Half Bath Mini Makeover

I am a firm believer in posting positive messaging on the walls of your home bathroom. What better time to pause and reflect on a bit of wisdom than when you have a minute to yourself to rest with limited outside distractions! (I'll stop my description there.) I used to have a framed sign of the "Fruits of the Spirit" in our family's main floor half bathroom: "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (from Galatians 5:22-23). I loved that sign because my kids would read it while they were using the bathroom, and after a few weeks were able to recite those awesome characteristics from memory (and I'm hoping the words then went from head to heart)!

That said, however, our bathroom itself was giving off some negative messaging in the form of a not-so-pretty paint color (a dull, brownish-red) and wood chair rail that was warping from water damage around the sink area. (See Exhibit A, below.)

Exhibit A. Nice idea with the chair rail, but poorly executed.

I have been planning to revamp our bathroom for awhile now, especially since it is the bathroom that guests typically use, but I didn't want to budget very much for it with our other more pressing house projects. So, I decided to take on a little mini makeover myself, learning much along the way. Here is a BEFORE photo below:


First up, a new paint color. I knew I wanted to go with Navy Blue, which I thought would look really crisp with the white beadboard wainscoting that I planned to keep. I selected Behr Bright Navy in semi-gloss for this project, and I really liked how it turned out.


I decided to rip out the wood chair rail and replace it with tile chair rail, a thin row of decorative self-adhesive backsplash tile, and then trim tile. I have never tiled before, and I realize I may have chosen a pretty intense first project as a newbie. Chair rail is not super easy to install, and I had a few mishaps early on with tiles coming loose from the wall and shattering once they hit my slate tiled floor. Doh! I quickly learned the correct amount of adhesive to use to apply the tiles so that they would stay in place.

After measuring the room, I had a local tile shop cut the corner tiles for me rather than rent and figure out how to use a wet tile saw. Even then, I still had to make some minor adjustments at home to get the tiles to fit correctly. My husband laughed when he came home from work one day to find me trying to file a few tile corners off with various kitchen tools (lemon zester, anyone?), then pointed me in the direction of the actual set of filing tools he had out in our garage, unbeknownst to me!

I mostly relied on package directions and YouTube videos to teach me how to grout and apply caulking to fill in the trim around the tiles. My least favorite part about this project was definitely the caulking - attempting to get a smooth line without completely messing up the paint or tiles was extremely difficult. In hind sight, I probably should have painted after I tiled.

My work is far from perfect, but I learned so much from tackling this project and saved us a lot of money doing it myself. It was a great confidence booster too...I honestly think I could install tile on a flat floor fairly easily now and no longer feel intimidated by grout repair around our home. I would guess either would be much easier than installing tile chair rail!

Here are a few more photos of the finished project:

The best news: No more warped wood chair rail! The tile chair rail does not fear a little daily water splash!

I found some fun accessories too, sprinkling in a little gold here and there because I love the navy & gold color combo (and some twinkly lights - because, why not?!).


So, back to positive messaging...Grateful. Give Thanks. Good thoughts to meditate on during those days I'm feeling anything but. Also, when I walk into my newly madeover bathroom, I immediately feel very grateful and thankful that I don't have to do any more caulking for a long while!

I found these reclaimed wood signs at HomeGoods before Thanksgiving, but I am going to keep them up year round as a great reminder.

That's it for the tour of our littlest room in our house! Thanks for reading!



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