Updated Hall Bath

Our hall bathroom was the same color as every other room in our house: GREY. But not just grey, super flat, super grey grey. I like grey when it is more of a blue-grey tone or a nice green-grey, but this color is just very basic and boring and never looked clean. That color plus, a sink that didn’t really fit the space made it hard to like that room. It felt small. So we decided to do something about it while my parents were visiting recently. A quick trip to the local Lowes and we had a new vanity and sink, paint and paint supplies, a new light fixture and faucet to completely update the bathroom.

before hall bath

The first step was ripping out the sink, which turned out to be liquid nails-ed into the wall and floor.IMG_0230 2Removing the sink left us with a hole in the wall that needed to be patched.IMG_0227

Before we patched the hole, we checked to make sure the new sink would fit and drained the toilet tank.
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Then my dad and I used a spackle putty that went on pink, but dried white. It took nearly an entire small container of the putty. Some general tips: when spackling use the putty knife to push it in and then using a “sunshine shape” from the middle to spread it out.
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After we were done applying the putty to the wall, my dad showed me how to smooth it out with a damp washcloth. My grandmother came up with that trick and it really does make a difference in the finished texture.
IMG_8894 Metal putty knives are way better than plastic paint knives. Ideally, you’re looking for a thin 3 inch or so for a giant hole, like the one  our sink left. With all that patch work it took a really long time to dry.

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After the patch completely dried and the toilet tank was empty, we took the toilet tank off to make ladder maneuvering and painting easier. If you’re not sure how to take the tank off, run a quick google search. It isn’t as scary as it seems.

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Add a washcloth under the connection line just in case. IMG_7547

Voila! The tank is gone! As you can see we were the first people to remove the tank for painting and honestly hadn’t noticed, so if you choose not to remove it, no one will probably notice. IMG_3294

See? Room for the ladder!IMG_9073

Now comes the least fun part of painting, taping and prepping the walls. We started with sanding since we needed to sand down the patch any way. We used a hand sander and a fine grit sand paper.
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We cut the sandpaper into quarters, which fit the sander perfectly.IMG_0244
Then we started sanding.IMG_1569 2

Once the walls were sanded to smooth (er) and wiped with a damp rag, we started taping. I find taping the ceiling worth it, but since my parents have lots of experience at painting, they didn’t need to (goals!).

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Tape tip: Use your fingernail to get the tape in between the baseboards and the wall. When you get the tape try to go from corner to corner with one long piece.

Now, start edging.
IMG_1552As you can see we picked a coral color, which is less orange in person, I promise. It really brightened up the room. After edging, paint the entire room with a roller, some people like the thin rollers, I like the larger ones go with whatever makes you happy. Tip: don’t be stingy with the paint on the roller or the brush. You don’t necessarily want to glop it on, but it’s better to err on the side of too much rather than too little. Also, be sure to paint in a W motion so you overlap the stripes.

Two coats later and you can hardly see the grey. You can see it even when the paint dries. Obviously, we opted not to paint where the new vanity is going since no one will notice it.
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Now for the vanity and sink installation.
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Finished project!
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We still need to replace the outlets with white, but it looks so much better and with the new sink and vanity, there’s more room and a bit of storage. I couldn’t be happier!.IMG_4712

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More Painting Hacks

Slowly but surely, J and I are making our house ours. When we moved in last October, the ENTIRE house was this awful shade of grey. It’s almost like the previous owners watched a bit too much HGTV and decided that what all 14 rooms and bathrooms needed was one color. But instead of picking a grey that would make the spaces look clean and fresh and emphasize the size of the rooms and the great windows, they chose an awful flat dirty grey that made everything feel gross. It made the (painted) white baseboards look dingy and dirtier than they were.

Here’s what the sitting room looked like before we moved in.
before sitting room
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The photo “quality” actually makes this space look not terrible, but in person, it was dark and dirty. The room lacks an overhead light, but during the day (once the hideous vertical blinds were out!) has fantastic light from the two windows. J and I spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect blue for this room to match the formal, yet inviting vibe we wanted it to have. Plus, while we both like blue, I tended to go more toward a true navy and J tended to go more cobalt. Ultimately we settled on Empire Fleet Blue from Valspar.

Empire Fleet Blue

On our test swatches, it looked pretty dark, so J was a bit skeptical about how it would make the room feel. We left the squares up on the grey walls for about four months before our favorite local hardware store had a buy one get one free on premium paint sale. That was the push to just try it. As I wrote about here, we figure out some pretty great taping hacks. One more time, splurge and get the good Frog tape. It’s absolutely worth it!

The additional hack we used to protect our wood floors for this room was paper bags and boxes. Our paper bag collection bordered on hoarding so I was happy to get rid of them this way.
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We found if you opened the bags like you would if you were covering a school textbook (high school memories!) but left the bottom flaps, you could cover more space and give your baseboards extra protection.

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Then just make sure you tape the bags together and tape them to the wall. This method works particularly well for corners.
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Then we further protected the floors by adding a super cheap plastic drop cloth, or feel free to use a plastic party tablecloth if you have one on hand, and then old sheets to keep from slipping and sticking to the drop cloth. IMG_4663

While all of these photos are at night, if you can avoid it don’t paint at night. With a toddler, we couldn’t avoid it and just painted after she went to sleep in the evenings. One coat covered really well, but there were a few places that needed a second coat, so every wall got another coat the next night.

IMG_4664We let the paint dry overnight before adding the furniture back to the room.
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In all it took three night to get this room painted and put back together. IMG_4695

I couldn’t be happier with the end result. I love the color. It isn’t too dark, which makes J happy. IMG_4694

Here’s what it looks like in overcast daylight:

IMG_4701 The blue is a lot lighter in person and daylight as you can tell.

Now for the next project, removing the improperly installed chair rail in the dining room. IMG_4697

Painting hack

I can’t possibly be the first person to think of this. But this little trick just saved me hours of cleanup after painting:

Painting Hack
At first, I planned to use press and seal, but when I went to apply it, it turned out the roll was almost empty. The next thing in the drawer was Saran wrap.

So I used that and the best painting tape ever, Frog Tape and now I don’t have to worry about drips on the wood!

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If only repairing the chips in the shower floor was this easy!