In Week 4 of my $75 One Room Challenge, I finally pulled out my wallet to purchase some supplies and materials. I spent nearly all my budget this week, but it went a long way in making a difference in the room. The painted linoleum floor and updated light fixture bring the powder room into the 21st century!
Along with about 200 others, I’m participating in the One Room Challenge and over the course of six weeks, I’m transforming a space in our house. This year, I chose to focus on our very yellow, very outdated downstairs bathroom and allotted a teeny, tiny budget for the project.
My $75 DIY powder room update began weeks ago. Curiosity got the best of me, and I started pulling at a loose edge of the horrendous painted-over wallpaper. To my delight, it came off very easily and I was left with a very beige, very blank slate!
In the time since, I have spent ZERO dollars of the budget by using only leftover paint I already had on the shelf from previous projects. I painted the vanity and sprayed its existing hardware, then turned my attention to the walls, ceiling, doors, and trim. It was a LOT of painting, but the result was worth the effort.
This week, I continued in this painted powder room, focusing on the outdated light fixture and old linoleum floors.
Updated light fixture
Why I waited so long to change this ugly fixture is beyond me. It took no time at all and cost less about as much as a decent bacon cheeseburger!
I began by getting the Mister to remove it from the wall. After a good dusting (um…I never dusted it in 8.5+ years, and there was quite a buildup) and a few coats of brushed nickel spray paint, its metamorphosis had begun.
Two new bell shades from Home Depot completed the transformation.
Just like the fixture in the master bathroom, this was an incredibly easy project that makes a major impact.
Painted Linoleum Floor
Over the years, I’ve seen a variety of blog posts about painting linoleum floors. I’ve considered attempting it in our bathroom for several years but never got around to it. I’d also been too chicken to attempt it, so I just didn’t do anything about them, ignoring the scratches and weird un-scrubbable stains. Enter this fall’s accidental One Room Challenge. I couldn’t redo this room without making an effort on the floor. And I can’t overemphasize the difference that the painted linoleum floor makes in this room!
This is by no means a tutorial; it’s merely my experience painting a linoleum floor.
I originally bought an inexpensive stencil from Michaels but loved the Augusta stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. I returned the one to Michaels and spent a few more dollars on the one I really liked.
Preparing the Floor
Before I could begin, I needed to re-secure the edges of linoleum around the pantry door.
They’d been flipped up for as long as I can remember. I used Gorilla Glue and a couple of encyclopedias to weigh the linoleum down while it dried. The doors came off at this stage so I could access the entire floor and avoid getting paint on the doors.
We are probably the only people under 50 with a complete set of encyclopedias (2020 Update: We are now among the majority of people under 50 who do not own a complete set of encyclopedias).
Meanwhile, the stencil sat in the middle of the kitchen floor with even more encyclopedias on top to flatten it out.
Before I pulled out the paint, I spent some quality time with the orbital sander to get the shine off the linoleum for better paint adherence. There are ridges in the design, and I wanted to smooth them out a little if possible.
After sanding, I vacuumed and scrubbed the floor better than I ever have. And then, just for good measure, I did it again.
Priming the Floor
When it was finally time to paint, I started with a couple coats of primer to make sure all the stains got covered.
Paint Color Selection
I asked for help in Instagram last week in choosing the colors for our painted linoleum floor. I was having trouble making a decision on paint colors. I’d determined the white I wanted to use (Swiss Coffee by Valspar) but couldn’t pull the trigger on a blue.
Nearly everyone replied with the exact opposite of the color toward which I was leaning (Jean Jacket by Behr).
This confused me further, but in the end, I went with my gut (Treasure Map by Behr).
Once I took the paint chips into the bathroom, the decision was obvious. In the room, the paint chip for Jean Jacket looked a little purple, so Treasure Map was the winner!
I was also having trouble choosing whether to use blue as a base or as the stencil color.
Again, what the Mister and I liked best was the opposite of what the internet liked. I even painted a test on a shipping box from a recent Amazon purchase to make sure we both liked our choice.
White base coat with a blue stencil:
And the winner, blue base color with a white stencil:
I’m thankful to everyone who replied with their choices because it helped me to think through what was best in the space….but in the end our ultimate decision was the exact opposite. 🙂 I love the outcome of our painted linoleum floor, but honestly I think any of the choices would have been an improvement over the unfortunate linoleum.
Stenciling the Linoleum Floor
I’m not going to claim to be a master stencil-er, and the close-up images of the un-touched-up outcome will prove this non-claim.
I painted two coats of the blue base color before I got to work with the stencil.
I made additional markings on the stencil with a permanent marker and on the floor with a pencil to ensure I got the stencil lined up with the lines in the linoleum.
But if you look closely, you’ll notice that my pencil guides were a little off. Fortunately, they were consistently off, so it turned out ok. I don’t think anyone but me would notice. And now you, since I told you!
I began with a checkerboard pattern, let it dry, then went back and stenciled the remaining sections.
I left the odd areas, like at the door frames, vanity, and around the toilet, for last.
I’m a pretty impatient person, a fact that’s evident from the little bits of white paint that wound up on the freshly painted wall, vanity, and trim/doors (at least it blends in with the trim & doors).
I did gently wipe the stencil with an old towel between uses, but I apparently forgot all the other tips for a clean stenciling job. But I never smudged anything, which I was worried I might do.
Fixing my Mistakes
Fortunately, the painted linoleum floor does look pretty great in the photos taken from afar, and in person you do have to look pretty closely to see the goofs.
I crawled around on the floor for an hour this afternoon with a tiny craft paintbrush and touched up the worst of the stray marks.
This amazing rug my grandmother bought in Charleston years ago looks awesome in the space. While I love the design, it was a little loud to both of us before I pulled the rug out (and it covered up the rough areas before I got around to touching them up). It took our eyes a little while to adjust from the primarily off-white to the primarily blue floor, and the rug helped to tone it down a little.
The room makes me smile every time I pass by or through it now, instead of averting my gaze and accepting the ugly but functional yellow half bath.
That $75 was starting to burn a hole in my pocket. I finally dipped into my budget this week for supplies for the floor and light fixture:
- Stencil: $21.24
- Porch & floor paint: $25.87
- Globes: $15.70
Which brings the total for Week 4 to $62.81…
…added to the totals for Weeks 1-3:
…leaves us at a grand total of $62.81 so far!
Remove wallpaper Paint trim + door frames, doors, and vanity Paint walls Replace faucet(replaced in June; not part of the budget but it feels good to check it off the list:-)) Update light fixture with spray paint and new globes Paint floor (touch up messy spots)
- Reframe mirror
Replace door hinges Spray paint doorknobs + cabinet hinges and knobs + towel & toilet paper holders Paint ceiling(to make the whole thing one color)
- Organize the pantry (for at least the 4th time)
Next week, I’ll share how to make an inexpensive wooden frame for an old or ugly mirror. Until then, check out the progress on all the other fantastic One Room Challenge projects!
Thanks for stopping by,