Hello friends! This is Kristin from Postbox Designs and I’m going to share a peek into my own home today with y’all! You know I really like you all because I’m sharing my dark little secret today. Everyone has that “one room” they want to keep the door closed to because it is an eyesore. (Anyone with me on this one? Raise your hand!) Well, this was my bathroom that I hated showing to my guests…until now!
Have you ever gone on vacation and had such a great time you wanted to bring back a piece of the place with you? Well, the former owners of our house must have had a grand old time in the Southwest because they literally designed the entire space top-to-bottom in this style. There was hand painted clay tile on the floor, around the mirror, on the counter top, in the shower. There was even matching switch plate covers and toilet paper holder-all with tiny hand-painted flowers.
As you can see, we had our work cut out for us. You have to admire the consistency of their theme though…
No offense to the Southwest in the least, but I’m more of a cottage style girl myself. So after three long years my homely little bathroom had it’s turn on our list of projects.
Like most people, we were on a budget, so we had to make a list of what stayed and what got to go bye-bye. We really liked the size and design of our existing vanity cabinet. It is sturdy and well built so it had to stay. However, the cabinet paint had seen better days, so I knew it needed a makeover.
Wholeheartedly, my favorite makeovers always involve paint! It is inexpensive and doesn’t require fancy tools. Every lover of the cottage style is familiar with one of the best things that has come along to the market: Chalk Paint® and we are partnering with them today to bring you this makeover.
I know you have seen those beautiful black and white cans and wondered if it was as easy as it seemed. To be honest, I had never used Chalk Paint® before, but I decided now was the time to see what all of the buzz was about (I know, I’m a little late to the game here!).
But, before I do any project, whether it is for a client or myself, I always create a Mood Board. I can easily lose myself looking at hundreds (yes, I know-it’s a problem!) of different cabinet pulls or light fixtures. So a Mood Board forces me to narrow it down and put every fixture and finish on one page together. This way I can make make sure I love them virtually before I commit to them in real life. Then I can literally order everything in one sitting and watch all of those beautiful boxes come in!
Want to try one of these items in your new bathroom? Just click on the number links above and it will take you right to each product!
Everything was selected, so we put demo day on the calendar. We sent our three kiddos to grandma’s house and my husband went to work removing our thick clay tiles that were literally cemented into the floor. I carried away the dozens of buckets of broken tile while he went crazy with a sledgehammer. A pretty exciting date night, I know.
After Day One, this is what it looked like. We removed the tile floor, counter top, toilet, sink, faucet, and the entire mirror and tile surround. We also removed those lovely bath accessories and green light fixture.
To add insult to injury, the former owners had also plastered the entire room with mottled yellow wallpaper. So my Diet Coke and I spent a long six hours on Saturday afternoon slowing removing it all. As you can see, we had just a little bit of drywall work to do after demo!
We did hire out the drywall, so while we were waiting on that, we added in a new sub floor to get ready for our vastly improved floor. I selected the tile I had been drooling over for the past two years. We installed dreamy looking 3” Carrara marble hex tiles on the floor that I found for under $10/SF. I swear I could have pulled up a sleeping bag and slept in the bathroom that night I was so happy! But there was more work to be done.
Now it was time for my work to begin. It felt like Christmas morning when I my paint package was delivered. I chose the Paris Grey Chalk Paint® with the White Chalk Paint® Wax. But I was over the moon when I saw the special fluffy paint brushes – the Pure Bristle Brushes, and the MixMat™ that were included-they thought of everything! You can find your own Stockist to buy Chalk Paint® here.
Confession time-I am a lazy painter. I hate all of the prep work that needs to be done. I want to skip to the immediate gratification of seeing my project get transformed into its new shade of lovely. So I was thrilled when I read that I didn’t have to sand OR prime my cabinet before painting! Amazing.
I did thoroughly clean my cabinet, and I removed my old cabinet hardware. I used the special Pure Bristle Brush included and painted the entire cabinet with a coat of Chalk Paint®. It went on very easily and I was impressed with how little dripping I had.
I simply brushed on the Chalk Paint® with the grain of the wood, applying a thin coat. I did use a smaller paint brush (not included in the kit) for the tight corners. I did a total of two coats, letting each one dry a few hours in between. However, it was dry to the touch after only about twenty minutes! This is what it looked like after the first coat:
The next step is completely optional. I decided to distress my vanity to give it a bit more of farmhouse look. Distressing couldn’t be much simpler-it is supposed to look imperfect, so stay loose and don’t take it too seriously! I very lightly distressed mine, using a sanding block, and lightly brushed against any raised edges. With distressing, start light-you can always add more. The Chalk Paint® was extremely easy to distress, and the original white paint of my cabinet now shows through the Paris Grey finish.
The next day I started the last part of the process-applying the wax finish. The White Chalk Paint® Wax is a very subtle look. It slightly lightens the color plus gives a bit of a patina to it. However, the wax also seals the Chalk Paint®, giving it a durable finish. With the wax…a little goes a long way! I dabbed a bit out onto my MixMat™ and swirled my wax brush into it.
I started off applying it in a circular motion so it would really get into the grain of my wood. Then I finished by brushing it with the grain of the wood. Immediately I wiped off the excess with a microfiber cloth. I worked on a small area at a time, because I noticed if I did too large of an area, the excess wax hardened and was more difficult to wipe off. I did let it sit overnight, then I applied a second coat. You can get away with one coat, but I wanted the extra protection since this was in a bathroom.
When I wiped the excess away with my cloth, I added a little extra elbow grease to it, so I could actually buff the finish into a very subtle shine. Again, you can have fun with this-the more you buff the finish, the shinier the coat will become.
To further update our previously sad vanity, I purchased two unfinished furniture bun feet for $6 each, and painted them the same color as the rest of the cabinet. I also bought polished nickel pulls and knobs from Home Depot for a simple update. I’m having a current love affair with all things polished nickel right now and these came in under $4 each! And a quick tip for any of you: if you like the look of polished nickel, it is a fairly big up charge to do your plumbing fixtures in that finish. So instead, bring in elements of this finish in your lighting, cabinet hardware, and bath accessories, where they cost about the same as the other finishes.
My other polished nickel update was my new Savoy House “Monroe” sconces. It is a simple task for an electrician to take a single light opening and create two new ones, like we did. I went uber traditional on my nickel sconces and juxtaposed them with a dark bronze distressed mirror. The scalloped shape is feminine, but the dark finish adds a masculine touch to it.
To keep the neutral look going, I wanted to find a wall color that pulled in the different white shades in our tiles and the newly painted vanity cabinet. I finally settled on Benjamin Moore’s “Balboa Mist”. I also swapped out the old bath accessories for some new polished nickel ones.
A little secret about me, I always include art for a bathroom when I design one for a client. So in our kid friendly bathroom I wanted something cheeky and found this little $2 Etsy print to hang right above our blissfully new Delta toilet. A good reminder to start the morning…especially on those school days!
We updated the old clay tile top with a new quartz top called “Cirrus” made by LG. It meant to mimic Carrara marble, but without the maintenance. This bathroom is primarily going to be used by our troop of three-all ages eight and under, so clean ability is a huge factor! We also installed a new Kohler “Caxton” oval sink, and a new Delta “Victorian” polished chrome widespread faucet.
From the start-to-finish our bathroom took about four weeks and cost around $3,000 to create this make-over. What I love about this bathroom is it didn’t cost a fortune to remodel. By reusing our cabinet and keeping all of the fixtures in the same location, it saved major costs.
I was also able to replicate some of the higher end fixtures and finishes I found (such as my light fixtures and marble floor) for a fraction by shopping around and using online stores. And finally, I saved over a thousand dollars by keeping my existing vanity and updating it with the Chalk Paint®. I’m thrilled with the results-instead of boring cabinets, I now have a slightly distressed piece that looks custom and is full of character.
Maybe you don’t have the budget for a full bathroom remodel…try just updating your vanity! Chalk Paint® has a myriad of colors to choose from, and your vanity can go from ho-hum to a thing of beauty in just a few hours. Swapping out the cabinet hardware, changing out the counter top, and adding a new faucet will complete the look. The kids are back in school now, so this would be a perfect weekend warrior project to take on.
*Thanks to Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan for partnering with us on this post. You can find an Annie Sloan Stockist near you at the link. Paint and brushes were provided, and all opinions are our own.