Hello everyone! I can’t believe the hubby and I have lived in our house for almost two years now! When I look back through old pictures of all the things we’ve done around the house, I’m filled with such pride. I don’t know if this is weird or not, but every time I look at projects we’ve done in our house, such as our bathroom makeover, I get so happy and proud that WE did that, all on our own! It makes all our time working on the house completely worth it and the house now feels like it’s ours!
So if you’re interested in giving your bathroom a makeover, I hope that this in-depth post will help you. Come see how we turned our purple and outdated bathroom into a room that we love!
For this project, here are the materials you’ll need for this bathroom update:
The materials list contains affiliate links. It won’t cost you anything extra, but I may receive a small commission in order to cover my blogging costs. Thank you for your support!
To remove mirror:
- Masking tape
- Metal yard stick
- Safety goggles
- Old towels
- Putty knife
- Razor blade
- 80-grit sandpaper
- Vinyl spackling
- Oil Kilz Original
- TSP (trisodium phosphate)
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Wall paint – we used Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue
- Ceiling paint – Benjamin Moore Cloud White
- Trim paint – Benjamin Moore Cloud White
- Painter’s tape
To remove/install sink:
- Large bucket
- White caulk
- Silicone adhesive
- New sink of choice
To update current vanity and hardware:
- Wood glue
- 120-grit sandpaper
- Minwax Polycrylic – we used the Clear Satin finish
- Paint – we used Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray
- Legs and casters
- Rust-Oleum Spray Paint – we used the Flat Burnished Amber color
To install new toilet:
- New toilet of choice
- Water supply line
Ready to go?
Because it took us many (oh so many!) steps to redo our bathroom, I’ve split this post into 4 sections so that it’s easier for you to follow along:
- Section 1: How to remove the mirror from the wall, prep and paint the palls, ceiling and trim
- Section 2: How to remove the sink, paint the vanity and add custom legs
- Section 3: How to install new sink, faucet and toilet
- Section 4: How to update your current hardware and add new mirror
Section 1: How to remove the mirror from the wall, prep and paint the walls, ceiling and trim
- Use masking tape to tape up your entire mirror in a crisscross pattern. This ensures that if the mirror breaks when you’re pulling it off from the wall, the tape will hold up the broken pieces. We may have overdid it with the tape, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’ve read too many horror stories of mirrors breaking into pieces as people tried to remove the mirror from the wall.
- To remove the mirror, take the yard stick and insert it behind the mirror; scrape all the spots where you feel there is glue. Once my Fine Hubby was 3/4 of the way done, I helped him by holding the mirror so that it didn’t come crashing down. Once the mirror is unglued, veryyyyyyy carefullyyyyyyy lower down the mirror onto open towels and wrap it up.
- I’ve read that you can smash the mirror up while it’s still wrapped up so that you can throw it out more easily. We, on the other hand, still have our mirror in our garage. I’m really not sure what we’re waiting on; I’d say this is just a classic case of procrastination.
Use a putty knife to chip off any pieces of glue still stuck on the wall. The goal here is to flatten out the wall as much as possible. If any drywall was ripped out as well, use a razor blade to trim out any of the paper. You want to be as thorough as possible here so that the wall is smooth.
- Once you’re removed all glue and paper off the wall, sand it down with 80-grit sandpaper. Wipe down that wall with a damp towel so that there is no dust or any leftover residue.
- This next step is crucial for the wall prep. Because so much drywall was removed during the previous process, you need something to even out the wall texture. For this step, we used Kilz Original. It’s a white oil-based primer, sealer and stain-blocker. If you don’t use this and put primer on top of the exposed drywall, the primer and paint won’t adhere to the wall. This is where Kilz comes in because it helps the paint adhere to the surface, otherwise the paint won’t roll on smoothly. It also helps block stains from glue. Our glue had a black adhesive color, so we didn’t want that color showing through.
- Layer one coat of the Kilz Original. Once dried, sand the wall lightly with medium grit sandpaper. Use that putty knife again to spackle any holes, indents or inconsistencies on the wall. Our wall was in pretty bad shape, so we did 3 coats of spackle. You’ll also want to sand the wall with fine grit sandpaper and wipe up with a towel in between each coat of spackle.
Tip: Prep is THE most important part of painting. You might find this step really time-consuming but it was absolutely worth it in the end. You can’t even tell how bad the wall was when we first took down the mirror!
Painting walls and trim
Before you start doing anything with the walls, remove anything that is hanging or mounted, like the toilet paper holder, towel bar, electric outlet plates, etc. Unless you plan on mounting the toilet paper holder and towel bar in the exact same spot when you’re done with the project, spackle the holes that they left behind.
To prep the walls and trim, scrub them with TSP (trisodium phosphate) with a sponge and hot water, then let them dry. Sand down the walls with a 220-grit sandpaper. Wipe walls and trim again with a damp towel to remove any remaining dust.
Start priming the walls and trim; we used Benjamin Moore’s primer. Prime the ceiling as well while you’re at it. Do a light sanding (again) with the 220-grit sandpaper. After you wipe the walls again, you’re now ready to add your 2 coats of paint. In between each coat of paint, don’t forget to lightly sand and wipe away any dust.
The color we chose for our walls was Ben Moore’s Palladian Blue because we had leftover paint from when we redid our master bedroom. i absolutely love that color and i think it goes with everything!
The process for the trim will be the same as painting the walls: sand, prime, sand, paint, sand, paint…you get the gist! Make sure to tape off the walls with painter’s tape before you start any work on the trim. When you’re done with your paint job, remove the tape right away. Don’t let the paint dry on the tape, otherwise it might rip away some of the paint as you peel it off.
Section 2: How to remove the sink, paint the vanity and add custom legs
Removing the sink
Your first step in removing your current sink is to shut off both the hot and cold water valves located under the sink. Next, detach the water lines that go to the sink so nothing is attached anymore. With your wrench, unscrew the P-trap (the drain that goes to the sewer). Make sure you have a bucket to catch the remaining water that leaks out of that P-trap.
Once everything is unscrewed and detached, run your razor blade along the edges of the sink to cut off the caulk. Once the caulk is removed, shimmy your sink back and forth to loosen it from the vanity. Once the glue is off, the sink should easily lift out.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take many pictures during this step because I didn’t want to be all up in my hubby’s working space. Remember, it IS a powder bathroom that we’re talking about here. You can find great step-by-step instructions on Lowes’ website, which is where we got our directions from.
Painting the vanity
Our vanity was in pretty good shape, so we decided to keep ours instead of replacing it with a brand-new one. We just didn’t like the color, so we chose to paint it a different color instead.
Your first step will be to unscrew the cabinet doors and hinges. We mounted our doors on top of old paint cans in our den so that we could easily paint them outside of the bathroom. Then, use wood glue to spackle the holes left from the hinges. Clean the vanity and doors with Krud Kutter to remove any grease.
Just like the walls and trim, sand down the cabinet with 120-grit sandpaper and make the surface area smooth. Prime the vanity and then I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now, but make sure to sand after priming, and then sand in between each layer of paint. As an FYI, we primed and painted our cabinet at the same time as when we painted our walls.
We painted 2 coats on one side of the doors first; then once they were dry, we flipped them over so we could paint the other side. This process lasted several days because we only had time to do this after getting home from work. I was also afraid of having indent marks on the painted sides once I flipped them over.
It turns out that when the cabinet was finally painted, I HATED the color! It looked so pretty outside of the bathroom, but because of the way our light shines down, it made the vanity look so dreary. There also wasn’t much of a difference between the Palladian Blue and the SW color because of the lack of natural lighting. I thought of leaving it that way because of all the hours that we had already put into painting the cabinets, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. If I’m going to use this bathroom every day, I want to LOVE everything in it! So, off we went to the store again.
Hopefully this won’t happen to you! We had to repeat the process of cleaning, sanding, painting, sanding and painting again. Joy! We ended up going with Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray and at the end of the day, I’m happy that we switched up the color because this one was SOOO much nicer! It has a deeper and richer gray tone AND has enough of a contrast with our walls.
Once you love your new vanity color, you’ll need to apply 3 coats of polyacrylic. Polyacrylic is best for water-based paint, which is what we used. Lightly sand in between each coat of polyacrylic.
The last step will be to drill new holes for the hinges and new knobs that we purchased. Install the new hardware and ta-da, you have a brand-new looking vanity!
Adding legs to vanity
We decided to add legs underneath our new vanity because it seemed a bit too naked for me. I thought that the legs would add a nice finish to our newly painted vanity! In order to do this, measure the space that you need to fill in between the base of your cabinet and the floor.
Glue your legs and casters together to the shape and height desired using wood glue. I used 1 leg and 2 different types of casters in order to give the illusion of height. Press all pieces together to ensure that they’re glued perfectly and let them dry overnight.
Once dried, paint 2 coats of the vanity paint. Sand lightly in between each coat of paint. Layer on 3 coats of polyacrylic. Again, sand lightly between each coat. Use wood glue to affix the legs to the bottom of the cabinet. And now you have legs at the bottom of your vanity!
Section 3: How to install the new sink, faucet and toilet
Installing a new sink and faucet
OK! Now that you’ve updated the walls and cabinet, you can now install your new sink and faucet, whoo! You’re getting there! Know that you have to install the faucet on the sink itself before dropping in the sink in the vanity. The packaging that the faucet came in should have instructions on how to install it; it should also have instructions on how to connect the drain to the P-trap.
Here’s something that I learned along the way: make sure you get the right measurements for the pipes, and make sure that your new sink fits the cabinet. Ours was 1/2″ off-center because our darn wall got in the way. We had to score the wall with a razor blade ever so slightly so that we could push the sink into the wall in order for the sink drain to line up with the P-trap.
Once you know that the sink fits, put silicon-based adhesive on top of cabinet and lower sink so that it glues on the cabinet. Hook up all plumbing again. Turn water valve back on for both hot and cold water; turn on your new sink to make sure water is draining properly. Check for leaks!
If there are no leaks, caulk the edges of the sink where it meets with the wall. This is a VERY messy process so make sure you have lots of paper towels handy. I would also recommend getting white caulk so that it blends in with the new sink.
Installing a new toilet
This was not in our plans to replace, but once we had our brand-spankin’ new white sink installed, the toilet looked out of place because of its beige-ish color which didn’t match AT ALL. Had we planned ahead, our step-by-step process for redoing the bathroom would’ve definitely changed.
You’ll want to turn off the water supply line from the toilet to start. Flush the toilet and hold the handle down. This will get most of the water out of the tank. Use a plastic cup to get the rest of the water from the bowl out. If you can’t reach the water with a cup, use a sponge to absorb that water instead. This was the least fun part of our bathroom remodel! Wear some gloves, that’s for sure :).
Once all the water is out, unscrew the base of the toilet and wiggle it out. Make sure you have somewhere to put the toilet down. We had a large plastic container that we put the toilet in. It’s heavy!
Because we installed the new toilet right away, we didn’t have to worry about this, but if you’re going to paint or take multiple days, make sure you cover the hole with a towel so gas (or odors) doesn’t leak out.
Clean off the old wax ring on the floor with a putty knife and paper towel. To install the new toilet, put the wax ring on the bottom of the toilet. Lower toilet onto the hole. You want to do this step quickly so that the wax doesn’t keep falling off like ours did…we had to do this step multiple times. Good thing my hubby is so strong!
The rest is a piece of cake: screw the base back on, install a new toilet seat and lid, hook up the water supply line, and flush! Voila!
Section 4: How to update your hardware and hang your new mirror
Updating the hardware:
The towel bar and toilet paper holder in our bathroom was made from brushed nickel. I wanted them to match the rest of our house décor better, so we decided to change these up a bit. Instead of buying brand-new hardware, we spray painted them with Rustoleum Metallic Spray Paint, in a flat burnished amber color.
We hung the towel bar back up in the same spot, but drilled new holes in the wall to move the toilet paper holder away from the new toilet.
Hanging new mirror:
We bought our mirror from Pier One Imports. I love this mirror because it reflects the light really well! We don’t have any windows in our bathroom so we need any sort of light we can get. Installing the mirror was relatively simple. Make sure you always measure twice, drill once.
And there you have it!
Phew! I’m exhausted after writing this post up! Even though this bathroom is the smallest room in our house, it still required a good amount of work. The only thing we didn’t mess with in our bathroom is the lighting. That would’ve required a contractor and I simply didn’t feel like going there.
What I Would’ve Done Differently
This was the biggest project we’ve done in our house and was definitely a learning experience for us! In retrospect, I wish we did things a bit differently and will be sure to apply our newfound bathroom knowledge for whenever we decide to update our 2 other bathrooms. Some day. Here are a few things that I learned, in no particular order:
- I wish I had foreseen that we needed a new toilet in order to match the new sink. If we planed for that, we definitely would’ve removed the toilet from the bathroom so that we had more room to work with. And we wouldn’t have had to squeeze in between the toilet and the vanity to get all the tiny paint spots behind the toilet. D’oh!
- Had we foreseen this new toilet, we wouldn’t have installed the toilet paper holder back in its same spot right after the walls were painted. We could’ve spackled it first and measured out the new location instead of drilling holes twice.
- We should’ve painted swatches on the cabinet itself. That way, we would’ve seen that the lighting affects the way that the paint looks. And we wouldn’t have wasted time painting the cabinet twice.
- Check the new sink in the store and examine for any cracks to avoid a second trip back to the store. The first sink that we purchased had a hairline crack on the edge.
- Do the painting steps all at once; while you’re priming and painting the walls, ceiling and trim, also take this time to paint the vanity and the doors.
I know that this was a crazy, long post, but I hope this was helpful if you’re looking to redo any part of your bathroom. Please let me know your thoughts and if any parts are unclear. I would love your feedback on my bathroom!
If you’re working on any home renovations, I’d love to hear about them!
Thanks for reading…’til next time!