Friday, December 30, 2011

How to: Disassemble your shower trim

Okay. Someone asked for a tutorial. Here is the best I can do.

How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

Begin disassembling your shower by pulling out all of the rubber braces from both the inside and outside of the shower. If your shower does not have these, I guess you just omit this … and maybe find another tutorial because I can’t tutor you on a subject I don’t understand myself. ;)

How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

Once you have removed all the rubber braces things, you’ll want to carefully begin unscrewing the different pieces from one another. WARNING: This is a two person job, minimum. No exceptions. You cannot do this yourself. Even if you are Superman.

How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

We started at the back corner of the shower, opposite the door, pulled the top section off, and then kind of followed an obvious order on what to take apart next. PLEASE make a note of where each piece goes and how it fits back together.
There are so many pieces … and it’s difficult to put the puzzle back together once you are done. Difficult. Not impossible, just difficult.

Once you have all of the pieces taken apart and your shower is totally disassembled, you’ll need to start soaking. Soaking? Yes. Soaking. Our solvent of choice was Xylene (you can find it at Home Depot). That stuff eats through plastic cups in 3 minutes flat. This is good news … cause you’ll have an awful lot of silicone caulking that will need to be soaked and eaten up by the Xylene. Soak all the parts with silicone in the Xylene for about an hour. Then, it will be loose enough to scrap right off with a razor blade.

After you have successfully removed every shred of silicone (and I mean every shred – paint will not stick to silicone … NOTHING sticks to silicone), you can begin sanding. Use a very fine grit sand paper and lightly sand all of the surfaces of the trim.

Clean and dry all trim pieces … and then … rig up a ridiculous apparatus in the garage so that you can begin spraying all the pieces. Your ghetto rig job should look something like this:

How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

(Don’t judge me based on my garage right now. We are in the middle of re-doing our entire house … by ourselves. This is our workshop for now.)

Superman took fishing line (you can use very thin string as well) and tied several pieces back and forth across 4 boards in the garage. Then, he laid the pieces of trim on top of those and sprayed the top and bottom and sides all at the same time. (You’ll want to string your lines high enough that you can get under them to spray them at the same time.)

When he was finished, there was just tiny little spots that needed to be touched up with a small brush, which I did after the shower was put back together. (I just sprayed some of the spray paint into the lid of the can and used a small water color brush to touch up the imperfections) You’ll need to do a few touch ups after you get the shower put back together, so don’t panic if you chip any paint in the process. Once you touch it up, it holds up REALLY well. We’re a month in (and about 50 showers in) and there is no visible wear. :D

When you put the shower back together, you need to make sure that you put silicone caulking under each piece that touches the surface of the shower, whether it is on the floor or wall. Then, use silicone caulk to caulk all of the edges of the trim around the entire shower.

Like I said, it’s intense. But, totally worth it! :D

And, you can enjoy your very own before and after pictures!!
How to Spray Paint Your Ugly Brass Shower

32 comments:

  1. Would this same technique work on door knobs too?

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  2. Yes! It is one of the very first posts on this blog ... we re-did all our hardware throughout the entire house. Only cost us a few cans of spray paint. :D

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  3. How did you soak the disassembled frame with the solvent? We have taken apart our shower, but are at a stand still as to how to clean this stuff. We are on a spray painting whirlwind in our house, but did not think the shower project through. No worries, we have an extra shower to use for the time being. :)

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  4. Okay. I just had to call my husband because I couldn't remember!

    He took a big orange bucket (like, a 5 gallon one from Home Depot) and poured several inches of Xylene into it. Then, he stood the pieces of shower trim in the bucket to soak, one end at a time. I think he left them soaking for an hour or so, then pulled them out one at a time and used a razor blade to scrape the silicon off. He said it doesn't 'dissolve' the silicon, it just breaks the bond between the silicon and metal so that it is easier to scrape off.

    Then, for the silicon that was on the sides of the trim (not the tips/ends) he just rubbed those areas with Xylene and scraped it off with a razor blade. He said the sides were harder, but you have to get all the silicon off completely.

    And, he wanted me to remind you that he took a fine grit sand paper (steel wool would probably work too) and roughed up every piece of trim on every side. He didn't worry so much about the internal areas that would be covered anyway, but all the exterior surfaces of the trim got a good rubbing with sandpaper so that the paint would stick.

    Now that your shower is taken apart, you are in the precarious position of following this all the way through (which, is a good thing!). Just make sure to take all the time needed to prep the metal and you won't regret it. And then, remember that when you are reassembling the shower, little spots might chip here and there, but it's only because you are clanking metal on metal. Once you get it all put back together ... you can touch up those areas (just spray a little paint into a cup and then brush on with a little watercolor brush) and caulk all the edges with silicon and be done. :D

    I think I put this somewhere in one of the two blogs about this, but my husband spent 2 entire days just prepping that metal trim. And there was not a shred of silicon ANYWHERE on it when he got done. Just making sure that you are thorough with your prepping. ;)

    GOOD LUCK!!! I'm so excited for you!!!

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  5. I don't know if it is silicon or silicone. Sorry. Comments don't have spell check. haha.

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  6. Aw, crap. My husband just said to soak it in a metal bucket ... like, a big pot or something. Not plastic, if you can.

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  7. Wow. I'm so glad to find this (through pinterest). I love what you've done and I'm going to replicate as much as I can (not sure about the shower, though . . .). My builder's grade bathroom and brass hardware everywhere else are going! Thank you!

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  8. Wondering how many cans you used in your bathroom?? Our bathroom is EXACTLY the same....circa 1995 and brass-happy. We coincidentally already bought a can one day to do our EXACT SAME chandelier but haven't gotten to it yet...

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  9. I think it was about 1 can of spray paint for the shower trim, 2 for the mirror and cabinets ... and maybe 1 more for odds and ends throughout. It's been awhile. I'm going to say 4-5 cans should do the job for sure. That's my final answer. ;)

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  10. Hey Janette, I'm a new follower. I did the hardware on one of my doors just as a trial and I'm so pleased with the way it turned out. Thanks for the posts about it! I'm also trying to re-do my house (in Fort Worth BTW, hey neighboor!) on a budget, if you'd like to check out my blog.

    http://wilkerdos.blogspot.com/

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  11. I read this article after it came out and am in the process of buying a house with that same gold shower. I love glass doors, hate gold anything. As soon as I started thinking about what to do about it I remembered you. Through some smart googling I found your blog. How is the shower holding up? Does it still look good or is the paint chipping at all??

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    1. Yes!!! It has held up GREAT! Looks the same today as it did 18 months ago. I really need to do a hardward/shower trim update post for everyone. Everyone is always asking ... and the answer is YES! It's worth it. It holds up. It looks great. :D

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  12. Wow, I am pinning this. AND I am following - can't resist! You are so fearless & creative. Glad I found you!

    Warmly, Michelle
    Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust

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  13. Where did you find the frame for your mirror?

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  14. Would it be possible to spray paint the brass shower enclosure without taking it apart? Taping and putting up plastic on all the glass and surrounding area? The fumes would probably be bad and it would be messy, but maybe easier than taking the whole shower apart and having to re-silicone it all? Thanks for sharing your opinion :)

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  15. I'm wondering the same thing as Christine...any thoughts on just taping and putting plastic sheeting up everywhere instead of taking the whole shower apart?

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  16. Ok. So I finally braved this task as we are getting ready to sell our home and that was the last of the brass to go.
    I DONOT recommend painting indoors. Fumes were horendous, not to mention the "dust" that lands on everything. Clean up was a beast.
    I am about to disassemble the frame and start over. Why? Because my spray-happy self decided no sanding was needed. WRONG! Just taking paper and tape off bumped it and it chipped. I absolutely refuse to put myself through all the fumes and mess again...so as I stated...going outside to sand and repaint.
    I do believe the final result will be 100% worth it bc it looks amazing! Just gotta get a better grip on the metal.

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  17. Hi Janette,
    I'm looking to do the same thing. The idea of spraying paint inside my bathroom that has no ventilation except a fan makes my lungs hurt. Can you go over how you guys put the glass back into the frame with the rubber strips? Thank you!

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  18. How did th rubber strips go back

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  19. Wow, just changing the color of the metal made a big difference. It really stands out, and makes the shower look really nice. We have a shower kind of like that, and I think if we painted ours like that, it would look a lot nicer.

    http://www.ridgeglass.com/Shower-Enclosures-Lake-Wales-FL.html

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  20. I may have missed it, but what paint do you use?

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  21. What if you just taped the shower glass, and painted the exposed areas. Terrible? Lazy? I can't imagine taking it apart, but hate our "brass" shower trim.

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    1. That's sounds reasonable to me if you can spray all parts. I need to do the same.

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    2. That's sounds reasonable to me if you can spray all parts. I need to do the same.

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    3. Have either of you tried painting without disassembling the frame?

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    4. Have either of you tried painting without disassembling the frame?

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  22. Wonder if you could chalk paint it and not take it apart?

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  23. What brand of spray paint did you use?

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  24. Did you have to buy new rubber braces? I'm regrouting my shower now and have clear rubber bracing that is really gross. Having trouble finding where to get a replacement.

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