House For Six

"31 Days Of Moving" Day 20: A Low-Cost Spruce Up For The Master Bathroom

Deme Crinion9 Comments

A few days ago I burned your eyeballs with pictures of our less than glamorous bathrooms.  Sorry about that, but sometimes the truth ain't pretty.  And we certainly couldn't leave them in that lovely state for potential buyers.  So, what did we do with this pair?

We had a barely there budget to spruce up these spaces for selling our home.  We were dealing with very stubborn wallpaper in both rooms, old fixtures and just a whole lot of dated.  For a minimal cost we took Tweedle Dee from straight up scary to sell ready!

We had a decent head start in the master bath since we had recently ripped up the gross carpet and put down new floors.  At least in the dressing area.  Time and resources would not allow us to replace the floor tiles in the shower area. 

At first I thought I might be able to paint right over the wall paper.  It was super flat and would leave us with a nice smooth surface.  But I had started peeling the paper in a few spots when we first moved in and painting over those areas left very obvious start/stop lines.

I tried to strip just those walls all the way up to the ceiling and to the corners, but the wallpapered areas we tested with paint were beginning to bubble up.  No shortcuts happening here.  All the wallpaper was coming down.

It took us a total of 7 hours to get all the wallpaper and sub layer off.  It almost killed us but it was the right decision.  As much as we're trying to do only what's necessary to sell this house, I certainly don't want to hand over a bad patch job to the new owners.

With a clean slate we could finally start painting.  We stuck to our resourceful guns and used some of the leftover paint from the 

living areas

.  It was a subtle enough color to keep the space light and bright, without competing with the deep blue wall in the bedroom.

A few more minor changes and fresh accessories, and we were in business....

This home was handicap accessible from the previous owners, so we've removed several unnecessary-for-us hand rails over the years.  Don't ask me why we never took down this one.

The previous owners also had a slight obsession with towel bars.  Which we never use because there's no way to reach that far towel bar from the shower.  So we've been using that eye pleasing over-the-door towel bar instead.  Neither were the best option for looks or function. 

So, down came the bars.  The three on the wall and the hooks over the door.  After a little patching and painting we had a fresh clean slate of a wall.

 We hung two simple hooks and our towels are now within arm's reach of the shower.

Swapping out the old wood toilet seat was a super easy job and made a world of difference in brightening things up in here.

Again, we didn't have time to rip out that wavy trim and patch walls, or update the cabinets, but keeping everything low contrast helps keep the more dated details from standing out too much.

We also finished off the space with the same chunky baseboards we used in the master bedroom.  We had a few scrap pieces leftover from that

bedroom project

and only had to buy one additional piece to finish off the room.

We cleared all the clutter off the counter top.  Toothbrushes and more personal items like deodorant went into the closet or drawers (buyers typically don't want to see anything that gives away the up close and personal details of your morning routine).  We used some minimal accessories we had on hand to corral our less personal daily items.

We put the closet doors back on and stuck a bow on her!  Check it...

I wish we had time to swap out all the beige outlets for crisp white, but using some white switch plates and outlet covers was a good compromise.  And a free one since we had a huge stash in the garage from swapping out the dated covers in the rest of the house.

Budget breakdown for this last minute spruce up.....

Toilet seat - $19.99

Striped rug - $17.99

2 towel hooks - $7.98

Baseboard to augment our scrap stash - $10.97

Stripping wallpaper - two days of intense back pain

Total cost:


Not too shabby!  It's definitely not our dream bathroom redo, but it's a huge improvement from where we began.  I knew the master bathroom was going to be a sticking point for many buyers, but hopefully we were able to show her in her best light, given our crunched timeline.  Never underestimate the power of paint!

Tweedle Dum's transformation is coming up tomorrow...

*This is part of a 31 day series on moving...catch all 31 right


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!