Weekend Bathroom Makeover

Weekend Bathroom Makeover

Happy Post-Memorial Day Weekend!  (Warning Wordy Post - You can skip to the pictures)

It's been quite a busy weekend here at LBH.  This weekend I decided to tackle the bathroom most used by visitors... the main floor bath.  Sometimes it takes an outsider to show you what your home really looks like.  For us, the toilet that sometimes didn't flush and the faucet that only had cold water weren't a big deal.  Bring in family that was visiting and I started to realize that this should probably be the focus of my next project (It's bad when someone asks where the bathroom is and if the toilet works).

Let's start with a good before shot.  Here are two photos of the bathroom when we did our walkthrough the day we bought our house.

If you can't tell from the pictures, the toilet is an off white color, the vanity a dark veneered cabinet, and the sink top is a creamy marbled looking surface.  I've been noticing that most of the things in our house are original (light fixtures, toilets, etc.) and that's pretty old since our house was built in the late 80's.

The first project that I started in here was to re-do the vanity with some moulding and paint.  Click Here for more on that transformation.  Here are a couple of shots capturing that transformation.

Now, let's get back to how things unraveled and this project began.  On Friday we had Home Depot install a toilet upstairs in the hall bath (the toilet that has not worked properly since we moved in).  When I say these guys were in and out in 15 minutes, I am not exaggerating.  It was awesome!  Then came friday night when we had some family over and I began to think about how we really still needed to replace the main floor toilet.  My original thought was just to have Home Depot install that one.

That night I found that I couldn't sleep, so in my insomnia I decided to research how to install a toilet.  I mean if those guys could to it so quickly, surely I could manage it.  You would think that I would learn not to trust my own judgement late at night... my ability to think clearly at night is significantly diminished.  Unwise things like cutting my own bangs and painting a beautiful wood railing white seem like great ideas... until the morning.

Learning from my mistakes, I decided to see how I felt the next morning.  To my surprise I was still enthused, but not really sure what the outcome would be. Mav was out for the morning which meant that I could sneak out to Home Depot with Little Man and try to install it before he got back.

To make an unnecessarily long story short(er), on my second try I was able to correctly install the toilet.  now in this process, guess what I found behind the toilet?!  Wallpaper!  This seriously brought me back to my house as a kid in the 90's.  Whoever had this house before us simply painted right over it - which explains the lumpy walls in there!

This seriously looks like something my mom would have put in our house when I was a kid.  Turns out that there was some more of it behind the light fixture too.

Imagine your screen fades out from that flashback, back to reality.  Back to the toilet... here she is fully functional (I was surprised too).  I don't know what is more exciting:  That I installed a toilet by myself, or that every bathroom in our house now has a nice working toilet.  Sad, I know.

With the toilet installed, I began tackling a couple of other smaller items.  I installed a new sink and faucet and a new light fixture that really helps brighten the room.

With all new fixtures, the only thing left that really needed changing was the dark brown walls. It really made the room feel very small and dark.  I wanted to be able to really lighten the room without painting the whole room white.  So, I decided to install beadboard wall paper to the bottom half of the walls.

I bought Allen and Roth wallpaper from Lowe's (Home Depot didn't carry any).  What is nice about this wallpaper is that it is pre-pasted.  This means that all you have to do is cut a piece, soak it in water for 30 seconds, fold the piece inward with the paste sides together and let it sit for five minutes.  Then it will be ready for you to put on the wall.

For those of you not familiar with paintable wallpaper, it's a 3D textured wall paper that feels sort of like foam.  So, if you run your fingers across it, you can feel the ridges.  Plus, on the wall it looks just like real bead board (just without the price tag).

The whole process didn't take very long.  But, with Little Man I could only get a few pieces up at a time.  Here are a couple of shots to show you the progress.  I think it makes a significant difference in how bright the room looks.

See how the pieces that are still wet show the brown color though them.
When they dry, you can't see the brown any more.

I've found that a couple of the seams separated when they dried, but I think it's nothing a little caulk and paint can't fix.  I still need to add a chair rail as well.  Even unfinished, I think the room is making great progress.

I'll post an update later this week once the chair rail and paint are up.  I'm still trying to decide what color to paint the room (I'm sure you can see the paint chips in the photos above).



  1. Thank you for posting this great change. I have a similar project with late 80's contractor grade cabinets in good shape. Could you please let me know a little more about how you added molding without it looking as so? It really does "beef up" the look.

    1. I found that caulking all of the seams made the moulding look like it had been there all along. Then I just painted over it and it created a seamless look.

      Thanks for the tip on using the 2x4s! :)

    2. You can also check out this post with more details on the cabinet transformation:

  2. PS :)Having gone through several moves and renovations, I add height to cabinets in the bath by raising the cabinet on a 2x4 frame work. When molding is added, you would never know but that there is a comfortable height added.

  3. what kind of paint did you use (spray paint, sanding, etc.)?


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