Category Archives: Home Improvement

12 Hour Half Bath Reno…

Okay here it is… our 12 hour half bath reno!  As mentioned in the Half Bath Inspiration post we fell into a bit of luck… we found the vanity that we’d been eyeballing previously on clearance!… and the store had just one left… we took that as a sign and scooped it up and headed home with the intention to swap out the sink and mirror… We had only headed to the store to pickup some screws I believe… and we left with a project!

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

12 Hour Half Bath Reno Before

Here is the half bath before… When we moved into the house the bathroom was a mossy green, then we painted it a light sky blue, and most recently I tried it in white… but because our trims are off white I just didn’t like the look of the space with white walls and off white trims… the baseboards just looked like dirty white baseboards… so we decided that we would also paint the bathroom… as you can see its a teeny tiny space and it would only take me an hour to cut it in and give it a good coat of paint.

Removing the Mirror

We got to work and pried the mirror off of the wall… it had two bottom bracket pieces but we suspected it was also glued which meant drywall damage but we were up for the challenge… nothing bit of filler couldn’t fix.  Using a small nail bar we worked gently around the mirror prying it away from the wall a little at a time all the way around.

Drywall Damage from Mirror

It came off without too much fuss though we were prepared for it potentially breaking.  After that photo above we stopped and put on safety glasses and gloves in case the mirror decided to break… it came off in one piece… and as you can see left quite a bit of wall damage behind… 7 big blobs of construction adhesive… you can also see the oringinal builder paint colour of the mossy green.

Sink Removed

Then it was the sinks turn… the water was shut off to the sink and things disconnected.  The sink itself was screwed and bracketed to the wall but it came away easily.

And that was our full intention for the half bath… new paint, once we fix the old sink and mirror damage… but once the sink and mirror were off we kept going…

Towel Bar and TP Holder

The towel bar and tp holder for the half bath were attached to planks of painted wood that were then attached to the wall… I wasn’t a fan… so we removed the metal hardware and then pried those planks off of the wall..

Towel Bar and TP Holder Removed

Again the builders were sure to use lots of construction adhesive…

Removing Excess Filler and Paint

And as the pieces were painted after being attached to the walls there was a lot of paint buildup at the edges… we scraped the extra paint and filler flat and filled over the damage with a good drywall filler.

Patching Drywall Damage

In the same afternoon that we purchased the Vanity on we went home and pulled out mirror, sink, and towel and tp bars… then the patchwork began… I gave everything a hearty filling and then let it dry…

Sanding Drywall Filler

I was able to get the wall damage patched and sanded that same day… its so dry in Calgary that the wall filler dries pretty quickly… I was able to apply and sand a second layer of filler that evening…


Here’s my more serious I’m sanding face after that squish face up above…

More Filler Required

Once the filler was sanded the second time I cut in and painted the half bath in Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter – I love this colour… our whole house is currently this beautiful grey… as you can see once I had the first coat of paint on the walls I found some damage that was hard to see when everything was bright white… so the next morning I gave anything that needed filling a quick fill, and sanding, and applied the second coat of paint to the half bath.

Benjamine Moore Revere Pewter


Trim Paint

Using semi gloss paint that was matched to our existing baseboard colour I taped the floor and gave the baseboards a fresh coat of paint… the half bath is tiny so this took me under 30 minutes to tape and paint… the match was perfect in sheen and colour.

Home Depot Vanity

Now with the room itself ready it was vanity time… Pickle and a plumber friend took over here as they had to lower the hot and cold water connections… sounds difficult but it only took them an hour and they’d lowered the two connections and had the sink attached!

Old Fixture vs New Fixture

Old fixture meet new light fixture! This new fixture was an Amazon find! It was less expensive online than at any shop locally and it arrived in two days!… it didn’t go in on the Sunday after the vanity went in… we ordered it Sunday evening and it arrived on Tuesday and was installed so quickly that it can be easily counted in the 12 hour half bath reno time!

12 Hour Half Bath Reno After

TADA!… In the original sneak peek photo that was share on Instagram I had real peonies from the garden on the sink… but by the time the turkish towels and whale tail hook had arrived a week or so later the peonies were done… I was never a fan of faux flowers but I did a little hunting and found these great faux peonies at Michaels!

The wicker basket I had picked up years ago not knowing where I was going to use it but knowing that I would use it somewhere!… it finally came in handy in our half bath… it fits perfectly in the new vanity and holds the extra Turkish Towels

Turkish Towel Detail

I enjoy the combined patterns and tassel ends on turkish towels… they’re just a little more fun and luxurious feeling than your regular terry towel… These towels come in a variety of patterns and colours but I kept with the muted greys and cream for this room…

Whale Tail Hook

Something about turkish towels also feels very nautical to me.  Being from Newfoundland our home is full of little nautical touches… nothing incredibly overt… well I guess the whale tail hook is a little in your face nautical… but not obnoxiously so 😉

Basket for Spare Towels 2

The wicker basket even has a weathered washed look which fits nicely in with the greyed space…

Half Bath After From Outside 1

This space is a bear to photograph… being that it is so tiny… here’s an after shot from the same angle as the before shot… Its not a giant overhaul… just a quick 12 hour half bath reno. We are so happy with the results – the space feels so much more personal now…

Half Bath After From Outside 2

Looking into the other side we’ve added an IKEA hacked shelf!… stay tuned for that IKEA hack coming to the blog! Due to the size of the half bath the shelf needed to be cut down and so that it would fit in the awkwardly angled space…

New TP Holder

Regarding the TP… I opted for a stand rather than a wall mounted holder… there was an awkward space on one side of the toilet… this holder sits there and fills that space like that is where it has always belonged…

White Wire Basket

Then extra TP… though it could go in the vanity some extra is sitting on top of the shelf in a white wire basket… I think about looking for TP when you’re at someones house… I don’t like to rummage through vanities so with a couple rolls stored on the shelf and no one has to worry about running out…

IKEA Hacked Shelf

The other items on the shelf are a few more nautical bits… a cork float from Newfoundland and and old glass doorknob that I found on a beach back home!… the little cream coral I crocheted years ago from a pattern that I purchased from Etsy. The barnacles I picked up at a local home decor shop a couple years back, and the roped bell jar I had picked up at Ross in the US this past Spring…. you can pretty much find bell jars in one form or another at any Winners/Homesense or even over old clocks at second hand stores! Keep those peepers open!

So there you have it!… there she be!… Our quickie 12 hour half bath reno! What do you think!? Leave a comment below!




Half Bath Inspiration…

If you follow Feathering My Nest on Instagram you know that a little while back that we renoed our half bath… Although it was a total spur of the moment thing, because we’d found the vanity we’d be eyeing at Home Depot on clearance, we had a look that we wanted to achieve in that space.  So while the finishing touches are going into place right now I am taking a few moments to share some of our half bath inspiration pieces. Of course we’ve landed in a nautical realm… even though we’re landlocked between prairies and the Rocky Mountains our hearts belong to the sea…Half Bath Inspiration

Since moving into our house almost 9 years ago now the half bath had seen only one paint colour change and its faucet get updated… so the pedestal sink sink, oval mirror, towel bar, tp holder, and light fixture were all still the builder basics… Then this past winter we painted the house in Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, including the bathroom… and then this past spring while tracking around Home Depot we spied the vanity that we’d been eyeing previously… and it was on clearance! Needless to say we scooped it up with the corresponding mirror and headed straight home to tear out the builder basic sink and mirror. After we pulled out the sink and mirror I looked at the towel bar and TP holder that were attached to the wall with planks of wood… they had to go too… and the Pickle was game to get rid. Then all of the half bath inspiration that had been rolling around in our heads came spilling out!…   I can’t wait to share the full before and after with you all soon!

Now, it wouldn’t be very nice of me to share all of these half bath inspiration pieces and not share where to find them or similar pieces. Checkout the links below that correspond to the pieces if you need any information on any of the items and find out where you can scoop them up to feather your own nests.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

1. Progress Lighting Chrome Vanity Light… no joke… this bad boy arrived from amazon in two days!

2. Turkish Towels *swoon* I’ve been wanting to get some for awhile now and this half bath would be the perfect place to show them off

3. Bell Jar with Nautical Rope… it wouldn’t be a room in our house without a bell jar in it.  I was lucky to find one at Ross, for a killer price, on a recent trip to the US!… but I’ve found a comparable on Amazon.

4. Whale Tail Hook goodby ugly towel bar! Hello darling whale tail.  I wanted a nautical look with being super wham bam nautical decor… just a few subtle nautical pieces…

5. White Storage Basket... our tiny nest needs all the storage help it can get. You can also find these usually at thrift stores so keep your eyes out and the spray paint handy!

6. Fancy Chrome TP Holder… I was able to track one of these down from HomeSense for $20.  This link will bring you to a comparable that I found.

7. Peonies… My garden peonies are now done for the summer… but I want peonies in a jar to sit on the sink all year round so I hunted out a great artificial option.

8. Home Depot Vanity… the thing that triggered the whole reno.  Unfortunately this one has been discontinued BUT there are some great similar options available!

What do you think of our half bath inspiration pieces? You feeling the subtle nautical vibe? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for the bathroom final reveal!… I even have an IKEA hack post coming, to share with you, that we did for our tiny half bath!

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Shiplap Wall…

We… the Pickle and I, have an ever growing list of home improvement/nesting projects that we’re working our way through… to really make our house OUR home… We decided to start with the shiplap wall in our living room… it was one of the easiest of the projects on our list and a great place to get started.

Shiplap Wall - 1

After a couple trips back and forth between Lowe’s and Home Depot we found the better quality sheeting at HD for a better price… the Hardwood Plywood Veneer Core – Maple.  The wood was a little pricy for the shiplap wall as we chose to go with a good quality veneer plywood… we chose the better quality ply knowing that I was either going to stain, or paint wash, the wall to keep more of a raw wood feel as opposed to a solid painted wall.  If you want to paint your shiplap wall this means that you don’t have to find as good a quality finish ply, though you will want to make sure that whatever you choose has at least one good side and is fairly smooth… the better quality the wood is the less prep that you will have to do… for example if you buy a rough surface ply it will take more sanding to make it have a nice final finish.

To determine the quantity of ply that we would need I measured the wall and calculated the square footage which turned out to be about 84 sq ft… then I took that number and divided it by the square footage in a 4’x8′ sheet of ply (32 sq ft) which resulted in 2.6 sheets of ply… so three sheets would do the full shiplap wall and give us extra shiplap strips just in case, and for me to produce finish samples… it’s always good idea to have an extra bit of material on hand for a project 😉

To determine what size planks we would like I taped a couple pieces of paper together and folded them down to 5″, 5.5″, 6″ and we took turns holding them up to the wall while the other stood back and looked… for the scale of our home we chose 5″ for the width of our planks.

Now getting the 8ft strips cut perfectly? We were going to use our table saw but when we saw the sheet cutting table at HD we had them cut the strips down… This sweet piece of equipment made cutting easier and quicker than a traditional table saw… especially with the flexible 3mm material.  Check it out.  The three sheets that we needed were rested on the ledge at the same time, the height from ledge to blade set at 5″ and then with a pass we had three 8′ x 5″ strips!… a few cuts later our three sheets were turned into all of our shiplap wall strips!…

Shiplap Wall - 2

When we got the shiplap home they received a light sanding  with some 220 grit sandpaper to remove any little fuzzy bits from the edges and a quick sand over the faces… I’m talking maybe 1 minute per strip.

Shiplap Wall - 3

Then into the house we went… on the deck we had the compound mitre saw for cutting the plank lengths down to size, and the table saw, setup… we’ll get back to the table saw as we finish up the wall…

Shiplap Wall - 4

Here is our living room before shot… We painted the walls Revere Pewter this past winter and removed all art work from the walls and patched all of the holes along the way… so we had a fresh blank canvas to work with… we pulled everything away from the wall to have a nice big work area. For tools we had:

Stud finder



Compound Mitre Saw

Compressor, air nailer and 1 3/4″ nails

Two step stools



Table Saw

Shiplap Wall - 5

We started by marking out the stud locations on the wall – drawing both edges of each of the the 2×4 studs across the wall from floor to ceiling… this was to show us where to nail the shiplap wall pieces as we worked our way across and down the wall…

Shiplap Wall - 6

The level was the width of the studs inside of the wall so once we marked both edges of the stud a few points down the wall we used the level and marked the stud lines down the wall…

Shiplap Wall - 7

Tip: Start installing planks at the ceiling and work your way across and down… as likely you will have to rip down a plank using your tablesaw to make a custom width strip for your very last plank across the wall…

Now we didn’t worry about the vertical seams where two pieces of plank would but up against each other… our wall was not an even width so as we moved along cutting each piece the seams all ended up in a random pattern… We started with an 8ft plank butted up on the right wall and up to the ceiling. Using the level we ensured that the first plank was level… make sure you get this first plank level folks.  Your ceiling may not be perfectly level but you will not notice any small gaps that you may have to make between plank and ceiling to ensure you are starting out level.

Once you are satisfied with the first plank put two nails in the plank starting at one end working across the plank nailing into every stud… if the end of the plank does not land on a stud thats okay… still put two nails into the ends… the wood is light and will hold into the gyproc. From here we measured across from the end of the first plank over to the wall on the left… then we took one of the 8′ long planks and cut this short piece from that plank…

Shiplap Wall - 8

…have sandpaper on hand to give each cut edge a light sanding to remove any little bits from cutting…  nail in the newly cut piece that and move down to the next row starting back in the opposite direction from left to right using the left over wood from the plank that was just cut down… as you will see below our seams worked out in a great natural random pattern.

Shiplap Wall - 9

Shiplap Wall - 10

To get the spacing between the horizontal rows of shiplap planks we used nickels as spacers… working back and fourth we measured and cut planks if one shorter than 8′ was required and then carried on with the remainder of the plank that was just cut as our next plank used on the next row down…

Shiplap Wall - 12

We worked back and forth and down the wall…

Shiplap Wall - 13

And then we came to the electrical outlet… we pulled the cover plate off… measured down from nickel width to top of outlet,  and from the perpendicular wall to the edge of outlet, and also the width of the outlet…

Shiplap Wall - 14

We then transferred these dimensions to the plank being installed over where the outlet was located…

Shiplap Wall - 15

Before cutting we held the plank up to confirm that we’d measured and transferred everything correctly.

Shiplap Wall - 16

Using a jigsaw we cut the shape of the outlet out of the plank… TA DA!…

Shiplap Wall - 17

The outlet fit within the one plank… so that was it for the cutting required to accommodate the outlet…

Shiplap Wall - 18

…we continued on back and forth and down the wall until we got to the last strip… which was too big for the space that was left…

Shiplap Wall - 19

The very last plank that was required to finish the wall was under 5″ in width. We measured from top of the molding at the base of the wall, minus the thickness of the nickel… this was the width that our last strip of shiplap. Two planks were ripped down using the table saw and then the custom width piece nailed into place.

Shiplap Wall - 20

All in all, once we got the wood strips home it took us a total of three hours to get the shiplap up and all of the tools cleaned up and couch put back into place.

Shiplap Wall - 21

We really liked the finished raw wood shiplap wall… so we left it for a couple of weeks while I worked on various finish samples to determine how the wall would be finished…

Shiplap Wall - 22

I produced a couple of samples using grey wood stain products… turns out they were too intense and we didn’t like them with the Revere Pewter walls…

Then I created three paint wash samples using two greys and chalk white from the FAT Paint chalk paint line… They do look very similar next to each other like this but as we held each of them up to our exiting grey walls the whitewashed sample really stood out for us as the look that we wanted for our shiplap wall in our home. Now if we were going to paint this wall I would fill all of the little nail head holes with a wood filler, allow it to dry and then sand away the excess… BUT because I was going for a more washy natural an weathered look I decided to leave the nail head holes.

Shiplap Wall - 23

To create a paint wash I gathered the following…  FAT paint which I put into a separate container, a jar of water, one of my favourite CLING ON brushes, a mixing container (glass bowl) and some clean rags…

Shiplap Wall - 24

I begin preparing the paint wash by wetting the brush and shaking it out, then dipped the tips of the bristles into the paint…

Shiplap Wall - 25

…then I pounce the brush in the mixing container…

Shiplap Wall - 26

For the paint wash I work with the paint and water, but not directly from either of those containers onto the surface I want to paint… I will work the paint and water together in the mixing container at a rough ratio of 1 tip dip of paint to 1 dip of water.

Shiplap Wall - 27

…after the dip in water and some pouncing in the paint that was already put into the mixing container I dip into the paint then mix then dip water then mix again… I will do this a couple times with the paint and water into mixing container to get a bit of paint wash build up to work from… the rags are kept handy to wipe off/blot away excess paint wash that gets out of control or drips…

Shiplap Wall - 28

Work along one plank at a time being sure not to drip down onto the planks below…  I started from the bottom planks and worked my way up the wall washing each plank with my paint wash… starting at the bottom allowed me to get my technique nailed down before painting an area that wasn’t going to be hidden by a couch 😉

If you want to be sure how your piece will look always do a few tests planks with your extra material as the final finish will look different when it is dry from when it is wet with the wash at first.

Shiplap Wall - 29

I worked back and forth across the wall and up… making sure the brush wasn’t so loaded that it would create drips when I pressed it onto the wall… it took a couple planks to get the feel for how much paint wash to soak up with the brush to paint without having the wash drip, and what speed I needed to work back and forth with to get a good even wash…

Shiplap Wall - 30

Here is the completed and dried paint washed shiplap wall…

Shiplap Wall - 31

Now once a wash has been applied and has dried the full wall should get a light sanding… even if you are using a traditional stain product likely a light sanding will be required after the stain has dried to smooth out any grain that may have lifted slightly from the moisture of the finish. FAT Paint typically dries fully in 20-30 minutes but as I’d created a watered down wash I left the wall overnight so that it was good and dry before giving it alight sanding.

Shiplap Wall - 32

After years of body working large public artworks I’ve developed some sanding habits… I like to have a good feel for what I’m working, so I quarter a sheet of sandpaper, and work with a quarter folded in half… the grit that I worked with to smooth the shiplap wall was 220… nice and fine.

Shiplap Wall - 33

Working in long strokes with the grain back and forth I gave each plank a light sand… use your non sanding hand to feel the wall as you go… feel the roughness, sand, feel the smoothness… it doesn’t take much to make the finish nice and smooth. And don’t fret about dust!… another thing that I love about FAT is that it has a heavy dust that drops right down to the floor… as you can see after sanding the full wall from ceiling to floor this was the dust spread… it didn’t go far…

Shiplap Wall - 34

I gave the wall and floor a quick vacuum, and followed up the wall vacuuming with a quick wipe down with a damp towel… Then the furniture was put back into place!

Shiplap Wall - 35

I do have plans for some custom art to hang on our fresh new shiplap wall, so stay tuned for that, but for now she’s a big bare white washed shiplap beauty!…

For a breakdown on time and cost for this project:


Picking out/cutting wood: 1 hour

Sanding shiplap wall planks prior to installation: 30 minutes

Installation of shiplap wall planks: 2 hours

Tool cleanup: 30 minutes

Painting: 2 hours

Drytime: Overnight

Light finish sanding: 20 minutes

Vacuum/wipe down: 10 minutes


3 sheets of good quality veneered plywood cut into 5″ x 8″ strips: $120.00

Paint: $12.50 half pint

Sandpaper: $2


Level & Pencil

Stud Finder

5 Nickels

Compound Mitre Saw

Table Saw

Compressor and Air Nailer


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