Tuesday, December 20, 2011

$50 Master Bath Re-do


After 6+ years of loving the size of our master bathroom, but not loving the look of our master bathroom, we decided to change it.

Only problem? Our budget.


I honestly had no idea how much we could accomplish, but set out to change the look of our bathroom as much as possible … using our tiny little budget. I would love to change out the light fixture and faucets … but in order to change all 3 faucets, the shower head/kit, and light fixture, it was a hefty $1,000. Um. No.

Instead, using my trusty Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint … we stuck with the old and pushed forward with the face lift.

Gary took down the old light fixture and spray painted it with oil rubbed bronze (it looks black, but it’s not). He taped off the entire bathroom and used the same oil rubbed bronze to spray the cabinets. They. Are. Gorgeous.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze after1

He also built the mirror frame using baseboard from Home Depot. The baseboard was around $18, give or take a few cents.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 2

He also took down the towel rod and sprayed that to match.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after3

By far, the trickiest part was the shower trim. Superman had to take the entire shower apart, sand down all of the silicone, spray paint everything to match, put it all back together, and silicone everything to make it once again water proof. Serious work. I will not lie to you. However, what would have cost us around $800 to replace … wound up costing us a mere $5 to paint. And, I’m happy to report that after several showers, it is holding up nicely. (Rustoleum is an indoor/outdoor paint, so we knew it could take the water)

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 4

All of the handles on the faucets were brass. I hate brass! So, we unscrewed them and sprayed those too. Why not?!
Then, I dug out a couple of treasures that I bought while I was in college. Yes, 11 years ago. I’m impressed that I still had them.


Even more impressed that I once purchased something so ugly. They were $1 each … and I needed somewhere to store my paints. Fast forward 11 years, and bam:

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 5

I now have a unique washcloth bin/holder … and …

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze spray paint buckets

a convenient cubby to hold 2 extra rolls of toilet paper in my toilet closet …

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze spray paint toilet handle

… so simple and so perfect! We didn’t care for the trash can that was in the toilet closet; however, I wasn’t about to spend another dime on a trash can … so, we spray painted it. Again, why not?! We also spray painted the toilet handle and toilet paper holder while we were at it. :D

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze spray paint outlet covers

And, since we were already spray painting everything else, we decided to take off all the outlet covers and switch plates and spray those too. Because I am OCD … and I like it when absolutely everything matches.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 6

This chic towel rod/holder used to be a brace for my Grams to help herself on and off of the toilet. It was a shiny chrome that matched exactly nothing. We spray painted it … and now it’s a towel rod … much better looking than the builder grade circular towel holder that used to be in its place.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 7

These are not the most aesthetically pleasing light fixtures; however, if I use what I have, I spend less. This is the goal.

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation after 8

On Black Friday, I stood in line at Kohl’s for 2 1/2 hours. As a reward, I scored 4 bath mats, 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, and 4 wash clothes for $23. Well worth the wait … at 3am. ;)

So, here is the breakdown:

$18 for baseboard
$23 for towels/bath mats
$10 for spray paint

The project took us a solid two weeks. Although we didn’t spend much money, it was very labor intensive … but oh, so worth it! Here’s a final before/after look:

master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation before after1master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation before after2master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation before after3master bathroom oil rubbed bronze renovation before after4

Worth every penny … and every minute! :D


  1. Do you have any instructions for how to take the shower apart? I LOVE this and have hated my master bath for years now.

  2. I'll put together a tutorial. Hopefully I can post it in the next few days, maybe after the Christmas craziness. Thanks!

  3. Way to go Janette! Looks great!

  4. W.O.W.!
    Please tell me you hire out since some day I will have a house I'll want to change and remodel but I don't have the know-how, creativity, or Superman to do what needs to be done....whenever that is....

  5. Thanks so much for posting this! I need to do this to my bathroom. Did you prep the wood cabinets first--sanding or anything? I hesitate to paint mine because I'm afraid of the paint peeling or chipping. Has the paint held up well on the cabinets (and the metal fixtures)?

  6. Teresa,

    1. We didn't prep the wood on the cabinets at all. They aren't real wood ... cheap builder grade MDF that was already painted white (primed). We just taped off the bathroom and sprayed them with spray paint ... my husband did take the cabinet doors off and he sprayed those in the garage (sprayed the back side, dried, flipped over, sprayed the front side).

    2. Everything is holding up PERFECTLY. My hubs was really skeptical about the shower, especially. Like I said in the post, we did chip a few things when we were putting the shower back together ... but we just sprayed a little paint into a metal lid and touched up those marks with a small brush. They've held up perfectly and you can't tell it was once brass!

    3. The cabinets and fixtures look perfect 2 months later. The faucet handles, which are used frequently, still look perfect. No wear.

    4. The only thing we've spray painted with the paint that is wearing is the door plates where the little mechanism on the door slides past the plate to engage shut. I don't know what it's called. But, that's understandable because doors are so frequently opened and closed; however, the knobs, locks, latches, switch plates, outlet covers, etc. that we painted all still look perfect. And the bedroom doors with locks look and function perfectly. The paint does not interfere with any of the locking functions.

    I'm telling you ... Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint is like heaven in a can. Miracle stuff. Go get some. You won't regret it!

  7. Thanks so much for your reply, Janette! I would think the faucet handles and may-be switch plates would show wear--wow! I must try this. I think my cabinets are all real wood, but they look so worn and just shabby. This could only improve them. Thanks again for posting this.

  8. I love this. Everything about this. Now, to go find some Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint...

  9. Wow, I'm impressed! And I adore my ORB spray paint, too. I did all of the doorknobs in our house right after we moved in. Saved about 1K in hardware, minimum!

    Question: are your cabinets that foiled stuff from the builder? They look exactly like the cabinets that I hate in our master bathroom, but am afraid to paint because they are that manufacture foiled stuff. If so, did you do any prep work before painting? Thank you!!

  10. I don't know what foiled cabinets are. These are cheap builder MDF (fake wood) that was painted white before. We didn't prep them ... just cleaned them off and sprayed them.

  11. Seriously, I have never seen a more spectacular REAL facelift than this one. So impressed! I'm sad I didn't see this while we were living in our old place, I would have copied you. :) You're awesome.
    xx Ren @ renlish.com

  12. Saw this on pinterest and it's EXACTLY what I've been wanting to do but dIdn't have the budget to do! (I have a random mix of brass and chrome). Are the fixtures still holding up? And did you spray them with Any kind of sealant after, or do anything to the door knobs so they would still turn and open?

  13. Can you tell me how he applied the trim on/around the mirror? Is it nailed to the wall, glued to the mirror? I would like to do this in my hall bathroom, but there is hardly any room around the mirror to attach it to the wall. Thanks!

  14. I love reading your blog! You inspire me to update my own home with spray paint. Keep up the good work, I look forward to reading more from you. :)

  15. Amazing. I am in aw, and want to be your friend. Just one suggestion for something else that would add a really good look, is a cheap do it yourself window box for the window above the tub. I can not wait to get home and paint all my ugly brass fixtures with this oil rub!

    1. Thanks so much! It was lots of work, but so worth it. Here we are a year later ... And it all looks the same today as it did then. I. Love. Rust oleum.

  16. Ok I am in LOVE! I just went to special order new bathroom doors to replace the 1976 brass ones in my home. I just couldn't bear it anymore. 5 years of torture. I called last night and cancelled the order. Bought 10 cans of ORB spray paint. The 10 cans cost less than the handle/towel bar for one door. It was going to cost me $1300.00 to replace mine. Yes, I have the dual sliding ones for my extra long walk in shower. You are a genius!

    1. Haha! Thanks. Although ... you might hate me now ... because I don't know if I'd recommend ORB spray paint on any shower doors that slide ... too much metal on metal rubbing. BUT, it's so inexpensive and if you're going to replace the others anyway, it's worth a shot. Please let me know how it goes! I'm dying to hear. :D

  17. Just saw your pics of the renovation and I love it!! Did u prep the faucets or door knobs in any way before u sprayed them?

  18. Well, if you plan to change your faucets, shower, and lighting fixtures at the same time, you will really have to spend more money. The costs will be more expensive especially when you hire someone to do the entire job. But that won’t be a problem if you can work on your own. Anyway, I want to commend you for teaching your readers that you don’t need to spend too much to renovate. :D

    Darryl Iorio

  19. Wow! Your bathroom looked different from the way it was before. Your current bathroom has more elegance and style in it. The choice of color that made the area looked neat and chic at the same time. And, it looks bigger too! Was it your plan to give emphasis on your vanity area? It’s the one that improved the most for me.

    William Gulliver

  20. You’re an inspiration in doing home renovation projects like this. They tend to hesitate in pursuing a bathroom makeover because they presume that they’ll need a lot of money to have a gorgeous bathroom. The thing is that if you know where to look for inexpensive items, you will be able to do it. There are many discounted materials in the market these days, with a little creativity, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.

    Waddle Exteriors

  21. This blog is really informative i really had fun reading it.

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  22. I have used the ORB spray paint for several things in my house and love it. I have been wanting to replace my shower doors but it isn't currently in the budget. I wondered if it would work on the trim of the shower doors so I'm so glad I found your post! I am curious if you found it necessary to take apart the whole shower in order to spray paint? After doing this do you think it would be possible to remove the silicone, clean and spray that. Then leave everything else in tack and maybe tape and tarp everything off and then spray? If you don't think this would work could you tell me why? Thanks in advance!

  23. I am curious about disassembling the shower doors and the process to do this. Is there more info on this blog or feedback from anyone else who has done this process? We have the exact same shower, except in shiny nickel which looks OK but I love this look much better!

  24. I, also, would like to know how (if you did) take the shower apart? I will need to, since we have to replace the sheetrock (!) with green or concrete board. Don't know where or how to start!

  25. I love everything about this.You inspire me to update my own home with spray paint.Discount Beds and Mattresses

  26. what color paint are your walls? I want to find a new color for my bathroom that will look good with the painted cabinets. thank you!

  27. I LOVE everything you have done with the bathroom!!! AMAZING! But i have to ask how did ur husband put the crown molding around the mirrors? what did he use? Thank You!!

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