Ugly 1970’s Bathroom Gets a Farmhouse Inspired Makeover

Shabby Paints
by Shabby Paints
1 Material
Happy 25th Anniversary to me!
Well another room gets some much-needed farmhouse love. The decision to buy a plain ranch style home 10 years ago, was based mainly on the private yard filled with wild dog wood trees. We learned after purchasing our first home that the most important thing in buying a home is location. We can turn any home into our dream home, but the location is forever. So room by room we are turning this 1974 blah ranch into my farmhouse inspired ranch. Creativity on a budget is actually fun for me. It might mean it takes 20 years to turn it into my dream home but the fun along the way is totally worth it.
5 years ago I started gutting the master bathroom. No sooner than I got the palm tree wallpaper off, our water heater exploded and flooded the laundry, den, living room, kitchen and dining room. So, life happened and 5 years later it was time to finish what I started.
How I won the battle for the perfect farmhouse bathroom.
Husband Battles
Shower Tile; I started my battle in the tile isle of Lowes. Pointing out how bad I wanted the more expensive large beveled edge subway tile (totally out of our budget). But to get everything I wanted I convinced the hubby that I would be happy with the less expensive 3×6 subway tile if he would agree to trust me on the dark charcoal grout. See how I did that?? $350.00 for subway tile for the shower walls, ceiling and outer accent wall. (I have a lot leftover hopefully for my kitchen back-splash)
Shower floor; I lost this battle, I admit it. My hubby would have done the entire room in travertine if he could have. I was tired and more focused on winning the shiplap war. He was told by a stranger that travertine makes a better shower floor because it doesn’t get slippery when wet. Ugh, I gave in and really don’t like it but, winning other battles were much more important than the shower floor. $200.00
Bathroom Floor; I won this easily, he was on board the first time I set a piece of this tile on the floor at Lowes. These “wood” porcelain tiles have come a long way and I’m in love! $160.00
Tile Accents; To break up all the white subway tile I won another battle by getting the tile guys on my side before saying something to my hubby. We used leftover barn wood tile in the back of the niches and on the bench. It really looks like I have a barn wood bench in my shower. Everyone that comes in has too touch it to believe it is tile. $0.00 leftovers
Shiplap; So this was a battle that played out for over a month. He just kept saying “I’m not convinced” grrr That attitude changed once I got a quote on hiring someone to hang and finish the drywall vs. shiplap. It was around $200.00 cheaper for the shiplap. Plus, I reminded him of the last drywall we had done. The horrible mess and waiting weeks for them to return to finish, I WIN!! $300.00. Kentucky Lumber, LLC
Vanity; The original vanity we purchased no longer fit since we went with a large shower. Let me just say if you don’t want the standard cheap stuff from your local hardware store or to pay $2,500.00+ for a vanity…start looking early. Size and storage are key and I couldn’t find anything stocked. Your best deals are probably online but we waited too long to decide and we couldn’t hold up the bathroom progress any longer. Making a vanity out of a dresser would have been ideal, but with our schedules I couldn’t find anything that would fit and provide the storage we needed. We finally found one at our local surplus store. The storage in this is perfect. $1300.00 with granite top.
Lights; By the time I got to lights, he had waived the white flag and stopped fighting me. Every decision that was left to decide on he would just say “whatever makes you happy”. That was when I knew I had lost a few battles but won the war. Men, the sooner you learn to trust your wife, the easier your life will be. I think he enjoys the battle…until he doesn’t!! I went with the only thing I could find that was cute and would put off a lot of light for applying makeup. Amazon is a great resource, read the reviews. $137.15
Paint; Shiplap walls were painted with Shabby Paints Chalk-Acrylic in Great Greige. The ceiling was done with the same color diluted and applied as a wash. Everything took a little over 2 quarts of paint. Under $70.00
Towel Rack; We had to level out an old damaged wood ladder for another project and I saved the bad piece because I save everything. Stained it with Shabby Paints Hazelnut reVAX, added spacers behind it to have room for a thick towel and my good-looking hubby installed it. Yes, I got tickets to the gun show lol $0.00 Free from my dad’s barn!
Mirror; Surprisingly none of the 5 mirrors I had in my shed would work, so we had to buy a new one from Lowes. (I hate buying new) $99.98
Bathroom Door; I went with Shabby Paints Licorice (black) distressed with Black reVAX for protection. Under $23.00
More pics and links to the above products here:
Shiplap + Subway tile + Barnwood tile = Happy girl!!
Before-1970's Ugly bathroom.
Before Ugly plastic tub..No more!
"Real" Shiplap Dreams
Real Shiplap! Farmhouse dream.
Farmhouse style! White Subway tile shower
Repurposed wood ladder-Towel Rack.
Farmhouse Style!
Charcoal Grout and White subway tile. Farmhouse Style!
Farmhouse style lights.
Subway tile accent wall with Barn wood tile niche.
Shabby Paints Licorice.
Barn wood tile shower bench
Shiplap + Subway tile + Barnwood tile = Happy girl!!
Suggested materials:
  • Shabby Paints Chalk Acrylic Paint   (
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 17 questions
  • N N on Feb 28, 2017
    You've removed the tub and created a very user friendly walk-in shower. I would like to do the same especially since we hope to remain in our home into our older years. Does this diminish market value at all?
  • Sue Laswell Sue Laswell on Mar 19, 2017
    Did you put lights in the ceiling of the shower or is that a reflection from lights in the rest of the room? I see the cubby with a flower pot in it on the outside wall of the shower stall. Did you also place a cubby inside the shower for shampo etc items?
  • Michele Gaarder-Reese Michele Gaarder-Reese on Oct 28, 2017

    Beautiful! Can I ask the measurements of your bathroom?

Join the conversation
3 of 91 comments
  • Mary Mary on Jul 23, 2020

    This is absolutely beautiful, I have the same tile flooring in my kitchen and main bath, I love it!

  • Shelly Moore Shelly Moore on Oct 09, 2020

    Same kinds of battles my hubby and I have about projects we work on together. We are hosting Christmas this year so will be working together to fix up our 3 car garage to serve meals in, it has a bathroom, heat and air and we will be enlarging the bathroom, adding a shower so family can sleep out there if they want to. 😊 First we are building a covered patio and are laying the bricks, rocks, pavers, sand and all that.😬 After finishing our "Partio" 😉 we will be starting on the garage. Oh boy! Butting heads about space, colors, bathroom fixtures, floor coverings etc. Coming up. Lol! -actually we usually compromise on most things, we've survived a few remodeling projects under our belt and lots more to go. I'm using a lot of farmhouse modern decor and have several odd chairs I want to reupholster, paint, stain etc, so there are plenty of places to sit.😊 I'll convince him to help me add on a small greenhouse, and plant some trees and more flowers and bushes and..... Might need to try these paints. Love to Upcycle!!!