This is a typical late 70s bathroom with overwhelming harvest gold everything. The color, already in your face, was dragged into dreary-ness by the dark brown melamine vanity and faux gold-marble laminate countertop. Nice combination for 1978 perhaps (?) but it just doesn’t work for 2018.
I spent less than $400 on this bathroom and had enough leftover paint to do the same to a second bathroom . I have a list of everything I used and how much I spent at the bottom.
The tile runs halfway up all four walls, covers the shower and the floor. In planning a course of action, we determined that the tile, was in good shape and we were not prepared to totally gut the bathroom. So we had to find a way to work with it and make the bathroom more pleasant until a complete remodel was done. In order to remove some of the gold color, we decided we could replace the toilet, and the sink. The vanity itself is not one of today’s standard sizes and because the tile surrounds it on all sides but does not extend behind it, we could not replace the vanity or countertop without gutting the tile.
A little color theory is helpful when wrestling with an offending color. Every color affects its neighbor, there is a nice demonstration of this idea on Colormatters.
Colors next to each other on the color wheel, analogous colors, tend to tone each other down. So to subdue the gold, I chose a sage green called Silver Maple with white as an accent.
After removing the yellow sink, I resurfaced the counter top with Spreadstone, a really cool product that goes on over the laminate. It is like a paint with crushed stone in it, the finished surface has texture and flakes of stone that reflect the light. It is a fairly quick and easy project but you do have to sand a lot and there is a lot of dust. I’ll make a separate post about Spreadstone, but you can watch their tutorial here.
I was fortunate to find a white sink with faucet attached at the Habitat For Humanity Restore for $10… and sinks were 75% off that day so it was $2.50. $2.50! It went right in and was able to hook it up with a couple of connectors from Home Depot.
To cover the brown vanity, I used Cabinet Rescue Enamel Paint tinted to the Sliver Maple color that I used on the accent wall. Cabinet Rescue is made specifically for laminate cabinets. It is a bit runny and you can’t improvise touch ups once the paint has started to dry or you make it worse. But otherwise its easy to use and dries to a factory like finish. I couldn’t find new hinges with the same screw spacing so I spray painted the original hinges chrome with this spray paint from Target and just replaced the pulls.
The walls and ceiling were primed with mold resistance primer then painted a warm white with one accent wall in the Silver Maple. The busy print on shower curtain helps pull the eye away from the gold and the bathmat covers some of the floor.
Changing out the sink and toilet to white made a big difference. It wasn’t difficult to do and they can be reused when the bathroom tile is redone so it is money well spent. The result looks a lot fresher and more pleasant to be in.
Here is what I spent:
- Mold Killing Primer 1 gallon $30 Did two bathrooms and had lots left.
- Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint Satin 1 gallon $30 Color: Olympic Swatch Delicate White (Lowes) Did two bathrooms and lots left.
- Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint Eggshell 1 qt $18 Color: Glidden Swatch Silver Maple (Home Depot)
- Cabinet Rescue Enamel Paint for Melamine and Laminate $20 tinted to Silver Maple
- New sink/faucet $2.50 Not a typo. Sink from Habitat for Humanity Restore with faucet attached was $10 but sinks were 75% off that day so $2.50
- New toilet $120 on sale at Home Depot
- Daich Spreadstone Countertop Refinishing Kit $125 (was $100 when I bought it) Did two bathrooms and still have at least 1/3 of the kit left.
- Shower Curtain $14
- Rug $12
- New vanity hardware $6
- Metallic Spray Paint for the Vanity Hinges $8
- Misc fittings to install sink $10