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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My big bathroom project

Given some confidence from my recent smaller upscaling projects, I took on the task of revitalising my daughters bathroom.  Not wanting to spend a lot of money getting a whole new bathroom fitted while she is so young and capable of trashing a place in 10 seconds, I thought I would attempt to upscale the cupboards myself.

So this is what I started with.

A hole in the wall from removing an old metal medicine cabinet.  I got my painter to make a little shelf unit to fit into the alcove so I can put some decorative knickknacks on it.
The bathroom was actually split into two small rooms with a door in between which just took up a lot of the room when it was opened.  So we removed the door and turned it into an open archway.

This picture shows the internal door frame before we removed it.

I then had these ugly brown wood cabinets which were the original cabinets from when the house was built in the 80's.  They are good solid wood so I didn't want to get rid of them but just needed to give them a new lease of life.

I started by sourcing some lovely little handles and knobs for the doors and drawers.  I then removed all the doors and hardware and drilled the holes for the new handles.

A quick sand down and I then painted all the wood work with Zinsser Cover Stand Primer.  This meant I did not have to remove any of the wood finish and once covered in one coat of this I could just paint over as normal without any heavy sanding or stripping required.

This was a very thick liquid and was quite slow to go on properly but that was not a problem as I was just taking my time with this project.  I could see the project developing nicely even after the primer coat alone

After a lot of online research particularly the advice from the Centsational Girl blog, I decided on the top coat for the woodwork.  Who knew how many different types of paint was out there or even the differences between a Latex Enamel and Alkyd Enamel paint!  I certainly didn't before starting my research.

I went with Benjamin Moore Advance Alkyd Enamel paint.  It dries (cures) to a hard coat which stands a lot of knocks and can be washed clean, perfect for a bathroom setting.  It was pricey at $25 a quart but I did two coats and still have half the tin left as it went on very smoothly.
Located at my local hardwarde store, Strosniders, rather than the bigger ones.

I also learned to spend a bit extra money on some high quality brushes.  In previous decorating projects, I have always been frustrated by bristles shedding from my brushes and causing problems to my finish.  I invested in some good quality, angled brushes for this project and did not have one bristle shed.  I also made sure I cleaned them up well afterwards for future projects, another part I was always a bit lazy about in the past.

So then onto the hardware.  I had to clean up the old hinges as I couldn't find anything nicer in the hardware stores.


Good old fashioned Brasso to the rescue.  It didn't take all the tarnish away but enough to make them usuable.

So all that was left to do was to put on my lovely new handles and knobs and then put it all back together.  I wanted a fish theme so when I saw these on Amazon I thought they were just perfect and not too expensive either.

A new shower curtain, bathmats and towel purchase from Pottery Barn kids (Funny Fish theme) and the bathroom was almost completed.  So here is the finished project.

I am pleased with the results and just need to create some artwork for the walls and find some knickknacks for the shelves and it will be all finished.

Now onto the study and dining room!


  1. That's amazing! How clever you are - I'm very impressed!!!

  2. Brilliant makeover Hazel. Particularly like the little inset shelves from where the medicine cabinet was. Lovely bathroom now, and a fine example of treasure from trash!!
    Mrs Mac x

  3. Well done....what a transformation. Very modern too.

  4. Thank you, just wish I had more time to do lots of other projects. Xx

  5. Cool! Thank you for sharing!