The past weeks I have been renovating my bathroom. It was a big task but I learned a lot along the way.

My bathroom

When I moved in 13 years ago my bathroom was dark grey. (see top of bathroom, I kept it that grey. Not only because I like a two-tone wall, I live in a loft and I am simply too short to paint that high up)  I liked the tiles on the floor, but the bathroom was a bit cold and dark in my opinion. the rest of my apartment was very colorful (bright green, orange and blue walls) that my bathroom was the opposite. The past years I have been updating the rest of my apartment and the colorful walls have become more neutral tones, it was time to get my bathroom updated too! I spread all the work over the course of a few weeks (sorry hubby and guest for having to use a bathroom that was a work in progress during that time!)

Renovation essentials to “organice” my bathroom

Years ago I bought this paint that was a lovely olive green color. Since that time I did not make time to update the bathroom, so it was still sitting there in a can. Luckily it was still good! But I had to get a few other things to start this renovating process:

  • paint brushes
  • paint rollers in different sizes
  • paint roller covers
  • painters tape
  • paint tray
  • plastic covers for the floor
  • spackling paste
  • putty knife
  • sanding paper, soft and coarse
  • acetone
  • old rags
  • alcohol
  • water and soap
  • vacuum cleaner

How I started renovating my bathroom

Day 1

First I added spackling paste in all the dents and holes using a putty knife and let it dry for a day.

Day 2

Tried to paint an area to see how it would look.

Had to do a 2nd layer of spackling in a few spots and sand them when they were dry.

Day 3

Next sanded the surfaces a little bit so they are smooth. I had a bit of water damage her and there, and tried to sand it down as much as I could. The only other option was to remove the cabinet doors, but I do not want to do that right now. So I made it look the best I could!

I wiped everything off with some water and soap, and some rubbing alcohol to remove grease

Day 4

Add tape to tape off the areas I wanted to paint

More spackling in the areas on the walls that were damaged.

Day 5-8

Started painting the doors and insides of the bathroom cabinets. I had to use a primer for the sanded surfaces and painted 2 layers of white:

and I had asked a representative of the Janovic Paint store to give me advice on which white paint I should get for my bathroom.

Day 9-16

Started to paint the bathroom walls Antique Olive by Glidden in semi-gloss. ( I had bought this color of paint at Home Depot.)  Since the walls were dark grey I had to paint over it at least 3 times. I used a small roller and paint brush for the small crevices and hard to reach areas, and a larger roller for the large areas. I let it dry at least 1 day in between the layers of paint. I have to admit it was a lot of work and it seemed to take forever which was a bit discouraging, but I kept telling myself the result would be worth it. (and that turned out to be true!) I also ruined a Patagonia sweater and Alternative sweatpants as they now have paint stains on them.. oh well, time to go shopping there again! (And using these items for when I paint again, for instance my art work)

Tip: Instead of rolling my paint roller in the paint tray, I used the brush to add paint onto the roller. It took a bit of time, but I did not waste much paint and I also did not spill as much when painting high up.

Day 17

Cleaned up everything using water and soap, baking soda and vinegar. Old rags and acetone are used to remove paint stains. You have no idea how much a bathroom improves by just giving the bathroom a good scrub.

Day 18

Redecorated the bathroom adding some ornaments I found that are complementing the new color. I went shopping at TJ Maxx as they have great items for very cheap for my bathroom! Hung up my favorite photo of Fairest Photo, one of a rusty fire hydrant in NYC that matches the green really well. Added a new shower curtain, scent sticks and new  bathroom floor mats.

Result of my bathroom renovations

Because I did everything myself, the financial budget was very low, I think I spent altogether less than 150 bucks including paint, brushes, bath mats and a new shower curtain. Looking online at what it all costs, I probably spent even less than 100 bucks on it! But I did spent a lot of time on it, and some say that time is money. For me it was very therapeutical: I started a project, and finished it, without stress and in my own pace. Painting is good for your mindfulness, stress release and lowering cortisol and adrenaline. You also have time to think about stuff in peace and quiet. ( or you turn on some music while painting, do what suits you best!)

Tip: People advised me to go neutral. But a good color done in a stylish way, can really make your walls pop. Most of all, you need to choose the color that you love, as you will be the one constantly looking at it while at home.

Now I look at my bathroom and am happy whenever I spend time there, whether it is for a long time while having a nice hot shower, or just a few minutes. Putting in some effort to renovate, fix up or update your home, is worth it, especially if the result makes you feel warm inside every time you see it!


Love, Lonneke