Home » Our (teeny) Budget Bathroom Makeover, Part 2

Our (teeny) Budget Bathroom Makeover, Part 2

Hey there! Were you in suspense after reading Tuesday’s post? You lost sleep, didn’t you? Yeah… sorry ’bout that. I fully intended to post Part 2 yesterday. However, I ran into some tech issues and spent the day learning that I don’t know squat. But never fear! We are back with part 2 of Our (teeny) Budget Bathroom Makeover.

our teeny budget bathroom makeover, part 2

Recapping from the last post: I knew what I wanted to change, how much time I had, and “the feel” I was going for. While there was a lot I’d have loved to tackle, I had to pick my battles. I had the hub’s okay to go ahead, and a budget we agreed on.

Soooo, about that budget…. Before he headed out of town for his trip, he left me with money for groceries.  That’s what I used. I ate pretty simply so I wouldn’t have to buy much food -if any. Knowing I was working on this bathroom update, he gave me a little extra. All said, I had about $125 to work with. I tell you this because I want you to know we didn’t just grab money from the bank and go spend it. We had to **squeeze** it out of somewhere. I see other bloggers’ budget-makeover posts all the time, with spending limits way out of my league. I stalk these posts and pins like a creeper, looking for ideas. It can get downright discouraging when most folks’ idea of “cheap” is your idea of “prohibitively expensive”. But take heart!

Everybody’s got a different threshold. Mine’s different from yours. The common threads you’ll find, though, are creativity and patience. Those two qualities will get you farther than anything else, big budgets included.

(I stink at patience, by the way.)

I kissed my Handsome Prince adieu and set to work. First, I took inventory of what I had and prayed. (That’s what I do. I take that whole “Jesus Is Lord” thing pretty seriously. So, I prayed.) I asked for creativity, and for patience. (See above). I asked for wisdom on how to spend what I had and how to use what I already have. I asked for wisdom on tackling these projects- especially since I had no experience with most of them. And I asked for clarity of mind so I didn’t cut any fingers off. Hey, you never know.

I had a good idea of what I had to work with. Next came shopping. Before I left the house, I settled on a couple strategies that all depended on what I found. I limited myself to salvage stores and clearance aisles, so a lot of my decisions were made as I shopped. I kept in mind what my priorities were, and broke up the bathroom in phases. I had to concede that some projects were going to have to wait for another time. Starting at one end of town and working my way back home,  I had a blast! And I came back with a good haul. I was stoked!

budget bathroom makeover, part 2

See? Totally stoked. (I know. What a nerd!) As I went along, I took pics with my old flip phone. The photos are pretty pathetic, I’ll admit. Blogging wasn’t even on my radar then. But they’ll have to do for now. (Part four will include technical upgrades. Stay tuned.)

The trim had to come down first; then the floor-to-ceiling cabinet had to go. It was HUGE, obtrusive, and too deep. (The premiere go-to spot if you’re playing hide-and-seek at our house.) This beast dominated the whole room. My plan was to saw it in half, take down the top portion and keep the bottom. I wanted open shelving in the space. I was pretty geeked about sawing that thing up, sideways. I hadn’t used a saw this way before. It’s small potatoes to most handy folks, but it was a new skill for me. (No fingers were harmed, by the way.)
budget bathroom makeover, part 2

By taking it apart, I learned how it went together. And, bonus- I also have some nice plywood for future projects! (In the photos above, I had already removed the doors.) Below is the “window wall” with trim removed. See the dark window frames? Booooo! All the trim, doors, cupboards and sink base were that color. I had already removed the white laminate backsplash (and had total fun doing so. Really! I squeeled.) when I took this shot.

budget bathroom makeover, part 2

With everything off the walls, and all the holes patched, it was time for paint. I didn’t find any good options on the “oops” shelves of Lowe’s or Home Depot. Nor did I find anything at the local ReStore either. That meant I was going to use what I had at home. As you may recall, I had decided on this technique as my inspiration.

inspiration pallet for venetian plaster wall.

I needed to disguise the damage done to the plaster walls from an old water leak. Looking at my paint cans, I had a lot of hand-me-downs that weren’t my taste. This textured technique meant I could mix up a few related colors to work with, and have a little wiggle room on the color wheel. I couldn’t find a lot of info on this technique, called Trowel Painting. I tried. I’ll have to do a post on it eventually because it’s a lot of fun, and it’s rather forgiving. It gives the look of Venetian plaster, but without being Venetian plaster. (Read: suitable for bathrooms.)

our budget bathroom makeover

Three colors were required: a light, a neutral and a dark. The neutral color went on the ceiling, the light color went on the walls as a base coat. All three were used on the walls with the trowel technique.

our budget bathroom makeover

I learned a good deal by trying out this painting method. It was quite runny at times and you can see that in some places in the room. It was great for hiding flaws in the plaster. I also learned not to spray paint the bathroom window frame and the bathroom door while they’re closed. Just thought you’d like to know that. I’d forgotten to get enough paint for the frame and back of the door. Out came the cans and away went far too many of my brain cells. Doh!

The cabinets were next. In keeping with the color scheme, I was going for a soft robin’s egg blue. I used some paint from our living room walls and tried to darken them up a bit. The end color was still too pale. The hardware came from Habitat for Humanity’s local ReStore. Each handle was $2-3, depending on size. I spent under $20.00 for all new hardware. More crappy photos…

budget bathroom makeover, part 2

our budget bathroom makeover, part 2

We’re getting somewhere! The room was SO MUCH LIGHTER! It was also very, very orange. But I wasn’t done yet! Moving forward. Shelves!

our budget bathroom makeover, part 2

Using old fence and deck wood, I topped the cabinet and made a little box shelf for holding aspirin and the like. I was making things up as I went. But it was all such a blast! I loved seeing each phase come together. Even the mistakes. Like those shelves there. Those shelves, you ask?  See, (*clears throat*) I don’t have a stud finder. My Mom always just knocked on a wall to find where the studs were. Naturally, I thought I’d try it. As a result, half of those brackets are in studs. The other half are really close. I don’t store extra shampoo bottles on them.

our budget bathroom makeover, part 2

All in all, it’s not too shabby, considering where this whole thing started from, is it? But wait! There’s more! The best part is next… (Click here for Part 3).


Ok, your turn. What have you tackled with unreasonable odds? What have you learned? Did you lose any fingers? (oh my gosh, I hope not…)


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