Planning: Master Bathroom

Since I’ve changed so much on the planning of this bathroom, decided to re-post this and move it up as we’ll be working on this project for the next 6 weeks or so.

The trend with master bathrooms is the “spa feel.” I translate that to mean: calming, tranquil and soothing with the almost bland, rich neutrals you see at resort hotels. From viewing a lot of bathrooms on Pinterest (see my board for inspiration) and talking to local suppliers of cabinets and countertops, these are some common themes:

Look for medium to light wall tones. Venetian plaster seemed to be too heavy so I removed it from the plan;

Lots of cream/white especially in mouldings, tubs and sinks;

Granite or marble countertops (in lighter colors esp. marble), many with rectangular sinks (especially in white), either vessels (especially in glass or white), or undermounts (in white or cream). BTW vessel sinks can be hard to clean the outside of the bowl (try removing toothpaste) so I reserved ours for the powder room.

Granite or marble countertops. Lighter colored, neutral tone instead of strong patterns;

High end looking faucets (usually in dark colors such as oil rubbed bronze) with shower heads that offer more then just a handheld such as rain showers, jets etc…;

Dimmer and accent lighting with chandeliers and sconces;

Tubs are moving to stand alones; Showers are becoming bigger;

More open storage options are being added with built ins around the tub and vanity.

What you won’t see – wallpaper or dark colors and patterns (i.e. burgandy, browns, wallpaper on walls). Busy rooms with lots of color contrasts.

Current layout of the master bathroom won’t change:

The vanity has been upgraded with a new cream paint finished glazed with brown, and added wood detailing. Look here for the popular How-To post using Annie Sloan Chalk paint and Dark Walnut stain.

Walls – Lowes’ Waverly Tawny Green WV36007 a mid-tone green that errs on the khaki-tan side of the green family as opposed to the yellow or blue. It should go well with the cabinet and countertop colors.

Ceiling – Lowes’ Brushed Metal EE2069 Pale Glow – a metallic and reflective pale yellow.

Mouldingcornice moulding will be put over the four doors (two closets, toilet door, and entrance door). I had considered replacing the closet doors with vintage, but they were too expensive. Will reserve that idea for the kitchen’s pantry door.

The entire bathroom will have a crown and base moulding combination:

Lighting –  a chandelier over the vanity and new sconces.

$175 on closeout sale

Vanity – I decided to go with a much lighter counter color… from my original darker, busier pattern:

With a moulding curve over the vanity like this:

which will match the curve over the tub:

Shower – needs an updated showerhead combo in oil rubbed brass. The tile needs cleaning and re-caulking.

Toilet – will install the same one we did in the Powder Room. Really love the easy clean features on this toilet. I’ll replace the toilet roll hanger and put one double towel hanger in the tub alcove. Perhaps a shelf under the cabinet in the toilet room?

Linens – Spa white!

The master bathroom should wrap by the end of February.

Project: Board and Batten interior walls

Board and Batten seems to be really hot right now in decorating. Board and Batten consists of horizontal and vertical boards in an evenly spaced pattern. There are several blogs with instructions on how to do it so I won’t go into a lot of great detail here except for some additional tips and just a general summary.

Board and Batten goes well with the vintage styled floor tile

If your walls are smooth you won’t need a wall board, but if they are textured (ours were) you will need a wall board to achieve the smooth surface look which is essential. We bought primed composite board.

For horizontals, we selected primed MDF 1×4’s. Buying primed boards helped us cut down on the amount of painting needed by at least 2, maybe 4 coats.

Our vertical boards were also 1×4 but you could have gone with a 1×3 or a 1×2, depending on the look you wanted. To experiment, we laid out the boards on the aisle floor at Lowes in a grid pattern. I went chunkier with all the same size asI didn’t want it competiting with the floor grout.

Because we picked 1×4’s for verticals and horizontals, the back of the verticals were reduced in thickness by using a table saw. This way when they sat on top of the baseboard all surfaces would be level.

Vertical on baseboard

If the verticals are not thinner then the baseboard, when placed on top of the wallboard they will project (which I think is sloppy). If you don’t have a table saw, and don’t want the verticals projecting then pick a thicker baseboard or thinner verticals.

Wall boards are installed first. Adhesive caulk was placed on the back of the board before being mounted to the wall. Drywall screws were installed in areas that would later be covered by other boards and we were sure to hit some studs when mounting.

When you measure out the placement of the verticals in your pre-planning you can use a stud finder to locate studs and grid out your design before nailing.

Toilet area with Board and Batten

Do this project with a compressor and nail gun. We did it with nail and hammer and it took a lot longer and we had larger nails holes to cover. BTW Lowes has a compressor and nail gun for $59 and Home Depot one for $69 for Black Friday.

Vertical boards installed in areas with no stud, need adhesive caulk applied to the back before being mounted. Additional nails just keep it in place until the glue dries completely.

A 1×2 is placed across the top of the board and batten. Use a line of wood glue and then nail into place. A piece of cove moulding is placed underneath for more decoration.

Moulding, trim and boards in our project had to be worked around light switches and the toilet hook up. Here we angled the end corner to make it safer in the bathroom:

After you fill in the nail holes with wood putty, and it dries, sand smooth. Everything was painted a bright white twice, then a paintable (white) caulking was applied in the board seams. Paint again.

To make painting go faster buy primed materials, paint a coat on the materials before installing, use a 2 inch sash brush to cut in on the edges, and a cabinet foam roller on a pole to save your back (shown here without the roller). Using a long handle will really save your back and speed things up!

With white, board and batten you can go with a vibrant wall color such as this pretty powerful yellow. The white offset this bright color and makes the room appear more white (photos are showing a bit more yellow then in reality).

View as you exit the bath

While it took longer then expected (doesn’t it always?) we both think we will be using this idea in our Master Bedroom to provide more drama on the wall behind the bed. But next time we’ll have a nail gun!

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! ~ ~

Project: Cornice of Crown moulding over door

I posted about some overhead door moulding cornices that we saw on the Parade of Homes and that we already did a large moulding Cornice on the inside, over the front door. I’ve had a lot of hits on those pages and since there is so much interest, here is a DIY Tutorial on how we did it.

First, we sketched out what we were going to do, along with planning measurements for the moulding’s height and width and calculations for lumber. For two door cornices (one above the pantry door in the kitchen, and the other, the under-stair closet in the front entry hall) we needed 6′ of trim moulding and 8′ of Crown, and all the lumber came out to be about $36.

 

Using your level, mark the moulding pieces where you will take it off:

Use a mat knife to cut the paint/caulking seal around the top piece of door moulding. This makes it easier to remove.

Level the top of the vertical moulding pieces with a small hand saw such as a Coping Saw.

Once all the top trim is removed, pull out any leftover nails and measure the width (left to right form the outside of each vertical moulding) for a total width.

To do this project you need three types of wood – crown moulding, base or trim moulding, and a board that fits the size of your project’s height.

Cut a horizontal board the width you measured earlier. Sand or rasp smooth the ends and any rough edges.

Cut the small, bottom trim. This is a 45 degree cut using a radial arm saw. You can also use a miter box but it is a bit more time consuming and you need a steady hand. Do the front piece first, then the two, smaller side pieces.

These pieces are assembled at what will become the bottom of your horizontal board. Wood glue is applied to the end pieces, and they are nailed in using a finishing nail. Tip: if not using a finishing nail gun with a compressor, pre-drill a smaller diameter hole (i.e. pilot hole) for your nail to use as a guide.

The middle section also gets some wood glue and is nailed into place with finishing nails (through pilot holes) onto the large horizontal board.

Repeat with the Crown Moulding. Crown Moulding is also cut at a 45 degree angle but takes some special handling which I will cover in a later post. If this is your first time working with Crown Moulding be sure to research some videos to show you how – it’s not impossible but does take some careful planning and know how.

Again, glue, attach and nail the Crown at the ends first. Ends are attached using smaller finishing nails (or brads) as the Crown moulding is too thin for the larger finishing nails.

The corners need to be attached to each other for support (nail shows diagonal nail path, but we used a smaller nail then shown).

It takes a little extra time, but drilling a pilot hole let’s nails easily go in.

Finishing nails are recessed using a nail-setter.

After the Crown moulding was nailed into place, the corners were taped with painters tape and it was left to dry for a few hours. After glue is set, use wood putty applied with your finger into the recessed nail holes and the joining corners of moulding.

…and after it dries, it’s sanded smooth.

It’s painted first with a brush to get into all the lines of the moulding. Because this is bare wood, the paint is soaked up quickly; if you prefer you could use primer at this stage. Two additional coats are applied with a 4″ cabinet foam roller; generally, I give a light sanding between coats for a very smooth finish.

Tip: it’s much easier to paint before it goes up!

Now you are ready to get your Cornice up on the door. First, drill pilot holes and push in your finishing nails so they are aligned correctly. There generally is a stud running the same direction as the side moulding so be sure to attach along the side for extra, holding strength.

Construction Adhesive on the back is helpful.

Set on top of the door and make sure it is centered. Finish hammering in the nails, recess the nail heads, fill with wood putty, let dry, sand smooth and give it all one last paint coat. A line of interior caulking on the inside bottom of the door gives a clean look.

Pantry door with new overhead moulding – the paint on the left is allen + roth Rock ar720, the paint on the right is the old color. We are waiting on some drywall repair and then that side will also be painted with the new color (just couldnt’ wait though!). View through the formal dining room doorway to the pantry door:

View from kitchen to the entry hall, showing closet door on left, and front door on right.

Entry door with a larger, overhead Cornice moulding (the moulding in the middle covers a seam) which was about $125 due to the height of the board used and the size of the crown moulding used..

LOVE IT! And only $18 each for the smaller Cornices! Well worth the money investment especially if you have higher ceilings; the cornices draw your eye right up, enhancing the height of the room.

BTW if you want something simpler, Lowes is now selling a kit (called Archetype Over Door and Window Moulding) found in the moulding section of the store. It’s not as fancy but would be easier for those who don’t want to do all the work shown above.

Project: Entry Door with Crown Moulding

When we built the house we opted out of a lot of windows that would have framed the door. We are still glad we did for privacy sake, but it does leave the front entry looking a bit drab.

After the Parade of Homes tour when we saw alot of moulding over the doorways (i.e. Cornice), we decided to build our own. Husband did it and I didn’t get any shots during the process – he also picked out a massive bit of Crown Moulding for the project – so big it didn’t fit into the saw!

He built it in three pieces – the bottom horizontal piece under the window had two lines of moulding; a half moon cut out that fitted behind the moulding of the first, base piece; and the top piece with the crown. A piece of moulding over the half circle window hides the joinery of the top and middle piece.

I painted it twice before it went up. Afterwards, finishing nails were recessed, filled with wood putty, sanded and it was painted again. Price was about $125 for materials.

Wow! It makes a huge difference and says, “hey look! here’s a door!”

front doorway with overhead crown moulding

crown moulding over entry door

Smaller, but similar, moulding projects will be done over the closet (entry hall) and the pantry (kitchen). See the DIY, step by step tutorial on this type of over door, moulding project!

Want to see more about moulding projects? There’s more on the blog right here

Project: decorative ceiling for the dining room

As part of the entire dining redo, we wanted to add a lot of drama and sparkle in the formal dining room. Part of that solution was putting up the same specialty metallic paint we did in the downstairs bath (Pearl, Blue Winter Fox).

Since this rectangular room is pretty much only suited to the same shaped table, a rectangle is marked off that will later be framed out with moulding trim. This was an issue actually because this room has a sofit along one of the shorter end walls. Should we center the rectangle off the entire room or the section minus the sofit? After playing around with some graph paper and marking everything out – we ended up marking it off via the room minus the sofit.

graph paper can really help!

The old chandelier and circular ceiling medallion were removed. The area for the new pendant lights was marked out and a new electrical box installed and joined into the original electrical box so one switch would operate both.

The textured ceiling must be smoothed with plaster before the Pearl paint is applied. Two thin coats of plaster, were used, each sanded smooth between coats. Afterwards a priming coat of gray paint was applied in the rectangle since raw plaster sucks up paint, this extended the higher priced speciality paint. It also prevented any white showing through the silver Pearl.

Pearl paint is applied with a brush in random criss cross strokes (think X). When it is tacky, (almost dry, experiment) we burnished with a masonry float and then left to dry.

BTW the Brush Pearl is a dull sheen – if you want shiney, you won’t get it with this paint. I would have preferred a bit more shine but hubby likes it so I’m happy.

Trim moulding frames the new rectangle. It is attached by pre-drilling a few areas for nail holes and applying a caulking adhesive on the back of the trim before it was placed on the ceiling where it was nailed into place (use finishing nails so no predominant nailheads show). Nails are recessed and then filled in, then sanded, then painted over. Trim paint is Chef White.

An earlier post went into details about how the retro chandeliers – originally hung on a swag chain with foo-fahs and fake crystals – were converted to these. This is only part of the entire room redo so check back for more coming soon!

Want to see more about base moulding and moulding projects? There’s more on the blog right here

Project: glazing the bathroom cabinet (black over gray)

The original cabinet in the powder room was standard builder work. Though made of nice oak, it was just a box that hung on the wall. With the high ceiling, I always felt it should be a taller to draw the eye upwards.

Hubby made a box out of Aspen to mount on top of the existing cabinet. The carved work was recycled from an old vanity harp with very decorative moulding which I had bought years ago ($20), thinking I would make a shelf out of it. The edge of one piece of the molding was damaged so we used molding epoxy to shape the end piece.

The new box was attached to the wall, and molding trimwork used at the top and bottom of the old cabinet to make the unit appear as one.

Since the original cabinet had been stained and coated with a protective finish, it had to be sanded down to a point where all the old stain and varnish was completely broken and ready to receive paint. We goofed by not working hard enough at it and the first coat ended up peeling! DON’T SKIP SANDING AND PREPPING!

Danielle Hirsch (formerly of Color Splash) has a video here about cabinet doors. She recommends cleaning, sanding, (and on the show – not this video) priming with an oil-based as the first coat, covered with latex paint.

If you want a protective cover coat, and used latex paint, use a water-based poly (good) or water based varnish (better) – preferably applied with a paint sprayer. If you use an oil based over latex it will yellow the overall look. Oil based varnishes and poly’s also will yellow as they have a natural amber tint.

I apply latex paint with a foam roller designed for cabinet applications along with a 2″ inch bristle paint brush (to push into the crevices). I like the foam because it leaves no marks when you make the last pass.

In this case the undercoat color was Valspar Waverly Classics – Gull W38006A. The gray was lighter then I wanted the end product which was deliberate as I knew the glaze would darken it somewhat.

Thickly apply the Valspar’s Antiquing Glaze, a black glaze over an area you can work in about 15 minutes (dilute with their clear glaze for longer working time if you need more then 15 minutes) .

With a clean rag (cut up t-shirt), work the glaze into the crevices with a circular motion. The crevices is where you will want the glaze to remain so you remove the glaze from flat surfaces.

If you have removed too much glaze, just reapply with your paintbrush, working it back into the crevices.

The end wipe should be in the direction of the wood. For example the long sides were an even stroke all the way across; the short sides an even stroke. Match the wood grain with your strokes and lift off at the end so there is no end mark with your rag or brush (similar to dragging).

click photo for closeup comparison

Once the second door is finished, the two doors are compared to make sure the glaze looks the same on both doors. That’s why it’s best to have one person to do the project, the amount of pressure, amount removed, will be more consistent.

 
Glazed detail on moulding
Three coats of wipe-on, water based poly with the 2nd coat steel wooled. If this bathroom had a tub/shower, I would have used a different topcoat as the wipe-on poly isn’t extremely durable but will be fine for the light use of this room. 

Want to see more about base moulding and moulding projects? There’s more on the blog right here

Want to see more about cabinets? There’s more on the blog right here….

bathroom crown moulding

We selected a crown moulding that was a primed composite with a vine pattern (right) from Lowes and a decorative accent moulding (Colonial, left).

We also picked up the speciality corner pieces which were supposed to make the job easier on fitting the corners — I would not recommend using them. We did and they were a pain! It would have been easier and cheaper just to cut the crown molding and fit it using the miter box!

Our plan had been to extend the molding using another piece but found with this type of crown moulding was that it didn’t really butt up well when fitting it against base mouldings. We eventually found the Colonial accent moulding and once it went up it look stunning!

Another thing to keep in mind is that the more ornate the moulding, the harder it will be to paint it without getting globs in the recesses when using a brush or foam roller (vs. paint sprayer).

The vine pattern was a bit tricky and we ended up using a foam roller (with little paint) over the projecting pieces, and filling back with a paint brush with very little paint. Since we were using white over white primer it worked out but if you were going to go a different color a paint sprayer would be a better option.

TIP! I do give the moulding two coats of paint, then put it up, fill in nail holes, sand and then paint again. If you paint it before attaching it will make the end paint job a lot easier.

click photo for larger photo

The ceiling was done in Valspar Pearl, a speciality paint in Blue Winter Fox. We had considered using tin tiles but decided that cost wise it wouldn’t be smart – the silver metal appearance gives us the same wow factor without the additional money and hassle of installing such a ceiling.

The walls are Lowes Venetian Plaster Aquamarina #67 – both paint techniques require smooth surfaces to look well.

Want to see more about crown moulding and moulding projects? There’s more on the blog right here