Welcome back to our mini-series showcasing a master bathroom update. We're starting with a fresh coat of paint. Running a small business doesn't leave us much time (or energy) to #reinvintage our own homes and furniture, but this bathroom was in desperate need of a do-over....and paint is the perfect place to start.
Last week, we showed you a large (but tired and outdated) master bathroom done in Tuscan colors. We gave it a quick facelift with a coat of Sherwin Williams "Sea Salt" with an eggshell finish. If your budget is limited, a coat of paint will give you the biggest bang for your buck. And not just on walls: spray paint fixtures and hardware on cabinets and doors. But before you pick up that spray can or paint brush, a few words of advice.
For starters, paint colors can be chameleons. "Sea Salt" can look gray, green or blue, depending on your lighting. Here's a blog post that shows how many different hues you can get with this amazing color. In the store (under fluorescent lighting), it looked light green. Even on the paint chip carried into the bathroom, it still looked green. But on the walls, it definitely went blue. We were prepared for that, so it's perfectly fine - if we had been expecting green, we'd be disappointed. If in doubt, get a sample and paint it on a wall before you commit to mixing up gallons of a color.
We promised some painting tips for painting walls. These aren't earth-shaking or groundbreaking, but if you haven't painted a room (ever, or in a while) keep in mind that prep is key:
For this bathroom, the towel holders are not being reinstalled, so we took them down, removed the anchor bolts and patched over the holes with spackle, then sanded it smooth. Taking those down and patching the holes took about an hour. The mirrors were glued on, so we didn't remove them for painting. (But we are going to remove them.) If yours are clipped on, carefully remove them for painting - it's almost always a two-person job to avoid chipping a corner. Set them on a rug, carpet, or at least a thick towel to avoid breaking.
Cutting in the paint around the entire room took approximately 2 hours. Rolling the walls took another two hours. All-told the room took about 6 hours, start to finish. Beware anyone who claims they can paint a typical bedroom or bathroom in less time than that, especially if there are multiple doorways or extensive prep work to get the walls ready to paint. In this case, the walls were fairly clean and painted with a flat paint, so we didn't need to wash them down, remove wallpaper borders or other tasks that can add considerably to the prep time. It also pays to use good-quality paint with primer, as you may be able to get away with one coat (we did here.)
Our brush of choice is a short-handled angled sash brush - it gives precise cut-ins, but doesn't wear out our hands. Look for a nylon brush made for latex/acrylic paints. Purdy and Wooster are two well-known brands, available in most paint departments.
We promised to keep this project real, so that means we'll show you a running tab of our costs and time, plus some behind-the-pictures shots of what happens during a real-life DIY remodel.
As you can see, paint really is the perfect way to update a room on a budget. Fortunately, we had a lot of materials readily available - drop cloths, ladders, sanding sponges, paint tray, rollers, brushes, spackling, rags, gloves, and other tools - hammer, screwdrivers, sparkling knife, etc. If you aren't blessed to have all those, your initial costs could be a lot higher. Borrow what you can; buy what you can't and take care of your tools so you won't have to re-purchase them for future painting projects.
One final note: a gallon of paint was *barely* enough for this bathroom with 9 foot ceilings; if we had painted the walls behind the mirrors, we would have needed more than a gallon. Plan on at least two gallons for a typical-size room.
Here's a sneak peek at what we did with those walls once we got the mirrors down. Next week, we'll show you step-by-step how we transformed these walls into statement pieces. Are you curious? Good! Stay tuned and we'll show you the good, the bad...and yes, even the ugly.
WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?
I'm Terry Lea, owner of Re-Invintage Home, a vintage home goods shop just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. A lifelong passion for vintage picking led me to open a shop with my picking pal, Sherri in 2017. Come see us!