Thursday, March 6, 2014

Biting the Bullet

Over the past year and a half, Andy and I have been painting, tearing apart, rewiring and decorating every nook and cranny of our little farmhouse... with the major exception of the upstairs bathroom.  When we first looked at the house, the bathroom was the one room that I considered charming- it had some leftover farmhouse character that the rest of the house was so devoid of.

Quickly after moving in though, the character lost it's charm and we were left with a oddly arranged bathroom complemented with olive green tiling, a pull cord light and a fly graveyard.  I'm not sure what attracts the flies so much to this particular room but there is always a pile of dead ones on the floor.  Yuck.

We plowed into other rooms and ignored the bathroom, other than throwing a bathmat on the floor and calling it good.  We have a grand plan to tear everything out, move the door and put in a proper shower/bath with a double sink.  This plan nourished us for a good year and a half but day 3 into Andy's second trip to China in a month and I finally lost it and decided to bite the bullet.  With a green tile in hand, I charged into Walmart's paint department determined to fine a complementary color to the tiling that made the green tiles feel more contemporary.  After a little deliberation, I settled on Brown Taupestone by Better Homes and Gardens.  I had the color color-matched in Glidden's Paint+Primer in eggshell.

After tucking the kiddos in for the night, started by giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white paint- I usually use straightforward ceiling paint but I didn't have enough left so I used a white wall paint in eggshell.  After 2 coats and a quick dry time, I scrubbed down the bathroom walls with dish soap and warm water, washing from bottom up to avoid drips.  Man!  You wouldn't believe how filthy the walls were- they were almost a different color after their bath.

My painting system for walls is always the same.  I begin by cutting in all the edges with a good quality, angled brush.  I don't tape anything first- I prefer to work slowly and make sure I have a wet rag (or ratty sweatshirt on) to fix any mistakes quickly.
First coat cutting in
A good quality paintbrush is key and well worth the money.  I was excited to bust out a new one for this job. The biggest pain in a bathroom is painting around the toilet, so I cover the tank with a garbage bag so I don't have to worry about getting paint on the toilet.

The color was dark enough going on over beige so it took two coats.  I prefer to do both coats of cutting in before I roll.  It doesn't really matter but I do this so I don't have a wet tray and roller to deal with longer than I have to.  After cutting in, I went around the bathroom with two coats of the roller.  I used a 3/4" nap roller.  Usually rolling is Andy's job because I hate it but since he is gone, it was all left to me.  Thankfully it was a small room.  The key to rolling is to not over saturate the roller and to not press too hard on the walls or you will be left with drips and/or roller lines.  Work slowly or you will end up with paint speckled hair (my favorite look).  I always roll from top to bottom so I can catch any drips.

Now that the painting is done, my mind is rolling with ideas for the rest of the bathroom- flooring, mirrors and lighting.  I guess the moral of the story is if you don't know where to start with a room, just dive into something manageable- paint, flooring, etc and let the rest roll from there.  You can't wait forever to have the money or time to make the room how you really want it down the line but do something now to make it a happy place and a livable space.  Will we be tearing this bathroom apart eventually?  Oh definitely, but until then, I am much happier walking into the room since it feels more like home.  (And hoping the flies decide to move on).

Now that the color is up, I am imagining a painted sub floor- possibly in blue and taupe stripes.
Flooring inspiration
Since Andy is still away, I am planning to attempt to take up the linoleum glued to plywood floor by myself.  Andy is the carpenter of the family so I have never ventured into the world of power tools or really any tools for that matter beyond a hammer and screwdriver but I am excited for the challenge and hope to surprise Andy with my amazingness.  Result to come...


  1. Don't rip the floor up without asking around a bit. Lots of older linoleum floors have asbestos under them :(. It might be better to just put something over it. Home Depot sells great vinyl tiles that look like ceramic (rounded edges and all). It looks almost exactly like tile and you can just cut with a utility knife!

    1. Thanks for the comment! This flooring was put in after the 1977 ban on aespestos in building supplies so we are good. Thanks for keeping us safe :)