Before and After: Paint Is the Star in This $250 Bathroom Refresh

updated May 29, 2020
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Credit: Alex Sumpter

When it comes to totally transforming a space, it’s hard to beat paint. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and can instantly change a room. But if you need even more proof of the power of paint (always, right?), check out this bathroom makeover.

Alex Sumpter and her husband moved into their Louisiana home in July 2019. “In Louisiana, colorful interiors are really popular, but I like my walls to be lighter and more peaceful,” Alex says. See exhibit A, the bright teal walls in their kids’ bathroom that—combined with the dark tile, wimpy light fixture, and heavy-looking wall shelf—made the room look extra cramped. The very first thing Alex did after getting into the house was paint the whole thing in a creamy white, including the kids’ bathroom. But she didn’t stop there!

Credit: Alex Sumpter

Alex and her husband also ripped out the bathroom’s imposing wall shelf and mirror—and found bare drywall behind it! After patching and painting, they replaced the mirror with a round one with a thin gold frame from Target. “Just doing those couple of things made the bathroom much less oppressive,” Alex says.

Later, Alex went back for the vanity, painting it a pretty aqua color (Benjamin Moore’s Marine Aqua). New sleek gold hardware makes the vanity look way more modern, even though it’s still the same wood piece that was there before. “Painting cabinets is totally DIY-friendly,” Alex says. “If you take the time to prep and use the right products, it’s long-lasting, inexpensive, and totally changes the look of a space.” She also added a sweet fringed shower curtain and art that complements the vanity’s blue color.

Credit: Alex Sumpter

Alex says the total cost of the room’s makeover was around $250. “I like that it’s bright, but still very peaceful and functional for our kids,” she says. Now raise your hand if you’re itching to start painting something!

Inspired? Submit your own project here.