Small Bathroom Facelift -Quick and Easy DIY

Our whole house is going to go through small updates and changes here and there.
I thought I’d post our projects for other people who don’t have thousands in disposable income, or for others like us, who don’t have debt and want to keep it that way.
We just try to work simple and smart.

After living here for almost seven years, we were both definitely ready to get this update started.

I should note that we aren’t renovating anything, just updating cosmetic things.
I am always so excited and surprised when small changes, make such a huge difference.

We are starting in the basement. Our first DIY project was the bathroom.

Here’s the before pic.
Note the popcorn ceiling and the nice leafy wallpaper.



Popcorn removal:
Our first order of business was scraping the popcorn off.
We sprayed the ceiling with warm water from a cheapo water bottle
and used a 12 inch scraper like this one: to scrape the popcorn off.

Messy yes, but very easy.

Wallpaper removal:
Next we filled that same water bottle with equal parts white vinegar and hot water.
I saturated the wall paper border with this mixture, and let it sit.
I went around the room and gave it a good first coating and by the time I came back around it was ready to be scraped off.
I used a small putty knife to scrape. I tore off all that I could and the thin layer left came right off.

Next, I swept the bathroom.
I got all of the wallpaper and popcorn into a trash bag.
After the walls and ceiling were dry, I gently wiped down the walls with a dry cloth to get any remaining dust/popcorn.

Filling holes: 
I filled all of the nail holes and uneven places with drywall spackling. I know there are nail hole fillers out there and other things, but I prefer to use this stuff. We had some large holes to fill.
I let this dry for around 5 hours or so.
Then we sanded.

After another round of wiping down the walls and one last good and thorough sweep and mop of the floor, it was time to remove the big commercial 80’s mirror, and paint. 


Ceiling Paint:
We used a standard bright white flat ceiling paint. It comes in antique white, almond white etc. We liked the bright white for our small space.
I painted the perimeter of the ceiling first with a small brush. I cut in about 6 inches or so all the way around. I did two coats.
I rolled the rest of the ceiling and did about two coats, allowing it to dry for about an hour in between coats.

Wall paint:
Next I did the same thing to the walls. I painted the perimeter of the room, cutting in about 6 inches all the way around the entire room. Then, I rolled the rest. I did two coats.

We went with vinyl peel and stick tile. They are durable, can withstand water/moisture, and are very reasonably priced. They did the job.

I bought a mirror from Wal-Mart for 29 bucks. It was this coppery color, but I liked the price tag.
I taped it off and spray painted it black. I wanted a larger mirror without the increase in price. Mirrors are pricey. So, with a little bit of extra work, I got what I wanted.

I posted our before and after pics to Facebook. A friend of mine who happens to be a pretty rad interior designer, suggested we paint the vanity black.
I had been going back and forth with the idea. I couldn’t decide between black or white.
I just decided she probably knew best, because i am not a trained designer. So we went with black.
I am so happy we did!

I lightly sanded off the glossy finish first.
Then I took off the doors and took them outside.
I spray painted the hinges black (lazy, maybe but cheap and quick)
and taped off the vanity from the floors and walls.

I used this product to paint the vanity:

I painted one coat and waited about two hours.
Then I did the second coat. That did it!

The last thing that we did was put the rugs in, change the toilet seat, add new led fluorescent light bulbs, and clean the bathroom one final time.

Eventually, we will change out the toilet paper holder, the knobs, and the towel bar.
But for now, we are very happy with our results and are moving on to the bigger part of the basement. I will post those pics when we are finished.
The popcorn removal has already begun, and the carpet is (YES!)

Feel free to ask questions if you have any. My email address can be found here:

I turned off comments a long time ago, because ..spam.

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