Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bathroom Makeover

antique saltbox bathroom makeover

Hallelujah!  Isn't that how we all feel when you finally complete a long awaited room makeover?  I'm kicking myself for waiting two years to tackle this bathroom but life happened.  At any rate it's done and my whole family is loving it! 

The true testament - the before and after:

antique saltbox bathroom makeover before and after

A little bit about this bathroom, we live in a 1740 saltbox farmhouse and this room is original to the home although I believe the doorway was originally where the mirror is leading directly to the living room.  

The previous owners made the space into a full bathroom and did a beautiful job maintaining the antique character by using the old vanity and bowl sink and installing handmade Mexican subway tile in the shower.  However this is an interior room which means NO WINDOWS so I knew immediately that red wallpaper had to go.

antique saltbox bathroom makeover

Wallpaper down and planks up.  I used plywood underlayment for the planking, primed and painted.  And you must know nothing is level or square in our house so it was nearly impossible to get the planks to line up in the corners.

red toile wallpaper

The red toile wallpaper was overwhelming and so dark.

bathroom makeover planked walls

Hello white plank lovelies!  I also switched out the mirror using a rectangular shape that I framed myself in juxtaposition to the circular sconces.  You can see the tutorial on the mirror here.

glass and dark metal circular sconces

The sconces add just a touch of modern feel plus I love the dark bronze with brushed brass accents.

dark framed shower enclosure

The shower enclosure remained the same.

diy window storage cabinet

Then just to the left of the shower is the toilet, which is also the same except looks fantastic now with the planked walls and I added a wall cabinet made from an old window.

diy window storage cabinet

The window cabinet provides lots of storage and is just the perfect fit right above the toilet.  I borrowed this idea from Liz Marie Blog (her husband Mr. LMB has the details @ Craftsman Drive here).

Down below in the before picture you can see that above the toilet was empty space (with lots of red wallpaper!):

red toile wallpaper in bathroom

planked walls in bathroom

More planks please and thank you.

red toile wallpaper in bathroom

farmhouse style door in bathroom

The door is the original door as well.  You can tell the poly has yellowed a bit and I might sand that down someday and reseal but for now it's not that obvious (only in pictures because of the lighting).

Below I'll share the process of how I made this antique saltbox bathroom our own: 

bathroom makeover progress shot

Step 1: Remove wallpaper.  There are tons of ways to go about this but because this is a bathroom the steam had already done it's work over the years which made peeling the wallpaper off relatively easy.

making planks from underlayment using rip cut

Step 2: Rip 7/32" underlayment into 5 1/2" wide planks.  I used 3 1/2 sheets because I didn't want seams but if you're open to the seam look you could use a lot fewer sheets.  Set your Kreg rip cut at 5 1/2" and start cutting.

priming planks

Step 3: Prime the front and cut sides of the planks.  I used cover stain oil based primer because this is a bathroom.  Sand smooth once dry.

attaching planks to bathroom wall

Step 4: Mark studs with vertical line on drywall.  Cut and install planks using 1 1/4" finish nails into studs, I placed a nickel between planks for spacing.  Fill all the nail holes, sand and paint with Benjamin Moore Aura white dove eggshell.

Below is a quick Periscope video I did of the bathroom in progress:


And to see another bathroom makeover in this old house check out my kids upstairs bathroom that has cedar planks on the walls!  

kids bathroom makeover with cedar planked walls


  1. This is so, so beautiful. I love it.

  2. Wow. WOw. Wow.

    That's all I can keep saying. I adore it all. The white planks. The mirror. The lights. (I think I am buying those lights for our bathroom.)

    You did an amazing job.

  3. What a gorgeous makeover, Jaime! That wallpaper was really a thing of the past. I love the plank walls!

  4. Wow this is really gorgeous! The planked walls, and that vanity, the sconces, the subway tile...I mean my jaw is still on the table! Love it all! Pinning!

  5. Fantastic job. It is so light and bright now. I love the planked wall.

  6. Fantastic job. It is so light and bright now. I love the planked wall.

  7. You really did a great job -- absolutely love everything about your new bathroom!

  8. I absolutely agree that in a windowless bathroom, heavy red wallpaper's a no-no and your white tiles look so clean and contemporary. Thanks for sharing such a high level of detail on this project. It just goes to show that you can keep the fixtures and fittings such as sink, shower and toilet and still achieve a totally different look.

    Wilfred Andrews @ LB Plumbing and Heating