Our guest bathroom was the room I liked the least when we moved into our house. Everything except the tile floor was builder’s grade. There was no character to it. It was simply a beige room of… blah.
It did, however, have a large mirror, nice countertop, clean tub / shower, and a solid wood vanity. I couldn’t complain too much since everything I disliked were merely cosmetic!
|Sadly, this was the only before picture I took!
The first thing to go was the nasty toilet. Evan saved us money by plumbing the new one himself! As he learned while on the job, toilets aren’t that difficult to install. It just requires a little patience and an assistant to help lug that ceramic monster around.
We also weren’t too happy with the vanity’s theater dressing room-style bulb light fixture. We replaced it with a Portfolio 3-Light Brushed Nickel fixture from Lowe’s. Evan quickly found that this bathroom also had the same issue that our master bathroom did — whoever installed the original light fixture just secured it to the wall without installing a proper electrical box. We remedied this problem by installing the $4.00 box so that our new fixture would be safe.
We then painted the bathroom with Olympic’s “Chives” in semi-gloss. I adore this color and thought it would make the beige floor and countertop pop. We also refinished the electric outlet covers with Rustoleum’s “Hammered Silver” spray paint. This made them match the satin nickel towel holders, new light fixture, and sink faucet nicely.
The next step was to frame the builder’s grade mirror. I used the same tutorial that I wrote for my master bathroom’s framed mirrors for this one. The only difference between the two is that I chose not to paint the frame itself. After I measured and cut the frame pieces using our miter saw, I applied a thick line of Liquid Nails to the back of each frame, shown below.
And then we stuck each frame directly onto the mirror, holding it for a good 20 seconds or so to ensure a tight bond.
After living with this color for several months, I realized that it was too dark, too consuming. I needed to pep it up a bit.
That’s when I thought of my newest obsession, board and batten
. I figured that a base of cream board and batten throughout the bathroom would counter-play nicely with its dark green walls.
To do this, I first measured the height of the electric outlet cover and the the towel holders. I wanted to make sure that the board and batten wouldn’t interfere with either of these aspects of the room.
After measuring, I determined that the board and batten should be 45″ in height along the length of every wall.
I bought 8′ long, 2″ wide, thin strips of molding and 8′ long, 2″ wide, and approximately 1/2″ thicker strips of molding from Lowe’s for this project. I measured and cut the thin strips of molding down to 45″ inches each using the miter saw.
After all of the thin strips were cut, I figured out the measurements of the bathroom and marked where each strip should be placed along its three walls. I placed one strip at a time above the baseboard and used a level to ensure they were straight. I used my brad nail gun, my air compressor, and a series of 1 1/4″ brad nails to secure the strips to the walls.
Once all of the vertical strips were in place, I measured and cut the thicker molding down to size and installed it horizontally over the others.
Here is what the board and batten looked like once installation was complete!
I then filled in all cracks, seams, and nail holes in the board and batten with a small dab of painter’s caulk. This caulk is great because it dries quickly, covers all blemishes, and is blends in seamlessly once everything’s painted.
Once the caulk was dry, I applied two coats of Zinsser primer over the molding and on the bottom half of every wall. This immediately brightened the room.
Then, I painted the board and batten, the trim, and the bathroom door with two coats of Olympic’s “Glazed Pears” in a satin finish.
After the board and batten was finished, I realized that something was off. I had originally intended on keeping the vanity and bathroom mirror the natural oak color because it coordinated well with the green walls. But now they seemed be out of place.
Therefore, I decided to refinish the cabinets using Rustoleum’s Ultimate Wood Stain in “Sunbleached.” This will be the third time I’ve refinished cabinets in our home, and it was incredibly easy. I took several sheets of 220 grit sand paper and sanded the entire vanity, doors, and drawers as best as I could. Using a foam brush, I then applied one coat of stain to the cabinet. I didn’t wipe off any excess stain because I wanted a bold, silver finish.
By this point, the guest bathroom had received a fairly extensive makeover with the new toilet, new light fixture, freshly painted walls, board and batten, framed mirror, and refinished vanity. However, I wanted to add some interest and drama to the beige ceiling. Therefore, I decided to install crown molding!
Once done, I puttied all holes, seams, and corners of the crown molding with painter’s caulk and painted it with the same “Glazed Pears” as the rest of the trim and board and batten. To really make the crown molding pop between the ceiling and the dark green walls, I painted the ceiling with Olympic’s “Volcanic Ash” in a satin finish.
Almost done! When we moved into our house, I included an over-the-toilet shelving unit to hold towels since this part of the house doesn’t have a linen closet. I took the unit out of the bathroom when I installed the board and batten, and noticed how much larger the bathroom felt. Wanting to keep the bathroom as spacious as possible, I decided to install two floating shelves on the wall behind the toilet so I could still keep towels available for guests.
What better way to make some rustic, cheap shelves than to build them out of discarded pallets? I used the same pallet wood floating shelf tutorial
that I wrote for our master bathroom for this project, too.
To build the shelves, I first measured and marked the pallets to a length that would work on that particular wall in the bathroom.
Then, I lined up my measurements with the laser guide of the miter saw and cut them down to size.
Once all of the pieces had been cut to size, I used my random orbital sander and a combination of 60-grit and 120-grit sandpaper to smooth out all of splinters and rough edges.
Each shelf consisted of two wide pieces and one narrower piece which, once put together, will look like this:
To secure the pieces together, I affixed one wider piece to the narrow piece at a time using my brad nail gun, air compressor, and a series of 1 1/4″ brad nails.
To cap off the ends of the shelf, I measured and cut two smaller pallet remnants to size and nailed it together.
This is what the final shelf looked like. Please note that this isn’t a complete box — I left the bottom of the shelf open.
I stained both shelves with the same “Sunbleached” wood stain from the bathroom’s vanity. The pallet wood really soaked up the stain, so I ended up giving each shelf three coats of stain.
To make the floating shelves’ brackets, I took an extra piece of wide molding from the board and batten and cut it down so that it would fit inside the back of the floating shelf. I bought a 6′ dowel from Lowe’s, cut it up into 10 different pieces, and secured five of them into the molding using brad nails.
We found the studs in the bathroom wall and secured each bracket into the wall using 2″ screws. These puppies weren’t going anywhere! To finish the floating shelves, we slid the shelves onto the bracket and drilled a couple additional screws through the top of the shelf diagonally into the wall.
Welp, finally, we’re finished! Remember the guest bathroom before?
Here’s the after!
A few details:
I completely adore this little guest bathroom now, and try to find excuses to use it more often. It certainly has a lot more personality now! What do you think?
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