A few weeks ago I found myself with nothing particular to do on a Friday night, and decided like any biological busy-body to start sanding my knotty pine cabinet in the upstairs bathroom. It’s been YEARS (all 3 that we’ve lived here) that I’ve wanted to redo the bath, and after so long of not being able to take it on, I decided I’d just ease myself into it, and do a little here and there. Super reasonable of me actually, and that’s why I thought sanding a bit on a Friday night was a good start. Well, 4 hours later I found myself knee deep in a full scale reno. I sanded down the cabinet, ripped out the wainscoting (also knotty pine), and took out the horrible horrible toilet (a crappy used one we temporarily installed a couple years ago when the other was clogged beyond repair). For that impulsive reason I don’t have a good before shot, although I do have a video I shot months and months before. Before I go on I’ll tell you that budget was top priority in this project. My husband was almost certain he was going to lose his job (he didn’t in the end), and was looking for work elsewhere (he just started a new job up north in SLC this week). So the idea was to make it look as good as I could, spending as little as I could, and that means this isn’t my dream bath. I would have done many things differently if I’d have had more cashflow, but because it’s a possibility that we’ll be moving in the next little while, I knew that now was not the time to pull out all the stops. So I decided to keep the sink and shower chrome bath fixtures, the bath and surround, the corian grey countertop, the knotty pine cabinet, the grey tile flooring, and the wood framed mirror. None of those things were my favorite, but they were all in good shape and I was hoping that with the changes I planned they’d bloom like wallflowers (I was right). The things that HAD TO GO were the knotty pine wainscoting, the scroll-y light fixture, the awful toilet, the eroded sink, the strip of slate tile in the bath surround and all the janky accessories (toilet paper holder, towel rack etc.)
What I did: after I ripped off the wainscoting, I had to repair the damaged plaster walls underneath. I patched up the holes and then sanded down all the glue and joint compound, and then textured and painted them with my favorite grey (Martha Stewart Wetstone Grey). Also I cut, installed and painted some basic baseboards. Don’t have a great after shot of those, sorry.
Hands down the biggest before and after moment is the cabinet. After filling all the knots and then triple sealing/priming them with a heavy duty sealer/primer, I painted it white and swapped out the very rustic hardware with these cute little marble pulls that I got for a song at 50% off. It looks so much better!
Let’s see, then I ripped off the grey corian backsplash and replaced it with nice white subway tile (so pretty and cheap and it gave some needed visual space between the mirror and counter). Lastly Allan helped install the sink and toilet, as well as a new light fixture.
The last thing I did was paint the strip of slate tile in the bath surround. The before was a rustic textured slate that ranged in color from greys to orangey browns. Besides not really jiving with the design direction I was taking, a couple of the tiles were actually starting to erode a bit so that when you cleaned them they actually bled their respective colors a little. So the plan was to both seal and give them a face lift. I ended up using an epoxy paint kit, which is kind of a lot of prep work, but hopefully will hold up well. The stencil I came up with has a sort of Moroccan/south western vibe, and I think looks pretty classic. I used my Silhouette cutter to cut a bunch of stencils from contact paper, and then after a basecoat of grey (I added acrylic black and brown to the white) I stenciled the design in white.
All in all the project rang in at just under $500, which I’m really happy with. Infinitely better. And it’s done! The project that’s been hanging over my head for years is DONE, and that feels awesome. Going to really enjoy it for the time that we’re here!