Archives For Downstairs Bath

So after yesterday’s post about my total fail in attempting a painted herringbone effect, here’s the rest of the story. My new idea was to attempt the same effect with wood. I had these craft sticks left over from a previous project so I tried cutting them at an angle using a miter box.

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It looked pretty good, but I could tell right off that it was going to take forever to cut all those pieces and that keeping my cuts precise would be a nightmare. Even if I’d decided to butt the straight ends up against each other I still would have needed to cut a precise angle where the sticks met the frame. So I played around with it a little bit and decided instead to lay the sticks end to end like planks in a wood floor. This was perfect for covering up the previous layers of paint and so easy that I knocked it out in an hour.

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The sticks have a rounded end, so I used a pair of wire snips to cut off the tip. I set up a small container to catch the flying pieces like a soccer goal. I also cut the sticks to random lengths like you would do when installing wood floors.

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Once I had a bunch of pieces cut and could tell that it was going to work, I moved my work area to be near an outlet and used a hot glue gun to stick them down one at a time. I did the whole bottom row first, then followed one row at a time. After I was done with the gluing I touched up the green paint where it had been accidentally smeared with white.

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I thought about staining some of the pieces before gluing them down to add contrast, but the natural variations in tone were interesting enough that I left it as is. I still haven’t completely ruled out adding something else to the design but I’m just not sure what yet.

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It’s perfect on this sliver of wall in our downstairs bath.

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Up close you can see lots of gaps in the wood, but since the back is painted a light color it’s no biggie. I kind of dig it, actually.

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This project made me kind of wish that I had a dollhouse in need of wood floors! It was fun and relaxing, which is the exact opposite of what I think it would be like to ACTUALLY lay wood floors.

For a long time the wall next to the medicine cabinet in our downstairs bath looked like this.

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But then I got tired of it and took it all down. The wall remained blank until recently when I got to adorn it with some things I got for Christmas!

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The print says Everyone Poops and I have been coveting it since this summer. My sister got it for me for Christmas and I was thrilled! I popped it into a $15 frame from Target. You can get your own poop-friendly print here.

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The silver-plated sconces were a gift from Nick’s mom, Alden, who received them as a gift from her mother shortly before she died several years ago. Alden always loved them but never could find the perfect spot for them in her house so she passed them onto me. I think they’re just lovely in here! They’re very special to Alden and so I plan to take good care of them.

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I love the combination of traditional and cheeky.

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Here’s an older picture of the rest of the room (no sconce in this picture). The color on the walls is the same one that I’m using in the kitchen. Three coats down in there, hopefully just one more to go! I love that it’s light and bright and creates a nice layered look next to white.

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Do y’all think it looks weird that there is a sconce on the left side of the print and nothing on the right? I wonder whether I should hang something else there to balance it out or leave it as is.

Last week I posted about the stained, dingy grout in my downstairs bath and asked for tips on how best to clean it. My goal is to get it white enough to seal, and since this room is on the large side as far as bathrooms go I need something that is relatively easy and inexpensive to implement. Well, you all did not disappoint! I’ve spent the last week implementing your suggestions in a very scientific and well-organized tournament-style experiment. Realistically, I just put down a piece of painter’s tape every five tiles and wrote a different technique to try on each one. First, the losers. Most of these worked alright, but not well enough to tackle years worth of grime.

Barkeeper’s Friend: Better, but not good enough. In person it was still pretty dingy.

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Oxyclean: I love this stuff for laundry but for hard surfaces it disappoints. I dissolved a pretty strong combination in water and tried scrubbing it with both a grout brush and a magic eraser. Even if it did work well it still wouldn’t have been my preferred technique because if you don’t rinse away every last trace it dries with a white film.

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Baking Soda + Oxyclean Paste: my problem with anything pasty is that it’s a pain to clean up afterwards, as evidenced by the pile of caked up powder pushed off to the side of this photo. The area directly above the painter’s tape is where I’d applied it and you can see that it didn’t make a huge difference.

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Lemon Juice, Baking Soda, and Salt: another paste that was just alright. Nothing to write home about.

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The big winner was actually discovered by accident. One commenter suggested spraying on hydrogen peroxide and letting it sit, while another suggested simply scrubbing with a magic eraser (I assume using plain water since that’s typical magic eraser protocol). During one of my cleaning sessions I spritzed some HP onto the area labeled as such, then moved down a few feet to the area marked “magic eraser” and started scrubbing. I hadn’t accounted for my sloping floors and thus the HP ran downhill to where I was scrubbing but hark! Turns out they’re a veritable dream team.

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Look at the huge difference here.

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I was so excited that I made a video! But by then my magic eraser was almost dead and the results weren’t quite as stunning as they had been earlier. I’m headed to the grocery store this afternoon and will stock up on enough cheapo store brand magic erasers to scrub the whole house down.

I’m pretty sure this is the first time ever in my adult life that I’ve bought hydrogen peroxide. Turns out it’s super cheap and non-toxic! I remember my mom pouring it over scraped knees and elbows when I was little, but I’d honestly never thought to use it for cleaning until a commenter suggested it. There are still a few dark spots, but the overall effect is quite impressive. After I get the whole room done I’ll assess whether to tackle the remaining stains or to seal it as-is. The idea of sealing in dirty spots makes me twitch but geez, how much scrubbing can I do? I wonder if I could use those grout painting or coloring kits to just touch up here and there before sealing? If I ever find myself in a place to make decisions about tile jobs I am so going with white tiles and dark grout (like this!). White grout is just not practical for people like us!

I’ve been searching for the “perfect” bath rug for months to no avail. Finally, with my Pawpaw coming to stay with me for two weeks, I really needed to just get something ASAP so that he could safely get in and out of the tub. And wouldn’t you know that I found something I love?

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This dark gray beauty was only $20 at Target and is exactly what I was looking for–textural and subdued. I know most people don’t agonize over bath mats like this but it’s the little things that bring me joy.

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I’m thinking of switching up the area above the toilet. Is it just me or is it stupid to have this much “art” in a bathroom? I’d really like to hang that yellow-framed ballerina print up in the dining room. Maybe I could replace the whole operation with just one thing–perhaps this print that I think is so hilarious.

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It’s so funny that this room and the laundry room are currently my favorite spaces in the house. I guess I’ve got a thing for indoor plumbing. Or maybe it’s just that the limitations imposed by smaller, utilitarian spaces makes it easier for me to decorate. I do well with limits.