The window trim and door threshold really have nothing in common sequentially, but I squeezed them both in, same day, easy peasy, on Day 17 of our bathroom remodel.
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 take so long. Not as long as our four straight days of tiling, but still long.
I had a short list for this day of labor:
- Painting the custom window trim
- and installing the marble threshold over the doorway
The natural wood trim looked amazing, and would have looked great stained, but to flow with the rest of the house, I decided to unify it as plain white. 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 by sanding by hand, and let me get into corners really easily unlike one of the other palm sanders we have.
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, though 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.
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 wood trim. I started heavy-handed.
There’s something about laying it on thick, and then taking the time to smooth it out. I’m not talking thick-to-the-point-of-dripping, just thick enough to gradually hide the brush strokes.
Mine took three coats of thick – there’s nothing quick about painting trim. It takes time and is precision-oriented. 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.
Three coats of paint (and the one coat of primer) meant that I was painting and doing touch-ups all day, but in between coats, I also got around to installing the threshold across the entryway. It’s marble, a $12 piece measuring 6″x36″ from the big box. The marble itself matches the custom shelf built into the wall of the shower, and even though I recently updated the threshold in the kitchen with metal transition, connecting the hardwood to the cement tiles with a stone transition felt very right.
We quickly cut the marble to length with the wet saw–one of our bathroom renovation purchases that’s been totally worth the investment–and then had to cut away the brand-new installed tiles to make room for the 6″ width. I could have perhaps planned better to avoid needing to cut in this moment, but with the sharp utility blade and a pry bar, it came up easily. We could have also removed the underlayment, but it was very solid and we felt that by leaving it, we’d lessen the chances of the marble cracking as the home continued to age.
We used a common construction adhesive to prepare the subfloor surface for the marble, spreading it as thoroughly as we could manage with the help of a notched trowel.
And then slid the marble into place carefully, forcing it into the adhesive tight.
Immediately, I knew it was going to look pretty good. A nice transition from original oak hardwoods to a new, clean-lined sanctuary.
It did need to dry overnight without us stepping on it or disturbing the adhesion process; I’ll 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.
Oh yes, and after the paint on the window trim dried, we were left with this wonderful sight:
To read more stories about this renovation: