We need help refreshing an old bathroom.

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There is a wallpaper border and some mold/ mildew in the ceiling and walls.
What's the best way to remove border and do we need to use chlorox before using kilz and then paint? Most of the room is tile and we plan on leaving that as is.
Also is there a way to replace the broken towel bar?

q we need help refreshing an old bathroom
  10 answers
  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 03, 2018
    Would this work for the broken towel bar? From the picture looks like you just need to put a new bar into the towel ends if that right?

  • For the mold and mildew, vinegar is your solution. Vinegar kills mold spores, bleach does not.




    For the wallpaper border, rent a steamer to get it off, score and steam! Any tool rental will have what you need.

    Glad you are keeping the vintage tile! Yes, the towel bar can be repaired or replaced with some care.

  • Janice Janice on Jul 03, 2018
    Hi Janet! Cool bathroom! You can remove the border fairly easily by scratching it with a wallpaper scoring tool and then either using the hottest water you can stand on a sponge or spraying just the border. Let it set for about 10-15 minutes and then find an edge of the wallpaper and start pulling it off. I'm assuming the border is old and probably not the easily removable kind. The border may come off in small chunks but you can do a bit at a time. Yes, wash your walls well to remove the mold then spray with a bleach/water mixture to disinfect and kill the mold, then rinse well and apply a the Kilz primer. They now have special paints that repel moisture that can be used in bathroom areas. I can't tell from the picture whether you towel bar is ceramic but if it is, you may be able to locate another one at a Habitat for Humanity home supply store. Love that tile in your bathroom!
    I hope you'll post the outcome of your redo so we can all see how great it turns out.

  • Ken Ken on Jul 03, 2018
    You need to have a clean dry wall before painting. Wetting the border with water and wallpaper remover, vinegar, dish liquid or some other recommended concoction will help you to remove it. Your bathroom does not have sufficient ventilation and while you are working on it you should consider improving ventilation so your new walls will not grow undesirable plant life.

    Those brackets do not appear to be cemented into the wall so there should be a screw accessible from the bottom. If not, try a gentle tap upward with a soft hammer or wooden mallet. In my experience you will have to buy a complete towel bar set to get the replacement bar.

    • See 1 previous
    • Flipturn Flipturn on Jul 04, 2018
      When you purchase your fan, get the quietest one that your budget can afford. It will make a huge difference when you don't have to holler over a noisy cheapo one just to be heard by your spouse. Go the extra step and install a timer so that it shuts off automatically. The first time you are in bed almost falling asleep and realize that you don't have to get up to shut the fan off, you will know that it has been money well spent.

  • Lots of good advice so far. My thought is to install an exhaust fan to prevent the mildew, if you don't have one.

  • Julie  McCuiston Julie McCuiston on Jul 03, 2018

    You have lots of great advice here but I wanted to share some fun ideas for your very cool vintage tile....https://www.pinterest.com/pin/553520610436024094/?lp=true

  • Julie  McCuiston Julie McCuiston on Jul 03, 2018

    You have lots of great advice here but I wanted to share some fun ideas for your very cool vintage tile....https://www.pinterest.com/pin/553520610436024094/?lp=true

  • Ginny Ginny on Jul 03, 2018
    I like the old ceramic tiles and would go for new accessories, shower curtain and towels.

  • Oliva Oliva on Jul 03, 2018
    You need to install or upgrade to a very good bathroom exhaust fan with auto humidity sensor. Fan should run during shower, and for a minimum of 20 min., after. Wipe ceiling and painted walls with microfiber cloth to remove excess water. Your colors are fabulously retro! Tile work of that quality is generally not found, today!

  • Ana Bacallao Ana Bacallao on Jul 26, 2018

    I think for starters you need to remove the wall paper border and then thoroughly clean the parts where you have mold. If you can, installing an extractor fan is a good idea if the humidity concentrates in this bathroom. Once you have cleaned, I would a good paint primer such as Kilz and then paint with a color of your choice with this green. I particularly like the very pale minty green on the color chart below. You can then add pretty new towels and shower curtain to liven up the room.