Today, I’m coming clean, about the place where I get clean. This was my very blah, basic, boring master bathroom. (Covers face with hands and hangs head in shame…)
Ick, right? Initially I wanted to do a complete gut on this bad boy, but because the space is very large (12’x16’), a full bath renovation would be super expensive, time consuming and extra messy. For those reasons, I had done absolutely nothing to this ugly 90’s space for three and a half years. Every morning and every night it was like walking into a ‘Throwback Thursday.’ Only it wasn’t always Thursday, but it was always my blah, basic, boring bathroom. The DIYer in me wanted to tackle it so badly, but because there’s so much I disliked about this bathroom I was at a loss as to where to start…
Finally, one morning while brushing my teeth, I looked around and decided I just couldn’t take one more day of looking at this space. I spit, rinsed, then turned to my husband and told him I was going to makeover the bathroom and I was going to do it on a budget. He nodded in agreement (or maybe he was just gargling.) Then I added the caveat that this did not mean we wouldn’t gut this place at a later date, but it would look a whole lot better in the meantime. He nodded again, or maybe he didn’t, but either way I was taking the plunge to beautify our master bathroom.
My first step was to figure out exactly what I was going to tackle and put a realistic budget towards it. Vanity, tile, fixtures, and countertops were all staying because this was a budget makeover after all, but basically everything else was getting a refresh. After scouring Pinterest & Houzz for inspiration and playing around in Photoshop with a picture of my ugly bathroom, I came up with a plan, a look, and a budget of just $400. Buh-bye boring bathroom!
I began by painting the walls. I went with my go-to paint brand, Sherwin Williams (no, still not sponsored.) I used one gallon of their Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex Paint Flat in the color Silverpointe . It’s quite pricy, but I loved that it had anti-mold and mildew agents. As I’ve recommended in my other posts, wait for a good sale (they run monthly promotions) and that helps reduce the cost dramatically.
After the walls, I painted the very ugly oak vanity. If you’ve visited Practically Spoiled before you know my feelings on 90’s honey oak. Using one quart of Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Waterborne Interior Acrylic Enamel Paint Semi-Gloss in the color Mineral Deposit, I followed the EXACT same method and products I used to paint my kitchen cabinets.
You can find out how I painted my oak cabinets, what products I used, frequently asked questions, and lots more by reading my previous posts From Hate to Great: A Tale of Painting Oak Cabinets and From Hate to STILL Great: Painted Cabinets One Year Later.
I let the vanity cure for about a week, then installed new cup pulls, knobs, and soft close mechanisms. (You can read about how I installed the soft close mechanisms here. So easy!) I actually had all of these leftover from my kitchen makeover, which helped the budget.
In the meantime, I tackled a few other projects:
Refreshing the grout. I clean the tile ALL the time and I’ve tried dozens of methods to revive the grout: Bleach pen, steam cleaner, vinegar mixtures, some fancy grout cleaning solutions that cost too much. But alas, I have white grout and it just always seems to look dingy. Until now! I found the easiest, quickest, and least stinkiest way to bring grout back to life. It’s with this pen. I did the entire bathroom – tub surround, floor, and shower in about an hour and a half. And it’s held up wonderfully so far. HIGHLY recommended!
Framing the mirror. My mirror is HUGE and very much glued to the wall. It definitely wasn’t coming down, but I was going to dress it up! By adding this moulding to the sides and top, it turned my boring builder-grade mirror into a pretty feature. I used a pre-primed, polystyrene casing that I cut to size with a miter box and hacksaw, liquid nails for adhesion, and kept it in place with painters tape until the glue fully dried. Easy peasy.
Building and hanging window cornices. I love the look of a crown moulding cornice, but they can be pretty pricey! With a few basic cuts and just $43 total, I was able to make all three. I’ll be doing a separate post on how I made these easy, inexpensive cornices. Check back soon!
Updating the lighting. I really didn’t like the vanity light fixtures in my bathroom, but new ones were out of budget. With just a few quick tweaks and a can of Rust-Oleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint, I gave them a much needed makeover on the cheap. I also desperately wanted a chandelier over the tub, but didn’t have the budget to have one wired. So I found this pretty, yet inexpensive candelabra chandelier, also sprayed it with the same paint and added these awesome LED candle sticks to it. They come with a remote and give off a nice flickering glow during nighttime baths. Love!
Adding wainscoting to the water closet, and a “tech shelf.” The water closet was just a boring little box with a toilet. In order to add some interest, I installed some wainscoting all the way around. The small area didn’t take long or cost much for a big impact. I also added what I like to call a “tech shelf” above the toilet paper holder. Let’s be real for a moment. We all take our phones and/or tablets into the bathroom with us… entertainment for the go. Why not have a safe place to put your device down rather than put it on the floor (ew) or have it teeter off the toilet tank? I simply used a small shelf like this one and opted for a more permanent installation using my nail gun and some caulk. Ladies, your husbands will be thrilled with this little addition.
With everything in place, I added the finishing touches – decor! A tiered dessert tray for off-the-counter storage from HomeGoods, new soap pumps found on clearance also at HomeGoods, a few topiary balls scored on the cheap at Christmas Tree Shops, a 90% off basket from Michael’s, carved wall art from Target that was very on sale ($35!), some candles, towels, soaps, and other tchotchkes that I had on hand, tied some fresh eucalyptus to the shower head (if you’ve never tried taking a hot shower with fresh eucalyptus, you totally need to), and finally a pretty Safavieh rug I found for just $31 that ties it all together. (The rug is an outdoor rug, but works great in the bathroom if you do the caulk grip trick on the back of it!)
After about two weeks of work, here’s how it came out.
With a little DIY, I was able to transform my blah, basic, boring bathroom into a relaxing, beautiful space for under $400!
Here’s the budget breakdown:
• Paint for walls and cabinet: $65 (purchased during the Sherwin Williams 40% off sale)
• Painting supplies, primer, poly, cabinet hardware: Had from previous kitchen project
• Spray paint for lighting: $12
• Grout pen: $9
• Cornices: $43
• Mirror Frame: $35
• Wainscoting and Tech Shelf: $63
• White semi-gloss paint for trim and wainscot and liquid nails: Had on hand from previous projects
• Rug, soap pumps and all other decor: $95
Grand Total: $380 – $20 under!
Now the only thing left to do involves bubbles, bubbly, and some remote controlled candles. Excuse me while I get to that…
This post is not sponsored, all opinions and instructions are my own. Please DIY at your own risk. This post contains affiliate links.
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