DIY Doris – Little Boys’ Room

We here at The Ottoman Empire are taking a little bit of reveal reprieve to give you the second installment to a previous DIY Doris post.

Dear DIY Doris,

I have two rooms in my home that I need help with.  One is referred to as “the little boys’ room”, the other, “the little girls’ room”.  They are, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, bathrooms.  The little boys room is a small half bath with a baby blue toilet and baby blue sink.

I am working on a VERY small budget, everything must be DIY, and I am stuck.  I can’t replace the fixtures at this juncture, but I must do something!  Any suggestions for  paint colors that will play up the quirkiness of these two rooms?  There’s no way to disguise them, so I might as well embrace what I’ve got.  Right?

Thanks so much,

Bathroom Boondoggle


Dear Boondoggle,

Now…this bathroom has some redeeming qualities, like the great sink and the shutters. It is not, however, without its challenges. For example, the “wood”…with the gold stenciling. I think we both know where I am going with this. Paint.

Looking at the blue fixtures, I immediately think beach-y, water-y colours, like pale blues and greens, with sand colours like tan. Perhaps I am being influenced by the ship wallpaper border. That, of course, needs to come down.

I would paint the “wood” cabinets a crisp white, and change out the hardware. Since these cabinets have such a glossy finish, they will require a light sanding, which will also take care of the gold stenciling. Without sanding, the outline of those vines would be clearly seen through the paint, no matter how many coats are applied. Then a good primer, and paint. In this instance, I am a fan of a dedicated primer, as opposed to a primer/paint combination. It will ensure good coverage, and be insurance against paint bubbling and peeling in the moisture of the bathroom. I would also paint the shutters. They look to be in great shape, and a coat of white paint would give them a beach house/cottage look. They would look great from the outside, as well! A can or two of good quality white spray paint is the easiest way to deal with them.

I would replace the back-splash with something…anything! It could be painted, or you could investigate some of the many “stick on” products available to cover up unsightly surfaces.  These are acrylic sheets applied with double sided tape, and made in all sorts of pattern to replicate embossed tin ceilings, bathroom tiles, wood, bead board, etc.  They are also designed to stand up to the moisture in kitchens and bathrooms. These products are a little pricey, but you are paying for convenience, and ease of installation.   It can literally be done in minutes. If you are really feeling adventurous, you could attempt a small DIY tile project! It is a small space, and would require very few tiles. It would be an opportunity to add a little sparkle or personality with some glass mosaic tiles, or white subway tiles, or round penny tiles… O.K., I can get a little excited about tiles.

On the walls, I would love to see a fresh watery green. It would modernize the fixtures, but they would still maintain that retro/vintage appeal. It also won’t fight with the countertop. There are a number of water, sea, and ocean inspired accessories available for you to complete the look you want. Simple accessories are best to keep things looking fresh and updated, and they needn’t be expensive. Discount and dollar stores can often provide interesting items to finish a room, as well as second hand stores like Value Village.

Anytime one takes on a lot of painting projects, it can seem overwhelming, and more often than not, people get frustrated, and walk away with the project half-done, and never look back. When beginning a project like this, it is important to plan carefully, and set realistic deadlines. Some things to consider:

  • Are you going to remove the cupboard doors to prime and paint them?
  • Where are you going to store and paint them?
  • How long is the drying time between each coat?
  • Where are the things in the cupboards going to live for the next 7-10 days?
  • Where will the painting tools and equipment be stored between coats?

Taking some time to plan for these things will eliminate unnecessary interruptions and frustrations, as well protect belongings and other areas in your home. Take the time as well to make a detailed supply list, and save yourself emergency trips to the hardware store to get more painters tape, sand paper, or roller sleeves. Every time you have to leave your house, it takes an hour away from your project.

Good luck in your renos!

In design,

Doris ♥

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