Adding Color and Polish to a Builder-Grade Bathroom


My husband and I used saturated color and creativity to update our tiny builder-grade powder room with an even tinier budget.
When we first moved into our home, the downstairs bathroom was, um, OK.
It certainly could have been worse. But every time I walked past it, I sighed, and that's how I knew it needed a makeover. Badly.
The first step was to paint the walls with Benjamin Moore's Champion Cobalt.
Next, we added a shelf over the toilet to hold some much-needed decor and accessories. It began with a piece of red oak.
We wanted to use Ikea's Ekby Bjarnum brackets (spray-painted gold), so the oak had to go through some extensive sanding to create a perfect fit. Once that was done, we stained it with Minwax's Dark Walnut and finished it with a couple coats of Polycrylic.
Next, I created two little pieces of text-based art on my computer and printed them out to put in simple white frames. (You can get printable versions on my blog!)
The walls needed a few more accents, so I attempted two amateur abstract pieces with acrylic paint.
My husband painted a colorful, beachy scene with watercolors to complete the corner.
I painted the wood vanity white, and spray-painted the towel rack and toilet paper holder gold to continue the gold theme.
I picked up three faceted cabinet knobs from Lowe's, and surprise, surprise - I spray-painted those, too.
The faucet and light fixture are still chrome for now. All the cool kids mix metal, right?
I still don't love the tile, so ... I just don't look at it. Problem solved!

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Stephanie Shore Fisher

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Retta Robinson
    on Dec 10, 2018

    Since drawer knobs and handles get handled a lot (duh-h-h), how does the spray paint hold up? I'd like to change the color on 34 in my kitchen.

    • CarlyTee
      on Dec 11, 2018

      I have the same question and exactly the same dilemma - I’d like to refinish a couple of metal handles for my laundry makeover...

  • CarlyTee
    on Dec 11, 2018

    What spray paint brand and colour did you use? The gold you picked is PERFECT for what I want to do... I really like the satin look and the toned down gold. I’m in NZ so not that many options but we do have Rustoleum!

Join the conversation

2 of 89 comments
  • Louise Madore
    on Jan 28, 2018

    This is going to be my first project when I retire next summer. I adore it. Thank you so much
  • Paege
    on Jun 18, 2018

    such a great job. adore all your choices AND you and your husband's works of art! Hooray!!

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