Thursday, September 18, 2014

How we made our wood counter top

It has been forever since I have started this bathroom re model. About two months to be exact. I think this has been one of our toughest renovations we have ever done. I don't know why, maybe it was the time of year we started, or living out of the girl's bathroom was not the funnest. Either way, it is so close to be finished. We are using it...all of it! Yay.

Before I started this project, I wanted to find an old dresser or something I could use for the vanity. As we looked, we just found there was nothing out there that would fit or work. I decided to paint the vanity instead.  I used the same painting method that I used on the girl's bathroom vanity. Painting first with the zinnser primer then the wall paint. I used the same color I painted my theater room. It went well, and I had a lot left. I loved it the moment it was done. I knew that this inexpensive solution defiantly worked the best for us.

Next, I had to decide on the counter. We looked at everything. Granite, quarts, soapstone, and nothing was quite right. I decided that I wanted to have a wood counter top, but I was afraid how it would wear.  We started researching and came across a product called waterlox.  It epoxies and seals the wood. I thought this was the perfect solution.

First step was deciding which kind of wood to choose. We went back and forth between cedar and pine, and finally decided on using pine boards and staining them a rich mahogany color to accent the grain and knots in it.

We found a pine counter top at home depot that was the right size for our vanity.  We decided to use the full board rather than separate pieces glued together. The full board would give us a much more even top. We went to work sanding the board well and staining the counter top. I wanted a rich color, something that would add some contrast  with my bathroom, since it was pretty light and mostly had shiny tile finishes. I actually used a combination of two colors and mixed and played with the color I wanted.  I used a combination of a cherry stain with a very dark brown on top.  It added a lot of depth and contrast to the wood.  One tip, when applying stain on stain always work quickly. If the first coat gets tacky, the second coat starts pulling off the bottom stain.  It worked well to either go over the wood with the stain almost immediately after each coat, or letting the first coat dry for a day completely then adding the second color of stain on top.

Once the stain was dry for a couple of days we applied the waterlox finish.  Some tips for this process.,,, After a couple of coats we saw that small bubbles were starting to form. We found that using a paint brush caused these bubbles.  The trick is to use a rag and liberally wipe on the finish. We sanded out the bubbles and tried the wiping method. It worked great.  We did three coats of the originally finish the applied a top coat of the satin finish.  We rubbed the satin finish on the same way and loved how the wood went from really shiny and epoxied looking, to looking like a piece of finished real wood.

I couldn't be more happy with this counter. It was relatively easy to do, and my vessel sinks look great on top of it.  It was so so much more inexpensive than granite or quarts, but it still gave the bathroom a very custom rich look.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014


We've been working on the back splash and shower tile this past weekend and I couldn't be more excited about how it is turning out. I am going pretty classic by using white subway tile on the shower, and accenting it with three stripes of  fabulous gray concrete accent tile we found. I also found a smaller subway tile for the backslash over the sink.  I also spent the first day of school (for my kids) painting my vanity. I chose a charcoal gray color to help ground the room. Painting cabinets and furniture is my favorite thing to do since it is such a fun fast update to any  room.
Just some grout and we are ready for the fun part...accessorizing!  I am getting excited...we are getting so close! Pin It