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the kids’ bath mini makeover

    Some people go to tropical places for spring break. Others spend their week redoing the kids’ bathroom. I wish I was in the first group, but as I look at my typing fingers, I see lots of dried paint which pretty much gives my spring break activities away.

    I’ve posted about the kids’ bathroom before with before shots and some inspiration. And then I waited two years to actually do anything about it.  While driving home this past weekend from a little beach trip, I suddenly felt the urge to tackle the room. Nothing too intense, just a lot of paint, some hardware and a new light. My hope was to get it finished this week, for as little money as possible. So far, so good.

    Here’s the before:


    A nicely sized room with decent lighting and everything functions fine. But it’s just so boring. I thought a little bit of color, brighter walls and painted cabinets would make a huge difference and make the space fun for the kids.

    So tuesday morning, the boys and I set to work (they only lasted through the priming).


    This is the third time I have painted cabinets in our house; the kitchen was first – which received oil paint for durability and have held up very well and the laundry room was next. I used latex in there because oil takes forever to dry and I just wanted a quick fix. After a year, they are doing perfectly so I decided to go the easy route again in the bathroom and use latex. I shared the process of painting cabinets here.


    To help the existing laminate countertop blend in, the cabinets were painted gray. I used leftover paint from our bedroom (Bedford Gray by Martha Stewart). The paint makes the cabinets look instantly cleaner and more modern and I’m so happy I finally painted them!


    The walls are getting a much brighter shade of white (the photo was snapped after the first coat). I never thought of our walls as being dark, but once they were white, it feels so much lighter. The white is admittedly a bit sterile (pure white by sherwin williams) but hopefully once there is art and a few accessories, they will warm up a bit.

    Next up:

    • finish up a fun painted wall (if you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen it in it’s first stage!)
    • decide on the backsplash. I’m thinking white subway tile all the way up the wall behind the mirror and on the sides of the vanity walls. I’ll have to enlist the help of my handy husband for it, or learn to tile.
    • add a frame to the mirror. Originally I thought I would replace it with two separate mirrors, but I don’t really want to spend money on new mirrors in here and the big mirror actually works well when multiple kids are in the bathroom.
    • new light.
    • hardware for the cabinets.

    My hope was to finish the room this week, but these things always take longer than expected – and turn into larger projects than intended – so I’ll take the next few days off to finish out our spring break doing more kid-friendly things like going to grandma’s house to play with her puppy.

    More to come …

    7 thoughts on “the kids’ bath mini makeover”

    1. Quick comment on wanting two mirrors, but not wanting the price tag:

      Find the two new/used/salvage frames you like, and then take the large mirror to a local glass company to cut it.

      I did this with one of those mega-sized bathroom mirrors when we swapped out for something in a frame. We ended up with two perfectly great mirrors about the size of “dressing room” mirrors. We hung them on the backs of the kids’ bedroom doors. We only made one cut down the middle, since we weren’t concerned about a precise finished size, so it was only about $7. They also ground down the sharp side where they cut, so it is safe with the edges left exposed.

      Hope this helps you get the ultimate look you want, without having to spend much. Good luck!

      1. What a great idea Terri! I wonder what is holding our large mirror up? I’m afraid it’s some sort of caulk adhesive since the family that lived here thought they were “handy” and weren’t.

    2. I used a spray can of oiled bronze- Krylon for my light fixture redo and new glass shades and Edison bulbs. I also painted my cabinets and painted the frame around the one large framed mirror. it was white and i used brown with bronze, copper and gold dry brush. It makes me so happy. I haven’t painted the walls yet. I’m thinking of a neutral beige. I can’t wait to see your before and after photos!

    3. I admit I saw the ombré painted wall from Instagram. I just have to say: “love it”! You have such great ideas. I am so inspired by you. Thank you for sharing!!

    4. sitting here looking at my white paint speckled fingers as I type too….my office to be exact. loved your pic on instagram of the waves on the walls….can’t wait to see the finished product!

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