Powder Room Gets a Much Needed Mini-makeover

13 Materials
2 Days

When we moved into our house 5 years ago the powder room had a pedestal sink - with exposed pipes. Eventually I found a budget friendly vanity on our local buy-and-sell. It included the cabinet, vessel sink...and the faucet! So I picked it up and my friend helped me install it. I have never been a fan of black counter tops. I don't mind how they look, but don’t like how they show dust so quickly. And even moreso in a washroom with all the TP lint flying through the air! But I figured I could paint the vanity later.

Once it was all assembled the faucet was very sticky and hard to get the water to come on…and once you did get it running the water was so high pressure it was like taking a shower! My daughter and I gave up on the sink after a few days and opted to wash our hands around the corner in the kitchen. Not only inconvenient…but also pretty gross! Not to mention embarrassing when guests came by! Sooo here we are 18 months later! (Where did the time go?!)

This was the sink for the first 3.5 years
This is the vanity I replaced it with

I recently purchased a faucet at auction, new in the box, for $10!! So I decided now was my time to upgrade the bathroom. So while my daughter was at her dad’s this past weekend…that is exactly what I did.

I had a little “nautical piece” challenge as well. I had done a gold, white & blue makeover on a little storage piece that I had planned to sell. But when my daughter saw it she pleaded with me to keep it! It was her “favourite makeover so far!” So what’s a mommy to do? I sold it! Just kidding, I couldn’t disappoint my biggest fan. So I moved it into the powder room. Even though it didn’t match or blend in any way.


I removed the doors and the faucet. I intended to remove the drain pipe and take the vessel sink off to paint the top, but after an hour of trying to get it off – it was clear there was no way I was getting it off without a sledge hammer!! At this stage I debated installing the new faucet and calling it a day. But then spite (determination?) took over! I improvised and used a long handle brush to get to the hard to reach areas under the sink and did the rest with a foam roller in white, 3 coats. I also painted the sides. Then sealed the topper with 2 coats of Varathane. 

I then installed the new faucet.


I cleaned them with TSP cleaner and then applied dark walnut gel stain to the glossy black doors, using a side-to-side sweeping motion, to give them a little more texture and tone down the black. The doors took about 18 hours to dry! Once dry I sprayed clear sealer over them x 2 light coats.

I painted the door pulls with flat black. The only flat black I had on hand was for Barbecues (don’t even know how I had that as I’ve never painted a BBQ!). I also painted the pulls on the nautical piece while I was at it.


I felt a backsplash could help tie everything together and started thinking about what to use. Last weekend I had bought 14 sq feet of laminate flooring, which someone had left over for a flooring project, for $10. I didn’t have any particular plans for it…but knew I would use it for something eventually. And THIS was that something (sooner than I expected)!

I cut the planks 1” less than the width of the vanity, using a miter saw. I trimmed the “tongue & groove” pieces from the bottom plank and the top one. I used an exacto knife on one. But the other one was harder to get off, and after trying a few different tools, the tool that ended up working was a regular hand saw.  

Then I located the wall studs with a stud finder and marked them with a pencil.

Next I attached the flooring to the wall using No More Nails, using a level to ensure I was going straight up. I also added painters tape to the top of the planks as the stud pencil marks were being covered, so I could keep track of the stud.

Once they were all up I figured out where the mirror would cover, so I could find the optimal place to screw to the studs. Fortunately one of the studs was far enough in that I could screw the planks into the studs and the screw heads would be covered by the mirror.  

I framed the sides of the backsplash with a piece of ½ x ½ inch pine trim I picked up at Home Depot. I attached them using the No More Nails.

Then I went ahead and put everything back in place (mirror, etc). And I must admit…I love my mini makeover. The backsplash just really ties everything together. It pulls from the gold in the nautical piece but also tones down all the white. I’m so happy with the outcome. Not bad for $65 investment (including the cost of the faucet!) and a weekend of work. And the best part of all…running water in the sink again!!  

click the image to see vertical view

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Frequently asked questions

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  3 questions
  • Margaret Morgan Margaret Morgan on Mar 09, 2019

    What brand is the faucet & where did you buy it?

  • Beautiful makeover....

    Love the mirror. Where did you purchase it?

    Great choices for your accessories.

  • JoeAnna Taylor JoeAnna Taylor on Mar 15, 2019

    And you all the plumbing yourself? I have three basins, know what I want for hardware, but the base is impossible to find small enough for our phone booth bathroom. So, I gather you used an old find for your sink base? Was it a problem converting?


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