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Painting It: “627” Bathroom

Some persons are so creative, that it flows into every area of their lives. Even to the most unchangeable things. Where nothing could be done to improve it. Or, so it may seem to you, or I.


In one quiet week-end, one of these creatives turned what was once a small, service station bathroom into a comedic conversation piece. And, a great place to hide!


Room: Utility bathroom.

Overall dimensions: 8 ft. length by 6 ft. wide by 8 ft. height.

Features: Solid knotty pine paneled wall (30-inches length); 26-inch sink vanity cubicle, built-in corner shower stall, lavatory cubicle, knotty pine paneling built-in wall.

Basic construction: Concrete block walls, and shower stall walls, poured concrete floor, drywall ceiling.

Post-construction upgrade: Pink and White, alternate set, 3-inch tiles glazed ceramic over: vanity wall, shower stall walls (inside/outside) and entry, also room’s floor; pink and white, alternate set, frosted ceramic mini-tiles on shower stall floor. Knotty pine paneled wall (8-ft length): built-in lounge seat (36-inches), 2-30 inch one-half closets, overhead blanket cupboard.




1. Removed all door knobs and movable fixtures.

2. Gently washed all knotty pine paneled areas, baseboard, built-in mirror frame; also entry door.

3. Once dried, sanded above surfaces with No. 220 sandpaper.

4. Thoroughly dusted all surfaces with clean, soft cloths.




5. Brushed and rolled thin coat of red semi-gloss interior enamel (Gliddens) on all knotty pine surfaces.

6. Once dried, lightly sanded wall surfaces and door. Re-dusted all areas with clean, soft cloths.

7. Glued over twenty, 6-inch by 8-inch black and white newsprints of British ZIGGY cartoons on paneled walls and door interior.

8. Areas were left to dry.

9. Carefully brushed thin coat of clear gloss varnish, slightly tinted with same red paint coloring used in thin first coat application.




1. Stenciling – Graphic shapes, large letters, silhouettes, on the ugliest wall.

TIP: First, lightly sand with No. 220 sandpaper. Then, brush on a fresh coat of paint. Examples: white, off-white, or white ivory interior latex. (Or acrylic latex).

2. Sponge random pattern onto that same painted wall and baseboard.

TIP: Add 1-2 drops of acrylic paint – a favorite color – to one-half gallon of the white base paint.

3. Do the reverse: First paint the entire wall, or half wall, with the tinted paint.

TIP: Then, mark one horizontal line one-half distance between floor and ceiling. Mark a second horizontal line 3-4 inches below that line. Use BLUE masking tape to tape along each line, with one edge of tape on line, other outside of stripe area.

4. Create your own vertical half-wall/board effect.

TO-DO TIP: Use yardstick, or metal tape measure to mark space, horizontally, into 4-to-6 inch vertical “wood” planks.


The Homeowner’s True Story…


January, 1972— Thirty-five stranded semi-truck drivers enjoyed the cozy and clean accommodations of that colorful bathroom. For nearly three days, they huddled together inside the concrete block house under major reconstruction and expansion.


The truckers drank hot, black coffee and ate thinned down, home-made chili or chicken-noodle soup from small Styrofoam cups. They made quick, long-distance calls home, to let their families know they were okay. They leaned against bare wall joists, and dozed off. Totally exhausted, and feeling unsettled.


Every hour or so, the truckers bundled back up and braved the miserable weather to check on their diesel-powered rigs. Kept running –in place on U. S. Highway 30 – to prevent the engines from freezing up.


Northwest Indiana was a living nightmare for those, and thousands of other, long-haul truckers. The massive ice storm and subzero temperatures had paralyzed the area. Closing all major north and south traffic: I-65, seven miles to the west, and I-149 to the east. Nothing was moving!


For over fifteen years after their unplanned visit, semi-drivers whizzed and roared by on U. S. 30. Saying “HI” with their loud TOOT! TOOT! TOOT! They filled the property’s mailbox with cards and notes. They told their own extended stories of the adventure in 1972. Ones they shared with their families and friends.


More than one-half of the truckers joked about the little red “cartoon” bathroom. They recalled their favorite cartoons. And, they told the homeowners: “Keep that bathroom just the way it is…Don’t touch it.”


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Family friendships are the best! Especially when made, or rekindled, unexpectedly – and/or when especially needed.

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Thanks, everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting Them: Children’s Play Areas: Keeping Them Fun

When children play on playground equipment, all that is on their minds is to have fun. The condition, color, or durability of the coating on the equipment’s surface does not matter to them. That is left up to the adults to figure out.


Regardless of who does what, “Mother Nature” is always hard at work. Regularly, it adds to the maintenance needs of anything outside that requires painting. Because of this choosing a paint, that will stand up to the elements, is the key step in creating a well-groomed, and safe, play area.


Most playgrounds have multiple types of equipment. Therefore, they may require several kinds of finishes.


A list of some “recommended coatings,” and the surfaces for which they are best suited.


  1. Solid and semitransparent oil or latex stain. Apply to pressure treated dimensional lumber and sheeting materials. Use brush and or roller to apply.


  1. Urethane color and clear coat. Apply to tubular ferrous and non ferrous metals. Coating provides superior abrasion resistance and protection from the UV rays of the sun. Use spray finishing only for the finest application.


  1. Enamel or Alkyd paint. Apply to wood and metal substrates. They are an excellent substitute for Urethane, though not quite as hard a finish. Use brush, roller and spray methods.


  1.  Ammonia-based acrylic primer sealer and a Urethane finish. Apply to rigid hard plastic objects. Spray finishing is recommended.


A Note on: Surface preparation


Abrasion is a major consideration when painting something that children will play on.


To guarantee the adhesion of a finish: Make sure to remove all loose pre-existing paint. Power tooling is the easiest method. Use electric sanders and grinders to help create a smooth surface prior to priming.


Be sure to use a tack cloth to remove all dust, especially when spray painting. If the surface is ultra smooth, like with metal tube construction, use an adhesion promoter or primer. These products are designed specifically to bind with the chosen finish paint system.


A Note on: Protecting your finish


Even when your finish paint is applied, the finish must be protected from the elements. This step will further guarantee a lasting finish.


To achieve, apply a clear coat. This product will protect the surface from moisture, uv rays of the sun, abrasion from wind, and wear in general.


Today, clear coat systems are available predominantly in an acrylic emulsion, and also single and two stage Urethane catalyzed systems. Acrylic enamel formulations are also available.


To preserve the appeal and safety of a children’s play area:


Two things should be done to preserve any children’s play area. Including one in their own back yard!


  1. Maintain its look and functionality.
  2. Keep it clean, freshly painted, and in excellent repair.


When these basic rules are not followed, problems tend to happen. Repeatedly! Because of the playground equipment!


  1. The play equipment may deteriorate, and fall apart.
  2. A child is found crying, because of suffering from a cut, splinter and/or bruises.
  3. Something much worse can occur.


A true story…


My mother was four years old. During a family reunion, she fell onto hard, sharp stones at the bottom of the park slide. She scraped and burned both knees and hands, one elbow, and her face. She bled a lot. Her parents rushed her to the local doctor’s office. She required stitches. Now, over seventy years of age, she still has visible scars.


Note: In the 1940s, playground slides, swings, merry-go-rounds, etc. were constructed of steel.Playground equipment ground areas were covered with stone. No playground equipment was constructed of flexible, padded, cushiony materials.


Protect our children. Make and keep their playgrounds safe!


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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved


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