Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Office Bathroom Redesign: Part 2

Remember how I had been hired to make over the bathroom in the office where I work? And how this was what I had to start with?
In my last post, I shared the plan for the bathroom redesign, as well as the first step in the process:
  • Remove wallpaper and vinyl baseboards
  • Prime and paint walls in a cool grey shade
  • Paint trim glossy white
  • Install white baseboards
  • Hang a new, prettier mirror above the sink
  • Install toilet paper holder and paper towel holder
  • Replace outlet and light switch covers
  • Create a sink skirt to cover the electric water heater under the sink
  • Hang pretty artwork
That brings us here.
I was excited to get some paint on the walls, I painted a few swatches to get us started. These were all colors I had on hand, because my boss, JoAnne, knew she wanted grey but not what shade. Turns out the lighting in the bathroom is pretty wild, because it really made the undertones stand out in each swatch. The top color was Pale Smoke by Benjamin Moore, but it looked like baby blue on the walls. The middle color, Benjamin Moore's Moonshine, (my hallway and bathroom color), looked almost green in there. It photographed grey instead of green, but I swear it looked green in person. The bottom color was my dining room color, which we could see was obviously too dark (Colonial Woodlawn Grey by Valspar).
So without any obvious winners, I brought in my color chip book and we pocked out a few more colors. Benjamin Moore's Sterling was the greenish color in the "west" position of the paint swatch compass on the right wall (again, looked grey on the chip) and Behr's Sterling in the "east" position.

Funny how quickly you can go from testing a "couple colors" to 50 shades of grey ...
So when it came time for me to primer, we still didn't have an obvious winner. I ended up primering everything except the smaller test area of colors so JoAnne would have a little longer to think about it. And then of course, she said she liked the color of the tinted primer. hahaha
You can see in the picture below where I painted over the paint swatches. The primer dried much quicker in those spots than on the vinegar-saturated walls.
Anyway, we ended up picking the color that I already had a gallon of from a leftover project. It was Benjamin Moore's Moonshine. I started out just painting a little corner ... and immediately hated it. I then took the worst picture ever to document it. It's hard to tell from the blur below, but the color just read way too green and pretty dingy. Not at all the look we wanted.

So I stopped painting and gathered the ladies into the bathroom to give their opinions. And we were agreed: it was all wrong.
I think we had all started to like to color of the tinted primer, which read a bit more purple/grey in there. Thus, we ended up picking the shade closest to the primer, only a bit lighter: Behr's Sterling.

And just like that, we were finally making progress. It's a really cool grey, with a subtle lavender tone to it. It doesn't really relate to that weird brown floor, but what can ya do? I wasn't about to replace that stuff!

I also hung the new mirror JoAnne brought in, which is a big improvement.
The wall color is a really nice shade though, and it looks especially nice against the new bright white trim and light switch covers.
Much better than before, right?
Next on the ole to do list was installing the baseboard. I did this using only a hand saw, a miter box, a hammer and finishing nails. Rocking it old school. No power tools necessary.

I bought the fabricated, pre-primed stuff since it's easier to cut than wood and it's already the color I wanted. Yay shortcuts!
The toughest part was finding the pre-primed, fabricated molding that was tall enough to cover the craggy wall where I tore out the old vinyl baseboards. They left behind a lot of glue and ripped up the drywall along the bottom four inches.

The problem was the trim was only 3-1/4" tall. So rather than line the baseboards up so they're touching the floor, I nailed them in 3/4" above the floor. Then I used the quarter round (which is 3/4" tall), to cover that little gap. It made the whole baseboard molding look a little more stately, and then I didn't have to bother correcting the craggy wall.

Here's some pictures before I caulked. You can see that I didn't line up my cuts 100% perfect, but pretty close. This usually works out just fine once you line it all with caulk to smooth out the seams.
Around the sink needed caulking too...
And here's a picture after caulking. (I went back around the trim with the wall paint after this picture, so that light white "haze" above the trim is no longer there).
And check out that caulked corner. Seamless.
This corner behind the toilet was a little trickier. Since I didn't know what's in that little bump out, I didn't want to nail into it (in case it was a vent or pipe). So I had to use wood glue to secure the pieces.
Normally that wouldn't be too difficult, but since I had to secure the larger back piece 3/4" above the floor, getting the glue to set up without the pieces slipping down was tricky. My solution? Rolled up paper towels. I rested the molding on the paper towels and then pushed the quarter round up against it, with just glue holding everything in place. After about 20 minutes, I went back in and caulked, which helped keep things together too.

This probably wouldn't be a good solution for a high-traffic area, but since this corner is behind the toilet, I knew it wouldn't get bumped or kicked often.

So now my to do list looks like this:
  • Remove wallpaper and vinyl baseboards
  • Prime and paint walls in a cool grey shade
  • Paint trim glossy white
  • Install white baseboards
  • Hang a new, prettier mirror above the sink
  • Install toilet paper holder and paper towel holder
  • Replace outlet and light switch covers
  • Create a sink skirt to cover the electric water heater under the sink
  • Hang pretty artwork
In the thrilling conclusion of this bathroom makeover trilogy, I'll have the big reveal. Stay tuned.