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Eleven Gables: Redecorating the Formal Half Bath

Today, I am going to share a little of the beginnings of my formal half bath remodel.  The previous owner of my home picked Victorian decor for the interior.  Which means lots of cherry woodwork.  We redid/repainted the kitchen & keeping room woodwork, but opted to keep the cherry woodwork (for now) throughout the rest of the house.  

This is my front half bath...  It is dark, dark, dark.  I have always loved the tulip sink by Kohler, but the cabinet is so ugly and the dark, red/burgundy wallpaper is even darker in person.  There is a nice, large window in this bathroom, but for privacy, needs a pretty good size curtain on it.

(I have to apologize for the grainy cell phone photos.  I am rather new to this blogging adventure and didn't realize iphone pictures turn out so terrible in blog land)  I'm sorry, I will do better next time!

I purchased the mirror back in college from Bombay Company (do they still exist?)... I love the creamy finish with gold guilding. 

The cabinet is just plain worn out. I have been searching for an antique cabinet with a marble top for years (still searching), but have yet to find something that suits this spot. Our family really doesn't use this half bath, so the priority level has been pretty low. It is a mishmash of leftover decor from my "shabby chic" days. 

Recently, while home bound with contractors all over the house, I decided to paint the cabinet and see where it took me. I purchased Annie Sloan pure white and old ochre. (French Linen is a color i used for another project... As seen on my Instagram account @ElevenGables)  I also purchased the clear and dark waxes. I had some gilding wax leftover from the same IG project.  I thought I'd use the gilding wax to try to match the finish of the mirror. 

This is a sample I painted to see if I could get a similar look. It matches perfectly!  Oh the joy!  This paint really is magical!

First, I painted three coats of Annie Sloan pure white to the cabinet. I should have sanded more at first and in between coats because the stain was super flakey. Annie Sloan Paint is pretty thick going on. I knew I wanted a piece that looked like it had been around a hundred years or more with lots of thick paint. 

Next, I painted a watered down coat of Old Ochre. 

It is getting there, but not quite as covered as I would like.  I sanded this coat a tiny bit, then painted one last coat of Old Ochre. 

I couldn't believe how well the color matched the mirror!!  Almost done..

I put a coat of wax on the piece, polished it then applied another coat of wax. 
I tried using the dark wax with a tiny paintbrush, but quickly realized this wasn't the look I was wanting. A little more clear wax and the dark wax came right off!  That garbage bag of my husband's old t-shirts sure was coming in handy. 

Next, I used the gilding wax with a tiny paintbrush to apply highlights to the piece. I used my finger to rub it in, then I used another t-shirt with a tiny bit of clear wax to remove a little bit of the gold wax. It gave it a perfectly worn look.   Zooming in here so you can see the detail of the gold, but it's pretty blurry.

Put on your sunglasses... this red is blinding!

It turned out better than I ever expected. I am now on the hunt for some gorgeous wallpaper. I can't wait to show you the finished bathroom!!

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  1. Wow! It's looking great! I think I still have a few Bombay items around my house too! While I am over here, I am scrolling down to stare at your gorgeous kitchen again!

    1. Thank you, Shelley!! I liked Bombay... affordable stylish reproductions. I recently saw a craigslist ad for an "antique Bombay furniture company (something or other)" I laughed out loud. I don't really consider Bombay antique. :) Thanks for visiting! xo, Emily

  2. Looks so much better! Great job on giving a new lease on this piece! I think the wall paper would look great in this space too!

  3. BEAUTIFUL job!! Don't you just love AS chalk paint!! Just came over from Jennifer's blog to say hi and welcome to the world of blogging!! Your newest follower :-)
    Stop on by when you get a chance.

    1. Thanks for coming by!!! I do love AS paint. It is great to see such instant transformation!! Thank you for following me! I'm headed over to your place now! xo, Emily

  4. Gorgeous! I think I'm the only one who hasn't tried that paint. It sure seems to work well. Your home is so pretty!

    1. Stacey, I don't paint things myself very often. I am a big fan of a baby bottom smooth finish, but for this particular piece, I wanted it to match the old mirror and it did exactly what I wanted from it. I encourage you to give it a try some time. It's fun! xo, Emily

  5. Wow, this vanity looks amazing, Emily! I am also glad to have found you through Jennifer. And, Stacey, I am also a chalk paint virgin, haha, but am considering using it very soon.
    Julie @ Renaissance Mermaid

    1. Julie! See my reply to Stacey... Chalk paint is fun! You should try it sometime. But remember, you must be committed to it first ;)
      xo, Emily

  6. Emily your home and style is lovely! Hope you'll blog with frequency.

    1. Thank you, Denise! I am working on some blogs now!! xo, Emily

  7. That is just beautiful! Great job!

  8. This project turned out beautifully! Great choice. I wonder - what is your opinion on using AS paint on kitchen cabinets vs oil based paint for durability? Thank you for sharing. -M.L lighthouse4thee@yahoo.com

  9. I am ooing and.aaahing .. I can't get enough!!!


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