I told Shawn that its dangerous to go on business travel and leave me alone for two weeks…
Recently, he went on a two week business trip to Florida and came home to a newly renovated guest bath upstairs! I had been working very long weeks as well and needed some “craft time” to stimulate my mind (I know, crazy right?! My boss says she worries about what I do in my down time!)
So needless to say, I grabbed my sander, my paint brushes, and I got to work! (Sent this pic to Shawn as a warning the night the project began…see those awful white walls in the background?!) P.S. When you are sanding cabinets, always wear a mask to protect yourself from the chemicals.
On my to-do list for the weekend was to paint the walls, sand/paint the vanity, replace the faucet, light fixture….aka re-do the whole bathroom without taking down any tiles or walls!
Another angle of the before…
Fortunately this bathroom had white walls and white tile countertops. While the tile countertops are not my favorite (hard to keep clean, a little outdated, etc.), the reason I say “fortunately” is because white is easy to work with (instead of say, 70’s green countertops!) and I didn’t want to pay a ton of money for new countertops.
To get inspiration, I decided to start by finding a shower curtain. After a quick trip to TJ Maxx Home Goods, I found this gem of a shower curtain below. It seemed modern enough and had a clean feel which I wanted since this is a guest bath. I decided I would use the grey patterned shower curtain, paint the walls a grey color, and redo the oak cabinets black.
After a trip to Home Depot to get putty, paint & supplies, a new light fixture, a new faucet, and new “racks” (towel, toilet, and hand towel), I came home and prepped the bathroom.
To prep the bathroom:
- I took off the light fixture (also sent this picture to Shawn to keep him posted on the status and I think he thought I was going to electrocute myself!) The light fixture was very outdated and I thought I could do a cheap upgrade by getting a more modern vanity light.
- Then I prepped the cabinets by removing all of the doors, drawers, and hardware. Take the time to remove all of the hardware instead of tapping over it. You don’t want your project to look unprofessional when you finish and it’s a simple extra step that makes a HUGE difference.
- I also tapped off the entire bathroom to include the cabinets. The best advice I can give is to use Frog Tape if you can! It’s a little more expensive than the typical blue painter’s tape but is definitely worth the investment (it doesn’t bleed through as much…less re-work).
Next step was painting the cabinets:
- I decided to start the cabinet doors first since they required more time. They needed to be sanded, primed, and painted (and more than one coat on the primer and paint on each side).
- I formed a shelf to work the cabinets on in order to keep dust and dog hair off of them (oh Jordie how we love you). I used what I had laying around the house which was plastic tubs and old fence posts. Luckily one of our guest rooms is empty so I was able to work them right next to the bathroom but the garage would also have worked well.
- I used grit 150 sandpaper to sand the cabinets using an electric sander. Any small corners required me to use a hand block sander and some elbow grease though.
- Next came the primer (see picture above). I used Gripper Primer and absolutely loved the results. The paint guy at Home Depot tinted it grey for me so that it would be easy to cover in the black paint.
- I did two coats of primer, allowing each coat to dry for 24 hours (just make sure to follow the instructions on the can! The more time you allow it to cure, the better your results will be.)
- Next came the paint…
- I had to do three coats of black paint for the cabinets to look completely covered and finished. Again allowing at least 24 hours between coats. I used Broadway Black from Behr for the cabinet paint. I applied it with a foam roller for best results and used a 2″ angled paint brush for the corners.
Next came the walls…
- Make sure that you’ve tapped off your nicely painted cabinets and removed your light switch covers, etc. before getting started.
- Grey is a HARD color to pick out…Color can look SO different due to lighting and texture once it is actually on the wall so don’t always trust the paint swatch paper. I normally always buy a small sample or two (best $2.50/ea you’ve ever spent) to test out and make sure you like the color.
- I didn’t do that this time though….So needless to say I wasted money on the first grey (looks blue in the picture below) and had to make another trip to the store to get a different grey. I ended up using Elephant grey from Behr in the end!
- It took two coats on the walls…
Once the cabinets and walls were done, next came the mini-upgrades…
- Fortunately for me, Shawn was home by this time! He helped me install the light fixture, the faucet, and the racks.
- Note to normal people – you WILL make mistakes! Well maybe not if you are a perfectionist, but we do! Just keep calm and fix it! We had a massive fail on installing the towel rack…ended up having to re-putty and paint the HUGE holes in the wall we made when the rack was slightly off measurement. Nothing that a little putty and paint can’t fix though :)
New light fixture…
So just to recap this project….we painted the cabinets, painted the walls, replaced the faucet, the light fixture, and all of the towel/toilet racks….and then we finally had a finished product!
We joke that our house is a hostel because we are always having friends and family come stay with us so hopefully our guests will enjoy the bathroom as much as we do!