Sometimes Projects Need to be Redone (And It’s Not Always About Perfectionism)


If you showed up here today expecting to see a finished piece of bathroom walls, I must apologize, because I have nothing but disappointment for you today. Yes, I plan to show you a fully finished bathroom wall section. I know that if I pick up where I left off on Thursday, and continue working on Friday and Saturday, I will have at least one part of the wall completely finished.

But the more I looked at the section of wall that I thought was almost done, the more I realized that it needed some significant changes. This wainscoting just doesn’t look right to me. It looks completely unbalanced.

The problem is that it seems too open-ended. That’s how I describe how it looks to my eye, at least. I’m not sure if this makes sense to anyone else, though.

The truth is that on Thursday when I finished working on the wall, I knew it was gone. But I figured I could go ahead, make a few changes, and keep moving.

Here’s what it originally looked like on Thursday night. Look closely at the trim I used on the floor.

I installed the bottom trim like I normally install shoe molding or quarter rounds on the floor. I stopped it where the baseboard stopped. But can you see how unbalanced the panel looks?

I thought I could balance it out by removing the lower trim and installing it to cover the bottom of the door casing as well. This seems odd because I have never put shoe molding or quarter round under my door casings. I usually just install the trims on the baseboards. But I thought it was a faster and easier way to bring balance to the design.

That looks better, but still not great.

I know what needs to be done, but truth be told, I’m just trying to avoid work. I wanted to come up with a quick and easy solution that would allow me to avoid removing half of what I had already done.

So I decided to do a mockup with my photo editing software to see if the change was real, 100% necessary. I opened the photo above in my photo editing software, and then I straightened all the horizontal and vertical lines so I could easily make some adjustments. So here is the original design…

And here is my quick mock up of the change that I know will bring balance to this wall.

Yes. I knew I had to do it. So I removed all the mitered base cap trim, and all the 1″ x 4″ boards, and started over on that side. I didn’t reinstall the base cap trim, but already, it looks better.

And the change doesn’t stop at that section of the wall. I’ve made some progress on the wall on the other side of the door as well – the area around the vanity. And at first I did it in the same unbalanced way.

So this also needs to be changed. In this section, I got all the base cap molding installed and all the nail holes filled with wood. So this section is ready for sanding and caulking.

That change caused an issue I ran into in the hallway bathroom where I did the same wainscoting. Since I used 1″ boards on both the door casings and the wainscoting, that left me with two 1″ x 4″ pieces butted up against each other. I really don’t like that look. You’ll see. what i mean here on the left side of the door…

So I decided to try something different here and add a small vertical piece of trim that extends the entire length of the door casing to identify this 1″ x 4″ piece that mounts the door from the 1″ x 4″ piece that made the wainscoting…

I love it! It wears the door casing a bit, and gives a definite contrast between the door casing and the wainscoting. Once it’s all painted white, it becomes more subtle (obviously), but it’s enough detail to separate the door casing from the wainscoting.

So now that everything is done, I can continue my forward momentum. This put me behind schedule (the countertop people had to come this morning and measure, so it had to be rescheduled for Thursday), but it was definitely worth it. That unbalanced wall design can cause me to lose sleep, and indeed, it has. That’s when I know a project needs to change. When it starts affecting my sleep at night, something needs to be done.

Here’s a little before and after of the change. See how much more balanced the new design is?

So even though it caused a delay, I think it was totally worth it. It’s not always about perfectionism. Sometimes it’s about getting it right.

If you want to see all the posts about the master bathroom remodel project, you can find it here: Master Bathroom Remodel — From the Beginning to the Present (Ongoing)



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