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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Main Level Bathroom Reveal: Painted Walls, Trim and Cabinet

We've got one main level bathroom in the house and in contrast to it's yellow and orange walled adjoining rooms when we moved in, the paint color wasn't nearly as loud in here. It was a curious shade of light putty sage. So not bad, but needed a refresh. The heavy wood cabinet and trim carried into here, and the light fixture is the same old dated tulip lamp look as the rest of the bathrooms in the house. It's most random feature? The black toilet. I just still don't understand that but plumbing's not my specialty so it'll have to stay for a while.

Main Bathroom Before

After painting the walls in our first big round of painting on the main level, I decided to paint the bathroom cabinet myself. I wanted one more try with the Heirloom Traditions paint I told you about for the Multipurpose Music Room Bookcases and Ottoman Bench that I showed you with the gallery wall. If you join their official Facebook group, people all over the country are using this paint to remodel furniture and their kitchen/bath cabinets. It's a seriously inspiring cult following. But before I tackled a really big job like the kitchen, I wanted to see how it would perform. I also wanted to use this as a test to see how I liked the color of the countertops with a white cabinet, which is another hangup I have with the kitchen. We used the color Bone thinking it might end up close to the trim paint color we are using.

The company recommends cleaning with a simple deglosser solution they sell and a kitchen scrub pad. After drying that off, it's as easy as brushing the paint on with their tapered brush and rolling a bit on top to remove your brush lines. The technique really does give a smooth, almost sprayed on finish but without the mess of a paint sprayer.

ugly coat painted cabinets
Paint Prep for First Coat

I took off the silver knobs and taped off the countertop, floor and inside hoping I could keep the cabinet doors on while painting. This was a mistake and not something I recommend based on the type of cabinet hinge we have - the hardware is hidden inside so the door opens on itself. I should have just taken the doors off because I kept fighting the right door folding in on itself and not getting dry enough between coats.

painted bathroom cabinet first coat
First Coat is Called the Ugly Coat

The first couple coats are called ugly coats. It's almost like priming. To get a totally full finish I was happy with, I ended up putting on four or five coats in places. I don't know if I wasn't using enough paint in each coat, but while I liked the outcome and process, I don't think I'll be able to manage that kind of time commitment for a much bigger job but it does look really nice. I decided to find a couple new brushed gold knobs for in here to keep carrying in little pops of gold throughout the house to mix up metals a bit.

white painted bathroom cabinet
New Hardware

We also have been working on painting more main level trim, so after the cabinets, we got the trim done too (I'll share more on that later) but here's the full reveal! The new fresh white paint, cabinets and trim brighten this small bathroom up so much. The toilet, while still very black, doesn't seem as dreary anymore (though I still want to get rid of it.)

white painted bathroom vanity]y
The Full Reveal!

I haven't updated any other hardware or lighting in here yet, except for swapping out the incandescent bulbs for LEDs and changing the shape of the glass lamp shadess. They were pretty dingy and a smaller tulip shape, so I swapped them for slightly larger frosted elongated bell shaped ones that feel like cleaner lines and slightly more modern. Buying some time with a $15 update.

bathroom vanity update
$5 light shade = quick and easy updates!

Our main floor bath in the old house had a pedestal sink so I do enjoy having a true cabinet in here for storing bathroom necessities. I also love having a spot to keep a few options for soap, spray and sanitizer. I gathered them all up in a little serving plate with some faux greenery and finished this room off with a friendly reminder sign I found at Target. Hoping both kids learn to read soon so I don't have to ask them if they washed their hands every. single. time. they come out of the bathroom! ;) I also liked that the shape of this little sign was similar to the shape of Iowa complementing our other art in here.

bathroom vanity decor
Bathroom Necessities

I learned a few thing while getting this room to the state it's in:

  1. Take the cabinet doors off before you paint - you'll save a lot of time and stress

  2. I don't know if I've really got it in me to paint the kitchen myself - but need to start practicing with a paint sprayer before I decide that for sure

  3. Black toilets - still don't like 'em, but they're better when it's not so dark everywhere else.

white bathroom vanity

Need a fix-up? Here's what we used:

Shop-able Decor:

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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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