My Accidental Bathroom Renovation


 How It Happened: The In-Laws Were Coming

Believe it or not, I love it when my in-laws come stay at my house. It’s not just that they are great guests, but they provide incredible motivation to both clean and finish lots of my DIY projects.  This time around I ended up both starting and finishing the hall bathroom renovation.

This year we invited my in-laws to come celebrate Caleb’s first birthday and to stay with us that weekend. Knowing there were A LOT of projects to finish up before the party, I scheduled out every single day for nearly two months before the party.  My planner was filled with specific tasks including home renovation, cleaning, and of course party prep.  I thought if I finished everything I and in my planner then I would feel good about the house and having my in-laws stay with us.  It’s not like the house would be finished, but I was banking on a little grace considering the state the house was in when we purchased it.

As the party neared though and I actually got a little ahead on my to-do list, I started eyeing our guest bathroom with distaste. Basically, at some point I looked at-it and decided my in-laws would probably leave to stay at a hotel if I didn’t make some serious progress on the bathroom renovation. It’s one thing to put your baby in a bathtub that looks a little grimy but you know has been scrubbed and cleaned, it’s another to ask your in-laws to do the same (same logic went for basically every surface in the bathroom).   So, long story short, I decided to do SOME damage control.

My bathroom 10 days before the party:



It’s hard to see past the tropical orange paint in the pictures above and some of the worst aspects aren’t even pictures so let me call out the numerous issues going on in this bathroom:

  • Tropical orange paint on the walls
  • Tropical orange and pink splatter paint ceiling
  • Very visible wall patches
  • Nasty old wooden towel bars
  • Nasty & leaking sink
  • Moldy caulk and grout in the tub
  • Black grout on the floor
  • Gigantic mirror with messed up, non-mirrored spots in it
  • Built in light box that provides no light
  • Nasty plastic skylight
  • Broken toilet
  • 30 year old bathtub faucets

The Initial Pre-Party Bathroom Renovation Plan

We already had the new countertop ready and the new sink and faucets and since a plumber was already coming out to take care of the kitchen sink I decided we should go ahead and do the bathroom as well. So that was the plan at 10 days out from the party; update the sink and countertop, have it look nice new and shiny and just hope the in-laws could see past the tropical orange paint job and, well, everything else.

What Actually Happened

What happened next was a slow progression that resulted in a completely unplanned bathroom renovation.  It was one of those scenarios where one thing just kept leading to the next.  For instance, I decided I wanted to pull off the broken wall mirror and add a new mirror to really setoff the new sink.  Easy peasy,no big deal. Beautiful sink area here I come. Not so easy after all though. When I pulled the mirror off I realized they hadn’t painted behind the mirror (should have seen that coming) and there was also significant damage to the wall. So just hanging a new (smaller) mirror was probably going to end up looking worse than if I had just left it.

Not the end of the world, “I’ll just re-paint the walls” I thought. Except if I was going to repaint the walls I should address the wall patches. And since there wasn’t any texture at all on the walls to help blend my patchwork (wallpaper originally) there was no way it would ever look right, better maybe, but not right. Okay, so I have to texture the walls first and then paint…getting more involved already.

But wait, if I’m going to texture, prime, and paint, then I really need to remove the ugly-built-in-light-sconce-thing so I can address the entire wall and not just create another problem for myself down the road.


The Bathroom Renovation Budget…Or Lack There Of

So see it wasn’t as much a decision to re-do the bathroom as it was a forced progression. A forced progression with no money. Did I mention that?

Ya, the bathroom was supposed to wait for months before we addressed it. Sure, I could swing a few gallons of paint to address the walls but there was no way I could afford to call in a painter to texture them. I seriously considered cancelling the party at that point. I was in over my head without enough money to bail myself out. I thought about using the orange peel cans from Home Depot but I haven’t had the best experiences with those in the past. They are great for small areas, but could I really achieve consistent results that looked completely professional? Doubt it.

What I ended up doing to texture the walls is really the only noteworthy aspect about this renovation aside from the amazing transformation.  That probably sounds like bragging, but I’m really only acknowledging that when you get rid of orange walls and a splatter painted ceiling, the transformation is, by default, amazing. But back to the texture,   I can’t wait to share this project with y’all!  Frankly, I can’t believe it’s not all over every single Pinterest board thats ever been made for DIY!  I’ve written the post already and just have to get the pictures squared away so hopefully next week I can share the how-to!

I’m tempted to keep describing in extensive detail how this project unfolded but I’ll spare you the pain and summarize everything it took to turn this bathroom around:

  • Replaced the mirror
  • Replaced the Light Fixture
  • Replaced Toilet
  • Cleaned the grout
  • Re-caulked the tub
  • Replaced the Countertop
  • Upgraded sink to a double sink with two faucets
  • Re-patched approximately 10 wall patches that were lumpy
  • Textured, primed, and painted the walls and ceiling
  • Replaced shower fixtures
  • Replaced all towel rods and toilet paper holder
  • Painted all cabinets (after the party)

After all that the bathroom is at about 95% complete and looks like this:

DIY Bathroom RenovationHall Bathroom-After Shot

DIY Bathroom Renovation DIY Bathroom Renovation DIY Bathroom Renovation DIY Bathroom Renovation img_1260

What do you think?  Better than the tropical orange?


4 thoughts on “My Accidental Bathroom Renovation

    1. Thanks Betsy! I can only imagine how much better it would look if I had your interior design talent but at least its not embarrassing anymore!

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