Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bathroom Progress

Remember this little treat?

I've been working on whipping this puppy into (a more aesthetically-pleasing) shape. When we bought the house, we knew that the bathroom was one of the rooms that would have to wait to be completely renovated. There's only so much money to go around, and we saw potential in the charming 50's tile work.

First thing to go - the nasty pink seashell toilet seat and matching frilly shower curtain and valance. Why on earth would anybody put a valance on a frosted glass window in a shower? Gross. It was even made of the same swishy water resistant material as the shower curtain. I found a gorgeous black shower curtain with a stitched-on design - it still needs to be ironed, but it's up and looking fab for now.

Getting the wallpaper down was quite the challenge. The bathroom thankfully only had one layer - more on the process for the rest of the house later. The process that I found that worked best for this space was to 'brush' the paper with a steel wire brush in order to rough it up a bit. Then I soaked the paper in water with a sponge mop and let it seep into the holes made by the steel brush. About 20 minutes later, I used a spackle tool/putty knife (like the one below) to scrape it off. Rinse and repeat.

Once that was all cleared up, I tackled the vanity. Friends, let me tell you, the picture does not do this horrifying piece justice. It had yellowed over time, and the intricate designs on the front had accumulated 60 years worth of bathroom debris. After setting it on fire to rid ourselves of the nastiness scrubbing it down with bleachy goodness and then burning the gloves I used, I gave it 3 coats of black latex paint (Martha Stewart's 'Francesca', available at Home Depot) and brushed on 2 coats of high gloss poly (I like Varathane Diamond Wood Finish in 'Gloss').

Notably missing from the first picture is the gold and red mirror/medicine cabinet. At least I saved you some pain today. I gave the mirror 3 coats of the same black paint, and sprayed on a coat of high gloss poly.

Next up was the lighting dilemma. After removing the chandelier-like fixture that reminded me of a scary lantern fish, we lived with a bare bulb hanging above the mirror for a couple of months while I pondered over what to do. Lighting options were limited, as the fixture had to be installed mere inches above the top of the mirror (silly us for not thinking about this when we were painting/patching/doing electrical work!). This fact combined with the already slim pickings available in stores led me to search for alternative solutions. Long story short, we ended up with a DIY fixture that I absolutely adore. Pictures and full how-to instructions to follow!

Now all that's left is for me to install the new faucet and drain, and come up with some fancy art to hang on the walls. I think that on a slim budget, we did a bang-up job of making this bathroom liveable while we save up to do it right. What do you think?

And, because I can't resist an adorable picture of the Steve, His hobbies include jumping in front of the camera, and cuddling. True love.

In this picture you can also see that the door trim needs to be finished...details...

By the numbers:

Budget: $200

Shower curtain: $33.89
Shower liner and hooks: free (had them already)
Toilet seat: $11.29
Wall and ceiling paint: $41.77
Black vanity and mirror paint: $5.63
Spray-on poly: $10.16
Paint-on poly: $10.16
Lighting: $66.17 for parts + already had the bulbs
Faucet and drain: $36.15
Total: $215.22

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  1. Can I say I love Steve? and he goes so well with your makeover!lol. It looks great, love the way you've worked with the bones of the bathroom and restored it into something lovely!

  2. I'm so glad you stopped by and joined the party with your awesome bathroom redo. Looking really good. Don't forget to stop back and grab my party button and place it either in your post or on your sidebar. Also, don't forget to become a follower if you haven't already. Thanks so much.

  3. I'm visiting from DIY by Design. The bathroom looks fab!! You did a great job & I love that you didn't spend a fortune!

  4. LOVE this! Come link up at

  5. Looks so great! Love the black and white combo!Visiting from DIY Design.