We’ve lived in our current home since November 2013. During this time the living room has been decorated three times, the kitchen & girls’ bedroom twice, and every other room once. Except the bathroom – its never been touched. Bare walls and an awful blue rubber flooring, hardly the relaxing retreat in which I want to take a soothing bath.
A few weeks ago Sam had a window of free time, and as he set about wall papering I got on with the fun stuff. -Planning my dream interior.
I’m a huge lover of Victorian interiors, to me nothing says luxury like a beautiful Victorian inspired bathroom.
Every one of them have the same beautifully unique thing in common. The flooring. With their bold, geometric shapes & intricate patterns, every floor from that era really finished each room perfectly.
Of course my first plan was to just buy tiles. but A. This sort of style is expensive! and B. at some point our bathroom will be being ripped out and replaced, I didn’t then want to have to replace the (expensive) flooring once the floor space has expanded.
So I came up with a plan B.
I originally heard about it when reading one of my favourite interior/diy blogs Young House Love. And you can find their amazing floor stencilling blog post Here
It seemed to be the perfect way to start our Victorian inspired bathroom.
I started on Pinterest (naturally) and found the perfect image of the type of stencil I wanted.
I got sam to use his photoshopping skills to crop it down to just one tile & then blow the image up to the printed size I wanted. I then printed the image off on to a card, and set out cutting the white out with a Stanley blade. This was so time consuming, but precision is key. I skipped the centre star and as you could probably guess once the white has been cut out that means the centre grey patterns will have to come out. Not that I was bothered, it was still such a beautiful pattern.
So now the stencil had been cut out I needed to prep the floor, I swept, and scrubbed with Brillo pad and some warm soapy water, clearing the soapiness with clear warm water afterwards & leaving to dry.
This was the bathroom floor before, as you can tell it was the centre of my DIY projects, I’d ignored the need to cover the floor when painting skirting boards and such as I expected to redecorate the room long before last month.
I started with one coat of the light grey. I used a normal matte wall emulation – you can buy actual floor specific paints… but i’m a cheapskate and I already had the paint colour I wanted in, why buy it again for the sake of putting it 3 inches below where it ‘should’ go?
I then painted another coat of grey and left to dry.
Once it had dried, I placed a piece of masking tap along the top and bottom of my card stencil and stuck to the floor in the position I wanted to start. I dabbed it gently with a ivory furniture paint (again another paint I had just laying about). Once finished, I lifted the stencil, lined it up next to the previous one, pressed the tape gently to the floor and repeated the paint dabbing. I continued this over and over until I had to start making dinner.. I was reluctant to leave my project half finished!
That evening I continued, until I had finally finished the entire floor.
As you can see, they’re are lots of little mistakes, lots of areas where I struggled to match the stencils up perfectly – thank you very much whoever built this house, there isn’t one single wall, floor, door or window that is straight!
I left the floor to dry completely over night and set out doing some touch ups with a small paintbrush the following morning.
Once that had finally dried I used a small roller to paste a Yacht varnish over the flooring. I picked Yacht varnish as its extremely durable to water – perfect for the bathroom. but as its not oil based it won’t yellow, which was one of my main worries with a normal polyurethane based varnish.
Its been around three weeks since I finished the flooring and I still love it just as much as I did when I first finished.
Since finishing I have covered the radiator wall with a custom built radiator cover,
And fixed some beautiful pictures up
(bargain frames £2 for both from the car boot, spray painted in black matte. top picture hand painted in a left over gold tester potI had in, bottom picture printed out using a quote I found)
‘There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them – Sylvia Plath’
My next interiors project is for the bathroom, i’m about half way through but with the awful rainy weather we’ve been having i’m finding it impossible to get out to do the required sanding. I can’t wait to show you all though! Its super thrifty, but If done right will look amazing!
I still have a lot to do with the bathroom until I finally have my luxurious, bath time retreat. But with a lick of paint and a bit of creative courage I’ve managed to transform the entire room on a tiny budget.
The little woman pretends.