Here’s a phrase I don’t believe I’ve uttered even once in the last decade of DIYing..
That was easier than I expected.
Right? Because we all know the three unbreakable, indisputable Laws of DIY are:
1.) Things will always get worse before they get better.
2.) Oh, shit.
And, the (most important) one that follows the completion of every difficult project you didn’t think you could tackle…
3.) I’m a fucking badass.
So, you can imagine, as I prepared to tackle moving some of the electrical outlets for the mini-makeover in my downstairs bath, I was pretty much expecting the worse.
I heaved a deep sigh and thought, “Well, here we go again…” and then I got a little frowny and stomped off to Lowe’s for more wire and junction boxes. But, let me tell you something…
It was way easier than I expected.
(Did you just fall out of your chair? I pretty much did.)
Here are the two things that went unexpectedly right for me:
- There was enough extra wire tacked up inside the walls that I didn’t have to use the junction boxes or splice any additional wire in order to move the light fixture box or the outlet and switch.
- The new boxes were both– happily– located in the same wall cavity as the old boxes, which meant I didn’t have to drill through the studs to move the wires (which would have required significantly larger holes and more drywall patching.
Here’s what I did.
First, the electrical box that was currently set up for a vanity light needed to be swapped out for a typical lighting box, and also needed to be moved a few inches right and up to be centered over the sink. I used one of these round boxes meant for old construction…
The nice thing is they don’t need to be attached directly to a stud because they have little flanges that brace the box against the drywall. So all I needed to do was cut a perfectly round 4-1/8″ hole into the drywall without a 4-1/8″ hole saw…
And god bless my RotoZip.
Old box/new box…
From there it was just a matter of pulling the wires through, and hooking up the new fixture.
I thought it was going to be more difficult to remove the outlet and switch so that an actual square mirror could be hung over the sink without this weirdness…
But once again, it was far easier than I expected. I measured and drilled some test holes to find the next stud over that would support the new box. Used the RotoZip to cut the new hole…
And then I spent a lot of time like this…
It took less than five swear words before the old box was out, and the new box was in.
And, other than a few miscellaneous nail holes, this is all the patching I have to do…
I expected that to be a lot worse. A lot.
My tried-and-true method of patching drywall holes of this size includes a piece of scrap wood and some drywall screws.
I fasten the scrap in place to hold the drywall patch…
And there we go.
I’ll be doing a little taping and mudding after work this week, but the majority of this quick little makeover will be done before the weekend.
- Taping, mudding, and painting over drywall patches
- Hang the new mirror
- Another coat of paint on the doors
- Swapping out door hardware
- Staining tile grout white
- Putting the new storage cabinet and shower curtain (both ordered) in place
I’m not sure if the DIY gods are smiling upon me, or if the Universe is just giving me a little break after the last few horrendous weeks, but this is exactly the kind of project-therapy I needed.