Thursday, June 28, 2012

Budget Bathroom

As stated in a previous post, I conned my way into artistic rights over a very small (and hideously ugly) bathroom.  It is a tiny space that in other house terms would be a closet, but nonetheless needed a serious face lift. 

I kid you not, this is what it looked like before I started.  The goofy paint areas are from industrial supply style paper towel holders and toilet paper dispensers.  The ugly band-aid color walls are simply the paint of choice for the ENTIRE HOUSE. 

Again, not joking, they really did paint thousands of square feet this color.

With black and white floor tile.

This space had a lot of issues.  First, the black and white tile in my opinion is just too large of a print for a 16ish square foot space.  Next, the paint is clearly hideous.  All three hideous colors.  My post before this talked about the process of redoing the light that you cannot see in this pic.  And finally, the walls that aren't brick are particle board or whatever that wood junk is that is just a bunch of small pieces glued and pressed together.

I know, I know, you would think I'd know exactly what it is after having all those construction courses this year.  The boys were cute, my attention span was short...sue me.

Back to the bathroom.  Being the new-found pinterest-er that I am, I had heard tale of a way to use brown paper bags to recover floors and walls and whatnots and such.

So I papered over a board.  And made a mess on the floor, but that clearly isn't the point.  So as you can see in this picture, I papered the entire board and stained the far half and painted the other half to see what we could do.  I really think the painted side would make a cool floor too, but it did not fit in with my decorating needs for this bathroom. 

I did this by tearing up paper pieces and Mod Podge-ing them down on the board and coating MP over the pieces to seal down edges.  Everywhere I had read online said to soak the crumpled pieces in a glue and water mix (basically a thinner version of MP).  I completely ignored this, and just used straight MP on this, painted not soaked. 

I stained this board with Dark Walnut Minwax.  I feel like dark stains really help ramp up the floor and make it look less like...well...lunch sacks.

So in the new house we found stacks of brown lunch sacks.  Turns out buying something lock stock and barrel can be fun. Anyway, so I tore up the lunch sacks and crumpled them.  Just like everything I had read online said.

Which was my first mistake, because I NEVER follow instructions.  I tore these into much larger pieces than my original board and it did NOT work as well as the little guys.  I also personally think I'd skip the crumpling next time.  It is a little tough to really get the stuff to lay down perfectly. And quite frankly, Elmer's glue and water just cannot top Mod Podge.  And that's just that. 

So, small pieces + Mod Podge + Dark Stain = Better Results.

Remember that equation, you will be tested on it later.

So this is post-glue, pre-stain, and probably drenched in glue because I did that stupid soaking thing.  Mod Podge dries way faster for the record and really makes life easier. It probably would cost you more but seriously it is worth it.

So after this picture was taken, Dark Walnut stain and high build polyurethane went down next.  Now, I had originally purchased semi-gloss poly.  Don't do that.  Get something really glossy and fancy.  Matte finishes make it look cheap.  Shiny finishes make it look far deeper and lovely.

I really used 2 coats of high-build semi gloss Minwax Poly and a coat of Antique Walnut Polyshades over that.  Polyshades is pretty freakin' fantastic being stain and poly in one.  They don't recommend it for floors and I kind of think it maybe does not dry as hard as other poly's do, but mixed with the high build I think it is fine for this particular floor.  We currently have a rug down right in front of the toilet, which solves the issue of people walking on it and wearing it out faster.

Ok so this picture is really hard to see, I understand that.  But this is the floor stained and coated.  Again, dark hides flaws, so keep that in mind.

Recap of tips:

USE dark stains.
FLATTEN the paper scraps out as much as possible, don't leave big wrinkles in there or you will have to go back and cut the out with an exacto knife and a putty knife to redo them...
USE Mod Podge.  Elmer's glue and water mixes are annoying. 
USE shiny poly.  Shiny shiny shiny.  SHINY.

And yes, I did do the paper treatment over the walls.  But that is a different blog topic for a different day.

And so goes on the continuing saga of the budget bathroom.  Using bags we had, stain we had, less than $10 in glue, and probably $5 or less of polyurethane (barely made a dent in either can of it), We made a hideous tile floor look substantially less hideous.

Stay tuned for the pictures of the final look! Pin It Now!

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