Painting the Powder Room

The "Before" Picture

Last weekend, we decided to start again on the project of removing all of the wallpaper in the house by focusing on the main floor powder room, which had an ivy wallpaper above the wainscoting.  The pattern wasn’t one that we found very objectionable in comparison to some of the other wallpaper in the house, but the wallpaper was starting to peel at the seams and, since it’s such a small room, we thought it would be a good place to start on a quick project.

So, last Saturday, I started on the project by removing the wallpaper.  I was glad to discover it was a strippable wallpaper, so the process was pretty easy.  I first peeled off the top vinyl-like layer to expose the tissue paper backing.  I then sprayed the tissue paper backing with a vinegar & water mixture to weaken the glue and peeled the tissue paper off the wall as well.  After giving the walls a good scrub to remove any remaining glue, they were ready to be painted.

For a paint color, we picked a Sherwin Williams color called Techno Gray.  Looking at the paint sample, we expected it to be a nice, warm gray color that maybe had a hint of green in the right light.  After painting the walls, though, we think it looks a lot more like a light sage green color that has a hint of gray in the right light.  We don’t find the color objectionable, so we’re not planning to change it, but it’s really not what we had in mind when we picked the color.

The New "Sedate Gray" Paint Color

Even though I scrubbed the walls really well after removing the wallpaper, they still felt a little tacky from the glue, so I decided to start with a primer that had an 85% tint of the finished color.  After the walls were primed, I painted a single coat of the final color in a satin finish.  This is the first time I’d tried using a smaller 6″ roller that was about an inch in diameter and I thought it made a big difference, especially when painting a smaller room because it allows you to get so much closer to the trim, corners, and ceiling.  It also seemed to provide a lot better coverage than the standard rollers we normally use.  After removing the masking tape from the trim, I saw a couple places that need to be touched up again, but otherwise, the paint on the walls looks good.

The ceiling in the bathroom is currently painted the same off-white color (Sherwin Williams Modest White) as the trim, the finish is sort of shiny, and it looks like there was only one coat applied because you can see another shade of white peaking through in spots.  So, I think I’ll give the ceilings a couple coats of fresh white ceiling paint in a flat finish to hopefully hide a few of the imperfections a little better and clean it up some.  After that, I need to spend some time cleaning some caulk out of a few of the joints in the beadboard where the expansion and contraction of the boards over time has caused the caulk to crack and look pretty nasty.  I’m going to try the suggestion from This Old House to just clean out the caulk and paint the seams without re-caulking. Hopefully it’ll look a lot nicer than what we have now.

The powder room is still very much a work-in-progress, but we’re happy with the change so far.  Even though we didn’t think we minded the wallpaper when we started, we’re amazed by what a difference the paint has made.  A couple new light fixtures and it’ll feel like a whole new bathroom!

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One thought on “Painting the Powder Room

  1. Shane says:

    I think the color looks pretty good myself! You could use some decorations on the walls however :)

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