Emily Winters: Bathroom Renovation, Day 17

There came a point in the last week when I finally hauled all of the power tools, wood filler, and scrap materials back down to the workbench in the basement and started honing in on the world of finishing touches. I thought this stuff would go faster, but I’ve been constantly asking myself why the little things are taking so long. Not as long as our four straight days of tiling, but still long. I had a short list for Day 17: Painting my custom window trim, and installing the custom marble threshold over the doorway.

Fitting the threshold in place.

There’s a lot to be seen in today’s update on my bathroom renovation. Keep on reading to see how finishing touches continue to evolve the space!

As I mentioned in last week’s update, the window trim that I installed received a bit of wood filler and caulk, both of which I allowed to dry overnight. The wood trim itself was amazing, and if I had natural wood trim through the rest of the house I would have been more inclined to stain it and leave it as such, but because the rest of the house flows white, I figured that it would look best to make it match. I’m all about making a house flow from room to room, even with the trim.

I started by sanding the wood down. It’s probably the most critical step of the whole process; if you’re painting trim at home you’ll want to make sure that all nicks, knots, edges, and areas that were coated with wood filler become as smooth to the touch. I used a multi-tool with sander attachment because it did the heavy work more effortlessly than sanding by hand, and let me get into corners really easily unlike one of the other palm sanders that we have.

Sanding the trim, smoothing all imperfections.

After sanding, I wiped down both windows with a dry cloth to eliminate any dust, and then primed them lightly. It was a nice day out, so I was able to keep the windows upstairs open and move the painting fumes out of the small space although don’t ask me why I was clenching the towel rack like I was losing my balance; it’s a good thing that’s installed with heavy toggle bolts, I could probably stand on it without pulling it off the wall.

Coat of primer.

After about three hours, the primer had completely dried, so I went straight for the paint can. Using the same semi-gloss straight-from-the-can white that I had used on the ceiling, baseboard, and door trim, I started heavy-handedly.

Painting trim.

There’s something about laying it on thick, and then taking your time to smooth it out. I’m not talking thick-to-the-point-of-dripping, just thick enough to gradually hide the brush strokes.

Painting trim.

Mine took three coats of thick, there’s nothing quick about this. Painting trim takes time and can be as precision-oriented as brain surgery. OK, exaggeration. I only used one piece of painter’s tape this time around, on the underside of the trim that was more difficult to cut into at the angle I was painting.

Painted window trim in the bathroom.

Three coats of paint (and the one coat of primer) meant that I was painting and doing touch-ups all day, but in between those coats, I also got around to installing the threshold across the entryway. It’s marble, a $12 piece measuring 6″x36″ that I picked up on a run through Lowe’s. The marble itself matches the shelves that we custom-built into the wall of the shower, and even though I just updated the thresholds in the kitchen with a chrome-metal finish, transitioning the hardwoods to the new cement-colored tiles with a piece of marble felt very lux.

Installing a marble threshold.

We quickly cut the marble to length with the wet saw, one of our bathroom renovation purchases that has been totally worth the investment, and then had to cut away the brand-new installed tiles to make room for the 6″ width. Gasp, astonishment, an I-wish-we-had-planned-for-this-better moment, but it worked out really well with the help of a sharp utility blade and a little pry bar. While we could also have removed the subfloor completely and rested the marble directly onto the hardwood base, we decided that the subfloor was more anchored, level, and secure, meaning that the marble might have less of a chance of cracking underfoot on an uneven and shifting hardwood base.

Making room on the subfloor for the threshold.

We used a common construction adhesive (<$2 at Home Depot) to prepare the subfloor surface for the marble, spreading it as thoroughly as we could manage with the help of a notched trowel.

Preparing the bathroom threshold adhesive.

And then slid the marble into place carefully, forcing it into the adhesive tightly.

Marble threshold.

Immediately, we could tell it was going to look pretty good. A pretty transition from original hardwood floors into a new, clean-lined sanctuary.

Marble threshold.

Although, it did need to dry overnight without us stepping on it or disturbing the adhesion process; I’ll have to go back another day to caulk lightly around the top of the marble that meets the trim, just to neaten it up, and also grout into this 1/8″ space between the tile and the marble to make it look more finished.

Marble threshold.


Oh yes, and after the paint on the window trim dried, we were left with this wonderful sight:

Finished window trim.

I’ll be back next week to showcase a new other finishing touches, we’re at the finish line! Until then!

Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.

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  14. Boz says:

    My threshold, similarly transitioning from wood to tile, cracked after several years. There was a slight step up to the tile in my situation though. The contractor I hired for a larger renovation project said that you should never use stone in this type of transition as it will always crack so we replaced it with wood. I do like the look you have but I’ll be curious to hear if it holds up.

  15. Ed Brune says:

    Loved the post , Emily. Can you tell me where I can find the earlier posts? Id like to read this one from Step One.

  16. vdwarren says:

    what would be another option instead of using the marble as a step plate? could you cut tile? why did you select marble….it's properties?

  17. sean brogna says:

    Keep up the great work, nice to see how renovations are done by pros.

  18. sean brogna says:

    Many thanks for the tips and progress update.

  19. Jason says:

    Emily, I am using your blog as the template for my bathroom. While we are waiting for the delivery of our items we've been doing as much as we can but still using our only bathroom. My progress is at my blog http://goo.gl/lvvIm
    Thanks for your updates, it gave me hope that I can finish mine by myself too!

    • emily says:

      How cool! Glad you're finding inspiration in what I'm doing here. I REALLY like your built-in shower storage; it's still the best thing I could have added to the space, holds SO much!

    • emily says:

      Of course I misread that post, I love the inspiration of the built in shower shelves you've chosen – it's going to be a good looking space, a major improvement over what you had!

  20. Guest says:

    Great blog! If you need shower enclosure or accessories be sure to check out http://cybershowerdoor.com/

  21. Cait@HernandoHouse says:

    I'm loving how this is all coming together, Emily!! Also, I NEED to know more about that cute chevron-looking yellow towel!

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  23. Elisa says:

    This is looking so good! Been looking forward to Thursday to see the progress. Zee light! It iz at zee end of dis tunnel!

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About Emily Fazio 


I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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