80"s Bathroom Budget Renovation

by Ouina
We gave a 1980's bathroom a modern update on about $1000 budget.

Before - yellow and purple bath

My sister wanted help with renovating her guest bath now that her daughters were out of the house. It was pretty dated and felt really small. She had previously scraped off the wallpaper, painted, and added a border - popular in the early 90's.

Other side of the bath. Notice the medicine cabinet and really yellowing countertop.

This is a small linen closet that had a door. She had removed the door before I got there to help. I was there about 4 days.

Started off by removing the medicine cabinet. The plan is to build a frame to insert and reuse the glass shelves. We went back and forth with how to finish off the back of the cabinet.

Removed the cabinet doors and drawers. Sanded, primed, and painted the cabinet, doors, and drawers a not quite pure white. Keeping the tile flooring BTW. It actually works and wasn't that old.

Painted the walls a very light gray lavender. We primed the walls first and then two coats of the Sherwin-Williams paint.

Built a frame, cut slots, and reused the glass shelves. Checking to see if it fits and trying out a way to cover the raw edges and make it look like it belongs.

Sister wanted a mosaic background. We lightened the grout with paint but she wanted the dark, dark gray grout. We bought it at Hobby Lobby. Glued the mosaic tiles after laying them out in the pattern we wanted plus leaving space for the glass shelves to seat against the backboard. We primed the backboard first. She grouted and let dry 24 hours. We then used the handsaw and miter that we bought at Home Depot to frame it. We used two different edge framing (Home Depot), glued, nailed and finished off with caulk. The frame was then painted using the same white as on the cabinet.

Removed the framing around the linen closet. (YouTube is wonderful for that sort of thing!) And then started covering up the raw frame. She wanted open shelving on the top two thirds with the lower third covered up. The inside is painted about two shades darker from the wall paint - dark lavender.

Gluing and using finishing nails we used a pre-fab door framing kit. Thank you Home Depot!

We used an old shutter I had picked up for $20 somewhere and repurposed into doors for the lower part of the linen closet. It took some work on her son-in-law's part but he made it work. It helps that he is a carpenter excellent!

Used the same door framing kit to frame in the BIG existing mirror. It took a lot of liquid nails but was very successful! Tape was left in place for 24 hours to be absolutely sure. We had to chip out a space for the mirror clips on the back side of the framing.

Finished cabinet. Not shown, she added cup pulls to the doors. The frame was painted the same white color as the cabinet.

Finished! The light was brushed nickel as is everything else. She added cup pulls to the drawers in brushed nickel. Additionally, she decided to replace the existing countertop and sink (yea!!) as the old yellowed one just did not work. The new countertop is a marblish white that absolutely works! It was the most expensive part of the renovation but totally worth it! Can't see from the photos but she bought white throw carpets, a white shower curtain and brushed nickel curtain rod and rings. This was all included in the budget.
Finished linen closet!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 7 questions
  • Karen Lamb Webb Karen Lamb Webb on Nov 30, 2017

    The trim that went around the mirror, is there a gap on the left end or did you cut out the wood to fit onto the mirror and fit snugly against the wall?

  • Tammy Tammy on Jan 02, 2018

    Was the tub/shower painted or tiled or what?

  • Sheryl Monaspa Sheryl Monaspa on Jun 09, 2023

    What's this style called? Also, did you use any interior design software to make this reno happen?

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  • Diane Schule Diane Schule on Jan 01, 2019

    Not a question, just an opinion: you did a terrific, imaginative job with your use of materials and design! I would have painted the louvered cabinet doors the same white as the rest of the woodwork, but I heartily approve of your cheerful bow to your sister's taste in every decision. A good reminder for me: I'm more of a nagging, opinionated sister/mother! People like what they like in their own house!

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