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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

The Primary Bath Finally Gets its Refresh - and it Only Took a Weekend

Painting and refreshing our primary bathroom has been on the project list since we moved in... which I can't belive is almost 4 years ago now! The Primary bath formally hit the 2023 Project List, but we all know that list was blown up a bit thanks to our basement flood. And thanks to the crack in the floor of our shower and having to replace that, we knew it'd be one on the 2024 Project List that we'd probably, actually, accomplish. And indeed that was the catalyst for finally getting the checkmark on this one. Before we show you all the updates we made in just a weekend's time, let's go quick back to the beginning!

Primary Bath Project History

Here are the photos of our bath from the listing when we bought it. Nothing wrong at all with a little creamy white palette, but outside of removing the wall mirrors that mostly just were creating scuff marks on the wall...

primary bathroom from listing

and the only towel bars in the room that flanked the bath in an awkward way...

primary bathroom from listing

our projects in here have been very minimal.

First we added a two-way shade in the water closet to allow for privacy AND a view.

two-way shade on bathroom window

The water closet also got a new toilet when we flushed three toilets in the house for good (remember that BLACK DOWNSTAIRS TOILET?!).

water closet toilet with flower print above

Then we did a quick vanity drawer organization fix that still makes me happy to this day.

vanity drawer organizer

Pretty simple updates until the leaking shower forced us into a bigger reno in here. We hired that replacement job out and told them to leave the new drywall paint job to us. This wasnt the only water issue we'd been having and knew we'd have more painting to do. Our ceiling has had some marks on it and needed a clean-up and/or paint job. After calling roofers and attic folks for consults, it's a condensation issue. So luckily not a roof issue, but we are going to be adding another exhaust fan and insualtion in the attic above to help mitigate more of that.

new shower in primary bath

Bathroom Refresh Updates that Only Took a Weekend!

Alright, now for the new stuff. I mostly wanted to give it a style update to better flow from the look and fee from our primary bedroom. Before we could paint and decorate, we had to tackle some drywall cleaning and repair on both the ceiling and the walls from where we removed the previous owner's hardware.

Drywall Cleaning and Repair

Outside of household bleach for an initial pass at cleaning up the water stains that were on the ceiling like I have shown you before, i rounded up some new tools and materials to help make this job go quick:

  • A wall repair kit

  • Wall texture spray

  • A can of ceiling paint and primer in one

  • Gloves and a sponge

drywall and ceiling repair materials

The towel bars were anchored to the wall with big drywall screws that i had patched up quickly. But i didn't try very hard to blend in the repair with the orange peel wall.

drwywall repair patch

Afer sanding down and cleaning it the wall area, i hit it with some of this orange peel wall texture. I wasnt sure what to expect with this, but found it basically blasted littld blobs of wall texutre that changed from blue to white when dry.

hand holding wall texture sprayer

I did a couple passes over the area and dabbed some of the bigger pieces down with the sponge to help it blend in more to the area around.

wall showing texture sprayed over patch

For the ceiling, I first cleaned the water marks with a bleach/water mix, then used the wall repair kit to fill in areas where the ceiling has cracked, trying to blend in a bit with the texture of the existing ceiling.

ceiling cracks with wall repair

The repair kit came with some handy squeeze tubes and other gear to help blend it in.

hand holding wall mending agent

Once dry, i decided to hit the areas with this spray can of ceiling paint and primer in one with this handy upward nozzle. I was PRAYING this would blend in well enough wiht the existing ceiling paint to avoid a full ceiling paint job. I used light strokes and it went on really easy like spray paint.

hand holding ceiling paint spray can

While i was at it, I even hit the can light fixutres that had turned VERY yellow over the years. This little change ALONE makes this room feel so fresh. Also, is this picure giving anyone else Monsters Inc. vibes?

can lights spray painted white

Painting the Bathroom

Like I mentioned, I really wanted this room to flow well off of the primary bedroom - a mix of neutrals and whites, anchored by a dark bluish grey focal wall - Antique Tin by Behr.

primary bedroom bed with dark accent wall

During a trip to Home Depot, I grabbed a handful of color options in a similar palette. Outside of the white and tan vanity and molding, I wanted to keep our bathroom runner rug and wanted the color to also blend well with that. It has blues and reds, but reads more blue in person. So i taped up some paint chip samples and walked past them for a week or so.

paint chips taped on wall near floor an drug

Even moved them around to se how they'd look against the existing tile bath surround. While i'd love a total overhaul in here with different more modern materails, the ROI is just not there for this room right now. (You can really see the yellow can lights in this pic!)

paint chips taped on wall by bathtub

In the end, we went with Flint Grey by Behr in an eggshell finish. A darker blueish grey - but not as dark as the bedroom. The paint dries a lot darker than it appears here.

paint supplies

With so many different ups and downs, doors, windows and fixtures, i was going to use this room to test and practice my freehand skills and decided to start painting without taping. But quickly decided this was A BAD idea with such a dark paint and learned the room was actaully going to end up being a test and practice on my taping skills. I mean, look at this tiny, but tricky area.

blue taped area ready for paint

Tape on, i could work a lot messier and faster. Did practice my ceiling freehand though! Not the best, but getting better!

bathroom with blue grey paint cut in

Bathroom Decor and Finishing Touches


With the walls a new beautiful grey-blue, I quickly move into accessorizing and decorating. While we wanted to keep the rug, i decided to add a rug pad to help limit sliding a bit.

rug gripper

Best part of this is that you can easily cut them down to size. The 8' was much cheaper than the 6' for some reason, and for our 7' rug, a few snips and this worked great.

bathroom rug gripper

Wall Art

I've struggled with what to do with the wall space around the tub. We didn't like having the towel bars there so far from the bathroom, so I ultimately decied I'd hang some art on both sides. I found these large frames at target that frame an 11x14 print. The frame color matches the frames we have in the bedroom.

threshold poster frame

Picking art for a bathroom is kind of weird and tough. I ultimately found a couple of sketch prints on Etsy of a male and female hanging out in their towels that were an instant download and I had printed at FedEx on 11x17 cardstock.

bathroom with male in towel wall art

Hank is very bothered by the fact I have "a naked lady" on the wall. But I assure you, I did not choose the most provacative option from the Etsy seller! At some point I may swap these to a landscape or something like that, but I like how these lighten up the space and coordinate with the sketch we have in the water closet.

bathroom with woman in towel wall art

Towel Hardware

For the first time - we assume ever - in this room, we finally have wall-mounted hand towel bars!

bathroom with blue walls and ring hand towel mount

Also added a small hook just outside the shower to hang towels for easy access.

wall hook for towel

With new hardware, I just had to get some new lighter color towels to complement the space. Can't let the kids get all the new bathroom gear lately! Found these big lightweight bath sheets on Amazon that we're already loving and mixed it up with some turkish handtowels with pretty fringe detail.

Tommy bahama bath sheets

Glass Vanity Light Shades

For a final quick fix, I decided to swap out the glass shades on the existing vanity light. Since I kept all hardware chrome in here, the base of the light is fine. But i wanted something a little more clean adn modern looking than the frosted fluted tulip shape.

bathroom vanity with frosted glass shades

Found these clear glass striped ones at Home Depot. Since you can see more of the bulb through the glass now, I also swapped the regular LED bulbs for clear glass LEDs which is a nicer look overall.

bathroom vanity light with clear glass shades

We had 60W bulbs in here before, but I thought we'd try 40W bulbs just to see if the light could be softer a bit while still being useful for bathroom tasks. So far it seems to be a good combination.

bathroom vanity light with clear glass shades turned on

The Final Look

A little moody, a little calm, a little more modern - we love how this refresh turned out.

primary bathroom with blue grey walls

Minus the shower, we can definitely call this a no demo reno.

primary bathroom with blue grey walls

The room feels so much more finished, polished and useful. A great space to retreat and relax... just kidding. This bathroom is still the highest trafficked bathroom we have. But it certainly looks GOOD now.

abbey washing her hands in bathroom


Need to fix and refresh your bathroom? Here's what we used:

Repair and Paint

Decor and Accessories

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of the product links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

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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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