One of the things that we loved about this townhouse when we first saw it was the opportunity for us to do some updates/home makeover type things. I love a good project like that and Mike wanted to experiment with it to see if that’s the type of thing we would want to do on our next home. It pretty much hadn’t been touched or changed since the mid-90’s when it was built, so we had a lot of things we wanted to do. The master bathroom being high on the priority list!
We knew this would be a “starter” home for us, so we weren’t going to be doing any big or expensive projects, but would still be putting in some money (and sweat) to update it for future resale value. If we were to live here for a long time, I would gut the bathroom and start over, mostly because we have a very small stall shower and a gigantic garden tub – I’d want to even those out or remove the tub altogether. Anyway, since we aren’t doing that type of renovation, we did do some cosmetic updates to get it looking more modernized and fresh.
Mike and I both agreed that he would take over 98% of this project, which he was excited to do! He did a great job and we’re both very happy with how it turned out. Simple changes, like replacing the light fixture and framing out the huge wall mirror, made a huge impact in the space. If you’re looking to do something similar, I’m sharing a breakdown of everything that he did below!
Gave the walls and ceiling a fresh coat of paint
We went with Behr Realist Beige for the walls and Behr Polar Bear for the ceiling.
Trimmed out the large mirror above the tub
We liked how the mirror made the room feel/look bigger, but wanted to do something to dress it up a little bit. We opted to just do a simple frame around it with painted trim pieces and love how it turned out!
Here’s what he did:
- We bought primed MDF trim pieces from Home Depot
- Measured and cut the pieces using a miter block and saw
- Painted both sides of the trim using Behr Polar Bear (you paint both sides because the reflection can be seen in the mirror)
- Used liquid nails to adhere the mirror (make sure the piece is level!) and tape with painter’s tape to hold in place while drying
- Caulked using white caulk at the corners to blend the seams
He used this article as a guide for how to do it.
Painted the vanity
My mom did this first in our guest bathroom, so Mike had a head start on how to tackle this cabinet (she shared her process with him). The vanity was just your classic 1990’s wood vanity. Here’s what he did:
- sanded down doors outside with 200 grit sandpaper blocks
- wiped doors down (to remove any debris/dust before painting)
- used paint with primer – color is Behr Web Gray (7453)
- to paint, he used a smaller roller brush and standard paint brush for grooves/corners
- painted two coats, waiting 4-5 hours to dry
- spray painted the hinges with metallic spray paint
- taped off and painted the base of the vanity with the same materials
- added pulls to cabinet once hinges and doors were replaced
Swapped out the vanity light for a new one
He’s also changed nearly every light fixture in our home, so he’s a pro at this! It’s another one of those home DIY’s that, once you do it once or twice, you can do it a hundred times. This light is just under $100 and looks great for a fantastic price.
Changed out existing sink faucets
One change that can make a big impact is changing out faucets! He’s done this before, so he knew what to do, buy YouTube has a plethora of “how-to” videos, if it’s your first time. He installed these faucets in our double vanity. (Note: supply lines sold separately)
New mirrors for above the vanity
We had a giant mirror that we swapped out for these two mirrors that we found at Home Goods! Another simple change that made a really big impact in the space.
Updated the garden tub hardware and jet pieces
He spent a ton of time searching on google for the replacement parts for our tub, but eventually found them! The previous pieces were yellowed and old, so getting new white jet covers in there instantly made it look like new. He also swapped out the faucet and handles. We did have to buy separate handles because the rough-ins for the existing handles were poorly aligned and completely uneven. One of the handles sat how it was supposed to (perpendicular to the faucet head) and the other was a 90º angle different. So, we opted for handles that didn’t have a direction to them, so that you couldn’t tell the original rough-ins were installed incorrectly.
Added trim to the medicine cabinet
We went back and forth on removing the medicine cabinet altogether, but wanted to keep this project as simple as possible. One thing we’ve definitely learned is that home projects can quickly go from, “oh, that’ll be easy!” to a lot of time, money, and frustration. Since we didn’t want to risk that with having to patch the wall, we opted for an inexpensive medicine cabinet trim kit to make it look a little better. He got this pack of framing strips and this pack of corner pieces (highly recommend adding these, if you do this!) and followed the simple instructions to attach them with liquid nails.
Restored the grout around the tub and shower
The grout was greyed and dirtied, but instead of re-grouting everything, he opted to use this grout renew product to make it look like new! He used a toothbrush and/or grout brush to apply it. He referenced this YouTube video for how to do it.
Cleaned up the floor tile grout and other areas
Everything else that needed a really good scrub/clean, he used a combination of ZEP/cleaners and this power scrubber drill add-on to do the job! He just attached the scrubber head to our DeWalt drill and it did 90% off the scrubbing for him!
And I think that’s about it! We spread the project out across weeks because he didn’t get to finish it before Christmas. If he were to have worked on it all day, I bet it would’ve been about a week’s worth of work, maybe a little less.
It’s so nice to walk into a bathroom that looks refreshed and updated!