How NOT to Replace an Escutcheon

Our downstair’s bathroom is a little retreat for me from the boys. It is a great place to catch up on my Country Living magazines and if I bring my iPhone with me I can check email. Best of all the boys know to respect my privacy (well, most of the time.)

When we first moved in Pretty Handsome Guy accidentally leaned against the TP holder and pushed it through the wall. I patched it and painted the brush stroke texture on the walls trying to hide the poor condition of the walls.

Unfortunately, spending that much time in that bathroom gave me lots of time to focus on all the imperfections. The uneven paint where the trim meets the wall, the dinged, scratched and pocked wall, the beech veneer vanity, and the NASTY RUSTY ESCUTCHEON.

Es-car-go what? An escutcheon is the metal collar that covers the hole in the wall where a plumbing pipe extends out of the wall.

So, in a spur of the moment decision, I decided to give the whole room a facelift. I know, from one little escutcheon to an entire room refresh, that’s how I roll.

First things first, I told that rusty eyesore that he was coming out TODAY!

I’ve replace the escutcheons on several of our shower heads. They are really easy to replace. Simply unscrew the shower head, slip off the old U-G-L-Y escutcheon and slip on the new one, then screw the shower head back on. Easy peasy!!! So, I figured replacing the toilet’s water supply line escutcheon would be just as easy.

First, I turned off the water to the whole house. Then I drained all the faucets (if you don’t drain the upstairs faucets as well as the downstairs, then you will have a lot of water being pulled down by gravity when you open up your supply line.

When the faucets ran dry, I placed a bucket under the water supply line (some water will still drip out), then removed the braided line going to the toilet.

Next l grabbed my super strength Irwin groove lock plyers. With the long handles and adjustable grip, these are my new “go to” pliers. I began to turn the water supply line, lefty loosey. I turned, and turned, and turned, and turned.

Finally, I realized that it wasn’t unscrewing. Ooops! I guess it wasn’t a threaded nut. (I will be checking that nut for the next few months to make sure that it isn’t leaking now that I loosened it.)

Okay, on to Plan B (because I am good to my word and I promise that escutchen that he was gone, TODAY!) I went back to my tool stash and I grabbed these suckas! That’s right escutcheon, quake in your boots!

These are my tin snips (okay they really need a more macho name like Tin Destroyer!) Escutcheon, say your goodbyes! And within one easy snip, that rusty, nasty ring was HISTORY!

To put the new one on I made a cut through the new ring and then rotated the two edges in opposite directions.

I slipped it over the supply line and bent it back into shape. By positioning the cut section on the bottom, you don’t even notice it!

AND WOW, look at how that new escutcheon just brightens up that little corner under the toilet. It even distracts your eye from the uneven trim paint and the dark purple walls! Ha, ha, yes, this is a true after pictures. I’ll be sharing with you more this week on “How to Prep a Room for Painting”; “How to Paint a Room Like a Professional”; “How to Paint Doors, the Right Way”; and maybe more.

Okay, gotta go, I have a few more finishing touches to put on my retreat half bathroom. Check back soon to see the progress.

36 replies
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      • Cheryl
        Cheryl says:

        Well he actually has a point. Either you were showing the before-and-after of the same toilet valve, or you weren’t. And it would have been odd for original plumber to install a water line like that above a sink, so your attempt to describe the disparity doesn’t make any sense on several levels. Methinks you’re just grabbing images off the net. Seriously pathetic.

      • Wendy
        Wendy says:

        Hey Cheryl!
        “Methinks” ur a mean person with a problem. Why so negative? She explained and if u review the photos u will understand. Would have been nice if u would have apologized.

  1. HudsonHero
    HudsonHero says:

    Mine is really gross too. I am glad I have a name for it now!
    I painted most the weekend at a friend’s new fix-it upper house and painting her doors and trim is next on her list. I hope your post on painting doors comes soon. 🙂

  2. ColleenwithMurals&More
    ColleenwithMurals&More says:

    This is exactly why I love your blog – you do things I’d never dream of doing, to things I never knew had names.

    Can’t wait to read how to paint doors. I’m sure I do it all wrong!

    Oh, btw, the last plumber visit included a shut-off valve right next to house 😉

  3. Cherie
    Cherie says:

    Ok.. now I must go look at those in each of my bathrooms. And now I know the word, I wont look like an idiot at Home Depot 😉 though I get that alot when describing thingamabobs and whatchamacallits.

  4. Bethanie
    Bethanie says:

    Ditto! I had no idea what you were referring to but I bit anyway. The way my bathroom looks, it’s probably the nicest thing. The world will never know. If Country Living came a-knocking, I’d have to politely refuse.

  5. Jill
    Jill says:

    They make escutcheons with a hinge. Then you won’t have to snip it. The toilet ones are notoriously difficult to remove.

  6. Paige
    Paige says:

    Okay, I’ll be honest. I read the post because I had no idea what the word meant and I was curious, but now I’m realizing we need to replace ours. Ha ha!

  7. Baye
    Baye says:

    I had to laugh when I read this. My husband who moved walls and the shower drain, put in a new drain and installed the new air tub, installed the new toilet, did the plumbing for an extra sink, did the cut outs for two medicine cabinets, etc. in remodeling our bathroom, left THAT rusty old piece in place. I almost fell over when I saw it! His thought was that no one was going to look down there anyway. I know he’s tired and just wants this whole thing finished. My thought was that there was no way that rusty thing was staying.

    It’s nice to know that if I’d lost that battle, I’d now be able to fix it!


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  1. […] How NOT to Replace an Escutcheon […]

  2. […] I decided to give my downstairs half bathroom a makeover, I knew I needed to paint the door as well. The easiest way to repaint a door is to remove it from […]

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