Monday, September 7, 2009

Wallpaper in the loo?

When we first found out that all kinds of rooms in our house were infected with 'the wallpapers', it was a really dark day.  Like when Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt broke up so he could start an army of children with St. Angie.  No one really understands what is involved with wallpaper removal until you are standing on a ladder with a steamer and scraper looking at the miles of wall in front of you.  It is tempting to scrape out your eyes instead and just live with it.  One room that we started working on pretty quickly was the downstairs bathroom.  Here is what it looked like when we closed: 
 IMG_2526 re
IMG_2604 reDownstairs Bath re
The only things this bathroom had going for it was a cool Kohler diagonal tub, nice original floor tiles, and perfectly acceptable gray shower tiles.  Everything else had to go:  maroon 'baseboard' tiles, horrid seashell light, gross medicine cabinet, broken pedestal sink, outdated towel bars, shower head and mirror.  We moved the toilet to our upstairs bath to replace the dinosaur that was up there.  Back to the wallpaper, this is what it looked like when we started trying to remove it: 
Bathroom Reno re  Bathroom Reno (4) re
It was like separating Heidi Montag from Spencer's low grade video camera.....not happening.  So, we decided to cut our wallpaper stripping losses and just re-drywall the ceiling, upper walls and shower area, and use my favorite material for the rest of the walls - beadboard!!!!  BEHOLD the progress pics: 
April 09 001 reApril 09 004 
With some help from a handy friend (thanks, Matt!) our ‘resident plumber’ friend (thanks, Mike!), an amazing deal on that gorgeous pedestal sink (thanks, Craigslist!) and some dramatic paint for the tiny bit of wall, we were able to turn this bathroom into a gorgeous little space that looked high end:
April 09 083 Bathroom After Bathroom After 2February 2009 070
And the best part is that we simply painted the ugly maroon tiles with Rustoleum Tub & Tile epoxy paint in white.  You’d never know they are painted, and it instantly upgrades the floor tiles from the 50s to today.  Doesn’t the floor look modern now?  Say yes.  Next up is another wallpaper doozie, the dining room!  Happy Labor Day, go slack off.


  1. The bathroom looks awesome!
    How challenging was the Rustoleum epoxy paint to apply? We have tiles above our seldom-used tub that are pink, and I'd like to paint them. Do you paint the grout as well as the tiles? Can you see brush lines? How did it come out? Thanks for the tips!

  2. Sarah, the epoxy was messy and stinky but so worth it! You have to mix the actual paint with an 'activator' that smells like turpentine. It can make you light headed so keep ventilation going. You only want to mix as much as you will use because it starts to harden within a few hours. I mixed it up and used an old brush because there is no way to clean the brush out after. You really have to paint over the grout or you would be there all day, plus when you use the white paint the grout would look dingy if you didn't cover it. There are no brushstrokes because it is self-leveling, but the first 2 coats I had bubbles that bothered me. I seriously did 4 coats until I was happy, one every 20 minutes or so. It is smooth and shiny, it looks like you just spray painted it with gloss. The paint is runny going on, so if you are using it on a vertical surface, it is really important to tape off VERY well. Even so, you will be scraping the paint off the floor/tub/whatever is underneath the tiles no matter how good you tape. I would totally recommend it, though. For all the pain it is to use, my tiles looked brand new and still do 8 months later!! I believe you can use a roller for larger areas as well. If you send me an email at operagirl79@hotmail dot com, I can go into more detail. Thanks for reading :)

  3. Hi Sara - Just found your blog through YHL and love it!

    We are currently renovating our main floor powder room and our before looks VERY similar to yours! we are also installing beadboard to the walls. I had a quick question for you - where did you find those glass shelves for above the toilet? Our bathroom is super tiny with no storage, so I think those would be perfect. Thanks so much!


  4. You must share the total expenses with me! (of everything! haha) My "master" bath is about this size, except we have an UGLY beige shower instead of a nice tub/tiled already. We painted over the horribly textured spackled mess just to do SOMETHING, but it's just not good enough. But I love what you've done, and want to copy it exactly. Would that be alright? :)

  5. I love your blue bathroom! It's just what I want! Congratulations :) I wish I can do the same for our bath. But we have a horrid brown/white granite counter that we can't afford to replace yet. I wish we can epoxy it too. LOL. :P

    Thanks for the tips!!:)


Thanks so much for reading....your comments mean a lot to me!