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I always love seeing the difference paint can make! A fresh coat of paint and quick color change in the bathroom has made such an impact.

master bath sign
Our master bathroom has been a work in progress for several years because I just hadn’t quite wrapped it up.   Many years ago, soon after we first moved in, we made some big changes to the room.

  • We removed the carpeting and installed 20 x 20 travertine tile floors.
  • We removed the fiberglass shower and installed 4×4 tiles floor to ceiling for the shower instead
  • Removed builder’s vanity and mirror and replaced with a DIY dresser-turned-vanity
  • Faux finished the walls and painted

Here’s the before.

bathroom before
master bath shower
bathroom face lift
When we installed the new bidet toilet seat, I got inspired to spruce things up. The room was just too brown and I wanted to change the color but that turned into a bigger project than just repainting.  The faux finished walls were created with drywall mud compound and it was quite a task to remove it.  At first, I sprayed with water and scraped with a knife, but that was a very slow and tedious process.   So, I then used a high grit sandpaper  (40) with my electric sander and sanded all of the walls. I ended up sanding twice, once with 40 grit and then with 120 grit to smooth the surface.  What a mess!!!  There were layers and layers of debris everywhere.  Several wall areas had serious problems so I ended up calling a drywall finisher to re-mud those areas for a smooth finish.

bathroom walls before
After all of that wall preparation, I was finally able to paint!  The new color is the same one I used in the kitchen, Benjamin Moore Gray Wisp (at 50% tint).   It is a gray with blue undertones.

master bath vanity
Doorless shower
Most of the lighting in the room had issues too (broken, pieces missing) so I finally replaced the fixtures. In addition to can lights over the shower and bath tub, there are three other fixtures in the room:  over the toilet,  over the vanity, and there’s a ceiling fan in the center.   I ordered lights from Lowes, CB2, and Overstock and installed them myself. But while shopping, I found some really great lighting options at Shades of Light, School House Electric, and Rejuvination.

In the tub area,  I hung a photo from our trip to Ireland.  This is the North Irish coast.   I had the photo printed in a 40 x 30 size to match a canvas I found long ago at Goodwill.  I used Poster Brain and loved how fast it shipped.  I affixed the poster sized photo to the canvas using Mod Podge.  I first covered the canvas in Mod Podge, layered the photo on top, and then put another layer of Mod Podge on top of the photo. It dries clear with a textured, brush stroke effect so it resembles a painting.

bathroom art
The feel in the room is clean and much more up to date and I’m so happy to have it done!

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We have two and a half bathrooms in our home.  I refer to them as the half bath, guest bath, and master bath.   It’s too bad we didn’t take better before pictures of them as they were when we first moved in.  This weekend, I found a picture of the upstairs landing that provides a glimpse into what we were first working with many years ago.

It’s a crazy picture, but you can still see the main elements from 1986 when the house was built: original vanity, original tile and dark green patterned wall paper.     The flooring was in poor shape.  A year after moving in, we replaced the tiny ceramic tiles with a 12 x 12 porcelain tile.

As you can see, during the tiling, we also took out the old vanity.   Our budget was VERY small so I picked out a very basic white new vanity, the kind with the molded sink top that comes with it.

The vanity is so tiny because this bathroom is tiny!  It’s 5ft from the door to the window on the opposite wall and 7ft wide.

Over time we made the other changes seen above.  1) We put up beadboard right over that dark wallpaper and painted the upper portion of the wall.  2) My mom made the shelving unit to hang above the toilet.  Built-ins are such a nice way to create more storage and function in a small space.  3) Replaced the basic molded sink top with a piece of marble and separate sink.

More recently, I’ve hung regular floor to ceiling curtains (Vivan from Ikea) that I had stashed away in a closet  to see how they felt in the space.  I think I like it.  It seems a little more spa like and I want to say, ironically, spacious.   The regular plastic shower curtain liner is still behind them.

small bathroom

The walls and vanity will likely get a new paint color soon.  I’m waiting for inspiration to strike.  I still need to finish painting the trim and frost the window for privacy too.

I do like how there is no gap of space above the shower curtain rod now. Have you tried extra long shower curtains (or just regular curtains) in the bathroom?

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