I’ve loved having a main bathroom in our primary suite, but I didn’t really love the existing design. It was retro, but not exactly in the good sense of that word. The photo below shows the bathroom after we had taken down the old accordion-style shower door, and a bulky cabinet over the toilet that felt way too heavy for the room. You can see that phase of the room here in the home tour I published right before we moved in.
Anyway, the room looked like it did in the photo below for about five months. In order to make do until I got a burst of renovation energy, I put up a pretty shower curtain brought along from our old house (care of this hallway makeover, actually!), laid down a vintage rug from Etsy, added a plant, and hung a couple of framed pieces of art. It worked, but I knew it was only a matter of time before I took care of the full room makeover.
Let’s chat about what I had planned for that “full room makeover.” First, I wanted to replace the faucet and update the light. Since the existing lighting was actually attached to the dated medicine cabinet that we inherited from the previous homeowners, that also meant we needed to replace the mirror. Another thing I had always planned to do was remove the vintage wallpaper in this space. If you remember, this is the same wallpaper we have in the adjacent main bedroom. I’ve come to love the wallpaper in that space, but in the bathroom it felt a little too busy. I wanted to change it to a solid paint color to give the bathroom a spa-inspired feeling—something blue/green in tone.
I think it was the completed hall bathroom makeover that really got me feeling motivated to tackle our main bathroom once and for all. As soon as that project was finished, it made the half-finished main bathroom stick out like a sore thumb, so I looped my (very tolerant) dad in for some quick electrical and plumbing work. He came over one afternoon, and we managed to knock out both the faucet replacement and the installation of a new light. I’m pretty confidant in my electrical abilities, but plumbing is the bane of my existence. Know your limitations, guys!
To make things easier on myself, I used the exact same fixtures from our hall bathroom makeover. I reused this faucet, and purchased a smaller version of the vanity lights we hung in our hall bathroom. The nice thing about going this route is twofold: (1) I already knew these fixtures looked and worked great, and (2) using matching faucets and lights will ultimately give our home a cohesive feel in terms of design. It was a win, win, and also made the decision-making process much quicker and easier.
Oh, the one thing I couldn’t replicate from the hall bath was the mirror situation. Since we took out a medicine cabinet in our main bathroom, I needed a mirror that could cover the drywall cavity left behind by the medicine cabinet. I’m not going to bother patching it because it was eventually completely hidden by the new mirror, and also because I figured I’d leave it open in case the next homeowners want to use a medicine cabinet instead. I also didn’t want to permanently cover up that cool 1970s paint message, in case you spotted that earlier on in this post! The pill-shaped mirrors I used in the hall bath wouldn’t have hidden the cavity, but, thankfully, this one I ordered did the trick.
With the new fixtures in place, it was time to turn my attention to one of the last phases in this room makeover: wallpaper removal. I’ve removed my fair share of wallpaper in my lifetime, more than half of that experience coming from this new house alone just in the six months we’ve lived here. It hasn’t been easy, but the payoff has always been worth the effort.
Apparently, fate decided to save best for last because this was, by far, the easiest wallpaper I’ve ever had to remove. I might also have this wallpaper removal kit to thank for the ease of removal. I essentially followed the exact instructions on the package (pictured two photos up in case you want details).
The short story, though, is that I used the kit’s scoring tool to perforate the walls, then I sprayed them liberally with the liquid paste remover concentrate mixed with hot water. I let that sit for 15 minutes to start, then used the included scraping tool to start peeling back the wallpaper. Every single time I took a break from scraping, I resprayed the walls that had yet to be scraped. This allowed for plenty of the liquid remover to penetrate the paper layers, and made removal really easy. I found that the more liquid, the better.
And this is where we stand today. The blue color you see on the walls is actually what was hidden behind the wallpaper, believe it or not. The old paint color is still in great shape, although I don’t plan to keep it. Coincidentally, I do plan to paint the room a blue/green color, but not quite as saturated a tone as this one is. Here’s the color I purchased for the space. I still need to wash all of the remaining wallpaper paste off the walls, then patch the holes, and then I’ll finally be able to prime and repaint. I can’t wait to share the final “after” photos with you! Stay tuned…
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