Look Who’s Hanging Out In Our Bathroom

This guy:

You saw the wall we were dealing with before we removed the not-very-functional shelf and towel bar here:

And you saw it again after we spackled and sanded those holes from the fixtures and painted:

Well now, thanks to two nails (it’s a pretty light canvas), we hung up the DIY art that I made a while back (I originally whipped it up for the bedroom, but it’s nice to tie this color in here and it was aqua overload in the bedroom). Thankfully I used latex wall paint to make the painting (the same thing you’d use on the walls of a bathroom) so it should hold up well in here. It was a complete lucky break that it fits on this wall. And thanks to the ceiling-height shower curtain on the other side of the room, something over-sized on this side of the space actually adds balance, and feels less heavy or invasive than the shelf/towel bar that stuck out from the wall.

Admittedly, the pattern of the art isn’t perfect with the tree border tile that runs around the room since that’s pretty busy (see that up close here) but because we have a plan to redo that with soft frosted white or gray glass subway tile someday it should look nice and clean after Phase 2. It’s not that the tree tiles are terrible, they’re just not “us” if that makes sense. So we figure the room will feel more like our bathroom and not someone else’s when we put up accent tile that floats our boat.

And now for an art detail shot. Ooh. Ahh.

One of the coolest things about my homemade painting is how purty it looks with our blue light. The room just went from feeling beige and builder-basic to feeling like ours. Ya know?

And now for a light detail shot. Ooh. Ahh.

One issue in here that we haven’t explained is that the door is too tight to the floor, so it actually doesn’t open all the way since it gets stuck on this floor grate. So we have added “remove the door from its hinges and shave a sliver off the bottom so it opens correctly” to our to-do list. And then we can have a bath mat outside the tub since it won’t get scraped by the door. Hurrah!

Speaking of the door, the trim around the window, the trim around the door, and the door itself were originally a beige-y off-white color. So things like the bright white towels, shower curtain, and light switch made that feel a little… dirty. We’re crisp white trim folks anyway, so I got my paint on.

I used leftover semi-gloss paint that we’ve used for other rooms (it’s off-the-shelf white by Olympic Premium). And two coats later…

… it was white! Like the towels and the shower curtain and the light switch. Oh happy day.

Here’s the window all glossy and refreshed.

Pretty much still looks like this from the doorway since you can’t see the art behind the door. But once you go inside, bah-dow, art in yo face.

So that’s the latest with our cheap little bathroom update. We love that this step was f-r-e-e thanks to art we already had (sitting around in the playroom waiting to be hung – who’s surprised?) and leftover trim paint. And here’s what the ol’ to-do list looks like now:

  • paint the walls so they have some contrast
  • replace the boob light
  • paint the cream trim white
  • hang some bathroom-friendly art
  • craigslist the toilet and replace it with a classic white one
  • do something to add privacy to the window
  • remove the door so we can shave the bottom to allow for a rug/bathmat (and add a door stopper so it doesn’t squash the art)
  • replace the border tile around the room (maybe in phase 2?)
  • move the blue pendant light to hang centered in front of the window
  • replace the floor tile down the road (just to break things up since there’s so much of it)

So there you have it. Any trim painting or art hanging going on in your neck of the woods? Have you painted any giant canvases to add color to a small room? Or made some quick bathroom upgrades on the cheap?

Psst- To follow this bathroom sprucing project from the start, check out this planning post, this painting post, and this light-swapping post.


  1. Kori says

    I have a designing question for you. We have a small bathroom with dark wood trim and cabinets. We have toyed with painting the trim white, but no other trim in the house is painted. Its all dark wood. Would you paint it white to brighten it up? We painted the walls a light blue.

    • says

      Oh yes, I think rooms like bathrooms which aren’t an open-plan thing (they’re not open with wide doorways to other rooms and are usually more private and set to the site) are great rooms for white trim even if the rest of your larger and more open spaces have dark trim. We have seen lots of homes with wood and white trim in different rooms, so we always say to do whatever works for you!


    • Tirsa says

      The house we bought some months ago came with very dark wood trim in the entire house – as well as doors. One of the best decisions we made was to paint them all white. It had an unbelievable impact on how much lighter the house looks/feels. After you paint the trim in the bathroom, you might love it so much, you just might end up painting all the trim in your house. :-)

  2. Nora says

    I wanted to fist bump/thank you for your recommendation of that tight spots brush for cutting in. My dad and I painted my living and kitchen last weekend, and my dad used a regular brush until I convinced him to try that one. It was amazing! It worked for me, and I’m unable to write in a straight line. Even my old school dad admitted he liked it and said his hand felt less like a claw after using it. So thanks for giving me something to lord over my dad. Ha!

  3. says

    The tree tile looks way better next to the white trim! Those branches just “pop” and look more modern :)

    will your painting hold up in a moist bathroom? Id hate to see it ruined!

  4. says

    EEEK. i love this! i want to DIY some art and hang it in my bathroom so that when i’m doing the business i can look at my wall and say “DANG I AM TALENTED. AND THAT ART LOOKS DANG GOOD AGAINST THAT SLATE GREY PAINT”

    :) hehe but seriously i love it

  5. says

    They do make floor registers that countersink. They are very pretty! (I work in HVAC, so I have limited opportunity to describe any part of my job as “pretty”, I take it where I can get it!) It would require tile work instead of shaving the bottom of the door. May not be worth it for this project, but something to keep in mind!

  6. Bethany says

    Once the bottom of the door is shaved and can swing freely will the towel hooks hit your painting? Kinda looks like it. May need to add ‘install a door stop’ to the list!

    I gotta admit I was not sold on the light at first but it makes sense now that the art is in place. I should have never doubted you!


    • Bethany says

      Nevermind, just saw this was caught by someone else. Y’all have so many backseat DIY’ers must drive you crazy!

    • says

      Haha, no worries! I was thinking the same thing when I was talking to John about taking it down and shaving it. We have to remember to put a door stop in!


  7. Kellee says

    We have been talking about painting our cream trim throughout the whole house to a white. Our house is nearly 70 years old and it looks as though the trim has been painted about 4-5 times (some colors we have spotted have been purple, green, and yellow underneath the cream). Do you have any suggestions for us since we don’t want to remove and replace all our trim to get a nice even coat to cover up some of the chips and scratches? We decided it would be best not to sand it as we are afraid some of the old paint might be lead based.

    • says

      Oh yes, just paint over it! No primer or anything. You could wipe it down with liquid deglosser first to clean it and then just do two coats of semi-gloss white and hopefully that’ll do it!


  8. Sara says

    Loving the changes!!! Methinks the art should be lower, like two thirds down past the tile border…yes, no?? Especially since you’re normally sitting in the room… y’know, the whole art at eye level thing…

    • says

      We tried it at a bunch of heights and in person this one felt best to us! Having it overlap the tile was odd, and with a ceiling-height shower curtain on the other side of the room, over-sized art on this side actually adds balance. We don’t use the art at eye level rule everywhere (generally our only rule is “trust your eye and do what you like best” – haha).


    • says

      Hmm, floating vases are always fun. Ooh or you could find a collection of plates that you love from a flea market or thrift store and hang those in a grouping on the wall! Or you could frame copies of something you love (color copies are great because if they get ruined you can copy the original again). Or you can even frame things like greeting cards or calendar pictures that you like but don’t want to hang up there forever (and just replace them with newer cards or calendar images each year or so if they get a little “compromised” – haha.


  9. says

    Are you contemplating frosting the window for privacy without having to bother with a window treatment in the already-cramped room?
    I am thinking of using the contact paper variety in my bathroom but I’m skeptical of how it will play out with the steam from the shower.
    I’m too nervous to ask the landlords (my in-laws) if I can just use the real (permanent) etching gel!

    • says

      Frosting film is the name of the game! We used it in a moist basement and also have used it on our side door in the laundry room and it works great! It allegedly peels off later too, so it’s good for renters. We get ours from Home Depot.


  10. Hannah says

    Yay happy lamp! I wonder how it would look if you spray painted the cord with Krylon’s Looking Glass to match the shiny accents.

    Also, I loveee ceiling height curtains. It seems like such a recent idea and I’ve always wondered how nobody has thought of this before?! It makes the room look so much more spacious.

    Looking good so far, keep up the good work! :)

  11. says

    OK, I’m starting to really like the space. The white trim really brightens the room up a lot. And the blue artwork makes the light “make sense” in the room (rather than it being the lone blue accent piece).

    • says

      Thanks Ginny! We are too! It’s so funny how going into this I though “I’ll never really like this weird tile all over the floors and walls” but things like art and color and a new light and crisp trim really help!


  12. says

    We painted the trim in our place recently. It is amazing how much better everything looked after we did it. Such a simple and cheap way to brighten things up in the house.

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