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Our Guest Bathroom Remodel: Before and After

Hi friends! It’s taken me a little while to put this post together, but I’m excited to finally share all the details about our budget guest bathroom remodel, including what we did and what we wish we would have done differently!

Here’s what our guest bathroom looked like before:

Our budget guest bathroom remodel, including how to paint bathroom cabinets - freshen up your bathroom with easy and budget friendly diy bathroom remodeling tips ... with bathroom design and decor ideas to match any style of interior - jane at home #bathroom #bluebathroom #bathroomremodel

I know this is a pretty common look, since these tiles were very popular with builders a few years ago.  But the combination of the tan floor and bath tiles, cherry vanity, and gold granite countertop was just too dark for me.  With no windows in this small space, it felt like a cave when you walked in. 

Actually, it used to be even darker in here because the walls were beige, too, but I painted them a couple of years ago (with Simply White by Benjamin Moore).

And here’s the after:

Our budget guest bathroom remodel, including how to paint bathroom cabinets - freshen up your bathroom with easy and budget friendly diy bathroom remodeling tips ... with bathroom design and decor ideas to match any style of interior - jane at home #bathroom #bluebathroom #bathroomremodel  Our Guest Bathroom Sources

I love the lighter, brighter feeling of this space now.  It’s gone from the darkest room in our house to the brightest!

Our Budget Guest Bathroom Remodel

To stay within our budget (originally around $1000, but we ended up spending closer to $1200), we kept the original bathroom layout and reused the same vanity, toilet, tub, mirror, and faucets.  By the way, these are the Bergshult shelves from IKEA, attached with the Granhult brackets.

Our budget guest bathroom remodel, including how to paint bathroom cabinets - freshen up your bathroom with easy and budget friendly diy bathroom remodeling tips ... with bathroom design and decor ideas to match any style of interior - jane at home #bathroom #bluebathroom #bathroomremodelOur Guest Bathroom Sources

1. Paint the bathroom vanity

My first step was painting the vanity.  If you remember, when we remodeled our kitchen, we paid someone to paint all the cabinets.  They came in, taped off everything, removed the old hardware, cleaned all the cabinets, did a light sanding, primed, painted, took our cabinet doors and drawer fronts to their shop to spray paint, and then installed them, along with our new pulls, just a few days later. It was wonderful!

But, as I said, this was a budget bathroom update, so I decided to give painting the cabinets a go.  I figured if it didn’t turn out, I would just have to squeeze the cost of a new vanity into our budget.

Thankfully, I was surprised at how easy it was to paint our vanity–and how well it turned out!

If you’re thinking of painting your bathroom cabinets yourself, see this post for step-by-step tips on how to paint bathroom cabinets.

2. Add new pendant lights

Next, we replaced the old lights with these globe pendants.  I ordered them in the brass finish because I planned to eventually change the cabinet hardware and faucets to brass.  Later, I decided not to go with brass in here, so we painted the metal & plastic parts with matte black spray paint.

I’m so glad we added the new light fixtures early on in the remodeling process because they added much-needed light to this space, making our job a little easier as we tackled the rest of the projects in here.

3. Remove old tile and install subway tile around tub

Initially, I planned to paint the brown tiles in the tub surround with this product.  However, after reading all the warnings regarding fumes, etc., Dave offered to remove the old tile and replace it. (Yay!)

For the tub surround, we went with classic white subway tile, an easy and budget-friendly decision. I did choose a longer, 12″ version for a slightly different look.

I wanted a clean all-white look, so I went with sanded grout in “White.” 

Dave had the old tiles out within a couple of hours, but some of the tile was permanently attached to the wallboard, so he ended up pulling out all the old backer board and installing new.  This added an extra day to the project, since he had to tape, mud and sand before he could start tiling.

Our budget guest bathroom remodel, including how to paint bathroom cabinets - freshen up your bathroom with easy and budget friendly diy bathroom remodeling tips ... with bathroom design and decor ideas to match any style of interior - #bathroom #bluebathroom #bathroomremodel

As you can see, he covered the tub with a piece of plywood so it wouldn’t get damaged during demolition.

Our budget guest bathroom remodel, including how to paint bathroom cabinets - freshen up your bathroom with easy and budget friendly diy bathroom remodeling tips ... with bathroom design and decor ideas to match any style of interior - Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue #bathroom #bluebathroom #bathroomremodel

Our budget guest bathroom remodel, including how to paint bathroom cabinets - freshen up your bathroom with easy and budget friendly diy bathroom remodeling tips ... with bathroom design and decor ideas to match any style of interior - Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue #bathroom #bluebathroom #bathroomremodel  

4.  Replace old countertop and sink

I knew I wanted a white quartz countertop for the vanity, so I went to the kitchen and bath department at Lowe’s and ordered a custom quartz countertop and sink.  Since the vanity top is only about 5′ long, we picked it up at the store and Dave installed it himself, saving us quite a bit of money.

Our budget guest bathroom remodel, including how to paint bathroom cabinets - freshen up your bathroom with easy and budget friendly diy bathroom remodeling tips ... with bathroom design and decor ideas to match any style of interior - Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue #bathroom #bluebathroom #bathroomremodel

Our Guest Bathroom Sources

5.  Tear out old floor and re-tile

I also initially planned to paint the floors in here, and purchased this stencil; however, after Dave finished the tub surround, he offered to remove the old flooring and lay new tile.  (Yay again!)

Our budget guest bathroom remodel, including how to paint bathroom cabinets - freshen up your bathroom with easy and budget friendly diy bathroom remodeling tips ... with bathroom design and decor ideas to match any style of interior - Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue #bathroom #bluebathroom #bathroomremodel

This part of the project happened during the first few weeks of lockdown.  Dave had a bit more free time and was ready for a project, so I ran into Lowe’s one day, feeling weird about being out and about.  Normally, I would have hung around in the tile aisle forever, trying to make the perfect choice.  But this day, I grabbed the first tile I saw that I liked (I knew I wanted something geometric), along with grout and mortar, and got out of there.  

Maybe it was a good thing I was forced to make a quick decision, because I ended up loving the tile I chose. 

Dave, on the other hand, wasn’t too thrilled about grouting around and inside all those tiny tiles–so it’s probably not a choice we’d make again!

 

6.  Add trim to front of cabinet doors

The very last thing we did was add trim to our formerly-flat cabinet doors to make them look more like Shaker-style cabinets.  First, I bought inexpensive 1/4″ thick furring strips at Lowe’s and primed & painted them.

All the details on our recent guest bathroom remodel, along with how to paint bathroom cabinets #diy #bathremodel #bathroomvanity #paintingcabinets

Next, Dave cut the strips to the right size and installed them on the front of the cabinets with glue and brad nails. The extra 1/4″ width on the front of the cabinets does make them stick out a bit more than the drawers, but I don’t think most people would notice–and I like the look much better than flat fronts.

All the details on our recent guest bathroom remodel, along with how to paint bathroom cabinets #diy #bathremodel #bathroomvanity #paintingcabinetsOur Guest Bathroom Sources

That’s it!  I hope this post was helpful to any of you who are thinking about remodeling your bathroom.

I love that we were able to give our bathroom a much-needed makeover, while (mostly) staying within our budget.

Like our kitchen renovation, this project was a labor of love from start to finish, and I’m so grateful for my husband’s amazing talent and hard work during every step of this process. 

After living with this dark space for 10 years, I’m excited to have a bright and cheery bathroom for our guests to use.

If you have any questions regarding our guest bathroom remodel or how to paint bathroom cabinets, send me a message or leave a note in the comments! xo Jane

 All the details on our recent guest bathroom remodel, along with how to paint bathroom cabinets #diy #bathremodel #bathroomvanity #paintingcabinets 

For additional bathroom ideas and inspiration, check out these posts:

How to Paint Bathroom Cabinets

Gorgeous Bathroom Design Ideas You’ll Love

A Guide to Mixing Metals in the Bathroom

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click a link and purchase something, I may get a small commission at no cost to you. For more info, please read my full disclosure here.

15 Comments

  • Melissa
    December 28, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Hi Jane,
    What a beautiful transformation! I was hoping you could share more details around the countertop. I was looking into possibly painting ours, but based on reviews and others trial and error, it seems that replacing it all together is the best approach. How difficult was it to remove the existing countertop and install the new one? Our vanity piece is about the same size/design as yours.

    Reply
    • Jane
      December 28, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Melissa, Thank you so much for your lovely comment and kind words! My husband removed the old countertop by prying it loose from the existing vanity using a chisel, crowbar, etc. It probably took an hour or so, but he was able to remove it without damaging the vanity or the wall. He also installed the new countertop himself, which I think was probably easier than removing the old one. We were actually able to sell the old countertop on Facebook Marketplace, which was nice! If you decide to go this route, you might want to check YouTube for videos showing the exact procedure for removing and installing countertops. I wish you all the best with your bathroom updates! xo Jane

      Reply
  • Laura Knowles
    August 1, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Hi Jane,
    I’m in the middle of a bathroom remodel and am looking at the shelves you have above the toilet. I see that they are Bergshult shelves from Ikea. It seems that they are about 24 inches long at the most, maybe shorter. However, Ikea only have them in 31 inches and 47 inches, which is way too long for my bathroom. Any idea how long they are?
    Thanks,
    Laura

    Reply
    • Jane
      August 1, 2021 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Laura, You have a great eye! Our Ikea shelves are 22″ long. One of the wonderful things about these shelves is that they can be cut to whatever size you need, and the metal endcaps hide the cut end. I hope this helps answer your question — if not, please let me know. I wish you all the best with your bathroom remodel! xo Jane

      Reply
  • Kathryn Hand-Savage
    July 23, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    I love the guest bedroom remodel! Could you disclose the information on where I could find those items. I love the headboard!

    Reply
  • Bathroom Remodel Charlotte, NC
    March 17, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    What a lovely transformation! It instills hope in me for our kitchen! Your selections are awesome! Timeless and trendy at the same time. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  • Sadie
    November 24, 2020 at 8:06 am

    I love the blue you chose for the vanity! We are planning on redoing our bathroom as well. We also had professional cabinet painters do our kitchen and we love how it turned out, but we’re trying to do the bathroom on a much smaller budget so DIY painting it is! Thanks for sharing your bathroom reno! It gave me some really great ideas for ours!

    Reply
  • Julie Kolln
    October 18, 2020 at 11:25 am

    What a beautiful transformation! I wish I knew how to tile!

    Reply
    • Jane
      October 19, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you so much Julie! I’ve never tried tiling either–thank goodness my husband actually seems to enjoy it!;) xo Jane

      Reply
  • Carol Heartfelt Whimsies
    October 18, 2020 at 8:23 am

    What a beautiful transformation!! Gives me hope for our kitchen! Love your choices! Timeless yet on trend, too.

    Reply
    • Jane
      October 19, 2020 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you so much Carol! Your lovely comments always brighten my day! xo Jane

      Reply
  • Leila Capell
    October 16, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Very nice apart from the subway tile which I hate. It reminds me of the underground public washrooms that were in the UK. I’ve never forgotten them.

    Reply
  • Tricia
    October 10, 2020 at 11:11 am

    This is gorgeous. What a difference a little trim makes too. You have lucky guests!

    Reply
    • Jane
      October 10, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      Thank you so much Tricia! So happy to have this project completed! xo

      Reply

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