You may have seen my previous blog post about my kitchen makeover where I painted all 24 kitchen cabinet doors with white chalk paint over the course of two (very long!) weekends. After giving myself enough of a rest after that undertaking I decided to treat my bathroom to a similar makeover. I am a huge fan of chalk paint and if you’re on a tiny budget like me then it’s an amazing way to update almost anything from furniture to walls to accessories. I use Annie Sloane paint and it’s incredible – it paints over laminate, plastic, wood, metal and all with absolutely no prep work or undercoating needed. I think there’s magic in it (and no, they don’t sponsor me – honest!) The cabinets in my bathroom were oak-coloured laminate, and although they were in good condition and were relatively new (the previous owners did an amazing job of knocking through a separate toilet and bathroom to make this one large space) I wanted to give them a fresh white makeover to bring this room in line with the rest of my house.
In the spirit of this blog being a safe place for me to be totally honest, I have a confession to make here. After the marathon undertaking of my kitchen makeover where I removed each and every door, took all the hardware off before painting then had to re-hang all 24 doors, I decided to give myself a bit of a break with this makeover. So I painted the doors in-situ without removing them from the cupboard carcasses. And reader – learn from my mistake – it actually didn’t save me much time and the finish isn’t nearly as good as if I had taken all of the doors off first. I had to paint around hinges and prop doors open while they dried – all of which was incredibly fiddly. However the fronts look quite good because I took the door handles off first then used a mini roller to get a smooth finish. But the insides of the doors aren’t as pretty. So my advice would be to remove all doors and drawer fronts first. As my dad always says ‘if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.’
So after I had learned my lesson with the doors I moved onto painting the carcasses and skirting board. This was a much easier job although it took a bit of time as I used 3 coats of paint for these to ensure a really smooth, velvety finish. The difference in this room now I have finally painted these cabinets is really noticeable. The whole space feels much larger, brighter and cleaner. I had already painted the walls brilliant white (what else!) a few months earlier so I didn’t need to do anything to those and the blinds that were there worked really well, so I could leave them as they were. In fact once I stepped back to look at the finished result it looked a a bit too bright! I had painted the handles white (they were a laminate wood finish before, the same as the doors) but on reflection I decided to swap them for some new gold handles from B&Q to add a bit of warmth and gloss. And I’m glad I did because they are now my favourite bit.
Then it was time to accessorise! For this I went on a ‘free’ shopping trip around my house and gathered up various things that I thought could do with a new home. The soap dish had previously been used as a jewellery dish in my bedroom, so I requisitioned it to add a bit of colour in here. The boat is my current favourite thing in my house, I found it on the Ile de Re this summer and brought it all the way back home with me, since then it has moved around from room to room not quite finding the right home, but I think this is it! It just fits so perfectly on the windowsill. The print was one I already had and the frame was an old one I found at the back of a cupboard. The first aid tin was the only new purchase, from Garden Trading.
And here, for comparison purposes, is a slightly blurry before photo.
Photography by Chris Snook