Guest bathroom redo on the cheap

I’d love to eventually rip out the cabinets, retile the floor and walls, and put in new lighting in the bathroom. But considering we’ve already spent quite a lot in a kitchen remodel and flooring, and will be repainting the exterior in the next month, an overall remodel of the guest bath isn’t viable. Plus, I don’t know if I want to go through all of that stress right now.

Instead, we added a new shower head and handle, painted the cabinets, added hardware, and framed the mirror to give the bathroom a fresher look: all around $200 (including some plumbing fixes to stop a drip). I started out by cleaning the cabinets well, then priming them, even though I’d be using a paint with primer. At first I used a brush and latex paint, but between the humidity and streaks, I just wasn’t getting it quite to my liking, so once they finally dried (somewhat), I spray painted the doors with a gloss spray paint. That got rid of streaks and gave it a more even tone. During the drying times, the hubs cut the frame out and we framed the mirror. (Word of advice: make sure you get straight boards. Makes it much easier to tack on with adhesive. Ours were slightly bowed and were a b**tch to get to lay down on the mirror correctly).

The hubs did the dirty plumbing work as well. He replaced a leaky cartridge so it would stop dripping, replaced the old handle, as well as replaced the old,cheap shower head with a much prettier one (you can kind of see the old one and the new one below). Then, once the cabinet doors dried (finally), we added hardware and new rubber bumpers to the backs of the doors. I also added contact paper (not photographed) in the drawers to add a more finished touch.


I don’t have much for before pictures (I always forget that part), but found one that at least would give you an idea of the transformation. We really like the outcome. The hubs admitted to me that he originally didn’t like the mint that I’d painted the bathroom, but after we painted the cabinets white, he said it softened the mint and now he loves it. Amazing what some paint can do for you.

Cabinets off!
Unframed mirror

IMG_4577 IMG_4596 IMG_4617


Next project will most likely be the exterior of the house, but we’re still waiting for the prep crew to schedule a time to prep. We’ve had so much rain in the Austin area (downtown actually flooded!), so exterior painters city-wide are backed up with jobs. No big deal though. I want to do some research on painting techniques for the outside of a home, before I start painting willy nilly.


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