It’s 9 o’clock in the evening on labor day as I’m writing this. I hope that everyone has had a good one! I am incredibly excited to be doing this post. I’ve been looking forward to doing it for what seems like forever. Our original goal was to have the guest bathroom completed before we had, well… guests. That… did not happen as you may remember from My Birthday Shenanigans. Between guests, the horrible flooding and all the different aspects of this project, the finish date just kept sliding further and further. Well, finally here is our first before and after shot on our guest bathroom:
I am really excited with how well this project has turned out. We were able to take a dated (and very floral) bathroom and make it into the modern, bright space that we wanted. There are quite a few more before and after shots to follow, though I haven’t put the labels on them. Hopefully you won’t have any issues in distinguishing between them.
These outdated brass light fixtures had to go. I mean, wow. I’m sure that it would look amazing to somebody, but that somebody is not me. We may end up getting a higher-end fixture sometime in the future, but this is actually just a fluorescent work light that we were able to get from Lowe’s for only $20. We installed a bright white bulb for about $10. I recommend this color to avoid the harsh/cold look that most people associate with fluorescent lighting. This fixture really gave the style we were looking for at the price we were looking for.
There were daisies in the toilet seat. I don’t think I really need to say anything else about this.
The dingy, ruffly shower curtain really didn’t work in here. Everything in this room was flowers and pinks and grays. This shower curtain was green. I just don’t get it. We still haven’t found a shower curtain that we like for in here, but for now a simple white liner does the job.
There were weird wooden handles on the vanity and everything was overly decorated, but done in colors that just kind of melded together. There weren’t any pops of color except maybe the wood paneling on the trim and the door. Just darkening the vanity and keeping everything else subtle made a really big difference.
Speaking of wood panelling in the trim and the doors, we still have to paint those, but are debating on which colors to carry into them. So there will be yet another guest bathroom post at some point in the future. I would not recommend holding your breath.
This is the view looking into the guest bedroom from the bathroom. We’ve currently removed the doors to make painting walls easier, and to ensure that we’ll actually paint the doors themselves at some point in the hopefully not too distant future.
The process for creating this bathroom was long. I know I’ve said that in the past. A lot. But it was so much more than I thought. There was so much wallpaper. Removing all of the wallpaper in this room was honestly the first thing that I began to do when I got the keys to our new house. Seriously. I went over there before moving in, and while Matt started trying to see how best to tackle stripping the paint in the living room, I removed wallpaper.
I started removing the wallpaper using fabric softener added to hot water in a 1:1 mixture. You take a wallpaper scorer, perforate the wallpaper evenly, then spray an area and let it soak for about 15 minutes, then start to scrape it off. This does work, but it’s kind of a pain. And it leaves a bunch of softener residue on your walls, which sucks if you’re planning to paint them after. Then Matt borrowed a coworker’s wallpaper steamer and that went soooooo much faster and easier. I recommend trying to get one if you can do it cheaply.
Next was picking paint colors. First was the wall colors. This actually took a long time because after removing the wallpaper, we realized that there was a really nice gray underneath that was really similar to the gray we wanted to use. We tried valiantly to color match the existing color, but we couldn’t get a perfect match. And the existing color wasn’t exactly the color I wanted either. It had a touch too much magenta in it. I know, I know, it was just the designer in me being picky, but hey, that’s the right you get when you’re going to do all of the work yourself. We ended up choosing Valspar “Filtered Shade” and “Ultra White” if you’re interested.
Next we chose a very dark gray, almost black for the vanity. And, we had already chosen the hardware we wanted, so we got that and got rid of the weird wooden handles ASAP.
After solidifying our colors, we needed to figure out how many stripes we would have and how wide they would be. To do this, we needed to measure the entire room. We made sure to measure the length of every wall and then we added all of the lengths together. Now, when you’re trying to decide how large your stripes are going to be, remember that you need to have an even number of stripes in order to avoid having two stripes that are the same color next to each other at the end. To be sure that you get an even number of stripes, divide the sum of all of your wall lengths in half, then see what ways the resulting number can be divided to give you close to a whole number.
For instance, if the lengths of all of your walls come up to 150 inches (I realize that would be tiny, but for examples sake let’s go with it) you might be tempted to just do 10″ stripes. However, that would mean you would have 15 ten inch stripes, which means you’d have a bunch of 10″ stripes and one 20″ stripe where your design begins and ends because it would begin and end with the same color.
So if you halve it first, you won’t start and end with the same color, so you won’t have to worry about realizing you messed up only after you’re done. We were lucky enough that 10″ was a workable number for our bathroom, which is approximately what I had made in my initial design.
After figuring all of this out, we did a test run of the stripes above the mirror. It was a good way to see what the easiest method was for painting the stripes, and we needed to finish that spot earlier so we could install the new light anyway. This lead to a conclusion about how I wanted to approach this stripe painting project:
Now, when doing stripes, many people say to choose one of the colors (probably the lighter one) and do the entire wall that color, then measure out your stripes and tape to add the second color.
I’m cheap and not afraid of the extra work (kinda) so what I did was measure out my lines around the entire room and put up marks a few places up and down the walls. Then I (well, actually my future sister-in-law Jess) painted the gray color first since it so closely matched the color underneath, and we made sure to overlap the marks by at least an inch or two on both sides. This ensured that I didn’t have any places that were missing gray paint, and I used almost half as much gray paint as I would have if I had painted the entire wall. 🙂
These pictures show how it looked when we were done with this part. Another benefit is that taping for the second color sucks, so if you’ve painted your entire wall all nice, you may get tempted to just keep putting it off since the room looks alright. Well, mine didn’t. It still looked crazy and under construction, so I marched on.
Next, we painted the vanity. This is a laminate vanity. At some point we’ll probably have to replace it, or at least resurface it. For now all we’re doing is painting it to get the look that we want. However, painting laminate is a pain. We had to sand it down to remove as much of the glossy finish as possible. Sanded laminate smells awful. Like, really awful. So we covered them in paint as quickly as possible.
This was Matt and his brother Luke looking at the cabinet doors we had just painted and discussing the weird texture. I used the wall roller on these, and it left an orange peel type finish. I recommend getting a roller specifically for smooth surfaces if you’re going to paint cabinetry. You can also see the drawers from the Modern Dresser drying outside in the driveway!
These pictures look funny and you’ll just have to deal with that. The room was messy and I was attempting not to include that awful mess in the photos. You should really be thanking me for that. Really. But you can see why doing this part of the project is a pain. Every stripe is a single piece of tape from the ceiling to the floor so that there weren’t any chunky bits where ends of tape didn’t meet up perfectly. I did all of this taping by myself while listening to an audio book of the Dresden Files with Matt sitting and ordering things on Amazon. Delightful.
But you can’t argue with the results:
Our last decision is what color to make the trim and the doors. My initial design showed the trim and doors the same dark color as the vanity. I’m thinking that I’d still like to take the trim that way, but I’m not sure on the doors. If the trim is that dark gray, maybe the doors could be the light gray or the bright white? Or maybe I’ll just make them the dark gray. Let me know what you think, because when that’s finished, we’ll finally stop worrying about this room for awhile!