Tuesday, April 8, 2014

updating a bathroom on a budget

How do you spruce up a wood paneled, 1960's era bathroom?



Option #1 = For People With Money Trees

 * Rip everything out

 * Put in a vanity that doesn't wake people up/vibrate/threaten to give up the ghost every time you open the cabinet doors

 * Install a lovely new RUST FREE sink 
(but only one...I can't give up 8 feet of counter space for a second sink that would never get used)

* New lighting, mirror, shower surround...you get the idea

I consider myself a pretty seasoned DIY'er with a husband that can lift heavy stuff {don't laugh - that comes in handy}, but even using my bargain finding and repurposing super powers, all that's gonna come in at least a couple hundred dollars, on the conservative side, or well over $1000 on the realistic high side.


Who's got a few hundred dollars laying around?

{no really, let me know...I'd love to meet you}



Option #2 = The Festivus for the Rest of Us

And it involves one word: paint.

Oops, I lied. 

TWO words: paint and brush.



{Ideally, when painting wood a dark color, use tinted primer so that your paint
doesn't have to go over bright white, but since when are projects ever ideal?
When there's a whole house of paneling to deal with, whatever is in the garage is good enough.}


That low quality photo was taken weeks after we moved in back in 2008. Here we are six years later. I still loved the warm hue, but after painting out the bedroom last summer (that I'll get around to talking about eventually), the color just read too yellow.

A fresh coat of Glidden's Forest Khaki did the trick. Of course with no natural light, it's hard to tell in photos, but here's the take away: small tweaks make a big difference in the way a room feels.


A piece of wrapping paper from Paper Source (it's here online too) makes for some nearly free art, adding some happy color to an otherwise neutral room.


It's nothing fancy, just the way I like it.
If you look closely you can still see the metal plate that covers up the hole in the soffit
from where the raccoons had to be cut out (I told you I'm behind on posting).  
The design experts say a room should always tell your story...

The total cost for a less dreary, more cheery update: 

some paint and this $17 outdoor rug.


22 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I don't know about awesome, but better for sure :)

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  2. I always love your redos. You inspire me.

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  3. It's amazing what a coat of paint can do! And I do love the "art":) Are the doors still noisy...?

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    1. Of course they are. The whole "they don't make 'em like they used to" does NOT apply here. The front of the cabinet is just a facade nailed onto what basically a big box, if that makes sense. Because the doors latch, you have to really pull to get them open, jiggling the whole thing. It's very classy, matching the rest of our posh lifestyle.

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  4. Great job! It's amazing what can be done with just a bit of paint and imagination. It looks wonderful!

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    1. Paint and imagination = the only "tools" within my income bracket :)

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  5. Miss Rebecca, There are those that have and there are those of us than can with what tools we have. You my dear, have made a lovely room with the "tools" you have and I would be happy to pee in there any time!

    Thanks for keeping it real... not everyone has a Carrera pocketbook!

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    1. My toilet lid is up for you anytime, Susan!

      Even if I had extra money (hypothetically speaking - obviously), it would kill me to waste it on something like marble. Do you know how many projects could get done for the price of one slab? Makes me sick just thinking about it. I guess that's why I don't have that "problem", eh? ;)

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  6. But 1960s design is sooo popular right now!

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    1. Every time HGTV talks about the 50's and 60's being a time of "classic" design, I have to laugh. Maybe somewhere other than Texas?

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    2. :) definitely here in Southern California.

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    3. You're right! Now that I think about it, those shows always seem to be in LA.

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  7. Ok Rebecca - I'm curious... if you DID have the money to replace the countertop (and you obviously wouldn't use marble per your comment above) what would your choice be?? Inquiring minds want to know!
    I love Paper Source by the way! Amazing goodies.
    The bathroom update looks great. :)
    Hugs from Houston!

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    1. If and when we ever tear anything out years from now, I'd love have more drawers, instead of big (mostly empty) bottom cabinets. I'd top it off with a piece of stained butcher block with a crap ton of varnish on it. I don't know what the vanity part would cost, but the countertop/sink/faucet would probably come in about $200? So maybe $700 total? SOOOO outta my price range...but, as you can see, even in my dreams the projects are still DIY :)

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  8. Definitely looks much better! What a difference a coat of paint can make :)

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    1. Amen to that! It's like you know it already, but it's still surprising every time, even after all these years...

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  9. Love!! What color are the cabinets, I vote to paint them white on the next round!!! Great job!! Love the blog!!

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    1. HAHA! Been there, done that :)

      http://www.olderandwisor.com/2009/02/you-cant-teach-old-dog-new-tricks.html

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  10. I am redoing a bathroom right now, plain walls, just adding some lovely interest with planks, lucky you, you already had them! And I have looked all over this town for some art work, did I think of wrapping paper, nope! It looks so fresh and new!

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    1. For all the stores and resources we have here, I still couldn't find ANY art that spoke to me. Blah. For something I have to see every day, I have to love it. Also? I wanna see photos of your bathroom when you're "done".

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