bathroom makeover: part one

So once upon a time, right after we moved in, our bathroom looked like this.

It makes me mad when I am looking for pictures that I am sure I probably took when we first moved in. Since I couldn’t find any, I took this guy from my phone.

Our bathroom wasn’t done very methodically, similar to the rest of our projects. We moved in to the house when I was about 13 weeks pregnant, left a week later, and then returned when I was over six months along. Since we were busy when we got back, things weren’t necessarily done in the best order but it was sufficient for the time frame.

The tan color wasn’t terrible but one thing I am not showing you right now is the ceiling. The ceiling was, I kid you not, a baby blue color. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So first I painted the ceiling and left the walls.

Sometime in February 2013, I got the urge to paint our bathroom Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy. I love navy and white so decided to try it, even though I knew it was going to be dark considering there are no windows. When I was finished painting, Blake hung new oil rubbed bronze towel racks.


IMG_0353Cream and navy go together way better than baby blue and a yellow tinted tan, in my opinion anyway.

Last spring at some point or another, I also heard about chalk paint. A store in Sioux Falls, Aviena, carries Annie Sloan chalk paints and I decided to try painting a few things. I painted an old cedar chest, a couple night stands, some frames, etc. There is basically no prep, the stuff goes on like butter, and is super easy to work with. The paint is $38.50 per quart but a little goes a long ways. One day, I came across this tutorial and basically decided I would try painting our bathroom cabinets. Though the pictures may not show it, the cabinets were not in good shape so I took a nothing to lose point of view on it.

IMG_0361This is the corner I decided I would start working one night.

Chalk paint is a favorite because, as I said previously, there is basically no prep. All you need to do in most cases is clean well. I wiped down everything well and got started. And then I quit almost immediately. Though I wiped the doors down, somehow there was dog or cat hairs almost embedded in the doors. {This former animal house will be cleaned eventually. I hope.} Anyway, I decided everything needed a light sanding to clean what a rag couldn’t. Since it was already late, this is literally how far I got by the end of the first night.


The next day, I took off all the doors and lightly sanded them down. Over the next couple days, the doors all got three coats on the front and two coats on the back. I also lightly sanded the base of the cabinets and painted it three times as well. At this point, I was beginning to doubt if I made the right choice. Regardless of trying to be careful, some parts looked uneven and it just didn’t seem right to me. I decided to keep going anyway and start the sanding process.

After sanding and then after painting.

20131211-134559.jpgHave yourself quite a bit of wine ready if you are going to do this project. I suggest pink moscato by Sutter Home or Barefoot. What the cheap wine lacks in class, it makes up for in taste.

I wanted some of the edges to look distressed. One night, after Bri was sleeping, I took one to the garage and tried hand sanding it. The only progress I made at this attempt was I figured out hand sanding isn’t for me.  The next night I got the idea to use the electric sander because there was no way I would be sanding ten cabinet doors plus dour drawers and I hated how it looked anyway. I found out that this is how you do it! It got done super fast and since it was somewhat uneven, it looked like it was naturally done.

After the sanding was done, we wiped them down well. Once they were dry, they were good to be given the hard wax. I used Annie Sloan’s clear wax for the majority of the project and the dark wax sparingly to accentuate the aged look I was going for. I applied the wax with the brush and then used old rags to wipe it off. We let them dry overnight to harden well. I also did the base of the cabinet this same way.


Mid-project, I got another idea. (My poor husband.) While cleaning out our cabinets, I noticed there was a plug in inside our main tall cabinet. I got the idea to build a shelf to put over our toilet and then cut out a hole so we could plug in a lamp. Blake was in agreement and didn’t think it would be too hard to do. At the time, he was working on making a desk out of old doors and we had a little piece of door left. I thought we he should try to use it as the shelf instead of buying a new one. We liked the look and bought $11.00 braces for it and are happy with the results.

I also painted the baseboards in the bathroom to give it an overall clean look. I used a cream color in semi gloss for this, however. Also, whoever did our trim boards previously didn’t do the best of job so we are hoping to replace them at one point but they are fine for now.

Eventually, and I do mean eventually – this project was lengthy, it was time to put on the new hardware. Since the cabinet didn’t have pulls or knobs previously and we were putting on different hinges, we got to put them on new and try to level things and stuff I am not good at…always a good time with your husband. We came to a stand still when the screws that came with the pulls weren’t long enough. Also, while we picked up the hinges, there was a black on in with the oil rubbed bronze so we also needed to exchange that.

20131211-135115.jpgFirst pull in and things are starting to look better!

Unfortunately, this is where we are going to be stopping tonight because this project isn’t technically finished. We have had everything put back together but that one door. Trust me, it’s not from being lazy either. Moving our office, working on organizing our whole house, catching up with paperwork, installing new kitchen appliances, putting up the Christmas tree (today!), it’s been pretty busy but we are both anxious to put the finishing touches on this one. It will be great to have done and when it is, I’ll be sure to share it.


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