Powder Room Rehab.

It started with a builder grade bathroom. You know the kind with flat paint, basic lighting and nothing "special"?! The flat paint eventually showed water drips all along the wall under the towel ring. It was time for a minor face lift. Read on to see how I went about it.



First, I waited for color inspiration to hit before making a move. The hubby wasn't so keen on the darkness of the new color I selected compared to the light neutral color that was currently in there (SW Agreeable Gray, a popular favorite).

Our existing lighting there also really sucks, from the yellow shades to the crappy light bulbs inside them that take 5 minutes to brighten fully (ugh!). Let me tell you, powder rooms that are 30" wide are NO fun to paint either. I’m not sure about you, but I use a 2" angle brush when I trim a room. I learned a technique taught to me by my Dad. NO TAPING. That sure was hard to trim from straight at it behind a toilet and behind a sink. Honestly, when I use tape, even the good stuff, the paint leaks onto the baseboards somehow and then I have to do damage control afterwards.


When painting, I’d recommend always starting with a fresh caulk joint where the walls meets the baseboard. Overtime, this often yellows, cracks and shows gunk. A fresh caulk line will really help to brighten the bathroom refresh. You can also get carried away like me and end up caulking problem areas all around the whole first floor. Then, I LOVE to use the handy paint bucket with a 2” angle brush for all edges. This includes the corners of walls, along the baseboards and at the ceiling. Trim around all the areas where you had screws or anchors left in the wall such as for the TP dispenser so you don’t have to stop rolling around these areas.

By the time it’s all trimmed, I like to roll the paint on fairly soon after in a long “W” motion. Now when I say “W” this doesn’t mean to roll sideways. My hubby is banned from painting because one time we each painted one wall. Guess whose wall was covered nice and evenly and guess which wall needed major damage control?! I needed an extra coat on his wall to cover up for the horrible rolling job. If you evenly coat the walls on the first coat you’re less likely to need additional coats. Honestly, I usually like to do two coats to ensure even coverage no matter what, but this time it covered pretty darn well that we were able to get away with one coat.


After the paint dried, I started reassembling the room. First the switch plate covers, then the toilet paper dispenser and towel ring. Later, I hung the shelf and accessories above the toilet. It’s secured with mollys/screws and also some of the 3M command strips at the bottom so it doesn’t budge from the wall. Lastly, I made the decision that the old light should NOT go back up. If you’ve ever removed an old fixture that was installed after a wall was painted you know what I’m talking about. The backplate was larger than the new one I wanted and I wasn’t about to risk damaging the wall. I capped the wires (always do this and ALWAYS turn off not only the switch but the breaker associated with that room before removing and installing light fixtures). Since this was a spur of the moment decision to repaint the bathroom, I didn’t plan ahead like I normally do. I didn’t even select a light fixture for sure or place the order before this all happened so in the meantime; we use the bathroom with a flashlight. My husband and kids aren’t too thrilled about this but it’s temporary!! Boy is it annoying to hit the light switch every single time and have the light not turn on.


I fell in love with the perfect light fixture. Transitional, matte black with white shades and tall enough it accentuated the height in the room. I took a final measurement before placing the order and realized it was about ½” shorter than the space allowed before hitting the ceiling. Luckily I remembered that to change light bulbs one would need to remove the shades and in order to do so, you’d need to be able to lift them up towards the ceiling. Sadly, my ½” isn’t enough room to remove the 4” shade. I continued my search and found another option that is 1” shorter in height but the main difference is that the fixture is more centered on the back mounting plate which brings the height down from the ceiling allowing for space to remove the shades and replace lightbulbs in the future. My future-self thanks me already!

This whole project costed me under $300 and has A LOT more personality. We’ll eventually replace the mirror and get a new hand towel etc. but this is a great project you can do on your own for a low cost in a weekend. If you need my guidance, please reach out to me as I’d love to help get you started on your own DIY project.



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