Bathroom Part 4: Finishing the Moulding (Very Important!)

In Bathroom Part 3: Floor and Mouldings, we left off having gotten the flooring down, mouldings installed and watertight, and the new toilet installed.

This post may be brief, but I want to emphasize that it IS important. It seems like a lot of people just slap the moulding on and call it good or think: we’ll come back to it, onward to the cabinets! The fact that we spent a whole day just finishing the mouldings and wall paint should tell you what an important and intensive part of the process it is.

To finish the mouldings I started by using painters caulk to fill in the gap between the top of the moulding and wall . I did this by applying a very thin bead of caulk and then running my finger down it to make a nice smooth line. I then follow up by taking a wet rag and running it along the wall above the moulding to remove any excess caulking that would otherwise fill in the gaps between the texture on the wall and once painted over makes the job look sloppy.

It has taken me years to perfect the art of making a smooth caulk line and I have some AMAZING callouses on my finger tips. The picture below was taken a few months back while I was caulking in the shed we built last spring. There was a splintered board I kept running my finger over and I didn’t even feel it. When I went inside to wash my hands I was so amazed that I took a picture of it. That my friends, is what a true callous looks like and does! There was no blood and no pain!

Caulking Calus

While I was putting my caulking finger to good use, Hubby was filling in all the nail holes in the moulding with putty and then sanding them flush. Once painted over, no one would ever know where the nail holes were.

After that Hubby took most of the day off. Honestly, he was still recovering from our “Asbestos day” and was overdue to just veg and recoup. The rest of the day was mostly just painting anyway and while he did frequently check on me to see if I needed anything, I was content to paint by myself (Hubby HATES painting anyway). Not to mention that our two kids, two cats and dog were due for some attention. As content as our “teenagers” are to goof off on the computer or TV all day (they were still on summer vacation) while mom and dad are busy, they were starting to miss us. So I painted and HE did everything else! (Mwahahahaha!)

Once the caulking had a chance to cure a bit, I masked off the floor and finished painting the walls. By the time I finished that and did some touch ups the caulk was fully dry and I masked off the wall and the flooring so I could get a good coat of white “Bath and Kitchen” paint on the mouldings.(See Part 2 for the importance of using the proper paint) The moldings came primed, but putting on the actual coat of good paint wasn’t something I wanted to skimp on, especially since we’d had such a mold problem in this bathroom before the remodel. I should also note that the paint and primer I used on the walls was mildew resistant (NO MORE MOLD!)

Normally, when I paint mouldings, I use my trusty HVPL paint sprayer to get a nice smooth finish. HVPL is a type of sprayer that uses air (not pressure) to distribute the material (paint) quickly and in a smooth pattern (no brush strokes). I have to thin the paint out quite a bit and do A LOT of extra masking because of the overspray, but the painting itself goes a lot faster and it leaves a near perfect finish once you get the hang of the sprayer.

In this case I wasn’t so much worried about it being smooth as I was about getting the paint on to protect the moulding from moisture. Not to mention that I’m pretty smooth with a paint brush, add in some Floetrol/paint conditioner and it came out looking pretty good, even without the sprayer.

Once I got it masked, it only took me about 30 minutes to brush on the white paint. I then took our white, smooth, six panel door down to, what Hubby calls my “Dexter corner” (plastic covered area where I paint stuff) in the garage and hit THAT with my trusty paint sprayer.

When I paint our doors (I have or will have to paint them all because they were newly installed in our house a few years back with only primer on them) it takes a few coats and I have to do light sanding between coats because the doors are smooth and the sprayer does leave little beads of paint in the finish from time to time. People tend to look a lot closer at doors than they do something like moulding because they are at eye-level so it is imperative that I make them as smooth as possible to obtain a professional look. If I had it to do again, I would order textured doors so painting them wasn’t such a pain, but until I acquire a TARDIS … I will just have to sand between coats…

By the time I finished with the door, the mouldings were ready for a second coat. Another 30 minutes later and I’d earned myself a good long break.

I gave everything a couple hours to cure as best it could. It helped that it was summer with almost no humidity and we had a huge fan blowing.

After Hubby fed everyone dinner, the Teenager and I headed back up to the bathroom and pulled off all the tape. Then she helped me do a few touch-ups. There was still white on the wall from when I applied the caulking earlier so we ran a tiny brushes over the top side of moulding and wall to cover over it. In a few days I’d come back through, mask the wall and apply white to the mouldings again to clean up the line.

I try to include my kids in our upgrade projects when I can, but honestly, they can’t help much on too many projects and during the school year, they are barely home as it is. When they can help it is a real treat and the Teenager is always good company.


The last thing I did that day was use white silicone to fill the underside and edges of the moulding in-front of and adjacent to the tub (did I mention that I hate silicone? Such a pain compared to latex or acrylic caulking, but nothing beats it for waterproofing…)

Bathtub moulding

Yesterday we had put silicone under all the mouldings, but that was mostly to protect the flooring from water. Putting it under the edges of the moulding around the tub is more to protect the moulding itself from water.

That’s it! By the end of day 4 our bathroom was fully painted and protected from water a.k.a. MOLD. It took me another day or two to get the door finished and rehung, but I will do a later post about painting smooth doors.

By the end of Day 4 our bathroom looked about like this and we were FINALLY ready for Bathroom Part 5: Cabinets

YAY cabinets!!

finished moulding



More on this project:

Bathroom Part 1: The Tub 

Bathroom Part 2: Mold and Asbestos

Bathroom Part 3: Floors and Moulding 

Bathroom Part 5: Cabinets 

Bathroom Part 6: More Shelves and Some Color!

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