The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura

30 Projects in 30 Days: Week 3 (The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh)

I don’t know why (in my head, anyway) I had to leave our master bathroom untouched until a full renovation made its way to the top of the project list.  A shocking 8.5 years went by before I realized this was a really stupid idea that was just preventing us from enjoying the space we have.  For week 3 of the #30projectsin30days challenge, I focused my attention on giving this sorry excuse for a master bathroom a long-overdue facelift.

As with our master bedroom, I intentionally used items we already had whenever possible, and I paid careful attention to where I spent my money for the necessary purchases.  I wanted to keep the entire effort under $250, which I did with room to spare!

When we moved in, the master bathroom was already in bad shape, and seven years of neglect (after I started pretending it wasn’t there) didn’t help.  It’s quite embarrassing to put these pictures out on the internet for the world to see, but you can’t understand the improvement if you don’t see them first!  Let’s take a look at what it looked like at the beginning of September:

Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

A big builders grade mirror, paint samples on the wall, spackled holes, and a bunch of clutter on the counter. We had already put in the new faucet, so at least one thing looked nice. 🙂

Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

A dark and depressing corner of the dark and depressing bathroom.

Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

Years of humidity in the room had rusted the shower hooks and produced mold on the rod, which had ripped chunks off of the wall.

Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

Here’s what’s hiding behind curtain #1!

Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

I’ve always liked the pattern and color of these curtains, but the valance hung too low, and in such a dark room, the ensemble blocked a lot of the light. Also, the blinds never worked properly and someone was too lazy to go buy another set of $4 blinds from Walmart to replace them.

Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

We hadn’t written on the chalkboard in ages, and while the peg part of this shelf remained very useful, the shelf part had become a place to leave things that weren’t being used.

Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

Chipped, yellowing cabinets and their ugly, dirty hardware. Ugh.

Here’s what I did to change that, what it looks like now, and what remains on the to-do list.

New barn door

I know I shared the DIY barn door in last week’s post, but it made an equally – potentially more – significant impact in the bathroom as it did in the bedroom, so it only seemed appropriate to share it today, too.  The old folding door cut into the already limited space both when opened and when closed.  The barn door added a small but significant amount of space to the already tiny – approximately 20 square foot – space.  Combined with all the other changes you’re going to read about, the bathroom now feels both brighter and larger – like a different room altogether.

Master bedroom refresh | Homespun by Laura | The master bathroom: Before the barn door!

The folding door before, from the bedroom.

Master bedroom refresh | Homespun by Laura | The master bathroom: Our DIY barn door gives so much more space to our tiny bathroom!

The finished barn door!!

You can see here that, when we opened the door, it would jut into this small space.  Even when closed, it didn’t add much to the room.

Master bedroom refresh | Homespun by Laura | The master bathroom: Before the barn door

The folding door before, from the bathroom

It only added a few inches, but they make a huge change in how the size of the room feels.  It seems so much larger than before!

Master bedroom refresh | Homespun by Laura | The master bathroom: Our DIY barn door gives so much more space to our tiny bathroom!

And look how much cleaner the grout by the door is!

Clean the shower

The last time I cleaned this shower, I had gotten tired of trying different options that wouldn’t remove the gross black stuff from the walls and floor.  This time around, I searched for alternate options and landed on a bleach pen  and a bleach + baking soda concoction.  The combined effort of these two methods, an old toothbrush, and a LOT of scrubbing yielded a MUCH cleaner shower.  I already had most of this on hand but had to replenish when the nasty black stuff depleted my supply.

Read about the bleach pen method here and the bleach plus baking soda method here.  They’re both pretty magical and easier than anything I’ve tried for cleaning gross grout!

Total cost: new bleach pen + additional bleach = $5.18 (affiliate link)

Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Using home made bleach & baking soda cleaner and a bleach pen to clean gross shower grout

Going…

Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Using home made bleach & baking soda cleaner and a bleach pen to clean gross shower grout

…going…

Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Using home made bleach & baking soda cleaner and a bleach pen to clean gross shower grout

…gone!

Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Using home made bleach & baking soda cleaner and a bleach pen to clean gross shower grout

Not a pretty sight, and precisely why I didn’t use this shower for years. It never seemed to bother the Mister.

Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Using home made bleach & baking soda cleaner and a bleach pen to clean gross shower grout

Always make sure you’re using the right mask for the job. I realized AFTER I was finished that this particular mask was for particulates, not for strong smells like bleach. The dry throat and cough went away after about 24 hours, though. Oops.

Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Using home made bleach & baking soda cleaner and a bleach pen to clean gross shower grout

After one thorough cleaning, it wasn’t perfect, but it was a major improvement. I went at it once more a few days later before I redid the caulk, and I think now it’s as good as it’s gonna get.

Paint the vanity + hardware

Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

And as a reminder, it looked like this. :-O

I nearly chose not to paint the chipping vanity, but I’d already done half the work when I removed the hardware to spray paint it.

 

$200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Painting the vanity and hardware made a huge impact - and it was free!

Looking back at these photos, I’m not sure why I ever considered NOT painting the vanity!

$200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Painting the vanity and hardware made a huge impact - and it was free!

That’s just gross.

The hardware was pretty disgusting, too.  I scrubbed and sanded it before I sprayed it.

$200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Painting the vanity and hardware made a huge impact - and it was free!

Turns out, the hardware was totally gross, too. Take a look at the two knobs in the center of the plate. You should easily be able to pick the one that’s clean!

$200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Painting the vanity and hardware made a huge impact - and it was free!

You can see the green-ish gunk that came off this knob. Each knob and several of the hinges had this stuff on them from nearly 30 years of use.

Then between coats of spray paint in the garage for the knobs and hinges, I brushed a few coats of bright white paint on the cabinet doors and vanity.

$200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Painting the vanity and hardware made a huge impact - and it was free!

Definitely the right choice! I saved time and paint by only repainting the front of the cabinets & drawers.

The difference is huge and was worth the small extra effort painting required.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Painted vanity and spray painted knobs brighten the space for free

What a difference!

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Painted vanity and spray painted knobs brighten the space for free

A close-up of the ‘new’ knobs and hinges.

Total cost: free (already had the paint!)

Paint the walls

I’m not sure why the previous owners chose this brown for the master bathroom.  It’s the same terrible color the office/craft room was before I painted it a couple years ago, and it was no better there.  I wanted to choose a paint color that would be peaceful but also colorful.

Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

Paint samples sat on the wall for about a month before I got around to making a decision.

I didn’t do the math until later, but the five colors I sampled – which were really too alike to justify the cost – added up to over $18!  When combined with the yellowish-almond counter and tiles, this color looks brighter than I was going for, but it’s a much better look than the dingy brown was.  Note to self: for a true idea of a color, don’t just test it against the true white trim; also, don’t test five nearly identical colors!

Using this method for painting behind a toilet was actually kind of fun.  I already had a Shur-Line Paint Edger (that’s an affiliate link, by the way), which I attached to a sturdy paint stick with duct tape.  I used the thicker paint stick that’s meant for stirring the 5-gallon containers, and it worked really well.

$200 Mater Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | How to paint behind a toilet

$200 Mater Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | How to paint behind a toilet

Oh, THAT looks better!!  It needs another coat or two, though!

It took three coats to fully cover that dark brown color.  But it looks great now!

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Paint makes a big difference!

After one coat.

Total cost: $22.38 (bought paint during Lowe’s Labor Day $10 rebate), plus $18.79 in samples

Replace the faucet

While replacing the actual counter – or adding a second sink since it is, after all a master bathroom – wasn’t in the budget or within my skill set, we did have control over the faucet.  We like to joke that the secret to a solid marriage is having to brush your teeth while sharing a sink, so until we move or decide to do some construction, the marriage remains strong.  😊  Our previous faucet worked fine, but it looked like it belonged in a gas station bathroom.  We donated it to the Habitat store and replaced it with a new one from Lowes.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | An inexpensive new faucet made a huge impact.

This faucet is available at the Habitat store if you’re interested!

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | An inexpensive new faucet made a huge impact.

🙂

Again, the difference is huge!

Total cost:  $12.64 out of pocket (used a gift card, redeemed from credit card points)

DIY updated light fixture

I originally planned to buy a new fixture, but I decided to give spray painting the existing one a shot first.  It looked pretty good in brushed nickel, so I went on a search for new globe covers.  I’ve gotten really lucky when checking the Habitat store for good lookin’ $1 globe covers for two other light fixtures in this house, but the luck didn’t stretch to the third fixture.  I forked over about $20 for new globes and used spray paint I already had to transform this one.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | DIY updated light fixture for under $20 (before)

The fixture in our hall bathroom (shown here) was identical to the one in the master. The globe you see on the far right was one of those $1 finds at Habitat, and its counterparts replaced the other two. The fixture in the master had those same fancy globes (center and left) on it before I updated it.

I love it – and the fact that I saved about $40 by going the DIY route.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Easy and inexpensive DIY updated light fixture with spray paint and new globe covers for under $20.

Easy and inexpensive DIY updated light fixture!

Total cost:  $19.38 for new globe covers

New curtain, liner, & rod, and a bathmat

One thing I had thought about for several years was that if I moved the toilet paper holder to a different wall and bought a longer curtain rod, the shower curtain could cover the entire wall instead of getting squished into the tiny shower opening.  I love this change, and like many others in the room, I wish I hadn’t waited so long to make it.

$200 Master Bathroom Refresh: The Before | Homespun by Laura

As a reminder….

What a difference it makes!

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | A new shower curtain configuration changed the feel of the room.

When I removed the toilet paper holder, one of the itty bitty screws got stripped out, and I haven’t made it to the store to buy a new one.  So far that’s been the biggest hitch in this entire project, though!

I splurged on the Kate Spade shower curtain at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but a rare $15 off $50 plus a $25 gift card brought the price down to my range.  I was able to reuse one of the shower rods, but the other was too short since I reconfigured things.  In addition to the new rod, a new liner was also necessary (the old one as just too dirty to be worth the effort cleaning it would have taken).  I happened to have enough rings lying around to replace the rusty old ones, so I saved a few bucks there.

The clearance bathmat adds a touch of fun, though technically it’s lying since there isn’t actually a bath in this bathroom!

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | A fun clearance bath mat

Total cost:  $57.67 (thanks to coupons and another credit card points gift card)

Redo the caulk

This was a major change for a small amount of dough.  I was totally afraid of caulking, and we strongly considered hiring someone to do it until I read about this bathroom refresh on Blake Hill House.  Stacy made it seem pretty straightforward, so I decided to give it a try.

Before I got started, I cleaned the shower (again) and floor with the same bleach pen and bleach + baking soda method that I used earlier in the week.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Cleaning the floor grout with bleach pen and bleach + baking soda paste wasn't fun but was worth it (before)

An in-progress ‘before’ shot

It made a big mess before it made an even bigger difference!

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Cleaning the floor grout with bleach pen and bleach + baking soda paste wasn't fun but was worth it (during)

Cleaning up the dried paste residue was no fun.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Cleaning the floor grout with bleach pen and bleach + baking soda paste wasn't fun but was worth it.

So clean!

Even after a second cleaning, the shower still looked kind of gross.  The caulk itself was harboring the black stuff, so the only option was to pull it all out and start fresh.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Removing the old caulk and replacing it with fresh, clean lines makes an instant impact (Before)

Before the second cleaning

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Removing the old caulk and replacing it with fresh, clean lines makes an instant impact (Before)

Scraping out the old caulk was quite the undertaking.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Removing the old caulk and replacing it with fresh, clean lines makes an instant impact (Before)

Almost looks clean, but there was still a good amount of grossness left behind.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Removing the old caulk and replacing it with fresh, clean lines makes an instant impact.

I laid the caulk down very thick to ensure I’d covered all the problem areas and that the shower was completely sealed.

I also caulked the gap between the vanity and wall. Tiny change; big difference!

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Removing the old caulk and replacing it with fresh, clean lines makes an instant impact.

It was worse on the other side, but I caulked it before I thought about taking a picture.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | Removing the old caulk and replacing it with fresh, clean lines makes an instant impact.

Now both sides look awesome.

There was a definite learning curve, especially with the caulk gun, which I really don’t like, but I’m pleased with the result and the fact that it cost next to nothing.  In fact, I decided to go ahead and recaulk the guest shower and vanity and will probably do the vanity in the half bathroom in the next few weeks.  Buh-bye, black caulk!!!

Total cost: $12.29

Replace the mirror

A few years ago, I spotted a perfectly good mirror next to the neighbor’s construction dumpster and saved it from its doom.  It then sat in the attic for a few years gathering dust.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | DIY updated old mirror (Before)

My original plan was just to spray paint it, then I realized I really didn’t like the fake plastic frame – and that no amount of spray paint would help it.

I decided that instead of buying a new mirror or framing the existing one, I would pull that dusty salvaged mirror out of the attic and reframe it.  I used a similar method to the cedar frame I made for the master bedroom earlier this month, which I will share in more detail in the coming weeks.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | DIY updated old mirror

Scroll a few more inches to see the full ‘After’ below!

Total cost: $14.10

Décor and art

We have decided to make a conscious effort to keep the counter free of clutter.  Besides a few items we use daily, we’ve moved all the excess off the counter and tossed what we don’t use.  I moved in a lamp I bought at an antique store several years ago, but I haven’t found a shade I like, so it’s a little bare for now.  The star and frog are souvenirs from trips we’ve taken to tropical locations, and I stole the faux tulips and vintage Dr. Pepper bottle turned vase from my desk.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | The After: Art and decor

I still have a few items to take care of before it’s officially finished!

Instead of getting a fancy or expensive frame, I found an $8 everyday deal frame at Michaels.  I had trouble determining which photo to print so finally just closed my eyes and picked one of my favorites.  I haven’t decided yet whether I love this one (from our visit to Monet’s home in Giverny, France last year) in this space.  Sam’s Club has very cheap 11×14 prints, so if I decide to change it, it’s not a huge loss to have another one printed.

The shelf was an easy DIY at the Haven conference this summer; the wood was supplied by Behr and the purty glass knobs are from Liberty Hardware.

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | The After: DIY shelf made with Liberty Hardware faceted glass knobs

So shiny!

Total cost: $9.80

Remaining to-do list items

  1. Lampshade for the lamp,
  2. Hang the photo,
  3. Find a small tray to corral toiletry items,
  4. Fix or purchase a new toilet paper holder.
  5. Buy a clock? I saw a cute little brassy one at Target for 10 bucks, which would be nice to tie in with the brassy lamp.
  6. Enjoy having a cute master bathroom!

Total costs:

With the exception of the remaining to-do items, the final cost of the changes was $171.94.  I’m making every effort to keep these additional items under $25 total, so the entire master bathroom refresh will come in under $200!  Not too shabby for a tiny budget, and now we can enjoy the space instead of ignoring it.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The yellowish counter and almond tiles aren’t going to turn into Carrera marble and white subway tile anytime soon, but a week of dedicated effort made a huge turnaround in this space.  I even used this shower for the first time in seven years!  I call that a major success.

Moral of the story?

Don’t wait for years to make your house what you want it to be.

Small changes can add up to make a major difference, and it doesn’t take a huge amount of money to make many of them.  Don’t have the time or budget to make all the changes you want to make?  Pick two or three small changes to start with, then add others over time.  Good things come to those who wait – and to those who work hard.  Make it happen!

The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh | Homespun by Laura | The After: DIY shelf made with Liberty Hardware faceted glass knobs

A parting glance

Check out the rest of my #30projectsin30days, or head over to Blake Hill House to see what everyone else has been tackling this month!

See the finished bathroom here.

Homespun by Laura | DIY solutions to decorating dilemmas!

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase an item shown here, I receive a small percentage of the purchase at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

2 thoughts on “30 Projects in 30 Days: Week 3 (The $200 Master Bathroom Refresh)

  1. SH says:

    I like your approach of use what you have, or at least keep the costs reasonable. And the clean and refreshed results are more than amazing. Your “elbow grease” contribution is, well, priceless. Job well done.

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