Rocking The Rockport

Yup, our formerly beige-on-beige master bathroom is officially rocking Rockport Gray. And we love it as much as we did when we saw it in this kitchen. Here she blows without the shower curtain hung back up yet (we snapped some pics with it up as well, which we’ll get to in a second):

But let’s back up. Before applying two coats of paint to our bathroom (we shared our little mood board for the room yesterday) first we had to remove that unused-shelf-and-towel-bar (read why we didn’t use them here)…

…to make way for some art on the only wall that isn’t tiled nearly all the way to the ceiling. So we did (using an allen wrench kit like this).

And then we hit some metal anchors that were ripping the drywall apart when we removed them (the bathroom is part of an addition from the seventies, so the walls are drywall instead of plaster, which would have crumbled even more probably).

So after learning our lesson with one, we decided to do this instead:

Yup, I banged them into the wall a bit with a hammer and just spackled right over them for a nice seamless look. Here’s what it looked like before I sanded it smooth (pardon the super blown out picture, I forgot to white balance).

See how it’s sort of rough in the middle of this picture? After using a sanding block it was good to go (that’s my tip, since a sanding block stays nice and flat like the wall, instead of being floppy like a loose piece of sandpaper). The spackle we used was Dap Crackshot (with the blue lid), but we hear stores sell low-VOC spackle now so we’re itching to try that out soon.

Once the walls were spackled and sanded it was time for paint (note: priming after spackling isn’t a bad idea but we’ve skipped that step on a few occasions without any issue, so perhaps paint formulas are getting good enough to cover well on their own these days?). Anyway, on went Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore (we first saw it in person in Portland when we House Crashed this casa and totally fell in love). We only needed a quart of semi-gloss, and we bought Natura paint (since that’s BM’s no-VOC line). The room needed two coats since it’s semi-gloss paint in there (which is so slick that painting over it almost always results in a terrible looking first coat…

… but then the second coat looks great.

So here’s the room all painted with the shower curtain back up. Of course I didn’t get to make the cream trim bright white before painting the walls, but I’ll do that soon enough (I’ve painted walls and then trim a bunch of times so it’s not too bad of an order for a painting fool like me):

Here’s a flashback “before shot” just to show the contrast and crispness that the less monochromatic color brings to the room.

The gray in the tiles is so pretty next to the darker toned wall color. And the funny thing is that the gray in our little tree accent tiles looks nice with the new paint on the walls. We can picture the room looking even more like us with soft frosted gray glass subway tile as the accent someday, but it’s nice that the trees work better with the new wall color in the meantime.

This freshly painted wall is just begging for some art (scroll up see the “before” perspective from this POV). And the room actually feels more open, even though the wall color is darker because there aren’t shelves and bars that feel like they’re all up in your area when you walk to the john.

You can see how the slice of white in the curtain looks with the tan and gray tones. Can’t wait to make the trim in the room a true glossy white color along with the toilet and some other accents to tie that color in more consistently.

So now our bathroom to-do list looks a little something like this:

  • paint the cream trim white <– it looks white in the pics, but the bright white light switch next to the cream door trim makes it painfully obvious in person
  • paint the walls so they have some contrast
  • craigslist the toilet and replace it with a classic white one
  • replace the boob light
  • hang some bathroom-friendly art
  • do something to add privacy to the window
  • replace the border tile around the room (maybe in phase 2?)
  • replace the floor tile down the road (just to break things up since there’s so much of it)

The good news for anyone putting off painting a small bathroom is that it doesn’t actually take that long. Each coat probably took us less than an hour (I cut in and then John rolls, and then we repeat that process for coat two). John’s mom once painted her entire bathroom with a paint brush. I remember thinking how amazing that was (and still think about how amazing that is, actually). Must’ve taken forever, but it was only one thing to wash at the end of it all. Haha.


  1. says

    The paint really makes this room look so different already. And the tiles look so much better already! And the trim already looks white, so I can’t wait to see how crisp everything looks once it’s all finished. I think your artwork will look awesome in this room.

  2. LauraCinIndy says

    My mom recently told me that my grandma used to paint her ENTIRE house with only a paintbrush. With five little girls running around! Superwoman:)

  3. Heather says

    I love the color!

    This may have already been asked, but have you considered recoloring your tiles, DIY-style? I know you tend to avoid tons of chemicals, but it may be a cheaper way to brighten the tiles?

    • says

      We’ve heard from a bunch of people that professional reglazing is the best option for recoloring tiles (you can’t just paint them or they’ll peel and crack). Experts are definitely best at handling serious chemicals like that and safely ventilating a room though- we actually hired a pro to reglaze the tub in our last house and loved it!


  4. says

    We painted almost our whole house rockport gray and I LOVE it. I picked it from a tiny swatch and just decided to go nuts and buy 3 gallons of it. That’s very unlike me as I usually need to paint a square on the wall and stare at it for days and days driving my husband nuts. Not the rockport though, I just had a feeling it would be great, and it was. Depending on the light it can look really gray or it can feel more beige. I hope you are happy with it – it will look fantastic with some gray subway tile.

  5. says

    love the new color!!

    so last night i had a dream that i ran into sherry on the street. we stopped to chat and the entire time she was holding that old toilet on her hip like a baby. strange!!

  6. Sarah says

    Is the trim around the window cream? It reads sparkly white in the pics. The back of the door and trim on that side does look a bit creamy however.

    • says

      Oh yes, it’s all cream but looks white in some shots. The white light switch next to the door trim makes it really obvious, and when you get close enough to the window trim you can tell it’s all the same off-white creamy color.


  7. taetae says

    Is it possible to knock out just the tree tiles while leaving the rest in tact?

    i have an awful row of floral tiles in my kitchen backsplash, and i thought we’d have to replace the whole thing rather than just the flowered tiles!

    can’t wait to see that transformation!

    • angel p says

      We used a diamond-something dremel bit just last weekend to cut tile that was already laid. While ripping out the carpet tack right next to the tile floor I accidentally broke one of the tiles. Rather than replacing an entire tile and trying to match the grout we went to Lowes and purchased a dremel (happy dance) and the diamond tip blade. We just cut all 3 tiles in that doorway shorter using the dremel and then moved the threshold over that 1 1/2 inches. Sooooo much easier than I thought it would be. Good luck!

  8. says

    Ahh that’s the color we’re painting our bathroom! I’m having a horrible time trying to figure out complimentary colors for towels. Any ideas? Our current ones are light yellow and I don’t think they would look right.

    I can’t wait to see more and thanks for the spackle tips!

    • says

      If you check out our mood board from yesterday we have white, gray, tan, and a variety of soft blues (sort of like sea glass colors). It looks pretty good on the board, so we’ll have to see how it looks in real life! Haha.


  9. says

    Funny how a darker color opens the room up. I love it! Thanks for pointing out that the first coat of semi gloss looks crappy…I just started painting the crown moulding that we installed over our kitchen cabinets and was slightly horrified by it’s appearance after the first coat. Now I’m more optimistic about going home tonight and applying coat #2!

    Oh, and I think we might have chosen your brackets for our open shelving. Did you get yours at Home Depot? I’m still waiting for the last coat to fully dry on our shelves before installing but we’re loving them so far! :) (pics of progress here:

  10. says

    Wow! What a difference a few coats of paint make! We have just one bathroom in our little house and I’ve been putting off making any changes to it because I’m afraid of not being able to use it for any period of time! haha! But I supposed adding a layer of paint is less intrusive than replacing the floors, toilet, and vanity… so maybe that should be my first course of action!

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