

I put the cabinets on Facebook Marketplace, and tried to empty out the kitchen to visualize the new cabinets that are actually the appropriate size, allow for a normal sized stove, anddddd just look straight gorgeous! I can't wait for this new kitchen! The following photos are of the kitchen without cabinets (except for the sink one which will be removed today!)

After cleaning up all of the quarter round chunks, dirt, drywall dust, and filling the truck up with random house items, I. wanted. to take some. fresh pictures to show our followers what the upstairs is transforming into. Of course, we still have lots of work to do, but it is really falling into place! We can't wait to see where another week takes us at The Sparrow!

The living room when you first come in the front door: One of the bedrooms is to the left, and still needs the pine door hung...Check out all that freshly chipped trim ready for more sanding and PAINT!! :)

The front bedroom! This room has soooo much natural light. I tend to favor it!

The back bedroom next to the kitchen which will become the kid BUNK ROOM! This was also the room where the fire trim was found!

The pantry in the kitchen...Send me all your design inspiration! I am imagining a wallpaper accent wall in the backside, new shelving, and adorable baskets full of treats for our guests!

US. Losing our mind with this restoration. Send help and coffee! Until next time, xoxo Sam and J