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I’m not sure if I’m alone in this, but I find a lot of kid’s decor overwhelmingly bright and gaudy. Don’t get me wrong….I like colors (my living room is dark blue), but too many bright reds and yellows and greens and blues and oranges are just painful to my eye. Of course I want my home to be kid-friendly… but I don’t want it to look like it came straight out of a circus. I want it to be tasteful and organized, and to have some sort of flow with the rest of my home.
Enter our guest bathroom.
We have two bathrooms in our home: the master and the kid’s/guest’s bathroom. While the second bathroom is primarily for Little Grasshopper, we often have friends and family over. And if I had to make a bet, I would guess that they prefer a relaxing place to do their business rather than have ten rubber duckies staring at them mid poo.
The challenge then for me was to make the bathroom inviting for both kiddos and adults….functional, relaxing, and fun all at the same time.
Easier said than done, am I right?
Up until recently our guest bathroom leaned more towards the relaxing vibe (at least when it wasn’t torn apart by Little Grasshopper): It is painted in a soft gray, with fluffy white towels, open shelving, and a white waffle pattern shower curtain. So, besides the bath toys that I unsuccessfully try to keep hidden in the vanity, I needed some fun kid flair for Little Grasshopper.
And so I dove into the deep, deep sea of Pinterest ideas….
(5 Hours later) I found a lot of cute ideas with “Wash,” “Brush,” Floss,” “Flush” and I couldn’t get them out of my mind! They were just so darned cute, and perfect for a kid’s bathroom! Most of the projects I saw though used rectangular wood, and I felt like I already had a lot of 90 degree angles going on in there. I wanted to add something a little different…maybe something circular…
And thus my own “Wash,” “Brush,” “Floss,” “Flush” DIY bathroom decor project was born! Here’s how my idea came to life…
- Wood circles
- Foam brush
- Wood stain (I used Varathane “Carrington” stain)
- Tack cloths (optional)
- Large mixing bowl
- 3″ letter stencils (I used these)
- Paint (in color of your choice)
- Paint brush (I like a small angled paint brush)
- Shellac (or polyurethane)
- Decorative ampersand (I found mine at Michaels)
- Velcro circles
1-) Stain your wood
Using a foam brush, apply the stain as evenly as you can on the wooden circles. I like to go back and forth slowly with the grain.
Note: Always work with stains in a well-ventilated area!
2-) Wipe off excess stain
As you can see, the stain I used goes on very dark and hides the natural grain of the wood. I prefer to let the wood shine through! So about 30 seconds after applying the stain I use a rag and wipe off the excess by going in gentle circles. Now you should see the wood grain!
Note: If you’re using a lighter color, you may want to wait longer before wiping up the excess so the wood absorbs more of the color.
3-) Let stain dry at least one hour
Go enjoy a warm cup of tea while you wait…
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Gently sand the wood with 220 grit sandpaper or sanding sponge and wipe with tack cloth (or a clean dry rag) to remove any dust generated. You should also start to see the wood grain “pop” more now.
5-) Trace your border
I wanted a white border on my circles, so I grabbed a large mixing bowl whose top was ~1/2 inch smaller in diameter than the wood circle. Rest the bowl so that the wood sticks out evenly all the way around and trace with a pencil
6-) Stencil in the words
Grab the first letter of your word (here: “w” for “wash”), and align it about 1/3- 1/2 way down the circle, left justified. Trace with a pencil and then move on to the next letter.
Note: I used all lowercase letters because I wanted to give the “fun” vibe, but use whatever you want! Just make sure the whole word fits before painting!
7-) Paint your border and words
Paint inside the pencil lines of your border and letters. Take your time, but don’t worry about it being perfect. That’s the beauty of rustic decor!
Note: Rather than going out and buying craft paint, I just used a sample of Benjamin Moore’s “simply white” that we had from when we painted our bedroom (We have so many samples from painting and I don’t want them to go to waste!). I had to do two coats over the dark stain, but it worked in the end!
8 -) Let the paint dry at least one hour
Go have another cup of tea. Or coffee. Or wine (It’s gotta be past 5:00 pm by now, right?).
9-) Apply a coat of shellac
Using a clean foam brush, apply a coat of shellac to the wood as evenly as you can. Go with the grain, just as we did with the stain. Act quickly! Shellac dries fast.
Note: You don’t have to use shellac, but for any wood project that’s going in the bathroom I recommend sealing it with something (you can use polyurethane if you prefer) . If you do use shellac, try to work in a well-lit area…it’s easy to miss spots with shellac and it may not look uniform when you try to touch it up (I’ve had this problem).
10-) Let shellac dry about one hour
You know the drill….
11-) Sand off excess shellac (optional), then add velcro to the backs
If desired, gently sand off the excess shellac with 220 grit sandpaper (This will help to hide uneven coverage and to remove some of the glossiness). Attach 2-4 velcro circles to the back of the finished wood circle, and then place your work on the wall. One piece done!
12-) Repeat steps 1-11 for all of the pieces/words you want to do
Don’t forget the ampersand!
13-) Show it off!
Let everyone know you made this DIY bathroom decor all by yourself! Be proud!
Want more DIY ideas? Check out my DIY farmhouse mug or measuring spoon holder!