Quick & Easy Bathroom Updates
The bathroom is a good place to start updates…it’s small. Whatever you are considering in the way of projects will cost less, and if a look isn’t quite right, you most likely can change it without great cost. Starting with easy updates for a tired bath will most likely get you motivated to tackle larger projects in your home.
For example, painting the walls is inexpensive and will provide an immediate change in the look and style of a room. Faux techniques are great to try in a small room like the bath, and if they don’t work, can be repainted the next day.
Soft shades of purple, pink, lime green and turquoise are trendy paint colors this year.
If you’re trying a new color and are unsure, the bathroom is a good place to start.
Grey can serve as a neutral, allowing for bright-colored accents. The “new neutrals” include subdued tones of many colors…neutrals go way beyond beige for today’s trends. (Bathroom-formula paint should always be used to help prevent mold and mildew).
If you’re not ready to replace the bathroom floor, there is the next best option to consider… divert attention upwards. To get the look of old fashioned tin ceilings, there are several ceiling tile wallpapers available which are paintable. This textured wallpaper gives the impression of embossed plaster and will keep visitors looking up.
Another option is a ceiling-sized stencil, some paint and crown molding, to create a one-of-a-kind ceiling space. Ceiling tiles and panels are also an affordable way to add style and interest.
Staying at ceiling level, a space-saving addition to consider is a narrow shelf over the doorway, just wide enough to hold extra rolls of toilet paper. A 6″ deep shelf can be supported directly on the door frame, held in place by a small bracket. This small shelf can also be used to house decorative items that take up too much space on the vanity.
Even with a new ceiling, the bathroom floor can’t hide forever. Wood floors are a popular option in most homes today, but homeowners shy away from wood floors in a wet environment such as a bath. Today, it’s possible to have both the warm look of wood and the durability of vinyl. Vinyl planks are available from most home supply stores and come with textured finishes that
simulate real wood. Finishes include oak, maple, bamboo and other exotic woods. Cost can range from $1 to $4 per sq. ft., and the small size of the room makes it possible to lay a new floor in a day or two.
If the bathroom floor is vinyl, but one that is looking tired and worn out, a coat of paint and five to six applications of polyurethane can give a floor a whole new look. To do the job, the floor needs to be primed first with a specialty primer. It can then be painted using a stencil to mimic a tile pattern or to create a border.
One decorator has experimented with using brown paper bags to create the look of leather or stone on a bathroom floor. She suggests tearing off irregular pieces of bag, gluing them to the floor and topping with four to six coats of polyurethane.
Even a change as small as replacing hardware can give a bathroom a much needed lift. Toilet handles, cabinet handles, and door hardware and towel racks can all shine brightly and give the bathroom some sparkle.
You can even change the hardware and trim on a shower stall from gold to a trendier color, and without removing doors or other shower hardware. It can be done using 220-grit sandpaper, steel wool and elbow grease, for starters. Once the hardware has been thoroughly scraped, spray-on automobile primer needs to be applied. Metallic spray paint in black or another color goes on last. The technique can even be applied to shower fixtures.
Simple things like a new toilet seat and faucets are relatively easy and inexpensive fixes. Along the same line, a new or refinished bathroom mirror will add focal interest, reflect light and won’t flush the budget down the drain.
Painting Your Vanity
If your vanity is in good shape, but just a little dated, you can try your hand at painting it to give the bathroom an update. There are many ways to paint a vanity, depending on the material.
Chalk Paint is all the rage this year, and many find that it’s ease of use and the lack of prep necessary make it a great alternative. It’s relatively easy to get exactly the look you want, whether its an antiqued look, a shabby chic style, or a modern finish. You just have to make sure you use the proper top coat to keep the moisture at bay.
Check out my Pinterest Board for Chalk Paint Tips and Tricks:
Thanks to our favorite home inspector, David Goldberg, for an excellent guest article.
David Goldberg – Home Inspector
Reliable Home Services, Inc.
PO Box 5159
Laytonsville, MD 20882
ASHI Member #101584
MD License #29322
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If You have a remodeling project in mind, contact us for a list of professionals we’re proud to recommend.