Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bathroom Redo Breakdown

Thanks for your nice comments, pins and emails about the bathroom makeover!
You all just made my day.
Now, if I have to spend a day getting sick, I'll be able to do so in a much prettier environment. :)

As promised, here's the breakdown of what I did:

For the walls, I used Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams.  It's a warm, soothing gray with some putty undertones that keep it from being too sterile or cold.

Probably my favorite detail is this wall opposite the vanity:
I knew I wanted beadboard wainscoting, but when I bought the board and was ready to cut, I realized I would have to rip out and redo all the baseboards in the room for a seamless look.
OK, I started this makeover with my head in the toilet; I wasn't up for ripping out baseboards.
Enter one of the easiest DIY solutions out there:
I've had this roll from Lowe's for nearly a year now - I knew when I saw it I would want to try it out, but never had the occasion to.  Well, now I did and it was like BUTTAH.
The biggest draws for this for me were that it's paintable AND pre-pasted - all you have to do is measure and cut your pieces, then soak in water (I used my bathtub) for 30 seconds.
Lay it out and let the paste activate for about 5 minutes, then slap 'er up on the wall.  I used my hands to smooth out the bubbles and had an old towel on hand to sop up the excess water as I smoothed.
So once that was up and dried, I used pieces of primed MDF and some under-counter trim to create my own ledge. 

Mr. V. helped me nail it into the wall, and from there I simply caulked all the joints and seams (between the wallpaper and the ledge, on the ends, and also between the wallpaper and the baseboards).
I painted the wallpaper, the ledge and the trim all the same rich ivory (the same SW custom blend I used for trim in the basement, the laundry room, the Redhead's room and the Nursery update - can you tell I love it? :) )

I got the towel hooks from True Value and attached them to the mdf. to avoid putting more holes in the wall.
I just added them in where we had marked for the studs so I knew they would be evenly spaced.

For the vanity - the size and shape of it were right for the room, plus I really like the storage and the wood is a nice quality oak that will last for a long time.
I made 3 small-effort changes that made a big impact, in my opinion:

The most obvious is paint.  I used a black All Surface Enamel (latex based) from Sherwin Williams that I already had.

I know some people prefer a very glossy look for painted projects, but that's not my style.  It's very in right now, but like any trend, I believe the shiny lacquered look will have it's day and then be dated.  With this enamel, you get durability, nice wipe-ability, a rich, semi-gloss look, and it doesn't look "wet" or shiny.  Bonus in my opinion.

Many tutorials will tell you "how to paint ___ without having to sand!"
Can you do it?  Sure.
BUT, no matter what people say, you will get longer durability and FAR fewer chips/nicks/ etc. if you take the time to give your pieces a quick sand.  That's just a fact.
You don't have to sand all down to bare wood, but a general scuffing all over will give the primer and paint that extra "something" to grab onto, and that will make your work more worthwhile in the long run.
So, I gave the vanity a light sanding, primed with Kilz Stain-Blocking primer, and then 2 coats of paint.
Make sure you give the paint enough time to properly cure in between coats.  Again, it makes a difference.

I replaced the faucet after stalking the one I wanted from Lowe's and taking advantage of their bathroom sale. (I left this install up to Mr. V. because he's awesome)

The hardware I really like - and they weren't anything special or super expensive - just found them at Lowe's.

The towels are from Target and I didn't buy any other accessories - I just shopped the house.

This post is already too long, but we'll talk about the mirror soon.  You won't believe how easily and inexpensively you can update these big builder mirrors!

Have a great day!



  1. I have been going crazy trying to find the "perfect" gray for our home. How do you like the Mindful Gray? It is, for now, my top choice, but I think my eyes are playing tricks on me. Do you see any purple or mauve-ish undertones in it?

    I love your bathroom redo, by the way!
    We also have 90's stock cabinets, the big builder mirror, etc... I've been working up the nerve to commit to painting all of our cabinets. Do you always use SW paint? If so, which one? (Duration, Cashmere...)

  2. Hi Kristi! Thanks for the nice compliments!

    So far, I really love the Mindful Gray. Despite how it looks in a couple of the photos above, it's not too blue, which was my number one requirement. More of a "putty" gray. I don't see purple/mauve undertones in it, for what it's worth. It does change slightly with different lighting, so I would recommend putting a sample on the wall and living with it for a week before you commit.

    I don't *always* use SW paint, but it definitely is my favorite. I've had great luck with BM, too, but I think I keep going back to SW because I love the guys who work in my SW store :) The paint I used for the cabinets is the all-surface enamel mentioned above, the trim is SW's ProClassic line, and the Mindful Gray on the walls is from their Duration line - it's specifically recommended for kitchens and bathrooms.

    Hope this helps - Good Luck with your bathroom!