The original walls in this 40-year-old motel were made of wood panelling. The contractor peeled off the panelling to reveal new drywall underneath when remodelled the bathrooms.
“There was no drywall mud or texture on it,” says Dave Olsen, president of Baltimore House Painting, who worked with interior contractor Aaron Schumacher to transform the bathrooms into bright, modern spaces.
Working with Schumacher, Olsen taped off the walls and ceiling, then rolled on one coat of mud to seal the porous drywall. Then he taped over that with three coats of Kilz Oil Base primer before rolling on two coats of Sherwin Williams ProClassic Latex Satin in white.
“We opted for a satin finish,” he says, “which gives it the most-realistic look and hides minor flaws in the texture.” Taping off the ceiling was tricky because of all the angles and curves in this space. Olsen used a combination of wide rolls and small triangles of blue tape to create crisp lines and prevent paint from seeping under the tape.
This kind of prep work and drywall repair gives any space a clean, updated look. “When we removed the old wood panelling, we found all sorts of little air bubbles and cracks in the walls,” Olsen says. “We needed to sand it down before we could re-texture and paint.”
Olsen and his team sanded down the walls to remove bumps and smooth out the surface. “We used a sander with 80-grit paper, which is coarse enough to work through all the imperfections,” he says.
After vacuuming off the dust (a Shop-Vac does a great job), Olsen used the ProClassic primer.
“You want to give the paint something to stick to,” he says. “We wanted something with exceptional adhesion because we were painting over wood paneling.”
The crew rolled on three coats of paint, drying thoroughly between each coat. After the last coat dried, they removed the tape and the hardware.
“You have to be patient and wait until the paint is completely dry before removing the tape,” Olsen says. “When you rip the tape off, it pulls a bit of the paint with it if you’re not careful.” For this reason, he recommends using blue painter’s tape (which sticks better than regular masking tape) and working in small areas.
“It’s easier to work two or three feet at a time,” he says, “instead of the entire room in one go.”
Schumacher finished the project by installing new countertops, sinks and faucets.
Finally, Olsen set out to unify this space with color-coordinated accessories. “When you have all these bright colors in one bathroom,” he says, “you want to find items that play well with each other.” He chose two shades of orange to pull out the oranges in the floor tile. For the remaining accessory colors, he chose green and blue to make it look like an island getaway. He used all matte finishes for a cohesive look.
“We kept everything very minimal,” Olsen says, “to make it feel clean and modern.”
The cabinet hardware picks up on the orange in the floor, and all the accessories play off of each other.
Olsen hung a shower curtain with a tropical print and accented with white trim at the top and bottom. “It makes it feel like you’re not locked into just one design element,” he says. “You can move things around if you need to.” He even coordinated the shower curtain hooks to match the cabinet hardware.
For a fresh, updated space that feels clean and airy, try painting over drywall. It’s a quick way to update tired-looking spaces without having to do any demolition or major repair work.