Powder Room Update: Wall Planking, Skim Coating and Paint

After Demo, Tiling,  Plumbing, and patching many holes it was time to plank the walls.  I used 1in. x 12in. x 6ft tongue and groove pine from home depot.  I hand picked the boards and tried to find the best looking ones (i.e. few knots, no holes, straight, no dents, etc).

Putting the boards up was pretty easy.  I didn’t take many pictures as I was doing my best to take full advantage of the grandma babysitting service I had for the day (Thanks Grambee!).
 Planking is pretty straight forward-
  • Find studs
  • Make sure the boards are level 

Here’s what I did with some of the slightly tricky parts-

Cutting around pipes:

I thought cutting around pipes would be way more terrible than it actually was.  I cut a scarf joint and then traced an appropriate sized circle with a compass, and cut out said circles with my scroll saw.

Note: If you have the right tools you could easily just cut a circle straight out of the board instead of doing the scarf joint/scroll saw business.  I do have these alleged tools.  But honestly, I didn’t feel like rummaging through my unorganized garage to locate said tools.  So I used what I had out.

Cutting around light switches:

After notching a hole in the top plank for the light switch and outlet (w/ my scroll saw) I then made a boarder with scrap 1×2 boards.  In the picture below you can see I sloppily chiseled out  a space so the border would sit flush with the pine planking.  The sloppy part will be covered up with the 1×2 cap piece (for the outlet I cut the pieces with my scroll saw which proved easier and provided a cleaner cut).  I’ll have to use spacers and pick up some longer screws to push the light switches out far enough.

Floor Board and trim:  

In anticipation of the floor boards and door trim taking abuse I used poplar wood.  I felt ok using pine planking as opposed to cedar in the powder room since generally it’ll stay dry, if I was doing this in a full bath I would have forked over the extra $$’s for cedar planking.

Corner Trim and Cap pieces:

I haven’t nailed the corner trim but I plan on using something similar to this (my stuff is unprimed oak).

For the Cap pieces I’m using two pieces of select 1×2 pine.  The bottom piece with the 2″ side flush against the wall, and the top piece sitting with it’s 1″ side flush against the wall.

I still haven’t decided how I’m framing the mirror. So, for now I’ve left the cap pieces on the mirror wall off.

Ceiling trim:

I really liked Remodehalic’s bathroom trim, particularly what they did with the ceiling.  The ceiling trim is different than crown molding, but adds nice detail.  The only problem I ran into was dealing with our wonky walls.  It was absolutely impossible to make my boards connect perfectly.  I’m sure somebody with more experience would have known how to combat this.  After painting and caulking I’m going to decide if I need to add an oak trim piece along the edges to hide any wonky gaps that aren’t hidden well enough by caulking.   I think for the most part, gaps filled in with caulking are fine, and nobody except for me (or somebody like me who’s interested in wood trim) is ever going to notice.  

Paint and Skim Coating:

So, I painted the walls in here.  Mainly to see if the room could pull off the dark walls no window look.  I liked the color, but it made me really  hate the wall texture.  
About a year ago I was talking with some Army wife friends’ who were from the Midwest.  They were telling me how they hated all these awful PNW textured walls.  Apparently they have far fewer textured walls in the Midwest?  I’ve never really noticed walls being textured/not, but after it was pointed out I can’t stop noticing them everywhere I go.  One of those friends even told me if she stared long enough she could see creepy faces in the texture.

So, I decided to skim coat the powder room..  I know textured walls are better for a future rental property.  But I figured doing it in such a small low traffic space would be fine.  I was also just interested in learning how to skim coat.  Here’s one of the beginning coats.

I’ve done 2-3 coats of joint compound, and just finished a second coat of the top coat.  I THINK I am done skim coating and after this last coat is dry and sanded I’ll get to paint and see if skim coating was worth it.  Cross your fingers for me, I might die if I slap the paint on the walls and find out I hate the flat walls.  Also,  I’m not planning on skim coating the ceiling.  So hopefully the lightly textured ceiling isn’t terribly noticeable.  I don’t know if I could handle skim coating the ceiling.

Here are a few “where we are now” photos:

I forgot to mention that I added some 1×2’s on the top of the door to make it more craftsman style-ish.

But all in all EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN MY POWDER ROOM!  I am VERY excited to move on from all this mundane drywall-sanding-hole patching business.

Also, we officially have a fully functioning toilet in there!!  Still missing a sink, hand washing has to be done in the kitchen for now.  I hope to make a post shortly on the toilet installation.

Otherwise, next up is painting, vanity building, mirror framing, sink installation and door painting.  Not necessarily in that order.

Happy Monday 🙂


  1. says

    Great job on planking the walls! The progress you’ve shared definitely shows how hard you’ve been working for that project. Moreover, I can only imagine the effort you exerted in order to precisely cut and shape the woods. I’ll be looking forward to reading more updates and seeing more progress in your future posts. Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

    Gordon Fox @ Prince And Sons

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