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Bathroom reno: Stage 1

And….we’re back! Life (and projects) got the better of me the past few weeks. Working on the bathroom, living room, visiting my new baby nephew (yay!) in MO, a Super Bowl party (boo hiss Saints!), parents in town, and a bout of pneumonia- followed by a lovely sinus infection- have kept me off my computer for a while. But have no fear, I’m back with an update on the first stage of our bathroom reno, which, by the way, has had even more hiccups than the usual DIY project in our house.

The first step in turning our beige heaven into something much nicer to see first thing in the morning (sidenote: Chris and I are both NOT morning people…I don’t think the bathroom was helping. Something much brighter and cheerier was definitely in order.) was knocking down the awkward and useless doorway between the sink and shower area.

Here’s a little reminder of what that looked like (you can see it in the reflection in the mirror).


The first thing we did was take off the door frame. Chris then carefully marked, scored, and removed the drywall from above the doorway and to the right side of it, which left it looking something like this.


We knew that this wall was not load-bearing, so Chris took down the wood beams.


Which just left the ones that were attached to the ceiling and wall studs. He wound up using a circular saw to cut those out, leaving inset beams on each side of the doorway.


We then cut pieces of greenboard (moisture-resistant drywall) to fit into the the inset space and screwed them in.


Then it was on to my least favorite part….mudding. And mud we did…and did….and did…and did…
But finally, after 5 or so coats (and a long wait time in between each coat), it was smooth.

But…it was too smooth. The other parts of a wall are slightly textured, called orange peel texture. Builders typically spray this texture on the walls after mudding to make the wall completely seamless in appearance. Unfortunately, we now had a really smooth area around the doorway that looked obviously out of place. So, we decided to try to emulate the look of the orange peel texture without having to spray it on.

We grabbed a paint edger pad, dipped it in slightly watered down mud, and got to stamping.


This is what the texture of the wall looked like post-stamping.


And this is what the texture of the rest of the wall looks like.


After a light sanding on the new texture, it should blend right in seamlessly with some paint. The ceiling texture is a different story. We have the starburst-looking texture called slapbrush on our ceiling. Following Katie Bower’s post on mudding, we thought we could easily stamp on the texture if we had the right brush. Not so! It must be some mythic form of art, cause, 2 brushes and multiple attempts later, we gave up and decided to use our old method that we used on other ceiling patches… finger mudding. Yes, we dip our fingers in a bucket of mud compound and then manually make starburst shapes with the mud. Not quite the professional way to do it but it doesn’t look half bad in the end…and a whole lot better than the weird mud squashes that came out with the slapbrushes!

So there’s the basics about stage 1 of the renovation. Coming up next…cabinet staining!

7 Responses

  1. It’s funny because we utilized the ‘finger method’ prior to finding our mud guy 🙂 It’s pretty crazy how sometimes the simplest solution is the best!
    XO – Katie Bower

  2. WOW – I am impressed! Will you be needing to use your newfound skills at Ross and Kristen’s new house??

  3. Orange peel looks so much different in Phoenix. . . it looks like you peeled an orange, laid it out and then stream rolled over it. I once had to try to recreate this look when I kicked a hole through our bedroom wall. I spent a really long time on it, got it looking perfect and then went to lowes a week later and realized that you can by the type of texture that you want in a can for like $5. Thrilled.

  4. You know you just wanted an excuse to knock out another wall!

  5. hi! first time reader here, found you through the 50DIY blogs list you mentioned in your latest post.

    anyways: do you have an update on how the wall texture turned out after sanding and painting? we’ve got that same problem in a couple spots in our house too. the previous owners LOVED their wall anchors and so we’ve been left with dozens of puttied holes that (even though they’re now filled with putty, dry, and painted to match their surroundings) can still be spotted! love your stamping idea and just wanted to know how well it finished off.


    • Thanks for stopping by! In order to get the texture to match up, you need to sand with a really rough (60 to 80 grit) sandpaper in the spots you patched and stamped, followed by a light sanding in a circular motion with a fine grit (150 to 220) sandpaper. Then with a little paint it should match right up! If you have a really defined texture on your walls, they sell spray cans of texture at Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc that should match up as well. Best of luck!

      • thanks Amy! we’ll have to try the stamping and sanding trick. awesome!

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