Cabinet doors for the kids bathroom

Husband did make me some new cabinet doors for the overjohn cabinet and the sink base cabinets for the kids bathroom as part of the major remodel (we had installed a new ceramic tile floor, new lighting, new counter, new board and batten walls, and a new toilet. If you search here, you can see the entire blog posts list for bathrooms). Those were painted and mounted this weekend. One of those – long dragging out projects that no one wants to do but needs to get done….

kids bathroom sink cabinet after

kids_bathroom_bathroom_cabinet_before_after

I wanted them replaced because I didn’t like the builders standard arch cabinets and wanted something that better matched the theme of the bathroom which was rectangular. I was going to buy them but the shipping alone was more than the doors! I talked to someone building them, but again thought it was rather high. Husband came to the rescue and just made them.

The overjohn cabinet went from arched wooden doors to painted white rectangular frames with frosted glass inserts. The frosted glass echoes the new mosaic backsplash tile which has a combination of frosted glass and marble squares.

kids_bathroom_overjohn_cabinet_before_after

kids bathroom over toilet original cabinet

No construction pics as I wasn’t in town when he built them.

To wrap it up we need to get two towel rings, one for each sink and a towel bar in the bath area. I want to get some bath mats but that pretty much wraps it up with a hamper. This is were builders and architects don’t think things through – this bathroom is really too narrow for a hamper, but a hamper we must have so it will go in the main area and be a bit of an eyesore. When designing rooms PLEASE think of function! Where will furniture, lamps, needed accessories go??

mosaic tile for bathroom backsplash

I’ve been out of town for about 10 days, however, hubby got the new mosaic backsplash tile installed in the “kids” bathroom. This is the extra bathroom upstairs which we are nearing completion with just a few things to finish such as the cabinet doors and repainting walls in a lighter yellow color.

We picked some with white, gray and glass (Lowes at $10 each) to match the “Flint Crystal” laminate counter we installed and here are some photos with a cell phone camera.

The mosaic tile from Lowes has some glass squares so it’s necessary that you use glass tile adhesive. This tile was sealed on the back but some glass tile is clear through so the color of the adhesive becomes important when dealing with glass. We picked white grout for this project and it will need to be sealed for protection and to retain it’s whiteness.

A few of the small tiles didn’t match the thickness of the others (probably a manufacturing error) so he just popped it out and replaced with another tile from the excess. For that reason you may want to plan on buying one extra sheet of mosaic tile which you can cannibalize pieces from.

We’ll be putting some edging along the top and side with 3/4 round trim, painted white.

Selecting and installing cabinet hardware

To me, cabinet hardware really is the finishing touch. Cabinets without hardware look half undressed and unfinished. Dare I write, cheap?

However, I’ve had difficulty in finding hardware for the master bathroom. This is why: the industry standard width of a drawer pull is about 3 to 3 1/2″ (measured from hole to hole). I find this an uncomfortably, small size for a drawer pull. First, it’s hard to fit anything but two fingers in this width and I wanted two sizes – one for the drawers and a slightly larger size for the cabinet.

Secondly, this size looks small on the larger sized drawers that bathrooms and kitchen now have as opposed to say, 25 years ago. For example, the overjohn cabinet we did downstairs was increased in height and we put a larger door pull (7 and 1/4″ from hole to hole) in order to compensate for this:

I unexpectedly lucked out when I found them at Andrews Lighting at a very reasonable price, about $45. The drawer pulls are 5″ and the cabinet pulls are 6″ (measured from hole to hole). They also had some matching knobs. Love it!

For the master bath, the fluting of the knob and pull, mimic some of the wood medallions I put on the cabinet. Another thing I like about this hardware family is that they are not too feminine so can appeal to both women and men, an important selling point when marketing to couples.

I also like to pick hardware that matches a theme in the room. For the kids bathroom, the light fixtures had a bit of chrome and white. I repeated that in the door pulls and toilet roll hanger. These door pulls are industry standard; the cup pulls are from Overstock.com and the handles from Lowes.

A word about installing your hardware. We were at a recent open house where the homeowner (or their paid help) put in the knobs wrong. It looked wonky and just plain wrong and crooked. I would have expected a lot more considering the price of the home! Please take your time and put your hardware on correctly!

On cabinet knobs, I aim for placement in the top corner section of the door. I like the knob to sit where the circle does not overhang the corner of the cabinet.

I also like it not to be too low from the cabinet’s corner. All of these examples have the knob too low or off center on the cabinet door.

On the overjohn cabinet, I like the tail end of the pull to sit comfortably in the corner like shown in this photo:

Placing them in the middle for an overjohn cabinet would make them too high.

Here the tail is higher then the corner and looks slightly off.

If you are putting in multiple pieces in many drawers/doors, use a jig. This is a pattern that helps you get your alignment correct, door to door, drawer to drawer.

Remember, you don’t have to be matchey-matchey, just pick things in color or shape that repeat elements in the room. For example, if using brushed nickel faucets go with the same family, or ceramic for the cabinets. Oil rubbed faucets? Try the same for the hardware. If arched cabinetry, go with arched drawer pulls; straight angled cabinetry? repeat it in the look of your hardware.

Have fun with it – it’s like choosing earrings!

Changing paint color mid-stream

Usually I’m pretty good at picking paint but this time I goofed. I originally planned on using Lowes’ Waverly Tawny Green WV36007 on the master bathroom walls. I’ve been very pleased with Waverly’s Nordic Blue WV37007 (changes colors in different lights and isn’t so “baby” blue but a little cooler) but this green just didn’t do it for me.

Probably this would be fine in a baby room or somewhere you wanted to go soft and pastel-y but I wanted a strong, green-gray in the master bathroom and after a week of living with a test patch, I gave it the thumbs down.

Instead I’ve gone with Sherwin Williams SW Escape Gray #6185 (this is in their HGTV line) and I LOVE IT!  This is a dark gray-green color which makes the moulding really pop out and brings out the gray tone in the mosiac tile we had picked for the backsplash.

The weekend was spent painting – painting walls, trim, doors and more. I’ve got some more touchups to do but here are some rough photos too share; the photos were taken with a flash at night. See the before paint photos here… BTW the wall paint doesn’t go all the way up to the ceiling as we are putting in crown moulding.

Because the room has a lot of natural light and white moulding/doors, this darker color works. I don’t know that I would put it in a bathroom with no windows though.

The point is if a color isn’t working for you, don’t hesitate to ditch it. You’ll regret painting an entire room and then saying yuck so if your test area isn’t wowing you, re-group and go with another color. Paint is generally the cheapest thing you will do in a room so feel free to change it.

Master bathroom decisions and progress

We spent yesterday making a lot of decisions which meant a lot of running about, getting tile samples, going home to see them in the light of the master bathroom, and then taking them back. I did buy the chandelier for the vanity and husband completed the wiring of it today.

We also have some really good choices now for cabinet hardware (French Farm by Schaub Hardware 6: 6 1/2″ drawer pulls and 4 round knobs):

After looking at some of my possible choices of tile, some were discarded because they were too busy, too plain, or the colors didn’t match up well. I decided on this tumbled stone mosiac tile from Lowes. The lightest cream matches the marble countertop almost exactly. 

It has a bit more gray in the pattern then we would like so we will remove some of the darker gray and put in some of the lighter creams when we actually install it. This means buying some extra sheets and just doing some cut and paste work.

We also visited a store that sells corbels as I wanted to decide on this with hubby present and this store is open with limited hours. 

The larger corbel ($50 each) will go over the tub arch, the smaller, flatter one ($25 each) over the vanity sink. This is priced for paint quality.  We worked out the dimesions on the arches:

The trick to making arches complement each other is to make the longest drop the same ratio as the arches peak (as measured from the top to bottom). The vanity is 24:18 and the tub is 16:10 – each has a 6″ difference.

Instead of replacing the heater fan unit (another $150 and another hole to work around) we decided to spraypaint the cover white and just keep the old as it is perfectly functionable.

The two can lights over the vanity were removed, their holes covered in drywall and a new chandelier installed. The ceiling will be plastered tonight, sanded and then plastered again tomorrow, to prepare it for the ceiling color (Lowes Pale Glow Brilliant Metal) which really needs a flat wall surface.

Ooohhhh Sparkleee!

Next weekend the ceiling should be done, the walls painted, the trim worked out… the arches may delay us as the corbels have to be ordered and this store is slow about getting this stuff.

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: Transforming builder grade cabinets to Old World (ASCP Old White with Dark Walnut glaze)

The Project: builder grade, oak cabinets installed when we built the house 14 years ago. They have one layer of stain and varnish to deal with and are in excellent condition, needing no repairs. If you have older cabinets, with more paint layers you may need to do more prep work (more sanding or a chemical stripper) then I did.

Here is our master bathroom (before) ~ nice but still a builder grade cabinet with a medium oak blah finish that is very dated:

Before working on paint colors know exactly what else you will be changing in the room. Eventually the counter, sinks and faucets will be replaced, the mirror framed, new lighting installed and paint color changed (for the Pinterest Idea Board look here). Overall, the room will be in the brown-tan, off-white creamy family (here’s the overall planning post).

Hardware was removed; drawers and doors were taken off and moved to the garage. All the cabinetry was first sanded (electric sander, 80 grit and then 120 grit) to remove the top, shiny coat and encourage paint adhesion.

The Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) states you don’t have to sand or prime but if you are re-doing cabinetry, either bathroom or kitchen, I would at least give them a good clean with detergent to remove oil, grease, or any residue before painting. I did do a test board that was sanded and another that was not sanded: the sanded side had better paint adhesion and a smoother, end appearance.

needs a cleaning!

To make these cabinets special, I’m adding wood appliques and some very nice hardware. These appliques were found at Lowes but you can also find them online in a wide variety of patterns and sizes:

To apply, two tiny holes are pre-drilled for small (brad) nails. Wood glue is applied on the back and then the small nails are tapped into place after the applique is properly aligned:

checking alignment

Three coats of ASCP in Old White was applied to the vanity, cabinet door fronts and drawers with a 1″ brush and a 4″ foam cabinet roller. Love it!

For the cabinet door appliques, I first painted the door with one coat of ASCP, and spraypainted the wood applique white before gluing and nailing it down. This made it easier on getting the second and third coat to look even.

The first day cabinet door backs, drawer fronts, and the vanity were painted. The second day I painted the cabinet fronts with three coats and applied their wood appliques.

Tip: when painting both sides of a project like doors, be aware when you flip it and the newly painted (but dried) side is down, it can be damaged. Make sure you have a clean and non-stick surface for it to rest upon when you paint the second side.  When I’ve used plastic garbage bags they also removed fresh, but dried, paint. Now, I use a plastic sleeve from a box that originally contained blinds, over the top of the sawhorse.

Quart cans of paint and stain are used to elevate cabinet doors so I can paint the edges and let them dry. You can use cans of vegetables/fruit from your cabinet too.

The drawer runners make these drawers stand slanted, so gallon cans hold the drawers in place so all painted edges can dry without falling over.

Tip: If you are uncertain as to your color choices on your cabinets, it’s always best to do a test board; this will save a lot of time and aggravation! Especially, if it is a project that would be a big pain to redo or is a very important feature to your house (we can all afford to experiment on a small table!).

After doing a test board, I decided to go with ASCP Old White and a glaze of McColkseys (same as Valspars) Buff glaze with the glaze applied with a ragged on/off method (used about 2 cups). This method was done on the cabinet door fronts, the drawer fronts, and the front board where the appliques were mounted on the vanity. Other flat surfaces were left ASCP Old White.

Ragging on is the application of glaze with a clean cloth (i.e. cut up t-shirt). This method works well across large flat surfaces. Depending on the color difference between undercoat and glaze, you can have a high or low contrast. The cloth is saturated with glaze (how much depends on how much color you want applied). I like it soaked but not dripping.

The rag is crinkled in a long tube and then rolled across the surface. I re-crinkle the rag about every 3 to 4 times of rolling and every other roll I change direction. This gives a random pattern.

Ragging on randomly applies paint to a surface

If you get too much glaze or want more exposure of the undercoat you can rag off. Take a clean cloth with no glaze and roll across the wet surface to remove glaze. You will need to keep using clean rags to keep removing; using one that has glaze on it will re-apply the glaze to the surface.

Here I use a clean rag to pat/blot off excess (pat down and lift straight up so pattern is not smeared) or I can use it by rolling it across the surface to remove paint (ragging off) which softens the overall pattern.

ragging off with a clean rag removes excess paint

For comparison, here is a ragged on, glazed door with Buff (left) and an ASCP Old White only (right) cabinet door comparison (click photo for a close up):

You could stop there if you like that look but I wanted to take it further. After the glaze was left to dry for the afternoon, the edges were distressed with an electric palm sander (Black and Decker Mouse) with 120 grit. I blew off the sanding dust with a hair dryer (set on cool) before moving to the next step of glazing with Cabots’ dark Walnut stain (project used about 1 half pint).

A coat of dark Walnut stain was wiped on and off (wear a glove if you don’t want to get your hand stained; I clean my hands with NEXT brush cleaner).  Or you could use a chip brush which I did on the door backs and vanity.

Saturate the rag or brush with some stain and then wipe on your cabinet door, paying careful attention to the distressed areas. Because this is a distressed finish, the stain can be applied in a criss-cross pattern or rubbed on in circles.

worked in circles over center panel

Wherever you have sanded down to bare wood, the stain will be asborbed. Aim for raised areas such as the edge of doors and drawers. Work in circles and straight lines to get the stain worked into the crevices. If you put on too much and it gets drippy, just wipe and blot off with a clean rag.

A stain glaze is asborbed by the undercoat paint more then a traditional, glaze medium; depending on the product it may have a faster drying time then a traditional glaze medium. It’s important you immediately get a feel for how quickly the glaze you are using dries. Different brands have different working times which can be further extended with other products.

The stain on the back of the cabinet doors and the base cabinet was simply wiped off with a clean rag used in a circular motion. The stain on the cabinet door fronts, I wiped off and Ragged Off using clean t-shirt rags. The ragging caused the stain to make a really neat, aged pattern!

Doors for overjohn cabinet

Why did I go with the Dark Walnut stain and not the dark wax? To use dark wax properly, the entire piece has to be coated with clear wax first then dark wax, making this project even more expensive ($28 a can of wax) and time consuming. I also find, for my taste, the dark wax can start looking dirty over certain colors.

I like the clean lines of a liquid product such as stain or glaze and the variety of colors to choose from (ASCP can be diluted into a glaze also). A similar door glazing project (using black glaze over gray paint) is shown for the downstairs bath. I guess it comes down to a personal choice but I prefer glaze over using wax for distressing cabinets.

I left the Dark Walnut stain to dry overnight and the next day (fourth on the project) I darkened the back of the cabinet doors so they would be more in keeping color-wise with the overall project when opened. After everything dried, Annie Sloan clear wax (for water protection) was put over the cabinet doors and drawers. All the hinge hardware was given an oil rubbed bronze spraypaint and left to dry overnight. The vanity was stained and also left to dry overnight.

cabinet door backs

The fifth day the vanity was was waxed and buffed. MISTAKE! When I brought the doors and drawers back in, I realized I had made a mistake on color. The vanity was more chocolate, the drawers and doors a bit lighter. To correct, I sanded them down lightly with 120 grit on my palm sander and applied more stain glaze. This set me back a day as I left them to dry again overnight.

Sixth day, the doors and drawers were waxed and buffed, the hardware installed and the door  and drawers put back in place. Wow!!! So happy with these new cabinets! (but totally disappointed with the photos which don’t show the loveliness as the flash washes out the color)

This was the first time I’ve worked with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on cabinets and here are my thoughts on the matter:

~ The paint dries incredibly fast with good adhesion, has little drip factor (in it’s original mixture it’s quite thick), and has very low to no odor. This makes it great for in-house projects and “get-it-done-in-a-day” projects.

~ This paint screams to be distressed. Over sanded wood that was quite smooth, when being brushed applied at full strength it did not go on smooth and clearly wanted to become distressed when being brush applied. The unsanded, test door immediately displayed craquelaure when paint was applied in the second coat.

~ It gives a flat, chalk feel and color to the paint; there is no shine unless you wax or coat it.

~ It sands amazingly well! This makes it ideal for distressing as over the counter latex paints peel when sanded.

~ I was concerned about how it would work with other products but it did well with the Cabot’s stain and the Buff glaze.

~ The chalky feel concerned me that it wouldn’t be protective for cabinets, but once it was glazed and waxed the surface is very protective.

~ The project went faster then using the enamel white paint in the kids bathroom so working in a team of two we were able to get them done with three coats of paint, front and back of doors, along with a glaze coat of ragging, a stain coat, and a wax coat in five days (not counting a mistake day).

~ It was brushed on over oak, the hardest grain pattern to conceal with paint. After two coats the undercoat of stain and oak grain were still visible. This is not a high conceal paint. If you want a solid, smooth coat, like I did on the kids bathroom cabinets, I would pass on this product for that purpose.

~ The paint produces the same amount of brush strokes as other paints, latex and enamel, when used without Penetrol. Because it dries so fast it is a bit harder to “feather out” brush marks.

After working with it, I do think it’s a do-able paint for the downstairs kitchen as long as I wax the doors twice. I’m excited that we’ll be able to trim costs and have me give the kitchen a professional finish without paying a professional. woohoo!

Updated ~ New hardware has been added