the Little Craft Closet @ home - the Master Bath

Posted by Nickie Drysdale on

I always say that when you move into a new home you should get the feel of it for a year before starting big projects. There are obvious exceptions to this personal guideline, but it comes with the added bonus of taking the pressure off when you’re in the middle of settling in. This summer marked a year for us and a few of the walls are screaming at me. And much to my surprise, many of them are not! 

The first real update I chose was in my master bath. I wanted a deeper wall color, fresh trim paint, a painted tongue and groove accent wall behind the tub, and a wood backsplash for the vanity. My goal with the tub wall was to hint at ship lap, which I love, but remain true to this house by pulling in the tongue and groove which is on our great room ceiling and main bath wall.

First, let me show you where I began.


These are photos with the lighter walls. When we moved in I loved the light and bright bathroom. It actually teared me up in our first walk-through! My motivation for the change was that the light wall color was taking away from the beautiful focal points of the bathroom - the jetted tub and the vintage inspired vanity with granite countertop. All of the white just blended together no matter how I accessorized. 

So as soon as Mister left for a conference I was on my way to Home Depot - my favorite toy store! With samples in hand I confidently walked to the paint counter. Thankfully an experienced Do-It-Herselfer was working and asked if I had looked at the non-glossy sample of wall color I had chosen. Once she showed it to me in a different paper sheen and in comparison to some other greiges, I realized that I almost chose a pinky tan instead of having the gray undertones I really wanted. Now I was scrambling over paint chips while she mixed my other paint. Fast forward to Frank Sinatra singing in the perfect acoustics of an empty bathroom as I’m rolling away. Constantly looking a few feet behind, I’m anxiously watching as the first few strokes of Morning Dove by Behr dry with gray edges! Phew - success!! I took the very light mushroom wall color and deepened it by a couple of shades. Just what I was looking for.


Now we are starting to have focal points!

After picking up Little Mister from school, we headed to Home Depot again. Yup, twice in one day. I’m a lucky gal!! Unfortunately the narrower tongue and groove I had planned on purchasing was not in good condition and yet another huge decision was made whilst standing in the aisles of Home Depot. Plan, organize, lead, control...that’s how the project is supposed to go. Not plan, organize, lead, then plan again under pressure of the clock! I decided to gamble on the wider planks of tongue and groove so Little Mister and I moved on to the fun adventure of fitting the 12 footers into our SUV. Little Mister is blessed with my can-do attitude and takes joy in helping to conquer these challenges with me.

Once we unloaded, I measured and cut my tongue and groove pine. I had a couple of boards requiring slightly different lengths than most. It can be frustrating to measure, go out to the garage, cut, install, measure, out to the garage, cut, install, etc. After doing this for the first few boards my wall seemed to even out so I took the opportunity to cut several pieces at once which cut the time of this job in half. The only tricky part of the wood install was getting the last piece at the correct height. I wanted it to fit snug to the ceiling but that didn’t leave room for the groove to fit over the tongue below and then lean into the wall. Even leaving the second to last piece loose to install them together was tricky. I ended up cutting the last piece shorter and leaving a bit of a gap at the top. Caulk would be my saving grace! I caulked the edges and although I’d intended to caulk the top, the gap was larger than I wanted to deal with. Even after stuffing it with paper towel like my mom taught me. See below.

So instead of caulk I covered the gap with a slice I had cut from the last board that went up.

Then I started painting! It took 3 coats of paint with primer. 


The finished product is simple and timeless.

The vanity backsplash was an old find from Habitat for Humanity Restore that’s been sitting in my she-shed waiting to be called up for duty. After a couple of cuts and a good sanding, I nailed her into place. Just a few coats of paint and a line of caulk for the big finish. Quick and easy! 


To me, the finished product is a richer, more finished look that flows with the rest of our home. Done in a days time including multiple trips to Home Depot and lots of momming breaks. Not a bad return on this investment of time and all for under $100!!  

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  • Love the After and really love your telling of your adventures making it happen. Congratulations!!

    Janice Tylor on

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