Project: table to bathroom vanity 2

This is the first time we’ve tried making a bathroom vanity out of a table so I’d like to pass on some things we have learned that I have not seen on the decorating shows…

We had the Italian marble cut at the shop because the job was too small for them to come out to the house and keep the cost reasonable. You will need to know the location of the faucet and the drain hole for the sink – as well as the size. Do bring the sink, the faucet and the drain stopper with you.

The Italian marble was cheaper then the granite option because of how they cut and waste the sheet. It also needs to be stored on it’s end because it cannot support it’s own weight. If you laid it flat it would crack.

The tabletop wasn’t level – after all it was aged, so a wooden rasp was needed to take down the bulges.

It also turned out that the heavy marble was putting way too much pressure on the legs. The legs were re-glued, reinforced and the crack in one leg (from the marble weight) repaired. It was filled with wood putty.

If you are painting (not staining) any good wood filler will work to repair holes and cracks. When staining you need to match the wood product (i.e. fill with oak on oak etc…). For small holes I like to use my finger to press the wood filler in and then smooth it out. Once it dries, I’ll sand lightly with sponge block, repaint and glaze to match the rest of the piece.

We removed the rollers and put in four more supportive legs that are half hidden by the shelf. This should distribute the weight of the marble and basin evenly from top to bottom.

All the legs have new pads on them. I touched up paint and glaze on the repairs before the install.

Plumbing was extended from the wall to match the drop of the drain from the sink. Plumbing isn’t complicated but make sure you turn off the water, plug up sewage when it is open to prevent fumes, and use the products made for plumbing such as special glues and epoxys.

The table is anchored into the wall with a support at the back underside.

Silicone caulking applied in circles on the underside of the marble will afix it to the table. The marble is “rolled” down gently to prevent cracking. The backsplash is applied with silicone caulking to the wall.

The sink is installed first, attaching it with silicone caulking on the bottom, and installing it’s drain plug. The faucet is then installed and it is hooked up to the water lines.

Marble needs to be sealed as it is porous (just like granite). A commercial product is wiped on before we go to bed – and wiped off in the morning.

Thoughts on the project:

Definitely if you plan on using marble or granite, buy a table or dresser which can support such a weight.

Buy and have on hand all the plumbing equipment before you have the marble/granite cut. Don’t go by the sink hole – get the plug; and be aware that faucets do come in different sizes so don’t “guess” the size.

Do a dry run on measurements before you have anything cut.

Put the table in the bathroom, especially if the room is small, and live with it for a few days to make sure the space works for you.

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….

Room: Laundry area ~ finished!

The original planning for the laundry room was in this blog post

What strikes me from looking at the before photos is the original room gave an institutional vibe that translated to “hurry and get the job done — and leave!!”:

  • The shelves and pantry were helpful in storing items, but they gave the room a claustophobic feeling.
  • The off-white color of the cabinetry did not help the room look “clean” or fresh.
  • The room looked like an after-thought; the unframed bulletin board contributed to that feeling.
  • The light from the ceiling fluorescent fixture, though serviceable, gave the feeling you were in a warehouse.

Here are the finished laundry room photos!
Color variations on walls are due to lighting, flash on camera etc…

Walls ~ While the Venetian Plaster was a huge pain in the neck, I LOVE the look as does hubby. I was really surprised at how much dimension it adds an otherwise blah room.

Wall Art ~ I looked at a lot of art for this room. Originally, I was considering some sepia toned, beach prints, but decided to try this photo, pop art of flowers. Boy, I was glad that I did! I brought the orange from the flowers and added it to the bulletin board’s frame with spray paint.

Lighting ~ I love, love, LOVE the new track lighting. Anything less then 6 lights on the system though would have been too few.

Furniture ~ The Baker Rack has worked out even better then I could ever imagine! Because it is located at the hall that opens into the garage, it’s a great place to put schoolbooks, gloves and shoes. Since we don’t have a mud-room this become really helpful during our recent bad weather.

I found this Bakers Rack on Craigslist, and liked the lattice, criss cross, pattern across the back. It was a putty colored – I spraypainted it white; I also changed the finals (top of the unit) to ones from my daughters four-poster bed (it was damaged years ago and I kept the pretty finials).

Appliances ~ LOVE my new front loaders… I found these 3 year old, GE machines on Craigslist for $750. Most likely I’ll be buying pedestals to raise their height, better concealing the plumbing behind.

Molding ~ Clothes rod was boxed in with framing to hide it when entering room. Just that little touch makes the room more elegant.  The molding to conceal the clothes rod and the more expensive shelf made of Aspen, all painted fresh white, as well as the larger base molding, again, gives the room added *zing* and a luxury look. This, again, surprised me as I didn’t think it would have as much impact as it did.

The ultimate proof that the remodel is a success is that I’ve been in there a lot keeping the laundry caught up and the room square away. 😀

Room Specs:

  • Total remodeling costs: $1,250
  • Replaced our older washer and dryer units with front loaders ($750 – 3 years old from Craigslist).
  • Venetian Plaster, Lowes, Marmo color 4 gallons at $38 per gallon.
  • Additional cost for sandpaper and for final, gloss coat material.
  • Molding color is Chef White from Valspar (Lowes) about 1 quart, had on hand.
  • Base Molding is 6″ tall, about 28 linear feet (about $40);
  • Additional costs for finishing nails and caulk.
  • New ceiling light ~ track lighting fixture from Lowes discount ($40);
  • New shelf unit made from Aspen with molding ($45);
  • Wall art over washer/dryer was from Gordmans with discount 20% off coupon ($38);
  • Bulletin board frame from Hobby Lobby’s 50% off sale discount (now painted orange) ($35);
  • Spraypainted Bakers Rack white and replaced knobs with ones on hand. (BR $25 + $16 paint).
  • Note: Repair of missing tile will be done in the future – we still need to find a compliment to what is already there.

Except for the floor tile patch (we still need to find some matching tile), the laundry room is now completed.