Monday, June 11, 2012

Painting a Bathroom


Although I have some ideas for the girls’ bathroom which include bead board, sconces, different mirrors, and a cabinet/hutch thing on the counter between the sinks, we aren’t planning to do those things until later.  As in, after we are living there and have a few more of the necessary areas checked off.

However, a couple of weeks ago, Alix actually implored me to paint the bathroom.  She said it felt like a dark dungeon.  Well, now, how I could I say no to that?  Paint another room white?  Lighten up a very dark area?  All right, then.  Let me just get the paint and my handy Purdy brush.

Here is a look at the bathroom – taken when the former owners were still there. 


The bathroom has new cabinets and countertops, pretty flooring, and new fixtures. But the chocolate brown walls, although a pretty color combination with the cabinets, made the bathroom feel closed in and dark.

I started with the trim.  I usually do, because it’s easier to edge around the trim when I’m painting the walls, than it is to try to keep from getting the wall as I paint trim.  Hmm, does that make sense?

First I used the brown can of Zinsser primer – it’s oil based and covers stain perfectly.  (I use the blue can, the water-based kind, for walls.)  I applied 2 coats of the primer on all the baseboard trim, the little closet door, the door trim, and around the window.  I even did the wooden towel bar holder under the window.


Here’s how the window looked after 2 coats of primer, and the baseboard after 1 coat.  I taped off the floor next to the trim in some parts of the room, and around the tub tile.  But to save time, I also used a piece of crisp new paper.  I slipped part of it under the crack between the floor and the baseboard and scooted it along as I painted.

After several strokes, the edge gets damp enough that I need to pitch it and grab another piece of paper, and then continue along.  It works great and is much faster than taping everything.  Every so often the edge of the paper might scrape a little paint on the floor, but I keep a rag handy and just swipe it up.


Here I am working on the trim around the little bathroom closet.  I’ve already done the door – as you can see.  I taped around that little hook before I primed the door – and then later realized I could use an Allen wrench to take all the little hooks off the wall.  There are 6 towel bar/hooks in the bathroom.  It took me a little while to unscrew them all with that tiny wrench, but it looks much more professional than just taping around them.

Here is a shot of the doorway – notice the top piece of trim is missing!  Believe it or not, that piece, and the one over the closet door, weren’t attached to the wall at all.  Just propped up there on top of the two side pieces!  So I took them off to paint them separately.


Priming the trim took several hours.  By the time I finished the first coat, I was able to start the 2nd!

The next day, I began painting the trim color.  I did 2 coats of trim paint for most of the room, but I can tell I’ll need to touch up a few more spots – including painting the little closet door for the 3rd time. 

Then the next day, I took off all the little towel bars/hooks, the switch plate covers, and the mirrors.  The mirrors were stuck to the wall, quite firmly, with double-sided tape- a really strong kind.  When I took them down, the tape pulled part of the drywall off.  So before I could prime the walls, I had to mud, or spackle, the spots it left, in addition to a place on the wall near one of the towel bars which needed patching.  After letting them dry several hours, I sanded them, re-mudded, and let dry again till the next day.

Finally, I could prime the walls! 

Stay tuned…


  1. Sounding good!
    I have never painted any rooms myself, but have watched and been a gopher for the painters during many paint jobs. I can feel the excitement without even being there!
    The best of wishes for your beautiful new home!

    P.S. This isn't Racheal here by the way, but I had to use the account with her name on it because it wouldn't let me leave the comment otherwise!