I decided that the first thing to tackle was giving the trim a coat of paint… and when I say “a coat of paint” I mean a bunch of coats of paint.
I removed the doors from the vanity and started brushing all the baseboards, door moulding, & the vanity itself with a coat of primer. After the first coat, the stark white made the weird stone material of the shower & sink look worse.
All the surfaces got at least two coats of primer for good measure. I didn’t sand anything beforehand. I painted the vanity with a brush as opposed to a roller because it made it easier to paint the small sections.
I also decided to badly paint the interior of the vanity: it was made of super absorbent particle board. The paint just didn’t move in there – I did a few more coats than what is pictured here – I just thought a lighter interior would make it easier to see inside… and, well, look less gross. A roller would have done a better job, but I wasn’t breaking out a roller at this stage. Besides, I was not being a perfectionist about this because eventually we will do a much more extensive renovation & replace the vanity all together. (…probably, most likely).
At this point, I had already painted the door moulding… which leads me to the following observation/conclusion. The tile floor isn’t original (it clearly was a newer style without a doubt) but the thing is – it must be installed over the original tile. Yay. Great. I say this because of this lovely job of cramming mortar around & in front of the baseboard & door trim. I can understand being cheap and just layering one tile over the other… but at least remove the baseboard before you do it! Sheesh.
Bonus: since easy things like the baseboards wern’t removed for this little update, neither was the vanity – so if we ever want to replace the vanity (and keep the tile), we have to replace it with one with the exact same footprint: because the they tiled up to the vanity & not under it. Now, I wouldn’t have picked this tile, but it isn’t bad – it’s grey… but if we do any further renovations, the tile has to come out. (And as we learned with the foyer tile, that means the subfloor as well.)
Carefully painting against the floor without getting paint everywhere. Conclusion: if you can, remove & paint the baseboard or paint before if you are replacing it. Second conclusion: stained wood baseboards hide more flaws in both the surrounding materials and themselves – since they are dark. These baseboards never had their nail holes filled & really didn’t line up all that well in the corners.
While we are in the hallway, I’ll give you a little tour of the finishings.
The trim took two or three coats of primer and more coats of paint. It just kept looking streaky no mater how many coats I applied. I suspect it was the paint and just that the stained dark wood needed a lot of work to go from dark to bright white.
In order to paint against the carpet, I stuck a bunch of very thin cardboard between the baseboard and carpet. Later, before I removed the cardboard, I scored the paint along the bottom edge with a utility knife – so the paint wouldn’t rip off the baseboard.
The lesson here is that painting trim dosn’t look like it would be time consuming… but it is. Especially stained trim, and let’s face it, someone who is painting trim is probably painting stained trim. (Except for our master bathroom, which is painted mint green.) Unless sanded beforehand, the stain makes the trim slick – so the first coat of primer sort of just slides around. The second coat covers more, but is really just grabbing onto the first coat. I don’t recall how many coats of paint I applied, but for the primer… it was at least three. I did think it think it seemed like an excessive amount of coats. And, of course, the more coats, the overall more dry time for the entire project. In the end, I didn’t sand the trim, but the primer stuck and didn’t peel off afterwards. On the bright side, I didn’t have to be super careful when painting against the walls because I would be painting both the bathroom & hall walls later. So, a small room does not necessarily equate to a quick project – I’d probably say painting a bedroom’s trim (with one door & one closet, but more wall space) was faster than this little hall.
Overall the white trim is a relatively simple but impactful update and is still a weekend project. Though, if we ever purchase another house, I won’t just think painting stained trim (or any painting job) is a simple task.
In case you haven’t seen the other posts about the bathroom’s temporary updates, here they are:
The guest bathroom before
Part 1) The gust bathroom & hall get a coat of paint
Part 2) Updating old cabinets with wood filler
Part 3) Painting hollow core doors & spray painting hardware