Guest Project: A Barney (Budget) Bathroom Update

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Today I am bringing you a special guest project from my friend Victoria. She and her husband Adam (he’s a Marine) moved to Salt Lake City over the summer and like us, purchased a fixer upper. Their darling Sugar House got flipped from drab to fab in just over 5 weeks! No Property Brothers involved. I asked if I could share some of her projects, so here’s the first one! Enjoy her totally budget friendly bathroom update.

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When we bought our house (a 1935 bungalow house in Sugarhouse, Salt Lake City) I knew before we even moved in that the first major project we were going to take on would be the upstairs bathroom. Despite it being small, it is in fact, the “master bathroom.” It has actually proven to be totally functional and perfect. And an added benefit of a small bathroom is less cleaning!

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This bathroom was painted a terrible, dark, somewhat oppressive “Barney the Dinosaur” purple. It HAD to go! However, I knew the first appearances are often deceiving, so I stood back and looked at the whole bathroom to decide what really needed to be updated.

First, the previous owner had done a beautiful job having Carrara marble installed on the floors, and on the shower walls. Second, there was a window in the bathroom which seemed to get a decent amount of light through out the day. Finally, everything from the faucet to the toilet to the shower was in fine working order. This was a huge relief to both Adam and me. While we consider ourselves handy, we are not plumbers. We were hoping to spend our budget on giving the room a makeover, not on fixing plumbing issues.

We broke our bathroom renovation into 5 easy to accomplish goals to take our Barney bathroom to a more serene look:

  1. Install beadboard wainscoting
  2. Cover the ugly outdated glass blocks on our bathtub with beadboard
  3. Paint the ceiling and walls
  4. Clean and/or replace the light fixture
  5. Decorate it to our (read: my) standards

We started with the hardest update first: installing the beadboarding.

We headed to Home Depot to purchase pre-fabricated beadboard sets which include the beadboard and rails. We also purchased two new mirrored medicine cabinets to create the image of a large space.

Adam and I put contractors paper over every surface we didn’t want getting saw dusted, painted, or damaged in the process. He started demolition and tore off the existing chair rail and sanded down the walls. Adam then meticulously started measuring and cutting the beadboard. This was the most frustrating part of the project, as it had to be measured and cut to fit around the window, bathtub, electrical outlets, door, and toilet and sink plumbing pipes.

Adam, with the tenacity of a good Marine, made sure that the measurements and cuts with the mitre saw (a necessity for this project) were precise, but once he went to install them, they needed to be sanded down and tweaked a bit. This took 11 hours to complete. Any time Adam would take a break installing the beadboard, I would go in and prime over the dark purple paint with KILZ (our go-to primer) to save time.

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Once we finished installing the beadboard over the walls and glass tiling, it was time to paint. We decided on neutrals for our entire home to create a serene feeling inside, so I picked the perfect grey with lots of blue tone (Silver Chain by Benjamin Moore), and it looked marvelous with the Carrara marble tile. We also settled for Valspar’s High-Gloss brilliant white for the trim. We removed all the hardware from the walls, including both of the old medicine cabinets, the towel bars, electrical outlet covers and switch covers, and the curtain rod.

We used one coat of primer and two coats of paint to cover the bathroom walls and the ceiling. We then spray painted all of the original hardware with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze (One of the MOST amazing DIY products on the market) and turned our nasty brass hardware into a dark bronze color, which created a lovely contrast with the grey and white.

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When everything was dry, we hung the curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible, and slightly wider than the window to create the illusion of a a large window and higher ceilings. I finished the bathroom with beautiful grey and white 84″ curtains from HomeGoods, a white waffle printed shower curtain, and a lovely violet orchid from Trader Joes!

The total cost of the project (not including the mitre-saw which we borrowed from Adam’s father) was $270! We love how relaxing our bathroom feels now. Over the course of a weekend, we were able to update our bathroom and add a little value to our home without breaking the bank.

What do you think of Victoria’s small budget bathroom makeover?

4 thoughts on “Guest Project: A Barney (Budget) Bathroom Update

    1. Jen Post author

      I know! I am so jealous of Victoria. I wish we could update ANY of our bathrooms this quickly… Sadly ours need a sledge hammer. Good to know Brilliant White is a good choice!

      Reply
  1. Kristin

    What an amazing update! So chic and sophisticated but inviting as well. Love the colors picked. Hanging curtains almost to the ceiling is one of my favorite tricks. It makes the room seem much larger. Well done! Let’s see some more!

    Reply

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