Better Bathroom Overhaul: Day One

When it comes to making over an 800 square foot space, I am usually a slow go-er until I get a burst of inspiration and work ethic.  It cannot be one or the other since inspiration only gets me as far as Pinterest or Better Homes and Gardens, and work ethic leaves me running around the house like a Tasmanian devil cleaning.  I guess that would be more of a reverse Tasmanian devil…hm.  Luckily, the two came together for me Friday morning when I looked at my bathroom, crunched some numbers, and realized I had the time, the ideas, and the money to finally work on the bathroom.

DSCN1228The style that I chose for decorating was a French-inspired soft blue mixed with black and white.  For the past four years, this has really worked for me.  However, my 25 year old self has really gotten more than fed up with the choices my 21 year old self made and I am going back and perfecting a few mistakes I’ve made.

DSCN1227The bathroom itself is a gem.  I love it, especially since I took out the sliding glass door and replaced it with a shower curtain. From the pictures you see on the blog, it looks totally finished.  But the colors as well as the floor and fixtures in the bathroom no longer feel French and sophisticated.  Now they feel more like…well, a 21 year old college kid made over the bathroom.  When I initially converted the bathroom from the crazy Christmas wall paper and green vinyl sheet floor, I cut some corners in my frenzy.

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The source of the bathroom makeover frenzy: this hideous wallpaper sample leftover from the first makeover happened to be lying around in the bathroom cabinet.

I did not acclimate my vinyl tile to the house for the recommended 48 hours and it has begun to shrink and dirt has gotten in between the grooves. On top of that, instead of a utility knife I used (are you ready for this?) scissors to cut the tile so the edges on a few of the pieces are jagged and mismatched. I also failed to install quarter round which makes the entire room look unfinished.  There is even some green laminate still peaking out from behind the toilet.

DSCN1407 - CopyUgh!  What was I thinking? Finally there is the issue of the falling out toilet paper roll.  I had to install it twice with left two little ugly, unfinished holes peaking out from underneath my gorgeous oil-rubbed bronze toilet paper holder.  Yes, that kind of fixture can be gorgeous.  But, that’s the beauty of living in a small house with only one bathroom (thank goodness).  Mistakes made in the past can usually be remedied quickly.

So I made up a little To-Do list to tackle in about 3 steps.

  • Patch the holes in the wall from the toilet paper holder
  • Buy a new holder that can sit on the floor
  • Paint the cabinets
  • Paint the trim
  • Paint the door
  • Update the paint color in the bathroom
  • Add two towel hooks on the back of the door for my robe and guest towels
  • Install new flooring
  • Install new shower head in the shower
  • Install quarter round
  • Hardware on the cabinets
  • Add new art and accessories, including a little curtain for the laundry space

I am calculating a budget of about $250 for the entire makeover.  The most expensive parts will more than likely be the flooring and the fixtures.

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The gratuitous “Before” shot

First thing’s first, I took the toilet paper holder out of the wall and worked on patching the holes.

DSCN1410 - CopyIsn’t that special?  Who knew something so small could make such a terrible mess.  When it comes to putting holes in the wall, I really don’t shy away.  However, this was first time really patching up said holes.

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I used this awesome kit from DAP called Drydex Patch and Repair which included the spackle, the putty knife, patch, and sandpaper.  The spackle goes on pink and dries to white so you can sand.  The spackle went on very easily with the putty knife and this patch job took me under five minutes.  I let it dry while I got to the next item on my list.

DSCN1405 - CopyThe trim.  This photo is truly embarrassing because it looks like I am a terrible person who never cleans, but honestly this is from four years of wear on the house.  Keeping trim pure white in a place that is used multiple times a day is a true feat.  I vacuumed the base boards and the crown molding before painting and then I went over it all with some pure white trim paint.

DSCN1422 - CopyThis is just an after shot of the laundry space to show how when it comes to painting a room, painting the trim is easier to do first.  Like my Uncle Mike says: “It’s easier to cut into trim than to cut into the wall.”  This little spot was actually yellowed from it being a spot for Maddie’s litter box of the course of a few months.  I tried cleaning it but the stains never went away.  It’s nice to have the trim looking clean again.

DSCN1424 - CopySpeaking of Maddie, she was with me the entirety of the project, doing what she does best, weighing herself.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s just a comfortable spot to sit or if she sees me do it and then decided to herself that is what all ladies do.  I really don’t think my life would have been as amusing if I had adopted a boy cat, I really don’t.DSCN1409 - Copy

Once the trim was complete and I had vacuumed for the second time, it was time to take care of the cabinet.  Number one rookie mistake when painting cabinets:  using latex paint with no primer.  That was how it went down 4 years ago when I originally painted the cabinets.  Now that I am older and wiser lazier and a huge fan of quick-dry oil based primer, I took the doors off their hinges and sanded them down as much as I could.

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Then I applied a quick dry oil-based primer which lived up to it’s name and I then applied a thin coat of paint.  While I was going this, I got a good look at how shoddy the inside of the cabinets looked.  I vacuumed them out once the first coat of paint had dried but they still didn’t look nearly as sexy as the rest of  cabinet.  By the way, this is a good interior design/moral story deal:  Doesn’t matter what’s on the outside if the inside looks rotten to the core.  You’re welcome.

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I tell you what, this drawer liner has gotten tons of mileage with me over the past 3 years it has been in my utility closet. The end result is always gorgeous.  It also goes great with the new paint.

DSCN1421 - CopyFrom this angle, you can see how awful the floor looks.  I didn’t bother saving it for the most part because I will be putting down new tile but I did put down a drop cloth so I didn’t track paint through the house.

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Here’s a shot of the cabinets dressed up in their summer best.  Believe it or not, it actually makes the room feel larger.  And it smells a lot nicer in here now that the litter box smell is cleaned up.

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So, where are we on the checklist, then?

  • Patch the holes in the wall from the toilet paper holder
  • Buy a new holder that can sit on the floor
  • Paint the cabinets
  • Paint the trim
  • Paint the door
  • Update the paint color in the bathroom
  • Add two towel hooks on the back of the door for my robe and guest towels
  • Install new flooring
  • Install new shower head in the shower
  • Install quarter round
  • Hardware on the cabinets
  • Add new art and accessories, including a little curtain for the laundry space

What did you do over the weekend?

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