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Bathroom progress

Downstairs Bathroom

Well, we’re not completely finished, but the downstairs bathroom “quick fix” is looking really good so I wanted to post pictures anyway….

The Problem:
Downstairs bathroom was hideously nasty. Wallpaper was badly stained (nicotine) and has cat claw marks all over it. Linoleum floor was 70’s orange and curling up at the edges. Ceiling had been painted and was cracked and flaking. Paint chips would fall off every now and then and flutter to the floor. Best part was it’s probably lead-based.

The Goal:
Make the bathroom less frightening without spending a ton of money. Solution is not long-term, since the tub needs to be torn out (it leaks) and the rotting sub-floor needs to replaced. This room looked so disgusting, even I was afraid to pee there and I’m the one who scrubbed it with bleach from top to bottom.

The Solution:
Removed a rusted old medicine cabinet and light fixture, rewired the bathroom, added a light over the toilet and installed two new light fixtures. Just Walmart cheapies for now, but they are still a big improvement. Got rid of the old wallpaper (all 5 layers) and put up new stuff we got for a $1/roll at Menards. Painted all of the trim with paint we had leftover from the dining room makeover. Used some sticky-backed tiles that the previous owners left in the basement to cover up the orange linoleum.

And my favorite part…… we bought some paintable wallpaper from Home Depot (similar to this) that has a great tin ceiling-like raised design. Since the tub isn’t usable, we decided it’d be ok to wallpaper the ceiling to cover up the paint mess. IT LOOKS AWESOME!

Here’s a comparison…. ignore the tools and materials lying all over the “after” :)



Eventually we’d like to add wainscotting too, but for now this will do just fine. No more scaring off house guests – whoooo!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 03.09.05:

Much better! It even looks bigger now.

I wanna see the wallpapered ceiling!

Kasmira had this to say on 03.09.05:

Looks nice. You can’t tell from the pic that you used peel and stick tiles. The whole room looks much brighter and cleaner.

jenne had this to say on 03.09.05:

That looks 1,000 times better!
Wanna come tackle my bathrooms? I don’t even like looking/thinking about them!

Emily had this to say on 03.09.05:

Hey – thats where my missing screwdriver went?? Am I the only one that needs to plan 1/2 hour before I want to start a project just so I can find all my tools? :) Looks great!

Mary had this to say on 03.09.05:

That looks *so* much better! I’m really impressed! You need to come be our consultant when we start dealing with our new bathroom. :)

mindy had this to say on 03.09.05:

I know, huge improvement right? It’s incredible what wallpaper and some fresh paint will do. I was never a fan of wallpaper, but I’ve grown to appreciate it. It makes our walls look flat and smooth!

A little creativity saved us a lot of money on this project. No sense spending tons of cash on something we’re not going to live with for a long, long time.

Emily – We have tools in our china cabinet, in our desks, and in every drawer you open downstairs. You never know where you’ll find a screwdriver in our house! And of course, whenever I really need it, I can’t find a single one. Kinda like pens or socks. The leprechauns must think this is a very cute trick.


Jess had this to say on 03.10.05:


It’s not leprechauns; it’s an inter-dimensional porthole. I am always finding screwdrivers I swear are not ours in our garage and basement. The flipside to that is that we’re constantly losing socks in the dryer. I’m convinced that there’s a secret alter-dimension tunnel from the dryer to some college student’s couch.

Seriously though, your bathroom looks fabulous! If I came to visit, I’d want to use it just to look around and up. :-)

Gayle had this to say on 12.17.06:

Jess, FYI all those missing socks wind up in the back seat of a friend of mine’s car in Los Angeles. He keeps getting a bumper crop of unmatched socks of unknown origin back there…………….we figure there is a wormhole of sorts happening here.

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