Before-the-Big-Update Mini Bathroom Update

There are two kinds of DIY updates. The major ones and the stretch-out-the-life-of-what’s-already-there ones. This update is the latter.

I don’t believe I have shared this room yet: the upstairs bathroom.

Beautiful, isn’t she?

Older homes often come with scary tile. Upon our searching last spring, we were pleasantly surprised when we learned this bathroom tile was plain old white. Not rose, or pistachio, or robin’s egg blue like so many other “vintage” bathrooms. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it’s not really our style.

We were also happy to learn those decorative tiles were just decals. Gotta love the person who invented those. Fortunately they peeled off right away.

Eventually, we do plan on re-tiling this entire bathroom, as well as getting a new shower. It’s beyond it’s time and there is a huge crack across the whole floor and you can’t plug the tub. But, for now we have our project-hands full, so it stays!

Those glass door beauties were taken down immediately and replaced with a shower curtain we already owned.

I’m happy to say I did it all myself. : D I can do more than just paint stuff people!

We changed out the old showerhead/ tub faucet/hardware for some new pieces.

I also turbo-cleaned the tile and grout. Mix equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water and scrubs the grout with a toothbrush. It made a world of difference. Or at least enough of a difference to make this bathroom tile last another six months!

By the way, who puts windows in a shower? Ours is made of the 1970s-style cubes of privacy glass. We’ve discussed frosting it or taking it out altogether when we put a new shower in. What are your thoughts?

The ceilings, like the hallway, was peeling, so we spackled to the high heavens, sanded it down and painted.

Then, like a lot of our projects, our bathroom sat in this state for several months while we were prioritizing other projects.

Then, recently, we decided we would delay our big plans for this bathroom until the fall. We wanted to do a mini-update to get this room to a happy medium.

It all started when we installed our recessed lighting in the kitchen and upstairs hallway. We also put one in our shower (a waterproof one) and we also installed a ceiling vent and heating unit. (Yes! Beat that New England winters.)

The walls started out as a basic tan. Then they became Valspar Astal Blue (leftover kitchen paint) and then Valspar Lucy Blue (a sample can of teal paint).

Then, on a whim, I was checking out the “Oops Section” of paint returns/rejects at Lowe’s and found a quart of Valspar Polished Silver for $5.

The price was right and, fortunately, so was the color! It ties in with the dark gray grout.

As for the other side of the room:

The side of the vanity is completely broken.

And the medicine cabinet mirror doors are peeling on all the edges. Do you see all the black marks along the bottom edge of the mirror? I didn’t realize mirrors could flake off. Apparently so!

Besides that, when you are standing in front of the sink, the doors meet right in the middle of your face. To do your make-up you have to awkwardly hover between the sink and the toliet. It makes zero sense.

By the way, why are medicine cabinets so expensive!? Due to the fact that this bathroom is itty-bitty, we certainly need the storage.

This side of the room is a work in progress. We bought a new light, vanity and faucet… and they are in the basement with a lot of things that are waiting to be installed. : )

I did paint a white border on the medicine cabinet mirrors because the peeling edges were driving me crazy! Can you see it?

Ultimately, we will need to rip out the vanity, medicine cabinet and tile and will re-drywall this entire wall.

Then we will install a narrower medicine cabinet and storage shelves. Similar to this bathroom from 320 Sycamore.


Besides the recessed light and vent, this mini-update only took about 6 hours and cost around $30 (for the paint and new shower hardware – all on clearance at Lowes).

Oh yes, and about the huge crack in the floor. We’ve come up with a highly creative $10 solution for that… 😀

What’s your favorite/least favorite part of your bathroom?

I’m looking forward to our new sink! And a new mirror!


Linking up to:

TDC Before and After

5 thoughts on “Before-the-Big-Update Mini Bathroom Update

  1. lyndsay @ that 70s house

    wow, your in progress pics are a billion times better than most people’s bathrooms! I love your “after” pics of the ceiling all nice and freshly painted. I am imagining all of our ceilings looking that good when we are done! i love the solution to the peeling edges of the medicine cabinet…i thought it was a brand new one in the picture before i read what you said!

    the best is the highly creative solution to the crack…LOL! love it!

    1. Withywindle Post author

      😀 HAHA thanks!

      YES!! As painful as ceilings are they are SO worth it!! Yours will look amazing when they are done! And after you regain feeling in your neck, back and arms, you will be super happy. 😀

  2. Pingback: Updates on the Bathroom (Before it’s Gone for Good!) | DesignLively

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