March 21, 2010

Basement Bath Redux

Here are the results of our basement bath reno!  So much work for such a little space!  In the end I tried three different colors and ended up having to prime the walls.  Then I decided to paint the ceiling and trim which weren't part of my initial plan but I'm glad I took that extra step.  Bernie had to patch walls and remount the light and oh yeah, remove the toilet.  Which had a bad valve.  Isn't that always the case?

Before: 3/4 bath.  Blah creme color on walls and ceiling.

During: I wanted to paint the bathroom a pearlescent color for a hint of sheen.  Not only was this an expensive exercise (a quart cost about as much as a gallon of paint) but I just couldn't get it to cover well.  I used Benjamin Moore's Metallic/Pearelscent glazes.  The first color I tried was "stillness" which turned out to be very green and did not cover well at all. 

I thought I would give it another try with "shyness" (it is painted on the left of the picture below).  The color was a perfect champagne silver, but I wasn't confident that I could get an even application so I cut my losses and primed over the whole mess.  This color went on better than stillness and I switched from a semi-smooth roller to a micro fine roller which made a big difference.  Also, I don't think your walls can be super smooth - I may have had better results going over a primer vs. the slick walls I started with.

The final color is AC-28 "Smoky Embers" by Benj M.  I love it.  It's on the warmer side of gray with a hint of brown.  It goes well with the black built in shelves, brushed nickle hardware, and newly white trim and ceiling (BenjM Chantilly Lace).

A couple of things I learned on this project - one, green Frog tape is worth every penny.  I had zero bleed through and it didn't pull the paint off my trim work.  I'll never buy the blue stuff again.  Second, don't waste your time painting around a toilet - pull it off and get a good paint job.  Same goes for light fixtures, towel holders, etc.

Now, on to the stencil.  I bought a Virginia Creeper stencil and used the Shyness glaze mentioned above.  It turned out exactly how I wanted!  I couldn't believe how easy it was.  For details on where I got the stencil, see my Etsy blog post from last week.  I taped the stencil to the wall, the instructions that came with it strongly suggested NOT using adhesive spray.  Use a foam roller with rounded edges, get paint on your roller then roll it onto a paper towel so there isn't a lot of paint, use medium pressure and off you go!

Once the room was basically done I decided one more stencil was in order.  After I got my main stencils on the wall I pretty much hacked the thing to pieces so I could fit it in tighter spots.  Notice the cute little frames did you?  Last night I picked up some inexpensive frames and lucite boxes from Target's new Liberty of London line.  I wanted to buy them last week, but figured I would never find a use for them.  I was totally Wrong.
Drum roll please!  Here it is, the big reveal.  The metallic paint really gave a barely-there finish that you can't see in all the pictures.  I filled the frames with pictures from Todd and Anne Marie's wedding including the family tradition - "jump" pictures.  I want to replace the mirror and the glass shades on the light fixture but all in all the room is done and I LOVE it.  Big time.  Voila!

On to the next project!


  1. What great choices in paint colors! The stencil effect looks like fine wallpaper.

  2. Thanks Raina! I'm wallpaper adverse - but your rooms are starting to change my mind.

  3. I love that you have Marija "I <3 Liberty of London" Thomas in one of your frames. I bet she's jealous of your fabulous stenciling job, and the fact that you finished it. ;o)

  4. Marija had the most glamorous jump shot of the day and was the photog for the other three shots. Putting her in a pink LOL frame was an obvious choice. Very much enjoying your blog Shaboom!

  5. Thanks, Keri! Love Marija for sharing it with everyone. We're having a lot of fun writing it.

  6. I love the colors you chose! Are you related to my husband? He is great at decorating. Me? Not so much.

  7. oh! I love the shade you chose. As a matter of fact, when I asked Nate Berkus for his favorite gray, I believe 'smoky embers' is the one he mentioned!

    you're GOOD!

  8. That's quite a compliment coming from A Perfect Gray!!! Love the color.

  9. I love that stencil, very classy, the whole room looks great. I have just been doing a whole lot of stencilling over at my place I love the effect.

  10. That stencil is so pretty I love the shimmery look with the paint too, I bought some wallpaper which was similar with a bit of shimmer and love how the light catches on it. Great job :)

  11. Thanks ladies! I have to hold myself back from stenciling every room because I still have that negative impression of stencils from all the old kitchy stuff that used to be out there. But now you can make it look like the prettiest of wallpapers. Check out our dining room....a lovely damask if I do say so myself :)



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