Friday, February 27, 2015

My super budget bathroom freshen up

Let me just start by saying, I could have lived with my bathroom as it was. I almost did. The vanity is old and sorta not in the best condition. But it works.

The light and faucet were dated, but still worked.

The mirror was your standard builder mirror. Nothing to talk about. nothing to diss. (those square cut outs that you see above? I have no idea what those were about. They were a surprise to us as well.)

The whole reason I decided to take a bit of money from our tax return this year and make over the bathroom was the sink. Can you see the issue in the photo above?

That was NOT from lack of cleaning. Cracks. And they just kept looking worse and worse. It's a cheap cultured marble sink. The annoying part is that we only have one sink.

One sink for a double vanity. Which means that we would have had to get the sink done custom. Which meant it would have cost a BUNCH of money (because I checked out alllll of the options). I was frustrated and stumped for a while. Thought of doing a wood countertop, but I didn't want it to look like a cheap chintzy DIY project (I know all about those from my own DIY experiences ha!)

But I am also the craigslist queen, and one day, CRAZY though it was, someone was selling five one sided sink vanities because they were making over their bathrooms. ONE of those sink vanities was the exact size I was looking for. And super cheap!

So once we had that new (to us) sink and countertop, the rest of the plans fell into the place.


Became this:

We planked the walls using $13 boards from Lowe's (three of them, cut to six inch sized planks). We caulked and filled holes for many moons. I hate caulking.

I chalk painted my cabinet. Added new hardware from Home Depot. Here's a few close ups of that.

Yes, you can still see some wood grain when you get up close. But the wax finish with chalk paint makes the grain look nice. Not shiny and weird. I love chalk paint. I went with crystal knobs and silver handles because I like to mix it up like that. I'm wild and crazy.

I made John install a new light fixture for me. I got this on clearance at Home Depot--the last one they had! I was worried because previously we had one of those Miss Piggy barebulb hollywood light fixtures with five or six bulbs and this only has three. I also knew it would not span as far over as the previous light fixture which I was afraid would make the mirror look disproportionate. We overcame that by upping the wattage of the bulbs and cutting our mirror. I almost bought an expensive light fixture (because all of the good ones are expensive) and happened to find this one in the store and was so happy I waited for a deal!

 While we were in process of doing everything, I found that little stool at Goodwill. It was six dollars and I wasn't even sure it was the right size to fit into that awkward little space. It was! I bought a scrub brush and some turkish towels from TJ Maxx as a treat for our hard work.

I love the character and warmth it brings into the room! Plus it really is handy for holding towels while the kids are bathing, or for sitting on while taking of their socks etc.

I may have also bought a new bath rug at World Market with pretty scalloped edges. And some bath salts. :)

Here is a close up of the plank treatment we did. It was actually a pain in the pituatary gland. We should have bought pre-made planks because between the Lowe's fella and the cheap board, the cuts were not done well. But...we made it work. We always do!

Probably my favorite find was this faucet. I found what I liked on Amazon and was going to buy it when I noticed there was one "used" faucet available. Have you heard of that trick? I use it all of the time thanks to 320 Sycamore It's basically just things that still are in great shape, that were returned to Amazon. The description always tells you why it was sent back. In my case though, the description actually turned out to be wrong. It said there were some "nicks and dents" on the faucet. I was really tempted not to buy it because I thought it must look really noticeable for someone to return it. But it was HALF the price. As you might imagine, my cheap side won out and I bought the fixture. The awesome part? No nicks, no dents. The real reason it was probably returned (and what surprised me as well as probably the original buyers) was that the handles on the faucet were different than the handles on the outside of the box (and what I thought I was buying). I actually LOVE these handles more than the ones I thought I was getting! My cheap side really saved me a lot on this makeover, I'm telling you!

 The color on the vanity was a color I made with two different colors of blue. I always make my own chalk paint. It's so much cheaper and I can customize the colors.

 The mirror was actually quite a to-do. I wanted to use our old mirror because, uh, FREE. But I didn't want to just hang it back up and put molding on it because usually the sheer size gives it away that you are using the basic builder model mirror. But let me tell you, hanging a mirror is not a joke, and I didn't want to just use thin molding to frame it out. I've done that before and it looked just mediocre. I looked on craigslist for a mirror, I looked at molding. I even looked at buying a new mirror online. All too expensive or the wrong size. I was getting frustrated when I looked out my back door and remembered that I had a huge chalkboard with a frame that I bought from the thrift store years ago.

I found a tutorial on how to cut glass and John helped me cut down our mirror to size and install it into the mirror. That was sort of a scary, not-fun project. But in the end, it cost us the price of a mirror cutter (about five bucks), and I love the chippy mirror effect. Bonus points, we don't have to see ourselves using the loo anymore (which is completely TMI, but seriously, what were the original builders thinking??)

So that's my tale. It was some hard work. But even John can't believe how much nicer it is, and how much LIGHT there is in that bathroom because of that one white paneled wall. It feels like someone else's house, and we're really proud of how it turned out. There's something to be said for being cheap after all.


Katie Browning said...

Love Love Love!!

Cheryl B. said...

Awesome job! It looks great and I love your comments on how tough it was. I wouldn't be brave enough to cut my own mirror.

Melanie and Jared said...

I super love this. When are they giving you your own show?!? Great job!

Carrie said...

I am amazed!! It's beautiful. You are so brave....LOVE it!!

Kellie said...

Love it! It looks great!

luvnmy10 said...


RaeLynn said...

OH MY WORD. Where *are* the words to describe my love for this? You amaze me, my dear. I don't know how people do things like this. You are awesome! I can't wait for the day when I can join the DIY club of America.

Lori said...

Love this bathroom! You have an amazing eye for design and you always find the best deals!

Doug Lowe said...

Wow! I can't believe that you made that mirror by yourself; all from cutting the glass up to putting it in a frame. Your skill must be really amazing, because that is a really tough job to do. I also love how your bathroom looks like now. It totally improved and it looks good as new. Good job, Jennifer. I'm sure many will be inspired by this. :)

Doug Lowe @ MM Glass Ltd