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I’ve been super busy this weekend finishing up some projects. I’m very excited and can’t wait to show you some of them.

However, because several of them are tutorials (which take a little longer to write up), I decided to share with you a guest bathroom makeover from our old house.

This poor bathroom had an identity crisis.

With its 1970’s light fixture, 
Harvest gold laminate counter top and dark wood vanity,
Sunburst shaped handles that hurt your hands to use them,

and Laura Ashley style wallpaper.

The first thing we did was strip the wallpaper in this room. If you have never stripped wallpaper, there are two types of wall paper stripping projects. The easy ones and the hard ones! Luckily we had an easy one.

Awww, doesn’t Pretty Handsome Guy look happy?!  

The walls had been primed before the wallpaper was attached (as opposed to gluing the wallpaper on top of the drywall (or sheetrock as some people call it.)
Forget the steamer, forget the chemicals, we used these tools:

  • Cheap, cheap, cheap pink fabric softener mixed 1:1 with water
  • Spray Bottle to pour your fabric softener mixture in
  • Paper Tiger or wall scoring tool
  • Wallpaper scraper – We really liked the Piranha shaver since it has a razor sharp blade
  • Or Wallpaper Trim Tool

You start by scoring the wall with the Paper Tiger or similar tool. The more holes the better, so put on some dancing music and get busy.

Then you spray the walls with your fabric softener mixture. Really saturate them! Wait 15 minutes, then spray them again. Now, use your scraper to start peeling. I truly hope your sheets come off in nice big sheets like ours did. If not, you may have to have your walls re-skimmed with spackle or joint compound.

Or, I hate to mention this, but you could paint over the wallpaper. We have two rooms in our current home that this was done in (we know for a fact that the wallpaper was glued to the drywall without priming first.) If you take this route, I want to let you in on two secrets:

  1. Use an eggshell or satin finish paint (it will not show the edges or imperfections as easily.)
  2. Take the time to make sure all the wallpaper seams are glued down and then spread some joint compound or spackle over the seams and sand it smooth. This will get rid of the tell-tale seam lines when you paint over wallpaper.

After you have removed all the wallpaper you need to wash your walls really well to remove the glue. We saturated the walls again with the fabric softener and then cleaned it off. Finally, we used TSP cleaner (available at any home improvement or hardware store) to get the walls perfectly cleaned.

Then I painted the walls a bright Nickelodeon slime green. I kid you not, but I didn’t take a picture of it in that state. My friends thought I had flown the cuckoo’s nest. But, I went back with a creamy lemon glaze and ragged it on top. The result was a beautiful lime sherbert color (perfect for a little boy or girl’s bathroom.)

Next, the light fixture had to go, and it went quickly!

 I replaced it with a four light chrome fixture.
Then, I had to paint over that ugly vanity cabinet:
Now that is looking better! I added new chrome/porcelain pulls.

But, that harvest gold vanity would not stop shouting “groovy dude” whenever I saw it. So, it had to go too. Unfortunately, we were on a limited budget, so I had to get creative.

I fixed the chipped corner and seams with wood putty.
Then I sanded and primed the countertop with Zinser Oil based primer
(A necessity to get the  surface prepped with a super adhesion coat of primer)
so I could do this:
 Beautiful blue water reflections
I painted the vanity top and then added five coats of polyurethane to seal it. I recently had the opportunity to visit our old house and couldn’t wait to see how the vanity top held up over the years. It really held up better than I expected. There was some slight chipping where the back of the sink met the back splash. I should say that our neighborhood has very hard water and this is where the splashed water would hide and sit. So, for the cost of paint, we had a new vanity top that has held up to use for over three years so far.

So, are you ready to see the final reveal? Here it is:
In case you are wondering what ever happened to those sunburst tub faucet handles:
Yes, that is me, installing new valve stems at 8.5 months of pregnant bloated-ness. 
That was also THE day I went into labor!
Anyone else have some crazy last minute pregnancy stories?


41 replies
  1. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Amazing what paint can do! That was such a transformation. My crazy pregnancy story was that I was mowing the lawn 9 months pregnant with my two year old daughter on my hip as I mowed. Went into labor that night!

  2. PKC
    PKC says:

    That looks great! Question about your groovy, harvest gold counter top: What material was it made out of? Is it laminate? I might want to try this on the counters in our old house (which is a rental now) before we sell it.

  3. Momma Rhyne
    Momma Rhyne says:

    Great work. 8.5 month pg! Love it!! I always tried to put myself in labor doing extra hard work, never worked, LOL. You get so used to be pg and huge, you forget how much easier it is to work non-pregnant.

  4. Kendall
    Kendall says:

    You did such a great job- what motivation at 8.5 months! I love the duck theme as well 🙂

  5. Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures
    Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures says:

    That counter was great. The entire change was a good one, but I knew it would be because you did it! I am a dental hygienist. I worked all day and had a doctor's appointment at 4pm. I fixed a dental chair before I left. I got to the dr appt and he said I needed to go to the hospital. I was in labor all day and didnt' know it!

    VICTORIA says:

    Wow! such an inspirational Blog!I'm impressed!8.5 months pregnant Did an outstanding job! Truly stunning transformation!such an educational blog too..I'm thrilled to be your newest follower!thanks for Sharing.

  7. Corinna
    Corinna says:

    This is fabulous! I have an OLD house built in the 20s and I swear it has the same kitchen counter top from when it was built and I have been dying to paint it but didn't know how to prep it or what to use. So thanks for this info! I'm gonna try it….even if I royally screw it up it can't look any uglier than it does right now! LOL


  8. Denise Marie
    Denise Marie says:

    You guys rocked it out!! We had to do the same thing here. We put that blue color on the walls and ceiling. (crazy..I know). We changed the same hardware to the same you chose. Hope someone loves it the minute they see it. For sale. lol

  9. Christa @ Stories of a House
    Christa @ Stories of a House says:

    What a neat makeover! I love how you painted the countertop to look like that. I'd love it if you'd link it up at Project Diaries today!

  10. Sixty-Fifth Avenue
    Sixty-Fifth Avenue says:

    I am amazed it held up for so long, it really looks great! You will always remember changing out that faucet :0

  11. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I'm pretty sure that is my exact bathroom. well, except for the window. I don't have a window. But seriously – EXACT.

    oh, and mine has super super dark black wallpaper with flowers on it.

    Cute redo – I can't wait until i get around to doing mine. but for now it is black wallpaper mixed with frogs for my son. go figure.

  12. Heaven's Walk -
    Heaven's Walk - says:

    Wow! What a metamorphosis THAT was! You breathed new life into that bathroom and took it from the 70's to now! Just beautiful! And I never would'ave dared to paint a countertop, but you've inspired me. Happy MM to you!

    xoxo laurie

  13. Alyssa
    Alyssa says:

    Oh those old handles made me wince! What were those manufacturers thinking? Love the new look though. Very cute and crisp/clean looking.

  14. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    great before & after…love what you did!
    Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my site the other day and checking out my fall mantel.

  15. Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes says:

    Love the renovation on the bath! Gee, that tile looked like it was in great shape for 1970's vintage! I'm glad you replaced the starburst handles, they did make me laugh out loud! Haven't been to your blog of late, happy I stopped by today. Stop by and visit my fairly new blog when you have a moment, I love company! I enjoyed my visit today!

  16. Amanda@The Hand Me Down House
    [email protected] Hand Me Down House says:

    What a transformation! The bathroom is adorable, now! 🙂 I wish I had read your wall-paper tips before we moved into our house (although we still have SOME awful wallpaper left). And LOVE that picture of you — a completely devoted DIY'er. 🙂 Great job, Brittany!!

  17. jerriann
    jerriann says:

    Wow!!!! The counter top is amazing, along with everything else. Thanks for much for sharing your knowledge. My daughter can really use this right now.

  18. Their Mommy His Wife
    Their Mommy His Wife says:

    Stopping by from PoPP 🙂
    do you recall what type of paint you used on the countertop?
    Six months ago we moved into a circa 1981 split-level ranch style (think Brady Bunch meets West Virginia, lol) and the kitchen has faux-butcher block with burn marks and mystery stains. Hubby says remodeling can't happen for a few more years but I so desperately need to do something to them and I love this idea!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  19. - Brittany
    - Brittany says:

    Thanks for your many comments and questions. Here is some more information about painting the countertop:
    I used regular latex semi-gloss paint. If I were you it might be worth it to use an oil-based paint or at least an Enamel (Benjamin Moore makes a water based Enamel called Impervo that is really good.) Then be sure to put 5 or more coats of oil based polyurethane on top of it. And let it dry and cure for a week (don't set anything on it or it will stick and cause a mark.)

  20. Su
    Su says:

    Do you think I could do this to a cultured marble vanity TOP? I bought one at a yard sale for $5 (double sink) but I want it white white not the cream. . it looked white at the yard sale. I gotta go back and read this post again

  21. ★All Thingz Related★
    ★All Thingz Related★ says:

    I can't tell you how much I LOVE the counters!!! Thanks for linking up with Anything Related! ~Bridgette

  22. concretenprimroses
    concretenprimroses says:

    Wonderful counter treatment. I have old faux butcherblock laminate in my kitchen, good to know what I can do. The way you painted the blue is very beautiful.
    I just did a difficult wallpaper removal – I'm jealous of yours and know exactly why your dh looks so happy!

  23. Jenni
    Jenni says:

    I love what you did with the counter top! It looks fantastic! 🙂 And I am glad you had an easy time removing the wallpaper! I know it can be a very painful process! The whole bathroom turned out wonderful, by the way!

    I just love your blog! I will be back again soon!

    Have a wonderful night! 🙂

    {Beautiful Nest}

  24. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    I love it! It just so happens that I have 1/2 a can of Nickelodian green upstairs with my paint supplies. I didn't do a glaze, but it was a mis-tint that I got cheap, so add it to some white paint and made a nice soft spring-y green for the laundry room at my old house. It is amazing how the color brightened up a dreary dark room. I love your redo, it is so cute and little ones would love it!

  25. Anna Vogler
    Anna Vogler says:

    For the hard water stains, you might want to try Sno-Bol toilet cleaner. We use it on our boat when we take it to the salt water. It gets a film on the underneath part that bleach won’t take off. But Sno-Bol makes it PERFECT again! Just wear gloves and be careful b/c it WILL burn your skin. If that doesn’t work, go to the boat section in a store and look for boat cleaning products that is used to remove rust and hard stains. There is one product called “On/OFF” and it works wonders too!! but try Sno-Bol first. Its cheaper than ON OFF boat cleaner. And please be careful using the ON OFF cleaner too. It will burn your skin! i would wear gloves AND goggles! just be careful!!!

  26. Amber
    Amber says:

    I love this project. However, I want to point out one thing. If anyone wants to paint over wallpaper, they should with an oil-based paint. Water-based paint can seep into some wallpapers making them peel. I only know from my time spent working in the paint department of our local home improvement store. Otherwise, this would be a great how-to/DIY at the weekend workshops!

  27. Lady Delores LeBoeuf
    Lady Delores LeBoeuf says:

    Bravo…I will be changing a faucet set in our master bedroom for the first time, then hope to change the other two, whew…thanks for the motivation, Love & Blessings to you/yours…

  28. multitools
    multitools says:

    Wow, marvelous weblog layout! How long have you ever been blogging
    for? you make running a blog look easy. The entire glance of your site is magnificent, let alone the content!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] can re-paint laminate countertops because ours has lasted over three years. You can see them in my guest bathroom vanity makeover where I painted over the harvest gold […]

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