Half Bath Progress – Tile, Wainscoting, Window Casing, and a Color Change

The half bathroom is inching closer and closer to being finished! The one big thing hanging over my head is still the floor, but I have a few more things I still want to get finished before I tackle that huge project.

I finished painting and adding the resin coating on all of the tile, let it cure for a couple of days, and then got most of it installed. But something still seemed “off” about the whole thing — the yellow chair rail, yellow tile and yellow lower wall. The yellow tile seemed bright and cheerful, but the yellow chair rail and wall looked dull. That seemed strange since it was literally the exact same paint color out of the same container. And yet, it looked dull on the painted finishes.

So I tried the chair rail in white, and I loved it!

I had rejected the idea of white wainscoting before because it just looked so boring against the upper walls. And I do love white wainscoting, as you can see in the music room and hallway bathroom. But in this bathroom, it just seemed so…blah.

But as it turns out, just the addition of the yellow tile with the white wainscoting was all it needed to take it from blah to bright and interesting to my eye. So I painted the lower wall white as well to get the full picture of what it would look like. This was after one coat of white on the lower walls, but it already looked so much brighter.

yellow bathroom tile with white wainscoting

And of course, the addition of all of the bright painted trim (picture frame molding, baseboards) will complete the look.

Speaking of trim, I finally cut the access panel in the wall behind the toilet. This was the whole reason this bathroom had to have wainscoting in the first place.

If not for the need for this access panel (due to the special plumbing required in this bathroom), I wouldn’t have chosen to do wainscoting with picture frame molding in a room with such busy upper walls. But I couldn’t think of a better way to disguise the required access panel than with picture frame molding.

So after cutting the panel out of the drywall, I trimmed the edges of the cut out piece with base cap molding, and then put it back in place.

access panel with picture frame molding cut into wall behind toilet

I still need to come up with a way to keep it in place. Right now, I just have a tiny piece of wood shim wedged in there so that the panel won’t fall out. I’m still trying to figure out a more permanent solution for holding that panel in place.

I also got the window casing installed, although I still need to caulk and paint.

bathroom with window casing installed

That window casing is another reason I decided to try the white on the chair rail and lower walls. I knew that with the addition of the tile backsplash/accent around the room, that would put the chair rail up much higher, which wouldn’t allow for a full apron under the window.

I couldn’t imagine the window casing in white with a narrow little apron up against a yellow chair rail. That would have just highlighted the narrow apron. With the window trim and the chair rail white, it better disguises the narrow apron under the window. And of course, it’ll look better once it’s all caulked and painted.

Today, I hope to continue with the trim and get all of that installed (including the crown molding), get the tile grouted, and get the second coat of resin on the countertop. And speaking of the countertop, I’ve decided to give the final coat of resin a matte finish.

Resin generally has a very shiny and reflective finish, which you can see here…

bathroom epoxy resin countertop - original shiny finish

And it really shows up here…

DIY MDF bathroom countertop for undermount sink - 24

But yesterday, I watched a video about how to get a matte finish in resin. I’ve done it myself before, but that was for the huge piece of artwork that hangs in my music room…

sanding a resin coating to get a matte or satin finish - 11 - resin with satin finish after using buffing compound

But even after sanding that resin to a satin finish, it never dawned on me to try that on a countertop. But in the video I watched, they said that a matte finish would hide scratches on a resin countertop (obviously), so I’m going to try it.

I decided to test the look by sanding the right side of the countertop by hand with 220-grit sandpaper, and it looks pretty amazing…

bathroom epoxy resin countertop - matte finish

It’s hard to see the full effect in pictures, but there’s not a bit of shine or reflection on that side of the countertop. It’s just pure matte goodness.

Of course, the sanded resin will have to be waxed, so it will probably end up being more of a satin finish. But it will still be better at hiding scratches than a really shiny, highly reflective surface.

So that’s the progress! I’m definitely on the downhill slide towards the finish line with this, but again, I won’t be able to get it completely finished until the floor is done. Ugh! Stupid floor! I hate it when a huge, daunting project holds up progress. If it weren’t for the floor, I could probably have the bathroom done by the end of the weekend. Again..ugh!

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