Low End to High End Half Bath via As Is

Materials: Nexus Yellow Brown cabinet cover panels; drill, jig or circular saw, tape measure

Description: This half bath in our 1950s house was utterly dull and style-less. I was going to redo it with conventional painted drywall but then I got the brilliant idea of paneling it with the 3×8 Nexus Yellow-Brown kitchen cabinet cover panels that I’d scored in the AS IS department of IKEA awhile back for $10 each!


We had five panels, which sounds like a lot but it wasn’t quite enough to do the whole room. So I decided to do half tile and half paneling, with a sill on which the panels could sit to give it a very finished look.

We had to build out the walls a bit and sheath the studs with cement backerboard for tiling. I did the tiling first (cheap 3×6 tile from Lowe’s!), then we hung the panels. The room is 8′ and we tiled up a little higher than 4′ so that we’d have some wiggle room cutting the panels. All cut edges are in the corners, which weren’t exactly plumb so we had to carefully mark each inside corner cut to get the right fit.

I recommend scoring each cut with a very sharp utility knife before sawing to minimize splintering.

Panels were screwed into place with finish screws and I filled the holes with wood filler and then actually cut tiny pieces of veneer and glued them over the filler. This was a bit fussy. If I had to do it again, I’d use the color hard wax filler sticks.

Last, I caulked the corner joints with a silicone caulk in a color to match the wood after carefully masking off each joint. I left the vertical joints in the middle of each long wall and above the doorway and window uncaulked since they were straight and had finished edges.

~ Kathy