a crazy month to makeover a bathroom…
So I made the decision to makeover the kids bathroom – a huge DIY project at possibly the WORST time ever. Everrrrrrr… I really do enjoy putting myself under copious amounts of pressure. Who doesn’t? It’s fun! I won’t rattle on so here’s a summary of last month:
- Commenced a large extension at the front of our house off the garage.
- The landscapers have been working out the back of our property every day for 2 months
- Organised an Italian exchange student to stay with us so we had 4 kiddlets in total.
- Decided I needed a booty and a new diet before summer starts so appointed a Personal Trainer three times a week.
- Completely changed my diet which means lots of planning, preparing and cooking food.
- Fortunately enough, I featured in My Renovation Magazine and Profile Magazine. Exciting!
- Oh and started helping a friend with his business 5 hours a week.
There you go – that’s me for the month! I’ve been late with some of my Instagram and Facebook posts and for that I apologise. Please see above for my list of excuses (lol)
ANYWAY, let’s move onto the actual reason why you’re currently reading this article. Our kid’s bathroom – all I can really say is “Andale Andale Arriba Arriba” (for those of you who remember Speedy Gonzales). It’s all a mix of Mexican / Mediterranean / Spanish and whatever else you want to throw into the mix. We had a very similar style bathroom in one of my family homes built back in 1995. It was truly beautiful at the time and expensive to boot! Unfortunately, whilst I appreciate that no expense was spared with the beautiful tile work, custom cabinetry and built in bath tub – it’s just not Hamptons darling!
How do you fix it without ripping out the entire bathroom I hear you say? With lots and lots and lots of paint; in conjunction with many nausea and light headed spells, a never ending cup of coffee, Phil Collins on replay and my fur babies for company and conversation.
where do you start? with colour selection of course!
Start with the area that entertains the least amount of options – the floor tiles. So far, I’ve found Rust-oleum Tile Transformations are the only real option for durability and maintenance when it comes to painting floor tiles which by the way, is a scary idea within itself! I chose a colour called Slate and with this colour in mind, I selected the remaining colour scheme for the bathroom. “The mid grey floor tiles will sit perfectly against the white wall tile which will contrast beautifully against the stone grey feature tile and cabinetry which in turn will present marvellously against the darker grey walls”. Yep, I had it all sorted and purchased 90% of my paint and equipment in one hit…
the ceiling and walls…
When painting, work from top to bottom just in case there’s a drip or two. Unless of course you’re like me and don’t use drop sheets appropriately and end up with 10, 20 maybe 173 drips. Whoops! I painted the ceiling and the window architraves to match the rest of our house – Dulux Wash n Wear ¾ Lexicon (low sheen on the ceiling and high gloss on the trim, obviously).
The walls are painted in a colour made Tabloid by British Paints. However, the paint itself is Dulux Wash n Wear. For me personally, I can’t go past Dulux – its rolls on thick, evenly and covers beautifully unlike other more cost effective brands. It’s worth the extra dollar! Now doesn’t that grey wall just look gorgeous next to the blue, mustard and terracotta tiles? In fact, I almost stopped there and left it as is! Kidding… It’s disgusting. And I couldn’t wait to prime the wall tiles to prevent any further damage to my eyes so I continued to paint well into the night.
the wall tiles…
Wall tiles are very different to floor tiles and need to be treated and painted accordingly. Wall tiles require a similar amount of durability and toughness as floor tiles, but they also need to be glossy and pretty to boot. This is where White Knight Tile and Laminate Paint is the best invention ever. The cleaning and application procedure is a process, but it’s well worth it in the end. The product is robust, hard wearing and above all, it looks fantastic.
I prepped and cleaned the area using White Knight Tile & Laminate Cleaner and Exit Mould, scrubbing the grout lines with a thick wire bristled brush and washing the entire area with clean water to finish. I then sanded the tiles and applied the Primer (undercoat). As you can see by the photos, I also prepped and primed the cabinetry which can be transformed using the same range of products (depending on the surface of course). Like I mentioned earlier, I painted well into the night and hence the glass of wine on the vanity. I don’t drink during the day, unless there’s a really good reason. 🙂
the vanity top…
The 20 year old timber vanity top that had been heavily coated in 2-pac was in no state to sand back and re-stain (much to my disappointment) and as a consequence, painting the top was the only option. The best undercoat for timber I’ve discovered to date is Zinsser, in particularly Zinsser B.I.N for this project. B.I.N is a shellac based product that not only primes; its seals, it blocks stains and for the lazy people out there, the surface doesn’t require sanding before application. A winner all round. I finished the vanity top with Taubmans Ultimate Enamel in a high gloss finish. It’s an alkyd based product so it cleans up with water, yet another win for the lazy people. I have painted our study bench top in this stuff and it is seriously hard wearing. A little sticky for a couple of days, but dries hard as nails. Shhhh, the Study will be another blog post!
danni’s top five tips for a bathroom makeover…
- Plan and schedule the entire process before you start leaving nothing to chance. Missing a certain job will change the order of events and this has potential to be disastrous.
- Do extensive research into the products you require relevant to the surface you’re apply them to. This is really important not only achieve to look you want, but will also effect the longevity of the product. Or, just contact me. That’s probably easier.
- Purchase sample pots and test your colour selection in the space to be painted. Sounds obvious, but colour samples are highly likely to appear different under the fluorescent lights at Bunnings and once again this could lead to disappointment if you simply bought all your paint before testing. Also, if you’re not super colour savvy, ask the opinion of friends and family once you’ve painted the test samples. Remembering, you don’t have to listen to their opinion.
- Follow the instructions! Yep, it’s human nature not to and like us Aussies say “she’ll be right mate!”. Painting tiles is a process and it can be frustrating and most definitely time consuming. In fact, the preparation can take longer than the actual painting itself. However, don’t skimp the cleaning and preparation process or you may very well regret it.
- Allow enough time for the paint to cure and harden. After all your hard work, the last thing you want is to damage or even ruin the paintwork because you didn’t let it cure for long enough. I actually give floor and wall tiles a week! Yes, its overkill but I don’t care. It makes me feel better and it works.
Unlike the rest of my home which is classic coastal x Hamptons, I wanted to style the bathroom with a French country x elegant Hamptons feel in mind. The pattern and layout of the tiles and the cabinetry lends itself to a more country feel, however I still wanted to keep the Hamptons style flow from the rest of the home. Personally, I think I nailed it. Lol!
This is where Pinterest is your new best friend. So many amazing ideas, so little time to implement them! The prerequisites:
- New bath towel hooks (the old ones were outdated)
- New cabinetry knobs
- A shelf to display practical bathroom accessories as well as cute homewares
- A mirror
- Something quirky to hid electric toothbrush holders and cords.
- Something on the ground – a chair? A vase perhaps?
Fortunately I have the most BEAUTIFUL Hamptons inspired store near me (even though I still chose to shop their online store) called Hamptons Style. If you’re loving the Hamptons look, you must check out all their gorgeous goodies. Most of the Hamptons Inspired décor displayed in my bathroom is from Hamptons Style.
THOSE KNOBS! They’re handmade, crystal and stone knobs with a satin nickel finish. Unique products like these are almost impossible to source on the Sunshine Coast so Etsy was my savour here. I found these beauties at SDE Jewellery and Home Décor and had them shipped all the way from my favourite city, New York. Check out their delightful range of unique, handmade products.
The antique chair I found on Gumtree and purchased from a lovely man called David – a retired couple downsizing from a large property to a townhouse. Somehow I have a knack for finding all these beautiful elderly couples that are downsizing! Bizarre. The vase and florals on the floor tiles are from Early Settler and the range of creams and lotions I purchased from my local pharmacy. In keeping with the country charm, I found those cork lidded jars and filled them with bath gel and exfoliating crystals. This is a really cute idea and looks luxurious, but also happens to be cost effective.
I converted a tea bag chest into an electric toothbrush containing vessel (lol) to hide the nasty cords and charger. Between you and I, I was particularly chuffed with this invention and thought I was rather clever! The timber chest not only works with the style I wanted, it seamlessly flows with the antique chair and timber window frames. The extendable mirror I found on eBay.
This ended up being a really informative post with lots of product information and processes. It wasn’t really meant to end up that way, but I guess I can’t help what I get excited about. And if that’s paint, vases, online stores, knobs or floor tiles – then so be it! I hope you’ve read something in my post that inspires you or at least makes you ponder a potential DIY project. If so, please contact me about anything you’ve read or simply if you need help. I’d love to hear about it.
Thanks for reading!