Here is a tale of a “simple”, small project that turned into a runaway train faster than I could mutter Mich Ultra. I am going to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly, straight up. Buckle up, because one project turned into at least three.
My half bath on my first floor had seen better days. For months I’d been trolling Pinterest for ideas, and was intrigued with the idea of board and batten molding. I thought it actually looked like it might be a fairly easy DIY project for someone like me with limited skillz and tools. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was on a local kitchen tour in my town. I spied the molding in one of the homes that happened to be owned by a builder. Having the chance to see the molding up close and personal inspired me because I realized there were NO angle cuts involved. And if that was good enough for his beautiful custom house, it was good enough for me!
There I was with 5 year old in Lowe’s at lunch time a week later, when, on a total low blood sugary whim, I decided we were going to install molding. THAT DAY. We grabbed a wheely thing and loaded it up with 2×6 pine boards and 6 feet tall thinner boards (I forget the name of them—I’m so professional). I grabbed a box of finish nails and we were off! I dropped about $35 on wood and nails for the project. Not bad! (Faux pro tip: invest in a $5 level!)
I had a hammer at home and a manual miter box and saw. I think the miter box kits cost around $10 bucks. Here is the box–I used a hand saw and this box to cut everysinglepieceofwood. Are you there arthritis, it’s me, Muffintopmommy! By the end I was sweating and my hands were cramped but I did it! The thin, six foot boards I cut in two to make two three feet boards times….again and again. And again. I lost count. Math. Not my strong suit.
CALL ME BOB VILA. I’M FOR HIRE.
Here is a rough idea of what the room looked like before.
I SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A TRUE BEFORE SHOT BEFORE I STARTED MY JOB AND TOOK AWAY ONE OF THE BASKETS, ETC, BUT YOU GET THE IDEA!
I still liked my vanity a lot–we had ripped out the builder vanity three years ago and installed this one ourselves. Over the past three years of getting clanged and banged by three boys, its espresso finish was starting to look banged up. I decided after I installed the board and batten I’d paint it grey.
But first! My molding.
Truth time. Mistake number one that I made was the baseboard moldings. There is a lot of debate about installing board and batten and how to deal with moldings like mine—pretty common ones that have a curved cut at the top versus the 90 degree angle boards used for board and batten. I thought ripping out moldings without damaging my paper mache walls was above my pay grade and I still think I was right. Instead, I decided to just rest the bottom of the vertical boards on top of the ridge at the top of my baseboard molding. Confused yet? Yup, me too! After I finished the chair rail and vertical boards and surveyed my work that first night, I wasn’t satisfied with how it looked.
SEE THE VERTICAL BOARDS JUST RESTING ON THE BASEBOARD?
So after feeling like I was finished, I decided to add the same wood I used for the chair rail and install it in between the vertical boards or else it would bug me for all eternity. Or at least every time I took care of biz. This was NOT fun because I had to do lots of measurements. It wasn’t hard–it was just tedious, and it’s a little harder to saw through the 2×6 boards. But I did it. ROAR. In retrospect? It would have been easier to do the bottom board at the same time as the chair rail–in one long board, instead of having to cut random shorter boards to go in between the vertical boards. If I’d done that, I would have had to make way less cuts on the horizontal boards, and even cuts on all the vertical boards. Now we know, people!
SORRY FOR THE TOILETTE SHOT, BUT JUST KEEPING IT REAL. PERHAPS FOR MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT THIS PROJECT, I SHOULD HAVE AVOIDED A ROOM WITH SMALL SPACES THAT WOULD BETTER SUIT SOMEONE HOBBIT SIZE!
In retrospect, it would have been easier to first attempt this project in a room that was more square with less angles and less awkwardly small spaces. This is what I get for impulsively buying wood and nails when I’m hangry and with a 5 year old who tells me what an awesome idea I have because he thinks he’s going to get to hammer nails! (Chill social services, he just held the tape measure!) I wound up rocking some funky yoga poses with my hammer and nails due to the minion bathroom I was working in. We won’t talk about my vocabulary! The other thing that would have made much more sense, would have been to paint the bottom half of the wall first. I am pretty sure I did about six coats of white. I lost count. Wo-manual labor ain’t easy. Really. Again, more with the squeezing into hobbit sized spaces and swearing. Who am I?
I’m a bad person. (But I love my new bathroom!)
I FORGET WHAT #COAT THIS IS. I HAVE PTSD.
See the straight cut? Not too bad!
After I finished the board and batten, and planned to paint the vanity grey, I decided if I painted the vanity grey, that I needed new knobs. And, I was dying to try the new Target wallpaper, so I decided I’d paper the top half of the bathroom above the chair rail. And if I did that, I’d have to paint the mirror, which was an oil rubbed bronze color.
If you’ve contemplated trying the Tarjay wallpaper, let me say I found it difficult to work with. It is fabulous in that it is peel and stick paper that is easy to remove and move around BUT…..the flip side is it is roughly the texture and weight of contact paper. I thought the paper would cover up some imperfections in my wall and it did not. Personally, I think this paper would be best in small spaces. It would pack a serious punch for example lining the back of book shelves, built ins, maybe the top of a coffee table? Once I pain stakingly hung the paper behind my vanity and exercised my salty vocab skills A-GAIN, I had to revise my plans—the wall behind the vanity became an accent wall and that was that—my mental health nor my wallet could survive doing even a hobbit sized room in this $hit. I spent $30 on one roll of paper to do that small wall and probably have enough left for a teeny weeny project. There is, of course, waste due to lining up the patterns. (Death to faux wallpaper!)
Love the pattern though–there are lots of fun ones, and I love that it prompted me to try something new in a color I wouldn’t ordinarily choose. I feel like my powder room is a ray of sunshine, literally, and know I will come to appreciate it more during our cold ass winters!
Here are some pics of the paper:
NOT AS WIDE AS I ENVISIONED. LE SIGH.
ONE STRIP UP. AND GUESS WHAT? IT DIDN’T LINE UP WELL IN CORNER–CROOKED WALL OR CROOKED MUFFIN TOP!
NEXT STRIP. MORE SWEARING WHILE TRYING TO LINE IT UP.
THE MOFO IS DONE! BUT NOW I DECIDE I NEED TO ADD QUARTER ROUND TO CAMO THE CROOKEDNESS THAT IS REVEALED! CHOO CHOO!
PRE QUARTER ROUND AROUND MY FUN WALLPAPER!
I brought the paper to Sherwin-Williams and had them color match me some paint in Emerald because I wasn’t about to try the Target “Devine Color” paint after my wallpaper debacle was less than devine. Sorry Target.
ANOTHER DEBACLE. RUSTOLEUM HAMMERED NICKEL SPRAY PAINT? NO! VALSPAR METALLIC NICKEL. YES! BRAIN DAMAGE FROM BREATHING 345 COATS OF SPRAY PAINT? ABSOLUTELY!
THIS HOBBIT SPACE WAS FUN TO PAINT!
I sanded the vanity, gave it one coat of white primer, and then three coats of Ben Moore Chelsea grey mixed in Sherwin-Williams Duration. (30% off paint sale—sorry Ben, I did use you.) I used a combination of a small cabinet roller and angled Purdy brush. The knobs look like $5.99 worth of cut crystal (I’m fancaaaay!) from Home Depot. They look so awesome in the light! Truly! LOVE LOVE LOVE.
PAINT AND BLING KNOBS UP CLOSE.
The grey definitely has some green tones. I was truthfully going for more of a charcoal but I do love it.
HERE IS A CLOSE UP OF THE VANITY AREA.
TOTALLY FORGOT (SPRAY PAINT FUMES….)…HAD TO SPRAY THE BASKETS WHITE BECAUSE THE OLD TANNISH COLOR WAS NO BUENO ANYMORE. ALSO? THESE BASKETS USED TO BE AT THE BOTTOM OF MY CHANGING TABLE. REPURPOSE..OH YEAH!
IS IT WRONG I TOOK MORE PICS OF MY TOILET THIS MONTH THAN MY KIDS?
Meet my new fave friend, this adorable deer. Which is crooked, because the hooks on the back of him are crooked. And the hook on the picture frame is crooked. I swear. It’s not me–it’s them.
A FEW BUCKS WORTH OF FRESH FLOWERS MAKE ME HAPPY AND ADD MORE COLOR. ESPECIALLY IN AN OLD MILK JUG.
IF YOU REMEMBER NOTHING ELSE FROM THIS POST, WASH YOUR HANDS!
SAFETY GOGGLES SHOULD BE USED WHEN HAMMERING NAILS. I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT IF I HADN’T SNORTED THE SPRAY PAINT.
THAT’S IT! What are you waiting for?? For around $100 bucks–if you’re not a type A personality and you don’t mind a crooked wall here or there, you can have a whole new look in your bathroom. And, get a hell of a yoga workout in. Bonus! (Not really.)