Upstairs Bath: Running Water & Other Exciting Things

Despite the rocky start, I’ve made so much progress on the upstairs bath this week that it almost feels like I have a magic wand. Except instead of magic, it expels paint. So I guess what I’m describing is basically a paint roller then. Which, yeah, that’s about right. But still awesome.

Here’s what the bathroom looked like on Sunday morning:


And now:


In the last couple of days I’ve patched and painted the ceilings, installed new sinks and faucets, and gotten two coats of a so-blue-it’s-almost-black paint on the walls.

I also removed the most securely fastened toilet paper rod ever. Check this out:


Four screws that size kept that thing in the wall. So basically when that tornado came through I could have just grabbed on to the toilet paper rack to keep from blowing away, which is… reassuring, I guess.


Still on the short-term list for this room is:

  • Cut in paint around ceiling
  • Paint cabinet (I’m thinking white or light gray, but I’m kind of playing it by ear
  • Paint trim (the door is going to wait and I’m going to spray all of them at once)
  • Swap out switches and outlets for shiny new white ones
  • Paint radiator
  • Paint recessed light covers
  • Fix broken showerhead
  • Install towel bars
  • Hang mirrors

So I guess it’s lucky I have a magic paint wand.

Hopefully I’ll be able to knock a lot of the small stuff out before the weekend. On the mirror front, you may notice in the images above that I’ve got some very awkward outlet placement to deal with that will make it difficult to hang a good sized mirrors directly above each sink. I considered for half a minute cutting out the drywall and rewiring, but the truth is that in 3-5 years I’ll probably end up gutting this bathroom and I expect it will be the least used bathroom in the house once the master is done. So I decided to embrace the awkwardness (story of my life) and go with something a little more eclectic than the traditional mirror-over-the-sink:


I have a vision (or at least a Pinterest board) for most of the rooms in Liberty, but so far this bathroom–from paint color to smashing the sinks— has been nothing but snap decisions and having fun, and I’m keeping with the that theme for the wall behind the sinks by using a bunch of old frames I had laying around to make a gallery of mirrors, of sorts.

I’m not sold on the layout above, but I’m working on it. Some of those frames are going to get to spend a little quality time with a paint brush as well, which means that I’m going to have paint in my hair, on my face, and under my fingernails for the foreseeable future.

This bathroom was such a surprise project (one I hadn’t planned to start until basically every other room in the house was done) but if you can’t tell, I’ve really just been enjoying the hell out of working on it and can’t wait to get it done.

25 Responses

  1. Love the paint color and double, no, triple love the gallery idea for over the sinks. Simply awesome!

  2. think that a nice crisp white would look great in that bath!
    as for the gallery, use a role of brown paper or an old box to map out all the frames, trace them, mark the spot for nails, and then use the paper on the wall. saves SO much time measuring, etc.

  3. Is it the same counter? Looks totally different with the different wall color. Nice.

  4. Another idea that came to me before I scrolled down to your mirror gallery idea (which I love): A large and lovely framed full length mirror turned horizontally might do the trick as well. It might need art/architectural salvage/etc. above it to make it not look *too* horizontal on the wall space, but it’s an idea to tinker with if the gallery idea doesn’t fly. I love the intense color!

  5. The room looks great-nice job! Love the gallery mirror wall idea. perfect. I am going to do that right now to my company bathroom. I think it will feel great to have a room done that appeals to you so when you get frustrated with other house projects you can wander into this bathroom and feel more at peace. Besides, now all your helper/guests have fantastic accommandations. Very thoughtful of you!

  6. Spray paint works really well on frames without too much effort. And it come in all kinds of finishes now! Love the wall color!

  7. I LOVE that dark blue/almost black! Beautiful!

    Why not spray paint the frames? The gallery of mirrors is also a great idea!

    1. Oh no, more mature AND I’ve got a birthday coming up soon. lol. Luckily I’ve got some plans for the art on the gallery wall that will probably bump the maturity down a notch.

  8. Love, love, love the mirror gallery idea! At first I thought the paint color was black and loved it!

    1. It’s actually called Corduroy Black, but it’s definitely got blue tones. Reminds me of a chalkboard (little hit about some of the frame art.)

  9. I admire what you do and the way you do it all, but MUST play the “advocate-of-the-devil” here and now: HOW MUCH INSULATION IS BEHIND THE DRYWALL ON THOSE EXTERIOR WALLS? Just wondering? Have a fantastic weekend!

    1. From what I can tell, any of the walls on the exterior of the original house are typical “double brick”–two layers of brick with 1″ of space between. I’m guessing there’s little to no insulation between that and the drywall, but I don’t intend to rip out and replace all of the drywall in the house in one fell swoop (and realistically may never replace some of it), so that doesn’t affect my current plans for this room.

      Like I said, in the next 3-5 years this room will probably get a total overhaul, so until then I’m happy with a new coat of paint.

  10. I love the contrast of colors with the light counter and cupboards and the dark blue wall! The work you have done looks truly professional. You mentioned that some of the rest of your house has been remodeled as well, did you do the work yourself? I have thought about tackling a bathroom remodel before myself, but have not known where to start. It is inspiring to see other people’s handy work! Good luck with your “mirror/frame collage,” I think it will be a success.

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