1970's Bathroom Makeover - a new style without spending lots of money

We started our upstairs makeover – first by painting our oldest son’s  childhood bedroom, which will become our temporary bedroom while we remodel our master bedroom – and then the  main bathroom, hallway, and stairs that connects them all. I realized that we’ve painted that bathroom four times in 22 years; once just a few weeks apart because the pink I picked out rivaled Pepto Bismol pink.  I added plenty of white to that gallon of pink and lived with the resulting baby pink for a few years.  Not long after I painted the tiny bathroom sand and then wallpapered stripes and fish on the lower half.  Hey, I had young boys, I was trying to put in something they’d like that matched the pink floor and back then wallpaper was all the rage.  I wallpapered everything back then.

Our Budget Bathroom Makeover

I pulled down that wallpaper last week. Thank goodness for the Zinsser® Paper Tiger Wallpaper Scoring Tool ($10.49 at Ace Hardware), best invention ever!  That and a spray bottle of warm water was all that was necessary. Skip their gel wallpaper remover unless you’re dealing with paper before the 1980’s.  After the 80’s warm water works beautifully for most stripping needs.  I did purchase their Zinsser® Paper Scraper® Wall Paper Remover & Scraper thinking it would save my fingernails; unfortunately we have textured walls so it was pretty useless and just pulled off the top layer of paint along with the paper.  I’d skip it and save the $10 unless you have flat walls.

After pulling it down we were left with the sizing I so patiently painted on the walls all those years ago. Many people don’t bother with this step when putting up wallpaper so you won’t always have this issue.  I on the other hand, follow directions so there was a generous layer left behind.  We tried soap and water – no effect.  I searched the internet for help and came upon vinegar as a solution – didn’t work.  I broke down and tried bleach which I’m vehemently against using – it didn’t work .  I resorted to TSP, again totally against using, so the hubby washed down the walls and then rinsed them.  He has no issues with strong chemicals, but he did wear gloves and made sure it was well ventilated.  Sorry, for some reason I didn’t take any photos of the stripping and washing – it was a messy job and it never occurred to me to take photos.  Next time I’ll cover the floor with plastic first to make cleaning up easier.

The bathroom before....the after is going to take a few weeks.

Martha Stewart Living Spring Mist Paint - The centerstone to my budget bathroom makeover

Martha Stewart Living Spring MELT not mist Paint - OOPS!

Next we took to painting. Remember I told you I’ve fallen in love with Martha Stewart Living Low-VOC paint?  Well, I took a trip back to Home Depot and picked out another color which was suggested by the Home Depot Room Visualizer.  The color, a cool and icy green called Spring Melt (MS114), is perfect and coordinates beautifully with Martha Stewart‘s Rice Paper (yellow) and Martha Stewart‘s Sunken Pool (teal) we selected for the hallway right outside.  I also picked up Martha Stewart‘s Tailor’s Chalk (white – MSL001) in semi-gloss for the trim and cabinet.  The accent colors (as decided right this minute) for the ceiling and accessories will be pale steel gray (to coordinate with my other son’s bedroom which is off the same hallway – probably Cumulus Cloud or Heavy Goose) and the Rice Paper.  At least I think so. I’m going for a zen, spa feel without being too themey – so no pictures on the wall of someone having a facial – but something that feels calm and relaxing.  Sure, we still have to deal with the pink floor for awhile, but the green blends beautifully.

Oh, and while I was a Home Depot I was standing next to the cutest young couple looking at the Behr paint. Now I used to LOVE Behr, but now I prefer a low-VOC paint for my home.  I couldn’t help myself, they looked so confused, so I walked up and gave them my unsolicited advice about the Martha Stewart. My husband would be mortified, but not surprised if he knew.   I’m sure they left the store talking about the crazy lady hanging out in the paint department (to be fair, I was waiting for my paint, not stalking buyers – giggle).  They did take my advice and were going home to use the Home Depot Room Visualizer to help them coordinate colors.  It works for all of the brands Home Depot carries. So maybe I’m not so crazy after all!

Next I’m going to start picking out accessories. Yikes!  Who knew there were so many choices!  I’m going to post some of the choices here and hope you’ll help me put it all together.


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