Vanessa Grant

Guest Blogger

Vanessa Grant

Vanessa Grant is a lifestyle writer and Online Editor at the

Shoestring Makeover: My Dark Bathroom Gets a Bright Makeover With a Can of Paint

Posted by Vanessa Grant Tuesday, July 19, 2011 8:52 AM EST

Bathroom Makeover

When we first visited the house that is now ours, the bathroom on the second-floor was dark, had junk everywhere, a broken vanity and walls that matched the light brown tiles on the floor.

We understood immediately why the house had been on the market for 40 days -- to say that the sellers didn't know the first thing about staging is an understatement.

With a little imagination, we were able to see the potential in the room — and just how easy it would be to make it look decent...

The Good and the Bad:

  • The antique, claw-foot tub was charming, but the inside was peeling and dirty.

  • The beadboard wainscoting was pretty, it just needed a good cleaning and coat of paint.

  • And lucky for us, the giant, gold-framed mirror came with the house.

  • The window is gorgeous, unfortunately it looks out at a brick wall (the house next door) but nothing we could do about that.


What We Did and Why:

  • The first thing we did was paint. We chose Para Paint's West Coast Shoreline P5166-14, a blue so pale in the can that my parents accidentally painted some trim on the first floor with it. On the walls, it looks chic and spa-like, if I do say so myself, without a hint of little boy's nursery blue. It complements the gold mirror and even the tiled floor.

  • We replaced the vanity and faucet and chose a beige, speckled top to complement the floor and make it look like it belongs.

  • We also added an antique medicine cabinet (a parental hand-me-down).

  • We had the bathtub refinished. While not for everyone or every room — particularly those who have little ones and/or use the bathtub daily — refinishing is perfect for antique fixtures. Imagine having to pry that 300-pound tub out of our little bathroom?

  • Keven from Long Lasting Quick Fixtures in Toronto, removed the old dirt and peeling finish then sprayed the tub with a non-toxic acrylic coating system. Twenty-four hours later the tub was ready to use.

  • The only downside to a refinished tub is that you have to treat it fairly gently. It's not great for those who regularly dye their hair and the tub has to be wiped clean and left relatively dry after use.


The Total Cost:

About $550, with the tub refinishing making up more than half of the cost (although still very affordable). The vanity was on sale and my fiance is handy and did all the plumbing himself.

So what do you think? How did we do? What would you have done differently? (Be kind. This is our first house.)

Topics: Bathtub, Design, DIY, Blue


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