Sometimes Projects Need To Be Redone (And It’s Not Always About Perfectionism)

If you showed up here today hoping to see a finished portion of the bathroom walls, I need to apologize, because I have nothing but disappointment for you today. Yes, I had planned to show you a completely finished section of the bathroom wall. I knew that if I picked up where I left off on Thursday, and continued working on Friday and Saturday, I’d have at least one portion of the wall completely finished.

But the more I looked at the section of the wall that I thought was nearing completion, the more I realized it needed some pretty significant adjustments. This wainscoting just seemed off to me. It looked completely unbalanced.

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

The fact is that on Thursday when I finished working on the wall, I knew it was off. But I thought I could push through, make a minor adjustment, and keep on rolling.

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

I installed that bottom trim just like I usually install shoe molding or quarter round at the floor. I stopped it where the baseboard stops. But can you see how unbalanced that panel looks?

I thought I could balance it out by removing that bottom trim and reinstalling it so that it covered the bottom of the door casing as well. It seemed weird because I’ve never installed shoe molding or quarter round on the bottom of my door casings. I always only install those trims along the baseboards. But I thought this would be a faster and easier way to bring some balance to the design.

That looked a little bit better, but still not great.

I knew what needed to be done, but truth be told, I was just trying to avoid the work. I wanted to come up with a quick and easy solution that would allow me to avoid having to undo half of what I had already done.

So I decided to do a mock up using my photo editing software to see if the change was really, 100% necessary. I opened up that picture above in my photo editing software, and then I straightened out all of the horizontal and vertical lines so that I could easily make some adjustments. So here was the original design…

And here was my quick mock up of the change that I knew would bring balance to this wall.

Yep. I knew I had to do it. So I removed all of the mitered base cap trim, and all of the 1″ x 4″ boards, and started over on that part. I didn’t get the base cap trim reinstalled, but already, it looks so much better.

And the redo couldn’t stop with that section of wall. I had already made some progress on the wall on the other side of the door as well — the area around the vanity. And I had originally done it in that same off-balance way.

So it had to be redone as well. On this section, I did get all of the base cap molding installed and all of the nail holes wood filled. So this section is ready for sanding and caulking.

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

So I decided to try something a little different in here and add a small vertical piece of trim extending the whole height of the door casing just to distinguish this 1″ x 4″ piece that frames the door from the 1″ x 4″ piece that makes up the wainscoting…

I like it! It dressed up the door casing just a bit, and gives a very definite distinction between the door casing and the wainscoting. Once it’s all painted white, it’ll be a lot more subtle (obviously), but it’s just enough detail to separate the door casing from the wainscoting.

So now that that’s all worked out, I can continue with my forward momentum. It put me behind schedule (the countertop people were supposed to come this morning and measure, so that has had to be rescheduled for Thursday), but it was definitely worth it. That unbalanced wall design would have caused me to lose sleep, and in fact, it already did. That’s when I know a project has to be redone. When it starts affecting my sleep at night, something has to be done.

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

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

If you’d like to see all of the posts about this master bathroom remodel project, you can find those here: Master Bathroom Remodel — From Start To Present (Still In Progress)



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. Hi Kristi!
      What you noticed was what I noticed too. To leave it, the eye would be drawn to that constantly. That would drive me crazy. You made the right decision and the time it took to fix it for your eye, so worth it! I love everything you do and even fixing things reminds me I am not the only one who notices those off balance moments that need to be fixed. I don’t look at you being perfect, I see you a woman who focused on every detail to make it right for you. Afterall, you are putting your name on it. You want it right by your standards and that is key to your success.

      1. Julie, I still don’t exactly understand the explanation, but I do see the difference with that other picture much better sliding the arrow left and right. Good thing for me too!😂

  1. We solved a similar problem by doing a return on the molding. Here’s a picture …

  2. Why are the panels to the left of the door so much larger than the set of three narrow ones to the right? Why didn’t you just do one – two panels on the right to get closer to the size of those on the left?

    1. I’m afraid I wonder thus also. Now to MY eye, the 2 sides look unbalanced. But I guess maybe when all is painted, and we look at the room as a whole, it may not be so noticeable. The room is so beautiful ❤

  3. I never would have caught that, but once you said it was too open-ended and I looked again, I saw it. You did the right thing. And the trim piece around the door is also a great tweak. Wow…just wow…that you can see these things and figure out what needs to be done and then do it. Amazing!

  4. I have to admit that since you did not describe what change you made, from the pictures I can’t see any difference in the before and after. What was the different thing that you did?

  5. I wouldn’t have noticed, I have no experience with trim, but after you showed the difference I agree it looks better. Too bad it cost you extra work to change it though.

  6. “Open-ended” is a brilliant term for it, yes! It was bugging me too when you showed it, looks TONS better now! And I like how you made the center square the right size and then split the difference between the other two.
    I’m a bit confused about the squares to the right side of the door – they seem tiny? From the photo it looks as if there is barely enough space for two proper-sized squares, but it’s a photo, so…
    What are your plans about the sizes of squares, seeing as you probably can’t have exactly the same sizes everywhere (different lengths of the walls and all)?

    1. I adjusted them, so they’re all the same size now. They’re all narrow now, but at least they’re the same size. 🙂 Once they’re all painted, I feel certain they’ll look great.

  7. So glad you updated your wainscoting! It was an obvious error as wainscoting needs to be a complete box shape. Your solutions were perfect!

  8. The top board along where the tile will go, looks like a very small shelf. It may be the angle of the photo. Are you going to have some wainscoting with the boards in by the sink and then the other wall without the boards in the wainscoting? I do like the long trim to show the difference in the door facing and the wainscoting.