Bathroom Re-Do


We recently re-finished our main half-bath which I alluded to in a previous post. And today I want to share with you the finished product.


We bought an existing home which was in need of SOME SERIOUS LOVE! But we were up for the challenge. It took a whole summer to remove the wallpaper working almost every night. The previous owners loved their wallpaper and we had several layers to remove. And…they put the wallpaper directly on the drywall in some rooms…what a nightmare! But that is another long post.


The cupboards are still in pretty decent shape, although a bit outdated. My husband LOVES wood working and worked in a cabinet shop when he was younger. When I casually mentioned that I wanted to paint the cupboards black (inspired by my blogfriend Beckie over at Infarrantly Creative…who is amazing!!), he freaked out. Painting good wood was a serious crime in his eyes.


But I kept at it and eventually got him to see the error of his thinking (hehe). We figured that it was just a small cabinet and if we totally messed up then I could get a second job to be able to buy a whole new one.


We took the counter top off of the cupboard and removed the plain mirror from the wall. Oh…suprise…more wallpaper! LOL! We also removed the cabinet doors and drawers.


We sanded the entire surface area that we would be painting. I know some people say that is unnecessary, but we wanted to clean them up extra nice as they had some grease and build-up from years of use.


I primed all the surface area and let it dry completely. Patience!


Then I painted the cabinets black. I had to do 2 coats, and the hardest part was allowing it to dry properly and being very careful about drips! In between the different paint coats, I painted the bathroom a nice tan color. The first color we got was a bit dark for the small bathroom space, so I added some white paint to lighten it up a bit and am really happy with the final color. (So, I can’t give you a paint name). When the black paint was dry on the cabinet, we painted on a layer of water-based poly-urethane varnish to protect the paint from chipping. It really finished it off nicely.


Then we added a framed-in mirror and a much brighter and updated light fixture. I just love how it turned out. Unfortunately, the rest of the family feels the same way and it has become the most congested bathroom.


Thanks to my hubby for relenting and letting me paint the cabinet (who, by the way, loves how the cabinets turned out) and for the use his muscles. And thanks to Beckie for giving me the confidence to go through with it.

Amy Huntley is the owner/author of The Idea Room. A mother of five, who enjoys sharing her love of all things creative in hopes of inspiring other women and families. Connect with her on Google+, or read more of her posts.


  1. 1
    Stephanie Lynn says:

    The cabinet looks amazing! I love the frame around the mirror too! So you mind me asking if the mirror frame was a kit or hand cut molding? I have a couple mirrors I would love to frame – just trying to find the best way. Thanks! Looks fabulous – Great job!

  2. 2
    Michelle says:

    Fabulous transformation! It also seems to have been accomplished without having to spend much money. I love it! Thanks for sharing with us Amy.

  3. 3
    HomeSpun Threads says:

    I love redoing bathrooms! It turned out fabulous! Great job you guys!

  4. 4

    Your bathroom its excellent!!!!!!!
    I really like it.

  5. 5
    Bathroom Suite says:

    nice photgraphs of the ongoing process. cant wait till my wife decides on the pot she wants in our new bathroom and we can get going :) good blog :)

  6. 6 says:

    I love the new look, great job! =)

  7. 7
    Geezees Custom Canvas Art says:

    The new bathroom looks fantastic!

  8. 8
    pmthreads says:

    Wow! What an improvement! Love the new countertop too.

  9. 9
    Heather@PixieDust says:

    it looks great!!

  10. 10

    Beautiful! I'm curious about the mirror frame, too. We got new granite countertops in our bathroom over a month ago and still no mirrors on the wall.

  11. 11
    Love Being a Nonny says:

    Fabulous! Love it! I NEED to frame a mirror so bad!!!!

  12. 12
    Red Door Home says:

    Definitely worth all the hard work!

  13. 13
    Hillcrest Acres says:

    What a difference. It looks fabulous.

  14. 14
    Kristen Duke Photography says:

    Awesome! I am in the middle of painting several really nice wood pieces that I think just needs a makeover. My hubby was skeptical for a while, now he says, "you are in charge of the inside of the house). We had to do a complete bathroom re-do last summer b/c our cheap cabinets were falling apart.

    I love the mirror frame. Did you piece it together or buy an existing frame?

  15. 15
    Kristen Duke Photography says:

    oops, I forgot to close my quote….and I'm not the only one asking about the mirror frame, popular question

  16. 16
    1 Funky Woman says:

    I love it! I have wanted to paint my bathroom cabinets black for so long, I think I will have to show this to my hubby! Great job!

  17. 17

    Wow…I love the black cabinet and framing the mirror took the room over the top!

  18. 18
    Connie Nobbe says:

    I laughed because my husband is also a lover of woodworking and he also thinks it's a crime to paint wood!

    Great post! Love your new bathroom!

  19. 19

    Beautiful – can you convince my husband about the paint too? He also thinks painting wood is a crime. We've looked at several houses recently that need more kitchen remodeling than was in our budget and he is not a convert to the "paint will save us money" mantra.


  20. 20
    Adventures of a CrAzY LaDy! says:

    You did a FABULOUS job! Thanks for sharing!

  21. 21
    beckaboots says:

    This is awesome! I'm working on getting my sister to consent to painting her cabinets haha I will have to show her how beautifully yours turned out! Great job.

  22. 22

    Beautiful work! I love the black cabinets and the mirror to go with it. All in all it is a polished, clean look and of course you would want to use this bathroom!!!

  23. 23

    The bathroom look GREAT. I'm next!

  24. 24
    Condo Blues says:

    The cabinet looks great. The whole room is very sophisticated.

  25. 25
    The Harris Family says:

    It turned out beautiful. I love the black.

  26. 26
    Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife says:


    Great work. I LOVE the black cabinets! I'm glad the husband gave in!

  27. 27
    Sara and Wade says:

    Great job! It looks really, really good! I have an upstairs bathroom that needs some major work (it has monkey wallpaper) – I may have to do the same thing!

  28. 28
    Sara and Wade says:

    Can you post a picture of the cabinets, now that they're all spiffy and black? Would love to see how they turned out!

  29. 29
    Julie Harward says:

    Just beautiful…looks a lot like my main bathroom, same mirror too. Re-do's are great! Come say hi :D

  30. 30

    Thanks guys! The mirror is a pre-framed mirror that we found at Home Depot. It was $70. We had plans to frame it in but when we found that one at such a good deal we bought it. But…we have a huge mirror in our Master Bath that we are framing in ourselves. I will be sure to post about that when it is finished. We will be hand cutting molding for that mirror.

    Thanks anon for the heads up on my typo. LOL! I fixed it!

  31. 31

    It is beautiful!!! How did you get the mirror to stay up there? I am doing the same thing for my bathroom.

  32. 32

    Fabulous. I love what you've done.

  33. 33

    Looks great!

    I would love some tips on how to remove wallpaper! We are also buying a older house that has A LOT of wallpaper. Is there anything that worked especially well?

  34. 34

    I think the fear of painting good wood is a guy thing. Hm. . .I Love the cabinets.

  35. 35

    It looks amazing! You guys did an awesome job! I love the look of the black and that's what we're doing for our bathroom re-do also : )

  36. 36

    that looks great and you didn't have to break the bank. little things make a big difference!

  37. 37

    I absolutely LOVE your re-do! We are buying a home that also needs lots of love. Just one example…the master bath vanity currently has a HORRIBLE black and white crackle paint job on it. We're looking forward to changing it up–and I hope it looks as wonderful as yours does when we're done!

  38. 38

    I love your cabinet, it turned out so well. I've been thinking about painting my bathroom cabinet.
    Do you think I should take it out to paint it? I suppose I could just take the door off and then paint the cabinet in the bathroom. Let me know what you think?
    You're inspiring me!

  39. 39
    Infarrantly Creative says:

    I LOVES IT…great job and kudos to hubby for letting you give paint a try. What a huge difference. Updated and classic. Perfect Amy!

  40. 40

    the bathroom is beautiful. i love it!!

  41. 41
    Meet Virginia says:

    This turned out so great! I love it!!

    Check out my new


    Meet Virginia!
    Meet Virginia!
    Meet Virginia!

  42. 42
    Michelle Wilkes says:

    Looks fabulous! You are inspiring me to fix up my bathrooms!

  43. 43

    I wanted to say that I am preparing to paint some bookshelves in my home, and my husband say "Why, they're wood" these men…I hope my project is as successful as yours.

  44. 44

    I'm laughing that many of you have men with the same paint issues! My husband keeps talking about how much he likes the cabinets…so there could be hope for the rest of you.

    Carol–I wouldn't take the cabinets out to paint them unless it is an easy move. I just taped the walls right next the cabinet with painters tape so that it would give me a nice clean edge. It worked great. Just make sure that the tape is completely sealed all around so that you don't get any paint under the edges.

    Britley–I could write a whole post on removing wallpaper as I have been doing it most of my life…long story. The wallpaper scorers DO NOT WORK! They just tear up your wall. I like spraying water on the walls and letting it soak in the best.

    No…it did not break the bank. The whole project was around $275. With the bulk of the cost being a new granite countertop. We had the paint and primer already.

    • 45

      Love the look! I am hoping to redo our masterbath but need to save the money. I am definitely doing your suggested framing project but I’d love to update the countertops. Where did you get the granite countertops to fit into that budget? I have a double vanity that needs to be replaced so I know it’ll be more than you paid, but I’d like to see where I can get the best deal. Are your countertops granite or a composite (like Corian).

  45. 46

    Heather–Most mirrors can be hung with and adhesive glue. This particular mirror had some hooks that we hung on some reinforced screws.

  46. 47

    Looks fabulous! Great job!! And I too know that nightmare of trying to tear wallpaper off of a bare wall and no primer or anything! AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL!

  47. 48

    Love what you did! The last house we lived in I painted the powder ROOM black. Everyone LOVED it! I must admit it did look fab. :) At our present home we also painted out second bath vanity black. I think there should be at least a touch of black in every room.

  48. 49

    Gosh, that came out sooo nice. Just beautiful.

    I must be doing something wrong. None of my paint jobs come out as nice looking as the ones I see online. Can you please give details on how and what you paint with…what kind of paint, brushes..etc. I almost always see brush marks. I’m this close to purchasing a spray paint contraptions but don’t want the bother of cleaning them afterwards.

    Thanks a bunch!!

  49. 50

    Can you tell me how to get the original mirror off the wall???

  50. 51
    Shandi Alegre says:

    I want to do this to my guest bathroom too and I’m SO nervous to do it myself but I know it would be so much cheaper then trying to hire someone to do it for me eek! I may try and do my laundry room first and then go for the bath room!

  51. 52

    Hey there! Love your bathroom update! I’m working on an article for featuring bathroom updates from bloggers and I’d love to include yours! I’ll need your permission to use your photos, and of course I’ll link it back to your blog. Unfortunately, I have a super quick turnaround on this and I’ll need to hear from you to today to make it work. If you would like to be featured, please email me ASAP at [email protected]. Thanks!

  52. 53

    I love the new look. I want to know how you got the mirror off the wall without breaking it? If in fact you got it off the wall in one piece.:)

  53. 54

    Beautiful work. Was your black paint a semi gloss, high gloss, eggshell or a satin finish paint? I’ve been thinking of doing this to my own master bath for 2 years now and your results were just the inspiration I needed. Thanks for that final push.

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