When we first moved into our house eight years ago I wanted to have some fun with our powder bathroom and decided to create a floor mural. Unfortunately, I did not realize I was painting my mural over a cardboard like underlayment. A few years of potty training took it’s toll, and sadly the floor mural had expired. Urine + cardboard substance = gross. I had been wanting to wainscot the powder bath, and because I like to drive myself to the brink of insanity, I decided to tear up and redo the floor properly while I was at it.
Prepping the actual subfloor
I carefully traced my mural on a big template of tracing paper and then tore the floor down to the actual subfloor. Once I was down to the plywood base layer I screwed down some hardiebacker and once again used floor leveling compound, just a slightly thicker layer than before.
Notice that I made the floor leveling compound perfectly even with the tile. I’m a construction nerd who loves smooth transitions. I ended up using two pours of floor leveling compound and then did a thick coat of Zinsser primer.
If you look closely you can see my stellar use of a Lightning McQueen ball to keep any floor leveling compound from making it down the toilet drain. I also put a thick circle of caulk around the underside of the toilet mount to keep any leveling compound from leaking down into the basement.
Repainting the floor
Anyone who knows me cringed a little at the thought of me repainting this floor. I would not have redone this if the floor hadn’t been puckering in areas around the toilet. Repainting a picture with the lines already traced was much faster; however repainting this floor with the addition of kids added a new challenge…
A look at the floor in progress:
Penelope the frog (I decided she needed a name):
I named her Penelope because my reference image was of a European marsh frog, scientific name Pelophylax ridibundus. Pelophylax seemed close enough to Penelope to work. I may have had a moment of distress when I realized I had painted a European frog in my Colorado bathroom; my science brain likes to torture me with a need for accuracy at times.
I sealed up Penelope and her lilypad habitat with 3 layers of satin polyurethane.
Framing my floor mural
I love my floor mural but I felt my painting needed a frame. Enter the wainscoting craze on Pinterest… I fell in love with the horizontal planking style and went to Austin Hardwoods to check out what they had available. FYI- If you ask questions obsessively you can find out where local contractors get their trim work from; more specifically, where you can get trim work and mouldings that aren’t builder basics. I wound up purchasing Windsor One‘s tongue and groove boards as well as their cap moulding. Bonus, the boards came pre-primed which made finishing them easier.
If you look closely you can see where I marked the studs with Sharpie. I also made sure to level the first layer of boards (notice the little shim in the corner). The boards weren’t perfectly flush with the floor but I put a small trim piece along the bottom that hid any variations.
Because I am completely obsessed with all things botanical, I made little built in shelves that mirrored the curve of the lilypads. I made paper templates and then cut the shelves with my jigsaw. I also used my jigsaw to cut a groove out of the planks to wedge the shelves in place and also nailed them.
Below you can see the wainscot in place with the first coat of paint.
I used Floetrol’s flood additive and a small roller to help get a nice smooth finish. Pardon the countertop clutter in the background…
Finished powder bath
I was so excited to be done, as was my four year old who waits entirely too long to use the bathroom…
I had planned to use the shelves for things like extra hand towels and lotion, the boys had suggestions of their own:
Here’s a better view of the shelves, which also conveniently cover the top of the trash can:
Because I have a small addiction to School House Electric, I decided my light fixture needed upgrading. In case you’re curious, the mirror came from World Market.
My favorite room
I seriously am in love with my powder bathroom. I want my house to be unique and I’m pretty confident that no one else has a bathroom like this (except maybe the planking).
Now go have fun and make your own house your home. Don’t care if it’s cool or the latest trend or good for resale (unless a move is eminent): make it YOURS.