Clean up: our “second bathroom”, part two

Part one.

Okay, so the area in front of the outhouse is now safe to walk on.

What about the inside?

The very… colourful… inside.

I’d asked my mother about all the paper in there. She told me she put them there to make it pretty.

I… just don’t know what to say about that.

Like pretty much everything else around here, the outhouse was being used for storage.

The first thing I had to do, though, was check out the floor. Much to my surprise, it’s solid. I still plan to reinforce it, but there is nothing wrong with the floor boards.

Other than being really, really disgusting.

And that toilet seat…


This outhouse has actually been used a couple of times since we’ve moved here. Once or twice by my brother, who insisted on using it rather than going inside. Once by a poor guy who came out to service our internet that suddenly needed to go to the bathroom, but my daughter had just gone into the shower. He couldn’t wait for the bathroom to be available, and was actually willing to use this outhouse.

I still feel so bad about that. The poor guy!

The first order of business was to take everything out that was leaning in the corners.

Which included a folding closet door (minus one hinge), a length of copper pipe, a fluorescent light fixture, which I think still have bulbs in it, and several pieces of wood.

I might be able to use the bigger ones to reinforce the floor.

Oh, and more of that colourful paper that is all over the walls.

Then it was time to move the toilet paper.

Yes. I’m serious. That’s the toilet paper.

Well, not the rolled up paper with the tape on it. That was with the stuff stored in the corners.

When I was a kid, before we had an indoor bathroom, we used old catalogs, fliers, phone books, etc. as toilet paper. I didn’t think it was strange, since I knew nothing else. We didn’t buy toilet paper until we got an indoor bathroom, because this stuff couldn’t be flushed down the toilet.

While clearing things out, I emptied the medicine cabinet on the wall, too.

A 30 year old calendar page isn’t quite so strange when compared to a 46 year old Eaton’s Christmas catalog.

After moving the catalogs and whatnot away, I found this in the corner.

A pile of pine cones!

Also, my mother even covered the top of the toilet seat box with colourful paper!

When I saw the pine cones, my first through was that squirrels had got in and were starting to make a winter stash. Which was a surprise, since this outhouse is actually pretty animal proof. I don’t know where squirrels would have got in.

There was something I missed, however.

Do you see that tiny little something in the corner, a different colour from the pine cones?

When I started sweeping the cones away, I found this.

A mermaid!

I now think that perhaps my late brother’s kids may have played in here and left the pile of cones and mermaid behind, forgotten. If true, then this may have been here for more than 10 years. Probably quite a bit more! However it got here, when we are done with cleaning up and setting up the outhouse, this is going to get a place of honour for display! 😀 More “found object” art… 😉

Once everything was cleared out, it was time to take all the paper off the walls.

At that point, I was starting to really wish I could wear a mask. I tried to be careful not to kick up much dust, but there was no way to completely avoid it.

The outhouse might have been critter proof, but it was not moth proof! As I pulled sheets of paper off, I kept finding moths hiding behind them. Dozens of them.

They did not appreciate being woken up!

Moths were not the only surprise I found behind the paper.

I suspect this was the first attempt at “beautifying” the outhouse. This was right in the middle of the back wall, and would have been the first thing a person saw on opening the door. Then it got covered over with the colourful paper.

I … don’t know what to say. 😀

Yay!! It’s all done! All the paper is gone!

I was going to say, it already looks a lot better, but… no. It still looks disgusting.

Time to break out the big guns.

It’s power washing time!

I hosed down the entire inside, trying to get into every crevice. Which is not easy to do when trying to get the front, on either side of the doorway, while standing outside.

I sure as heck wasn’t going to be hosing it down while standing inside!!

That part took a while.

Okay, NOW I can say, it looks a lot better!

Also, that toilet seat is actually white. It’s been painted brown.

I… don’t know what to say.

Now that it’s have it’s initial cleaning done, I’m actually impressed with how sound this is. Ideally, we would jack it up higher and put it on blocks, rather than leave it on the beams that it’s on, but this is not meant to stay.

The next thing that needs to be done is to scrub the inside. That will be the time to get rid of all the bits of paper and packing tape stuck to the tacks and staples used to tack them to the walls. I forgot to hose down the inside of the medicine cabinet, but that’s okay. We will likely take that down for a while.

While the whole thing needs a paint job, the plan is to use a highly durable paint on the inside, that can handle scrubbing.

In a LIGHT colour! My daughter was suggesting a robin’s egg blue, but I’d be happy with anything that makes it brighter in there. Also, a new toilet seat. There’s nothing “wrong” with this one, except… ew.

I checked the pit, of course. It does need to be emptied. It’s also completely composted and level – being flooded out with melted snow for years did have a plus side. The cat litter compost is behind the outhouse, so it can be added to that. There are those that recommend using human waste as garden compost, but that is something we will never do. Who knows what medications a person might have been on when they left their “deposits”. While it is not urgent to empty the pit, it is definitely something I want to do before anyone actually uses it again.

Oh, we also have to do a bit of work on the door. It needs new hingles, as the current ones are sagging. It would probably be a good idea to calk around some areas, so no more moths will get in. Particularly around the screen covered opening at the top. I actually saw a moth squeezing through the wood around there!

The biggest job that needs to be done is the roof. The shingles have moss growing on them. Given the small size of the roof, however, I think we have options to modify. There are some scrap pieces of plywood in the barn that should be big enough. After removing the old shingles, I am thinking of adding some plywood that is longer than the current roof size, to make an overhang above the door. We also have lots of leftover pieces of metal roofing material that can be cut to size and used instead of using shingles.

The final touch I’d like to add is a solar powered light. I’ve been eyeballing some solar powered hanging light fixtures, thinking of the cordwood building we plan to make, and that can be used here just as well. That would be a huge improvement over using candles or flashlights, like we did when I was a child! 😀

If we do this right, this outhouse should not only last for years, but actually be pleasant to use.

The Re-Farmer

3 thoughts on “Clean up: our “second bathroom”, part two

  1. Pingback: Well, it’s a good thing we cleaned up the outhouse | The Re-Farmer

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