A bathroom is such a small space. Shouldn’t I be done by now?
Two days ago, I shared my progress painting the walls and adding trim. I think I mentioned maybe waiting a while to update the oak cabinets. Well, forget that. Last night, I decided to drag out this mess even longer by just diving right into cabinet painting.
First, let’s look at some before photos, since I didn’t show the cabinets in Monday’s update. This is how the bathroom looked before we moved in:
I thought these cabinets were new when we bought the house. But they’re actually redone in an oak veneer that’s about a quarter inch thick. The doors are new. After taking them off yesterday, I realized that the tall cabinet on the left was once a regular closet door. Based on the interior of the cabinets, I’m guessing a painted pine vanity sat to the right of a closet before it was updated. And while I didn’t love the oak, I can tell that it must have been a vast improvement over what was under that veneer.
Once I painted the walls, I snapped a messy photo of the cabinets so I could play around in Photoshop with cabinet colors.
Natural wood can look amazing in a black and white space. But these oak cabinets were not the sort of wood that looks amazing anywhere, and the new paint wasn’t changing that.
So last night, instead of finishing up the walls, I took off all the cabinet doors and started sanding the cabinet frames. Next came some Kilz primer. I guess it wasn’t actually that spur of the moment, because I’d been to Lowes earlier in the day to pick up some gray paint samples. I even went so far as to prime a piece of scrap wood and paint swatches of each shade.
I picked my favorite swatch (the top one), and painted the cabinet frames. (I know they’ll need a semi-gloss paint or polycrylic eventually, but using a flatter paint for initial coats seemed ok to me.) It’s a good thing it was just a $2.99 sample, because even with my careful swatch painting, the end result was different once on the cabinets. Too light.
I tried to go to bed, but got up around midnight to paint another coat. This time, I went with the second from the bottom in the photo above. It looked perfect. It had just the right amount of contrast with both the white and the dark gray walls. On it went, and once it dried I realized that somehow it went a little blue. Blergh!
Determined that something needed to be done right before I went to sleep, I took a few minutes to add some shelf paper to the very gross cabinet interior.
Ah! Much better! Decades old unscrubbable filth, hidden from my sight.
A bit ago, I added a third gray to a few spots. I thought it was a little green on the swatch, but maybe that will work better in this room than the bluish hue of the other. So I’m far from finished painting, but here’s a glimpse of where it’s going:
I’m heading upstairs to check on that third paint color. It should be dry now. Fingers crossed it’s the one!