Twin Tuesday: A DIY Board and Batten Mud Room Update

Dania here. Three years ago my hubby Chad, and I built a new house. Even though we were able to design it ourselves, I’ve still managed to find a few things to ‘improve’ upon. One of the things that I have been thinking about for a while is our laundry room/mud room. It is the entry we use most often, right off the garage.

IMG_DIY Board and Batten Mud Room Update -

The room is small, and houses a washer and dryer. A couple of years ago, Chad built me a washer and dryer stand which elevated the machines, giving us much-needed laundry basket storage. There is a coat closet right next to the room, which served our purposes well until we had a child. Hanging a tiny coat, hat, and gloves in a coat closet while corralling a toddler is not efficient. Let’s be honest, most often his things ended up on the floor. I needed a solution, and came up with the idea of a board and batten coat rack.

Having never worked on a board and batten wall before, I enlisted the help of my husband, who can figure almost any construction project out with his mad math skills. (I don’t math.) If you are going to do board and batten, I would highly recommend anchoring all your vertical boards to a stud. This serves a dual purpose of ensuring the boards don’t fall off the wall, while also providing a perfect spacer to ensure your boards are the same distance apart from each other. We weren’t able to do this in the mud room. We were working with three walls, and the studs were in random spots on each of the tiny walls, which would have resulted in off centered boards and odd looking results.

Chad was concerned about putting up boards on a wall without anchoring them to studs. As a solution, we first put up our horizontal boards (1×6 pine boards), anchoring those to the studs in the wall.

DIY Board and Batten Mud Room Update -

We then positioned our vertical boards (1×4 pine boards). Again because of the small space and the three adjoining walls, this took some time to figure out correct spacing. I wanted the same amount of space between each board, while also having all three walls look centered and uniform.

DIY Board and Batten Mud Room Update -

Once I got the boards positioned correctly, we used liquid nails to secure the vertical boards to the wall, following that up with the nail gun, for good measure. I had Chad cut the bottom of the vertical boards at an angle, to meet up with our floor trim. He also angled the edges of the boards which met the adjoining wall at an odd angle. I think these small detail really adds a custom look. We also added a 1×4 pine board to the top, as a shelf.

DIY Board and Batten Mud Room Update -

Next, I worked on filling nail holes and caulking all seams. Then it was time to paint! Our doors and trim are actually a cream color, not true white. However, I knew I wanted white board and batten, so I just went for it. It does not match the trim or door, but honestly it is hard to tell, and I am very happy with how it turned out. I used two coats of Behr ‘White’ in a satin finish, to ensure it would be easily Scrabble. (See ‘toddler’ and ‘mud room’.)

DIY Board and Batten Mud Room Update -

The last step was to add my coat hooks. I purchased these coat hooks from Target. I added them to the horizontal boards only, since again, they were secured to studs. And there you have it! A completely transformed mud room in only one afternoon!

DIY Board and Batten Mud Room Update -

DIY Board and Batten Mud Room Update -

The update has not only made this space feel brighter, but it has added a whole new level of function for us. Check out the before and after!

Mudroom Before and After -

Thanks for reading! If you want to keep up with more projects at my house, follow me on Instagram (@leather_and_threads) or check back here often for my sporadic Twin Tuesday updates.



Around the House – Master Bath Kickoff (I painted another counter)

Hey there, friends! It kind of feels like I haven’t posted any renovation projects in a while, huh? Well, sorry bout that. I’ve been in that weird mode where I have tons of ideas, but limited funds, so I’m taking it step by step and have actually started a few things, but I always mull over what’s worth actually writing a full post about. But in the interest of giving you an update more often than once a month, I decided maybe in-progress posts are just going to have to be ok. Ok? Good.

So today’s post is definitely not going to be a pinterest worthy before/after type of post, but I AM pretty excited about it, nonetheless. Because we’ve FINALLY started on the one room in the house we had not touched since we moved in. (And it was bad.) Our master bathroom makeover has begun.

I’m calling this a makeover and not a renovation, because, as much as I’d love to demo the whole thing and start from scratch… see limited funds comments above. So for now at least, I’ve decided to make this ugly duckling into the best little swan it can be, and that means working with what we’ve got. So let’s get going already! Here’s what the bathroom has looked like for the past SIX years (no I can’t believe it’s been that long… now please prepare your eyes):


Master Bathroom Before -

I know. Not cute.

I feel slightly defensive about the fact that this room is still in this state, but I will say that we intentionally saved it for last because it is one room that (almost) no one but us ever sees since it’s tucked in the corner of our master bedroom on the second floor of the house. That being said, it is certainly not acceptable and it’s time for a change in the worst way possible. At one point a few years ago, I started painting the vanity the same chocolate-brown as in the guest bathroom, but then changed my mind half way through and never touched it again, so it has looked extra not-awesome for a while now. Don’t be jealous of my sweet bathroom carpet.

Painting a Bathroom Counter -

The layout of this room is very long and narrow. It makes it hard to capture in photos, but here is a (not to scale) floor-plan I put together to give you a better idea of what we’re working with.

Master Bathroom Layout -

As you might imagine, I’ve been thinking about this bathroom quite a bit over the past 6 years of using it in this state. My grand plan would involve tearing out the wall between the tub and shower and framing out the shower with glass. I think this would give the room a much more open feeling, making it seem twice as spacious and not like the strange tunnel it is now. Currently, the wall separating the shower and tub is hallow, which we know because it contains a sliding pocket door. This is good news because it means tearing out that wall wouldn’t involve moving any pluming.

So that is something we’re still considering and trying to budget for down the road, but in the meantime, I think there are a ton of smaller, and relatively inexpensive, projects that could make the room feel much less 1995, which is the goal. Here are my plans in step-by-step style:

  1. Update dated counter top
  2. Paint vanity
  3. Update vanity hardware
  4. New faucets
  5. Remove wallpaper
  6. New lighting fixtures
  7. New mirrors??
  8. Paint walls
  9. Add storage (there is NONE in here!)
  10. Remove carpet/vinyl and add new tile floors
  11. Add modern tile accents around tub, shower, and vanity
  12. Install new hardware (towel bars, shower curtain, etc.)
  13. Fix shower so it’s usable (I’m going to gloss over this for now, but will explain this completely separate issue some other time.. uhg.)
  14. Final decor touches

Does that sound like a lot? It feels like a lot. But let’s just take it step by step and expect to be redoing this bathroom for the next two-three years, ok? On board? Good.

SO… on to item number one. That magenta laminate counter. Wow.

You know I’m not one to shy away from a good counter DIY. My most popular post by far is the one where I painted my kitchen counters. I have since given the same treatment to my guest bathroom counter, and so far both have held up pretty great (read my four-year update and FAQs here), so I did not hesitate when deciding to do the same thing in here, with a bit of a twist this time.

In this room I actually use the counter a LOT so the first priority is making sure they hold up and look good. I’ve had some slight issues with heat discoloring the light counters in my kitchen, and since the majority of my vanity use includes heat styling tools, I decided to go dark on the counters. My second goal was to make them look as natural as possible, and I really wanted a stone look. I found this awesome stone textured spray paint, (affiliate link) and you guys, it was perfect!!

Spray Painting a Counter -

Painting a Bathroom Counter -

Step one: Prep

I purchased my supplies and taped off the entire area around the counter, making sure to cover the mirror, sinks, and vanity. I know spray paint can get pretty messy, and did not want to deal with over-spray. I should say that part of my plan to make this room look more modern involved removing the very cheap and fake looking back-splash. I was not thrilled with how it turned out in either the kitchen or the guest bath, so this time I just pried it off with a crow bar before starting. I plan to patch the wall and add decorative tile around there later on, so for now, try to overlook the gross yellow-glue look all around the counter. I promise it will be worth it later on. Oh and ignore that screwdriver on the left faucet too. It’s been leaking and I had to wedge that in there to stop it until we replace the faucets. #glamorous

Painting a Bathroom Counter -

Painting a Bathroom Counter -

Step two: Paint
After everything was taped off, I wiped down the counter top to make sure it was clean and ready for paint. I didn’t bother to sand it or anything (#lazy). Then I got to business with the spray paint. It ended up taking me two cans to get full coverage on the counter, but I am so happy with the look. Here is the counter after the paint job.

I’m not sure if you can tell from the photos, but it had a definite rough stone-like texture to it. I’ve actually seen a few tutorials on using this for counters where they just left it at this stage, or maybe added a poly coat and called it good. I think I, personally, would be driven crazy by the texture and inability to just wipe it down easily. I can’t imagine how stuck on toothpaste would ever get completely cleaned off! That being said, if you like the texture and can make it work for you, more power to ya! Stop here and call it a job well done. ;)

Painting a Bathroom Counter -

Painting a Bathroom Counter -

Step three: Gloss Coat
I can’t tell you enough how much I love EnviroTex Lite (affiliate link). As I mentioned, I’ve used this stuff three times now and it gives the most AMAZING glossy finish, and really is relatively simple to apply. I bought one 32oz box for this counter and it was plenty. You just mix together the two bottles in the box according to the directions, and pour it on, spreading it all over the counter with a small foam brush. As it dries, you can either use a torch to pop any bubbles that surface (there should be several if you mixed it correctly) or just grab a drinking straw and use it to aim as you blow lightly to pop the bubbles. It’s super easy.

Painting a Bathroom Counter -

I learned in my guest bath adventures that if you don’t add a coat of poly between the paint and the EnviroTex step, your counter will darken quite a bit. In this case, I wanted it to darken up slightly, so I let it do its stuff and turned out just as I had hoped it would.

Painting a Bathroom Counter -

Painting a Bathroom Counter -

Step four: Let it dry and enjoy your new counter!

After applying the EnviroTex, I just kept an eye on it every few minutes until it was set up (it sets up fairly quickly— about 20 minutes, and is hard within 3 hours, but I’d recommend not using the counter for a few days to let it cure completely). There are usually a few drips down the front, so I just smooth them out with my foam brush as they appear.

Once it was all dry, I scraped off any residue on the sink basin with a razor blade and caulked around both sinks to give a nice clean finish. And finally, here is the finished counter tops!Painting a Bathroom Counter -

As mentioned, I know the counter by itself, while sitting on a gross half-painted vanity with glue residue around the back-splash, is not the most dramatic or pinterest worthy makeover, but I’m already 80% done painting the vanity and adding new hardware and it looks SO MUCH BETTER. You can almost overlook the floral wallpaper and gross carpet! Ha. I’ll share that paint job with you as soon as it’s done, but for now, the first step in the master bath makeover has been taken! Finally!

*dawn sig