In 5 steps, this bathroom makeover took our powder room from blah to charming farmhouse-style.
Our powder room has been a sad, sad place for years. In 2012, when we moved in it was sponge-painted in orange (yes, orange). I am no fan of orange, guys. I know some love it, but it’s not me. The flooring was a ceramic orange-ish brown trimmed in black slate. The sink was a standard shell-shaped pedestal from the 90’s. The toilet wobbled every time someone sat on it.The trim paint on the floors and around the door was all banged up and chipping. Some of the cabinet trim had broken off. And the fixtures and mirror were that shiny gold that people cringe about now.
Seriously, watch House Hunters and you’ll see the cringing. The whole room was blah. It was a bit embarrassing to let people use it. I am so glad it’s finally done. This bathroom makeover can be divided into 5 key steps to fix this room and give it some character.
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Step 1: Repair what’s broken
My helpful hubby removed the toilet and replaced the cracked flange that caused the toilet wobble. Then I replaced the missing molding on the cabinet. This is a pretty simple fix. I picked out some molding at one of the big box stores and cut it to size. Then I grabbed my Ryobi Brad Nailer and attached it at 3 or 4 different spots along the board.
If you do this at home, you want to be sure to have the trim snug against the cabinet at every point along the board. So, use as many nails as necessary on your piece of trim. Then I patched the nail holes with Dap Drydex.
Drydex is absolutely a go to product for me. It is so easy to apply, I usually do it with my finger. It can be smoothed with a slightly damp cloth to reduce sanding. It is sandable and paintable once dry. And washes off easily with soap and water. I always use this product for small repairs in drywall or painted trim (dries white, so won’t work with stain).
Step 2: Paint everything
I painted those walls pretty quickly after moving in. The new color was a light greige that was nice enough, but nothing special. But even then the powder room was still on the blah-side. I wanted a powder room that stood out and impressed our guests.
While working on other areas of the house, updating the powder room stayed in the back of my mind. I hunted ideas on Pinterest for years. Pinning idea after idea. Finally over my hubby’s Christmas 2015 holiday, I decided it was time!
I asked him to pull out the pedestal sink and toilet for me. I was ready to fix that powder room. It only took me 2 paint jobs, 2 vanity attempts and 12 short months to get that room ready for a reveal. 😉
I repainted the ceiling to get rid of some old marks and freshen up the room. I’ve been using Behr’s Vermont Cream on our ceilings. It is a nice neutral white that has a warm look without looking like it has a blue, pink, or yellow-ish tint. All of the trim around the floors and door frame was painted with Behr’s Polished Pearl. We picked this color simply because the paint chip matched the existing trim in this house. Now it was time to fix those blah walls.
Navy Blue was all the rage on Pinterest at this time, I thought it would give the Powder Room a nice polished look. I picked Sherwin Williams Hale Navy and gave it a try. The color is beautiful but it was way too dark for that small, windowless room. I lived with it for a month or so, but never really liked it there. I decided to switch to a medium greige that I had used in a few other rooms. Behr’s Castle Path really looks nice in there.
Last week, I gave the door a new color too. Behr’s Arid Landscape is a light griege or mushroom color that I hope to use on more doors soon. What do you think of the color?
3. Trim and wainscoting to add character
I love v-groove panels. It’s like bead board, but with a more traditional, less country look. The grooves are spaced further apart than they are on bead board, but not quite as far apart it is with shiplap. Our house is very traditional, with lots of wainscoting and moldings everywhere. I like the country look, but it just won’t fit with my house. So, I decided to use v-groove panels, ran horizontally and left at it’s 4-foot height, with simple 1X3 molding along the top and inside corner molding in the corners.
This definitely dressed up the room and gave it a bit of character. When I install v-groove board in my house, I skip the glue completely. It ruins drywall when you try to remove that glued on board. Even if I never remove the v-groove, the next homeowner might. So, why make a mess for the next person. Instead, I use my Ryobi Brad Nailer to attach the v-groove board into the studs. I used my Stud Finder to mark the location of the studs. I like this v-groove board so much, it’s in the laundry and exercise room too!
I also installed crown molding that matched the style of crown that was in most of the rooms when we moved in. My goal is to eventually have crown in every room of the house. It just gives every room a more finished look.
4. Vanity and fixtures
After the v-groove and all of the painting, the hubby installed the toilet again while I tried working on a new vanity. Off and on for weeks I designed and built a floating faux-vanity front. I loved the way the faux-vanity looked. It was a nice mix of stained wood and that Hale Navy (still trying to find ways to use this color). In the end I got nervous about how to frame out and support the sink across the 36″ wide opening and chickened-out about using that faux-front. I kept picturing a day when one of my boys tried standing on that counter and the whole thing collapsed. Too scary.
With most of my projects, I imagine that if it can be climbed, it will be climbed. You know how little boys can be. Thinking about that probably makes me over-engineer a lot of things. I’ve saved that faux-vanity in hopes that I can think of a good use for it one day. Instead, I decided to use one of my dressers to create a new vanity. You can read all about how I turned that dresser into 2 new pieces in a previous blog post.
I finished off the vanity I built with the quartz we used in our kitchen remodel and a beautiful vessel sink. For this bathroom makeover, I chose the Anna Farmhouse sink by Jacuzzi. It rises a few inches off of the counter, giving the whole vanity a more substantial and classic feel. The fixtures are Moen Brantford in the spot resist Brushed Nickel finish. This spot resist finish by Moen really does keep the fixtures looking nice longer. We use it all over the house.
Step 5: Decor, decor, decor
The wall above the toilet was mostly white. It needed a little pop of something. Digging through my scrap wood pile fixed that. I cut and stained a simple shelf from a 2×6. The 2 inch thick board gave it a finished look that a 1 inch board wouldn’t naturally have. If I had used a 1 inch board I would have added a mitered 2 inch edge. 1×1’s on the 3 walls support the shelf. I attached them to the wall with my Ryobi Brad Nailer. General Finishes Java Gel Stain worked like a charm on this shelf, just like it did on my counter stool makeover. I really love the way this shelf turned out. It’s an easy way to add more interest and color to this tiny room.
While looking for some art for the wall, I stumbled upon some nice picture frames. The wood grain and detail was so nice, I decided to use pictures in the bathroom instead of art. I painted the mirror Hale Navy (yes, I finally found a place for it) and found some matching hand towels at Home Goods. The floors were updated during our recent kitchen remodel (full reveal coming soon). It finally feels like a room with some character. I think this might be the first room in the house that feels completely done…for now. 😉
Check out how I converted some cabinets in my laundry room into this great DIY mudroom for less than $100.
Feeling inspired? Need to do your own bathroom makeover? Want to add v-groove board or a shelf in your house? How about building a vanity or installing some crown molding? Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need from Amazon. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!