Ever wanted to surprise your spouse with a budget-friendly renovation of the master bathroom for under $ 500? You won’t believe it before and after the transformation, my friend Beth and I left for a weekend.
A surprise bathroom makeover under $ 500
My friends at GREAT STUFF ™ sponsored this project and I can’t wait to release a new product that they recently released. Make sure you read to the end to find out what it is!
My good friend Beth, whom I have known for over a decade, is my frequent companion. That means we discuss pretty much anything and everyone on our walks. During one of our neighborhood walks we discussed projects we wanted to work on next. Beth told me that her husband John was so tired of the bathroom that he shaved in the children’s bathroom. When I asked more about it, I learned that the light above the mirror in her bathroom had stopped working some time ago. The light stayed broken when Beth ran into some challenging family problems. After things had resolved with her family, she was ready to fix the bathroom light and maybe redesign the room a little.
The next words out of Beth’s mouth were like a match that sparked my desire to dive headfirst into a new DIY project.
“John and the kids are going out this weekend and I’m staying here,” she said.
I immediately volunteered to help her surprise her husband with a bathroom renovation. I didn’t know we’d have a lot of work to do in a weekend. But what’s more exciting than a surprising makeover? I’m right?
Challenges in the small bathroom:
Before the big work weekend, I stopped by Beth to assess the situation. Her bathroom had some problems, the first being the lack of lighting above the sink. The second was a dimly lit ceiling light that could only hold a light bulb. The exhaust fan worked but was noisy and had a discolored cover.
By far the worst feature in the bathroom was the English ivy wallpaper. It was too busy, too dreary, and I don’t even think an English noblewoman would want it in her house! Fortunately, Beth was about to take it off. With the wallpaper gone, we can spice up the bathroom with paint, new lighting, and new hardware. Beth was on a tight budget (she didn’t want to alert her husband to our surprise makeover) so she kept her purchases close to $ 500.
A surprise bathroom makeover for under $ 500
It’s time to get busy in Beth’s bathroom. Remember, it’s a surprise so don’t tell your husband. You can check out us by watching the video (but be ready to help us peel off wallpaper.)
The makeover weekend is coming:
I arrived at Beth’s Friday morning, ready to work and we immediately started stripping! Wallpaper that is!
Did you know that when it comes to removing wallpaper, there are really only two types of wallpaper?
- The easy to remove kind
- The pain in the A $$ (what idiot didn’t prepare the drywall – oh, fuck it, let’s just replace the drywall) Art
I was incredibly relieved that someone was primed under Beth’s bathroom wallpaper. Fortunately, it came out pretty easily in large streaks. I wish I could say the same about my house, we put wallpaper on the drywall (no primer between the two). But that means I have a lot of experience and a proven method of preparing the wallpaper for painting over (see above) You don’t see the seams and you never have to worry about them peeling off.
Find out how to remove both types of wallpaper here!
A solution to the electrical problem:
Now that the wallpaper is gone, it’s time to address the light (or lack of it) over the sink. Even though Beth dutifully called my favorite electrician to fix the problem, they bumped into a wall (or, more precisely, a pipe). When he removed the broken lamp, he discovered an unsafe cabling situation.
An idiot had pulled the wire from the junction box and punched it through the wall to center the light. (This is a violation of the code as it poses a fire hazard if the wiring connections are outside of a junction box.) It was obvious that they could not route the electrical box because the pipeline’s vent pipe was centered in the middle. Beth didn’t want to hang the light off-center and told the electrician she had to think about what she wanted to do with the light. Fortunately, I had an idea that would be twice as nice. Why try dealing with a light that can’t be centered when you can double the lighting with wall sconces? I showed Beth this photo and she was immediately enthusiastic about the idea.
We were grateful when my electrician could swing by and install the junction boxes on either side of the mirror area before we started painting the walls. Then I mended the holes he made and we were back in business (that is, the painting business).
The color in the photos is hard to see, but we went for Magnolia Home’s One Horn White. It’s white with a touch of green and looks great in this bathroom.
The cream-colored molding looked grubby with the new wall paint, so we gave the baseboards and crown molding a fresh coat of white paint.
New lighting and a new ability:
Part of the makeover was teaching Beth how to install the new stunning crystal ceiling light she picked! Although she was nervous at first, I taught her how easy it is to swap out a lamp. With her new electrical skills, I encouraged her to install the wall lights as well.
Unfortunately, to the surprise, the wall lamps didn’t arrive in time. But we took a picture of the new wall lights for the big reveal.
Beth later used her new skills to install the wall sconces when they arrived!
Budget Vanity Update:
Instead of replacing the vanity, Beth painted it a beautiful dark teal color. The color is Weekend by Magnolia Home and I love the dark elegance and pop of color that is needed in this otherwise neutral bathroom.
Before we knew it, Sunday afternoon had come and while we couldn’t fully complete the renovation in one weekend, it was still a big surprise for Beth’s husband. Even the children were surprised. You have to watch the video to see their reactions. It is priceless!
Finishing the renovation of the bathroom:
After our weekend at work, life got in the way of completing her bathroom. Then there was a pandemic and we all dutifully stayed at home for several months.
A couple of weeks ago, I helped Beth do the finishing touches like painting the exhaust fan, adding a top coat to the vanity, and putting a floating shelf over the toilet.
The shelf is a simple touch but adds extra storage space and style to this small bathroom.
Protecting the bathroom from drafts and insects:
While the vanity was empty, I took the opportunity to fill in the gaps around the water pipes and the drain pipe under the vanity GREAT STUFF ™. It’s a simple solution that doesn’t take time, but it makes a huge difference in how you control insects and pests.
Those of us who live in the south know that we have some Jura-sized bugs that like to appear out of nowhere and make us scream like a little girl who is scared. (Pretty Handsome Guy is definitely guilty of being able to hit those higher octaves if he finds a cockroach in the house.) Some people call them water or palmetto beetles, but they’re big, fat wooden cockroaches! For this reason alone, it is a good idea to seal these gaps around your pipes.
Sealing the tubes with GREAT STUFF ™ is super easy and has become even easier with the new Smart Dispenser, which contains fewer drops and can be reused for up to 30 days! This was definitely one of my favorite complaints about the original can. The GREAT STUFF ™ material previously hardened in the donor straw and was therefore unusable for future projects. (Click here to learn more about the GREAT STUFF ™ with the Smart Dispenser and to find out where to buy it.)
Luck for us GREAT STUFF ™ worried enough to come up with an innovative solution to this problem – the smart dispenser!
I am thrilled to show you the final reveal.
Beth and John love their new, lighter and brighter bathroom.
It’s amazing how choosing a cooler color downplays the creamy tiles. This is a great trick I use when giving an inexpensive facelift to dated bathrooms.
Speaking of facelifts, what do you think of the painted vanity? We loved the dark teal color and how well it plays with the old countertop.
Beth used the same buttons again to stay under budget.
I love the sleek lighting that Beth chose for the room. The ceiling lamp is much brighter with two light bulbs and reflective crystals!
The addition of two sconces has made a huge difference to the lighting in this bathroom!
But I have to say my favorite element is the simple modern floating shelf.
It adds some storage space and style to an otherwise blank wall above the toilet.
Of course, we can’t forget the old exhaust fan. With some spray paint, it looks brand new.
Breakdown of costs & sources:
Total: $ 462
What do you think? Isn’t that an amazing makeover for under $ 500? Do you have a room that could be renovated for less than $ 500? Do tell!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for GREAT STUFF ™. I was honored to work with them on this project and I was rewarded for my efforts. All words and opinions are my own. I wasn’t told what to say. As always, I am very specific about the sponsors I work with and you will be informed if you read a post that has been sponsored or in which materials have been provided.
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