Tuesday, April 26, 2011

From Beast to Beauty - Master Bath Part I

I took a couple days off work to make this Easter long weekend ever longer - and used that time to put a decent dent in my to-do list.

The major project this weekend was my master bathroom - the one that hadn`t been touched in a year (since I first moved in) and had a failed test of blue paint on one wall? Yea that one...

Here's the before - I'm a bit embarrassed

When I moved in the entire house was this beige colour. Now there isn't anything wrong with beige, if that's your thing, and I know plenty of beige lovers out there so I wont criticize. Beige however is NOT my thing and I tend to cringe at anything labeled "earth tone" because it just seems to be everywhere. Perhaps I'm trying to be a bit of a rebel...

So out with the beige! And in with some blue?  The first step was choosing the right paint colour. I knew that I wanted a blue but with so many different hues and shades I was worried it would come out too country or worse - stereotypical. The colour I finally landed on is call Direct Appeal by General Paint. It's a green-blue with a lot of white in it. I did a couple test patches on the wall and then decided to just jump in and commit.

You can see the failed light blue under the new blue
Whenever I get home with a fresh new gallon of perfect paint I want to dive right into painting. However there are some super important steps that you really can't skip before applying the paint. In my case the walls were clean and free of any residue and I dusted the baseboards to avoid any little bits sticking to my walls.

When starting a project I try to gather all my materials first - I know that I'll only get angry if I have to run around mid-project looking for something. Here's what I used:
  • step ladder
  • paint
  • paint tray
  • my favorite paint brush for cutting in
  • paint roller
  • painters tape
  • drywall filler
  • trowel
  • sander and sand paper
  • flat blade screwdriver
  • damp cloth
  • garbage bag
  • drop cloth
After a good clean, I prepped the walls. I am moving an old towel bar so I had to remove the hardware and patch the holes left in its wake. I'd only ever seen my Dad patch drywall before but these holes were very small so I decided to give it a try.

It is actually quite simple to apply the filler with a trowel and then, after it dries, simply sand it smooth. Also I love projects that make me feel handy without needing a lot of skill. I was so proud to have patched the holes all by myself! There are some great tutorials online if this is something you are thinking of tackling.

While the filler dried I removed all the electrical plates and put them in a bucket with the screws so nothing went missing. I also removed the glass covers on my light fixture. I ended up with only one minor burn from a hot light bulb so I'm counting this a success*. Having bare bulbs in the fixture alleviates a lot of headaches - it makes it easier to paint around the fixture and if a bit of paint gets on the bulb it's not biggie (especially compared to paint on the glass fixture itself).

*It's tricky because you need the lights on to do all the other work but then have to turn them off to remove the glass covers by which time everything is hot.

After my walls were prepped I threw down my drop cloth and got to work cutting in. I have a love-hate relationship with this part of painting and as a perfectionist I am never truly happy with the end result. However practice makes perfect (I've been told) so I'm gonna keep doing it... maybe after I'm done the entire house and have no more painting projects I'll finally get the hang of it.

I think that the trick with cutting in is the brush. I have my favorite go to brush and I'm honestly afraid to replace it. The other part of cutting in is patience - it is a long slow process but do it right once and it saves a ton of time later on.

Clearly this was a long process - Come back tomorrow for the big reveal!


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