Our inexpensive bathroom update.

It was March 2013 when I first learned we were expecting. It was also March when I went into turbo gear trying to get last minute household projects complete because I knew after Baby Battin was born, there would be little time to do anything.

We were in desperate need of a bathroom update. It has truly been the bane of my existence since we moved in. It started off as a room with chair rails, awful textured walls above the chair rails, green speckled paint and wallpaper border.

Before BathroomSince October of 2010, I’ve spent a lot of time in our bathroom – not doing doing the obvious, but painting. In the past three years, this room has been about three different colors. I just couldn’t get quite the right color that I wanted. But by golly, I think I’ve got it now!

Before we began our bathroom update, we established a budget. I didn’t want to spend more than $700 which was tricky because there was a lot I wanted to accomplish.

  1. Remove the chair rails
  2. Sand the walls
  3. Paint the walls
  4. Paint the vanity
  5. Remove medicine cabinets
  6. Replace light fixtures
  7. Replace floor
  8. Tile shower walls

Whew! That was a long list for our tiny budget. But I was confident that it was doable. My husband was in charge of removing the chair rails. While this would have been a simple project, the original homeowners thought it would be a fantastic idea to texture the top half of the walls above the chair rail. After a few days, and a nose full of dust, we had two items checked off our list.

Sanded wallsStill in need of my husband’s help, we both removed the two awful medicine cabinets that took up way too much space and replaced them with a large mirror we bought for $40 at Old Time Pottery. We also added in a new light fixture to complete the look.


Next up – paint (again)! We opted to play off the color of our shower curtain which is a variety of browns and tans.

Another eye-sore of our bathroom has been the marble counter top on the vanity. Because we wanted this bathroom update to be as inexpensive as possible, I thought I would give a Pinterest project a try and painted the counter top with a sponge and acrylic paint and then sealed it with Polycrylic from Minwax. To my surprise, it turned out pretty good. I did it in stages with four different colors. I’ve had to do a few touch-ups here and there, but for the most part I like it. Eventually, we will replace the entire vanity, but that wasn’t in our budget just yet.

Marble countertop

Marble counter top before paint.

After we accomplished all we could, we called in some help from my father-in-law to install tile shower walls. We saved money on the tile because we were given free tiles from my cousin. All we  purchased was the border, which wasn’t entirely necessary, but really completed the look. The original walls were an acrylic inlay that was cheap and cracking. It took about three full days to complete the project. At the time of this construction, I was about eight and a half months pregnant. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. Thank goodness our friends offered up their shower so I was able to feel somewhat human. We ran into a bit of a hiccup when our old piping wouldn’t fit the new fixtures we purchased. Because our house was built in the 50’s, there was no way around it – we had to call a plumber. This is when our budget was tossed into the shredder. $700 later, we had new fixtures. Just goes to show, nothing is ever easy! But I must say, it was all worth it!

I am saddened to say, we never got around to replacing the floor before our peanut was born, but we do have the tile in-hand. So while our inexpensive bathroom update isn’t 100% complete, at least now I can walk into it without cursing everything about it. And the final cost, without the unexpected visit from the plumber: $773.  Not too shabby!


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