I hope you had a great weekend and kept warm! Lucky us, the sun finally peeked out and we were able to spend a bit of time outside. There was a lot of squinting, and a bit of disorientation, as though we’d been in a cave for a bit of time, but we managed to adapt and get a bit of running around out of our systems.
I’m a sucker for a sunny day and cute boys in red crocs
But, back at the homestead.. a bit more bathroom love! So, last we talked, we had just finished up the tiling in the tub area.
We are still thrilled to bits with the outcome – the bathtub area is the “new” prettiest part of our house – but the fresh look made everything else in the room look dated and less than dazzling. On top of that, the monstrosity of a tub was a focal point hog. We needed a bit of balance in the room. And, we needed to get rid of the ugly builder grade mirror. Stat.
I had come across this inspiration shot and fell instantly in love. It was perfect for over our small sink area! The only problem is, one, we don’t have a wide area that would allow us to repeat the pattern, and two, I’m a fickle creature. My mind and tastes change so rapidly that to commit to a full wall of either more tiling (the horrors!) or a true barn wood application just wasn’t going to happen. Enter a faux application.
The background had already been painted earlier with our room color, Valspar City Snow. I began by taping off the area I would be painting. I really only wanted to paint above the sink, to the ceiling, so, my tape ran straight up to the crown moulding. Then, I drew a line down the center of the taped section.
My plan was to create the barn wood look first, then add the faux board or grout lines in afterward.
Lucky for Lowes/Home Depot that I’m so indecisive me, I had a bazillion sample size paints in a myriad of greys, whites and taupes from that time we painted the office and couldn’t decide on a color. I’d show you the office, but I have a kid-who’s-returned-to-the-flock living in it – that’s a story for another day. I ended up primarily using white, straight from the can, plus four shades – Behr Amazon Stone, Behr Silver Drop, Martha Stewart Heavy Goose (Discontinued) and Valspar Woodlawn Silver Brook and then accented (for more depth and texture) with a bit of black and a touch of blue-gray, Valspar Autumn Fog.
To create the barn wood look, I used a 2″ brush, and layered the paint in different and alternating colors at an approximate 45 degree angle, in 4″ sections, starting from the center line and working out. I used a mostly dry brush, meaning, I did have some paint on my brush, but a lot less than if I were painting a solid color. I didn’t measure it really, but instead just kind of eyeballed it. I tried to keep the lines somewhat even, but in reality, it wasn’t really important if they were or not at this point, meaning it didn’t matter if the outside points matched on either side. It was, however, important not to follow a pattern with color for a natural look.
Once I applied the color portion, I went back over it with white, straight from the can, and used a dry brush technique to just lightly blend the colors, adding striations of black and gray where needed to add dimension. Love Grows Wild has a great, full, tutorial on how to paint with the dry brush technique, but the general idea is to use a very small amount of paint, dipping only the tips of your brush, then dabbing the brush on either a paper towel or the paint lid to remove any excess before applying it to your surface. You don’t want to cover your surface, just add color and texture strategically, using short, quick brush strokes. For this purpose, especially when applying the white, I found it helpful to apply a line of color, then “feather” the line in the opposite direction, using short, light strokes. This kept the line, but softened the edge, which is exactly what I was going for.
In truth, there isn’t really a right or wrong way to do this, so, just keep layering the paint and blending until you get the result you want.
This was my finished result, before adding the board/grout lines.
After allowing the paint to dry overnight, it was time to apply the board lines. I used 2.5″ blue tape to mimic the width of an actual board. Beginning at the bottom, I taped out from the center to the outside edge, following the direction of the painted surface underneath. I didn’t measure the gaps in between, but did my best to keep them even. I did have to go back afterward and adjust the lines by just adding an additional line of tape to adjust the gap. I didn’t worry about leaving a gap for the center line – I planned to paint that by hand afterward.
At some point during all this taping, I looked back to find I had a helper.. Artist in the making for sure! If you’re ever in need of some assistance during your painting project, we do hire him out. 🙂
Originally, I had wanted to use a dark grout in the tub area, but once the tiling was done, I decided against it for various reasons. This area, however, seemed like it would be a great place to implement that look. So, once the taping was in place, I simply painted over the lines with our darkest color, Behr Amazon Stone. Normally when painting lines, you would be sure to apply a coat of the base color to prevent bleeding, but in this case, I was fine with a little bleed through, as I was going to apply a white wash over the lines anyway. If you are concerned about pristine lines though, be sure to first apply your base color, then your accent color. For further explanation, take a look here.
When the paint was nearly dry, I removed the tape. Sure enough, there was a bit of bleed through, but it only added to the result, appearing like chips were missing in the boards. I added the line down the center by hand.
Finally, I again applied the dry brush technique over the lines using plain white, to soften them and fade them in places. I also touched up and added a bit of texture where needed.
We were done with painting.
To finish up, we added a .5″ piece of trim from the top of the cabinet to the crown moulding and caulked around the edges.
And, finally, we added a new oval, tilting mirror and a few fun accessories. Pretend you don’t see that little tidbit of shelf fun to the left.
Not a bad “after”, so far! Obviously, you can see that middle cabinet is some weird different color to other cabinets. That’s going to need to be taken care toot sweet. There are a handful of small projects left – But, we are thisclose to being done. Thisclose. I’m just so excited we aren’t here any longer!