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When Shawn and I moved into our house, the basement bathroom was the first project we decided to tackle.   We figured that if we completely screwed it up, our family and friends would be the only ones that would have to see it! The bathroom was completely DIY’d by the owners before us (let’s just say they had used black grout in the shower which looked like mold). The color was originally a light turquoise and it just didn’t really flow with the rest of our house. Oh and that hole in the wall behind the sink, that is how they designed the main water shut off valve!

Basement color before with holeFirst, we pulled up the black grout in the shower and replaced it with white grout. It was a headache and we didn’t do it correctly the first time (turns out you are supposed to use tape on both sides to make sure it is applied evenly). But the white looked much cleaner.

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Instructions for Caulking:  We ended up needing to use a caulk removal liquid called Caulk-be-gone to help soften the caulk. Once the caulk was softened, we used a plastic caulk putty knife to remove the caulk.  It took some serious elbow grease to remove the old caulk!  Once it was all removed, we should have used blue painter’s tape to tape a line about 1/8″ inch away on each side to make sure we got a consistent line of caulk. You can use a plastic caulk putty tool or your finger to smooth out the caulk as you go.  Once the caulk is set, do not touch it and let it dry for a few hours.  Read the instructions on the back of your caulk product for the specific time required before the shower can be in use again.

Paint Options: We liked the white bead board that the prior owners had installed so we decided to keep it. We taped off the edges and then painted the walls a deep navy blue to make the white pop. Because I wanted to use a canvas picture I had taken during a visit to the coast of Italy, I decided to try to incorporate a slightly nautical theme.  And while sometimes people say that dark paint will make a small space feel even smaller, I actually feel like the navy blue makes the room seem bigger and more interesting.

Better Shelf pic

The picture canvas is a shot of Cinque Terra, Italy that I took on a vacation a few years prior. While traveling around Europe with one of my best friends from high school, Ashley, we visited this beautiful town. I absolutely loved the colors and architecture. I took the picture while on a boat approaching Manarola, which is one of the five towns (Cinque = five, and terre = towns). Eventually I found a Groupon and had the picture printed to a canvas. The colors of Italy make me smile :)

Cinque Terre Pic


So while this bathroom didn’t require too much time or money (fortunately!) to change the paint color, caulk, and mirror, it definitely feels much cleaner, warmer and inviting.

Final Picture and thumbnail

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