My Little Project: DIY Bathroom Renovation

I am so excited to show you guys this because I am so flipping proud of myself!

When we bought this house, we both knew that it was a bit older but we didn’t care. It has a sense of charm and character that we weren’t able to find in newer homes and the extra space was a huge perk. However, we also realized that those benefits came with tradeoffs, and while some were more pricey {like the hardwood floors that replaced the atrocious carpet}, others just took a little elbow grease. Everything in our house functions just fine; it just needs a little cosmetic updating!

Since I have winters off from work, it seemed logical that I use that free time to start DIY’ing the daylights out of the house. Sadly, I knew absolutely nothing about any of this home repair stuff, so my learning curve has been huge. Seriously y’all: I even made the Home Depot lady explain all the different types of caulk!

I chose our downstairs bathroom because it was a small room that we used frequently. I decided to pick a small area to start so that I could feel a sense of accomplishment upon completion instead of overwhelming myself by taking on too huge of a project. Plus, I hated the old school baseboards!

Since I’m new to this whole DIY world, it never occurred to me to take “before” photos until after I started. Sigh. I eventually realized I would likely write about this project, so I snapped a couple of early-stages photos.

DIY Bathroom

DIY Bathroom

DIY Bathroom

Not too pretty, right? The bathroom was an odd white with dark wooden trim on both the floorboards and the under-the-sink cabinets. I wasn’t sure where to start, but I figured the baseboards were a great place! We thought about replacing them but they are still in great shape, so I decided to try priming and painting them first. If that worked, we would save a lot of money! So, I taped them off, bought some primer and paint, and turned myself into Picasso:

DIY Bathroom

Guys, even this step was a massive learning process for me! I originally left the tape on after the first coat of paint, knowing I was going back for a second coat. Little did I know that you can’t do that: the paint dries and the tape gets stuck in it, leaving a huge mess to clean up. I had to use an exacto knife to cut the tape off the wall, but you better believe I won’t make that mistake again!

After the baseboards, I decided that I couldn’t handle the walls anymore. I really wasn’t sure what my overall plan was for the room, but I knew I hated the paint color! I headed to Home Depot {for the 87th time in three months} and brought home some paint swatches. Side note: definitely bring the swatches home before purchasing the paint. The colors look so different in your house than they do in the store! I finally picked a color that both Will and I liked, and set to work painting the walls.

DIY Bathroom

Next up? The grout in the tiles! As you can kind of see in the above photos, the grout was a dark gray color that just looked dingy. I didn’t know you could color {and reseal} grout until I read about it on Virginia’s blog. Once I read that, I was a happy camper. What an easy way to improve the look of the room! I bought a bottle of Polyblend Grout Renew Colorant, found an old toothbrush, and set to work.

DIY Bathroom

After that, I turned my attention to the cabinets under the sink. I had purposely avoided them because I was slightly nervous. Painting wood is something that seems so dramatic and I had no idea if I was going to screw it up! Finally, I sucked it up and rationalized that I could always fix it if I ruined it….right?! I was debating paint colors when Cindy told me about the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations kit that I mentioned in this post. She assured me it was easier than the standard primer and paint route, so I purchased the kit in white.

DIY Bathroom

Finally, I spent an inordinate amount of time searching for a new mirror. The massive industrial mirror {shown above} was hideous and I hated it. Honestly, I could barely wait for Will to get home from work to remove it; he came home one day to find me prying it off the wall by myself. The thing needed to go! However, after I removed it and hid it in our sunroom, I arrived at a standstill. We couldn’t find a new mirror that we liked!

I searched favorite stores like World Market and Pier 1 to no avail. I even dug through dozens of thrift stores, hoping I would find a pretty silver mirror. Still no luck! In the meantime, I propped up this ancient gold mirror that my mom bought for me years ago. I hated the color, but figured we could at least use it until we found another that we liked.

As the search continued, it occurred to me that I didn’t mind Mom’s old mirror; I just didn’t like the color! What if I painted it?! Again, I referenced Virginia’s blog and read through all of her spray paint posts. She spray paints everything and makes it look awesome, so why couldn’t I do the same with the mirror? Worst case scenario, I would ruin a mirror that I already disliked. There is no harm in that!

As it turns out, I love the new mirror and it was so easy to do! I hauled it into the backyard where it took my approximately five minutes to paint. Winning!

DIY Bathroom

Once the mirror was hung, I used a drill for the first time {ever} and put the cabinet doors back on. I was finally done!

DIY Bathroom

DIY Bathroom

Seriously guys, I’m proud of this one. It makes the bathroom seem so much less dark!

DIY Bathroom

DIY Bathroom

DIY Bathroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now onto the next project: chairs for our kitchen table!

********************

How do you feel about DIY projects? Love them or are they your worst nightmare?

Sometimes this got a little stressful and it’s definitely not perfect, but I kinda had fun!

12 Comments

  • Reply Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb at

    Even after reading this I just want to say, “Ahhhh….” Feels good =) We did a ton of improvements on our home in Ohio prior to moving so I can totally identify. Looks great!

    • Reply heather at

      Thanks! And it does…it’s almost addicting. I keep eyeballing my next project 🙂

  • Reply Carla at

    UH OH
    had to say/share youve inspired me.

  • Reply Carrie at

    Beautiful! Great job!

  • Reply Larissa at

    This. Looks. Awesome. I heart DIY’s. My husband and I are happiest when we have projects to work on/build/update/create.

    • Reply heather at

      It’s pretty new for me honestly. I love landscaping and doing the outside stuff, but the inside stuff isn’t my niche…but I’m kinda enjoying it!

  • Reply Kate at

    It looks great! The first DIY project I ever attempted on my own was priming and painting baseboards. Not only did I make a huge mess but I also got that damn blue tape stuck everywhere because I let the paint dry. I’m sure there are still pieces wedged in between the wall and the wood…10 years later. I never tried that again LOL.

    • Reply heather at

      That is EXACTLY what I did!! Such a nightmare and I was so mad at myself. On the bright side, you only make that mistake once!

  • Reply Alyssa at

    I’ve never done anything like this so this post is fascinating to me. I had no idea there were different kinds of caulk! Well done!

    • Reply heather at

      Oh man, I can give you a lesson! Basically, the takeaway that I learned: one kind for the bathroom, one kind for the not-bathroom 🙂

  • Reply Rachel @ Betty LIVIN at

    I am a disaster at DIY! I keep trying because one of these days it will work out! Ha ha!

  • Reply Kayla at

    Good job! It looks great! BoddaBig improvement! You’ll appreciate all the updates so much more by doing it all yourself.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.