Tuesday, January 28, 2014

La Salle de Bain (the bathroom)

Like the French? That's because my bathroom is fancy now.

It's all decked out.

Relatively speaking.

Our main bath hadn't been painted in forever, and it was time... and in one of those one-thing-leads-to-another kinds of ways, what started as just a quick coat of paint ended up to be a bigger re-do that I'd planned.

Here are some "before" pictures... taken back in 2008 when we updated the floor and added the new vanity. White walls, tan moldings and baseboards. Last year I replaced the old moldings and baseboards and painted them white.


It was all good, except the wall paint was old (almost 10 years!) so it was time to freshen it up. Rather than go with the same white on the walls again I wanted to add a little color this time. I'd worked so hard replacing the baseboards and putting up the farmhouse style moldings, that I wanted them to show up... not get lost in the all white I had going on in there.

After I started painting I thought maybe it would be fun to do something different in that bathroom... I'd been seeing where people had created a board and batten look by adding a horizontal top molding, and smaller vertical moldings to an existing wall. I decided that would be a fun project, and the perfect way to fancy-up the long wall in the bathroom.

First decided how tall I wanted the board and batten to go, and used a plumb line to mark a line across, then I finished painting all of the bathroom that was going to be the main color... so everything except the "board and batten" section of the wall. Next I painted the board and batten section with glossy trim paint.

Then came the fun part... putting up the trim pieces (the "batten"). I used MDF for the horizon top molding. I would have preferred to use real wood, but that wall has a curve to it (don't look for straight walls in this old log home!) so the top molding of the board and batten would need to have some give to it and the MDF seemed to have more give than wood.  So I measured and cut the MDF, positioned it on the wall, checked for level, and used finishing nails to attach it. (I'd found the studs first and made sure to nail into studs.) To pull the wood in to follow the slightly curved wall I had to use a long screw into a stud.

Once the horizontal pieces were both up, I started laying out where I wanted the vertical "batten" pieces (lattice boards) and started cutting them to size. I didn't worry too much about hitting studs when I attached these to the wall, I missed studs with several of them but they seem fine... plenty secure.


When the wood was up, but still unpainted and not caulked I worried a little. It wasn't looking great. It was kind of looking the opposite of great. But I decided to just keep going and hope I liked the finished product better.

Next I recessed the nails, and filled the holes with wood putty, sanded and finally caulked every seam... up and down each piece of lattice, between each piece of lattice and the baseboard molding... all along the top. This was probably the longest part of the project... It was a lot of caulking. Finally I got to paint and could really start to see how it was going to look when it was done.  It took five coats on the lattice... two coats of primer and three of the trim color to get a good "finished" look... The MDF came primed and only needed a couple of coats, and the wall itself just needed some touch up since I'd already painted it.

I have to say I really like the end result. I think it kind of fancies up the bathroom, and gives a little interest to that long previously plain bathroom wall. I do think I would like the board and batten look more if my drywall had a more subtle texture... since it is supposed to be mimicking the "board" in the board and batten. But I can live with the texture... I still like how it turned out.

My goal is to have most of the interior of the house repainted before Spring... It's nice to be able to check another room off the list.

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