Before and After: A $500 Spruce-Up Makes This Bathroom’s Vintage Green Fixtures Sing

published Feb 19, 2023
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About this before & after
Home Type
House
Project Type
Bathroom
Style
Mid-century Modern
Minimal
Vintage
Skill Level
DIY
Rental Friendly
No
Vintage jade green bathroom before renovations.
Credit: Kristen Wineinger

Old houses often come with markers of the eras in which they were built, like intricate woodwork, vintage-style window panes, and more. Some of those old-school features are charming; others, not so much.

Credit: Kristen Wineinger

This bathroom, from homeowner Kristen Wineinger’s 1909 Craftsman, had a little of both. “The green tub, sink, and toilet was brought down by ugly beige tiles, vinyl flooring, and a very old medicine cabinet,” Kristen says. She saw the potential lying within, though, and decided to rescue the bathroom by keeping the charm and ditching the rest.

Credit: Kristen Wineinger

Kristen and her spouse Landon took four weeks to pull off their DIY bathroom makeover. To save time and money, they decided not to replace the beige wall tile; instead, they gave it a new look with a tile painting kit they picked up at the hardware store. Kristen notes that the process was harder than expected, and a little stressful, too. “Halfway through painting tile is scary,” she says. “It looks terrible. Just wait for the second coat and it will be OK!”

In her case, it turned out better than OK — the result is a crisp white tile that instantly brightened the room.

Credit: Kristen Wineinger

But the couple wasn’t about to stop there. The next weekend, they painted the walls a bright white to match the tile. And the third weekend, the couple took on their most labor-intensive project: installing a new hexagonal black and white tile flooring. The fourth weekend was all about the finishing touches. That’s when Kristen and Landon installed a new vintage-inspired light fixture and sleek black-framed mirror where the dated medicine cabinet had once been. 

Credit: Kristen Wineinger

The result is a bathroom that’s so much more bright and airy — and one that makes those old-school green fixtures shine. Now, the whole room looks intentionally designed with retro appeal, rather than dark and dated. “We love that we kept the green bathroom fixtures, because it is so unique,” says Kristen. “So many renovations you see, everything is taken out and made to be white or gray. We love that we kept the original character, just enhanced it!”