Bathroom makeover

We bought a cute little 1938 home several years ago and began fixing it up. The upstairs bathroom was one of the last rooms we did. We waited so long to do it because my husband and I couldn’t agree on what to use for the counter top. The floors were already a pretty marble and we wanted to keep them, but we had different opinions on what would go with them. I finally decided that there wasn’t any reason why I couldn’t update everything else and worry about the counters later. I tackled the cabinet first. I had entertained the idea of buying a new one. But I couldn’t find one that was the right dimensions. And the ones that I could find that were close had feet. I wanted to add a laundry chute under the sink so feet wouldn’t work. I have refinished furniture in the past so I decided to just dig in and do it. . . all 70 years worth of paint!
I started by striping off the old paint. There were so many layers of paint that it looked gross. Where the paint had chipped there were big divets. There were that many coats of paint! I didn’t want to sand because of possible lead paint issues so I used a paint srtipper called Ready Strip. It is a gel that is green and it turns white when it is ready. It takes the guess work out of it. I have used the traditional paint strippers that are liquid and they are messy, they stink, and are dangerous because of all the chemicals. This stripper is biodegradable, enviormentally safe, cleans up with water and doesn’t smell very much. It claims to to be oder free, but does have an oder. But it is very mild compared to the others. I highly recommend it. (I totally just sound like a commercial. . . ) I didn’t worry about every little bit of paint off since I was just going to be painting it again. I just wanted it to look smooth.
Next I painted them. I bought some molding. The bathroom door was the original door so I tried to match the detail on the door with the molding I bought for the cuboard doors. I painted them and then nailed them to the drawers and doors with my brad nail gun. After puttying the nail holes I then did a final thin coat of paint. I was able to find knobs that matched the door knob on the bathroom door perfectly.

The next thing I tackled was the wainscoting. I liked the beachy feel of the white wash but the rest of the wood in my house (furniture, floors) are dark woods and after a while it started to bother me that it didn’t match. Since it would have been super messy to sand it and nearly impossible to get all the groves anyway, I decided to use Gel Stain. It is a really thick oil based stain and you can apply it over other stains. I know a lot of people who have used it to reface their kitchen cabinets. I used a foam brush to put it on. I LOVE foam brushes! I use them for everything. You don’t get lines from bristles and you can throw them away when you are done since they are so cheap.
Growing up we had a laundry chute. I have always wanted one. So one day I decided to cut a hole under my sink. I went layer by layer to be careful that I wasn’t cutting a pipe or anything electrical. Older homes are full of surprises! I was lucky and was able to cut right through. I then took the measurements and called a local meta shop. I asked them to make me a square tube. It cost about $30.00 for them to make it for me but was well worth it. I made the hole small so children wouldn’t go through it. If I had made the chute myself out of wood, the clothes would probably get stuck. With metal, they slide right down. I covered the rough edges of the hole with plywood and a little trim and then painted it white.

Here are the AFTER pictures of the sink cuboard and the wainscoting.

It took a few days and cost less than $75.00 to do. Not too bad!

Subscribe to My Blog!


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  1. Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures says

    You have to give me the name of your stain you used. I have ceiling beams I don't want to sand. This would be perfect for changing them. I am loving your blog. That laundry chute… You are too smart.

  2. Jenn says

    Wow! That's awesome! I especially loved the laundry chute – I want one so badly! Great job on the wainscoting – I had no idea about the gel stain going over other stains! I'll have to try it.

  3. Ellie says

    I sure picked a lot of your posts to visit from Tools are for Women, but I like all of them! This vanity re-do is great! I lived in a house for 2 years that had a laundry chute. I thought it was corny at first but grew to love it! Great job! I'm your newest follower.

  4. Linda Q says

    Wow, Bravo for you, this looks good, I would love a laundry shoot but not a place to put it I think. Love the restaining and repainting, looks like new !

  5. Kathy@DandelionsandDustBunnies says

    I grew up with a laundry shute too. I just loved that thing – we put all sorts of stuff down there. I love the dark stain with the contrast of the white cupboard. Great redo.

  6. Anonymous says

    What a fine job you did! I'd like to see where the chute goes to! I had one in a new house 20 years ago and it ended in a cupboard above a counter….and I didn't like it. I like laundry chutes, but I'd like mine to end in a laundry bin near the washer…. Where does yours go?

  7. Stacy says

    My laundry room is directly under this bathroom so the dirty clothes drop into the hamper next to the dryer. Perfect huh?

  8. Anonymous says

    Wow I didn't know about gel stains and so have to try this we have cabinets that are whitewashed and I want to make them darker – guess I will try on the inside of one and see what happens. I would be so happy to be able to refinish them without having to strip everything off, sand, stain and then finish – wow.

  9. Emily says

  10. Stacy says

    There was a tiny gap but I used an electric hand sander around the sides and put a little bit of Elmer's paintable, stainable, sandable putty to finish it off. The sides (or edges) needed to be sanded anyway since they were so old and dinged up. I hope that helped!

  11. Katie @ Cowboy Phraseology says

    I think its great! I love the laundry chute idea. I need to bookmark this post for my next house! Great job.

  12. Fussy Gusset says

    I put a laundry shoot into our house here. It's round and cut into the floor of the little closet. I went looking for a "tube". I stumbled upon a sheet metal contraption that is used with chimneys on slanted roofs. Then I found that a cardboard concrete form fit over the small end perfectly. I screwed the fitting to the ceiling around the hole in the laundry room. It's hard to explain but this fitting has a part that rotates, so I was able to "aim" the angle of the chute to where I needed it to be. I cut the cardboard cylinder to the right length and screwed it into the sheet metal fitting. Works like a charm! LOVE your bathroom redo!

  13. Ann says

    Wow what a great idea! I want one too! and the under the sink location is just plain genius. Great job on it all.

  14. Heather says

    Love what you did! Lol I had a laundry chute growing up too, but we would actually go into it. (If my mom knew we did that she would of had a heart attack)!

  15. says

    That’s awesome! Your cabinet reminds me a lot of mine. It’s been on our to do list ever since we moved into our house. I love your idea of adding trim to the drawers and doors! Looks great!

  16. says

    I have always wanted a laundry chute. but I hate living in a house with stairs. oh well. I am just super envious of your awesome chute! =]

  17. says

    What a beautiful makeover Stacy!!! Would you please share with us the brand/name of the gel stain you used on the wainscoting? I think it looks fab! I have to do something similar with a powder room that was stained a transparent green 16 yrs. ago. It’s still in perfect shape, I’m just in need of a change from the green and I love what you’ve done.