Monday, March 9, 2009

Painting Ceramic Tiles - My Inexpensive Bathroom Makeover - goodbye seafoam green

This is not my former seafoam green 1950's sink but it might as well have been. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of my hall bathroom as it looked 10 years ago - or of the unfortunate temporary cosmetic makeover I lived with for years. So, just imagine seafoam green ceramic floor tiles, sink, and tub combined with a 1970's avocado replacement toilet and you have the picture.

Since I didn't want to spend alot of money ripping out perfectly good tiles I decided to paint (more on that later) the seafoam green trim tiles Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray HC-169. Luckily the remaining tiles in the bathroom were white.


This is the view from the hallway, as you can see it's a small bathroom. I had high quality vinyl plantation shutters ($250) from Next Day Blinds installed. They've been there for 2 1/2 years and show no signs of adverse effects from the shower. I also had the green tub reglazed gray ($300) I went with gray, as opposed to white, because I didn't see anyway to match all the different whites - 50's white wall tiles, Toto Aquia dual-flush white toilet ($392) and the Home Depot white sink that we installed back in 1998. Plus the gray serves as a softer contrast to the gray/black mini-mosaic floor tile.

This sink was a quick replacement back in 1998. It originally was a Home Depot pedestal sink purchased for $38 (not kidding) However, after removing the pedestal for the floor installation we discovered it wasn't providing any support and liked how it opened up the bathroom not having it there. It's a small sink but there is a heating vent lower down in the wall that really limits options. The Delta faucet ($60) was also purchased back in '98 - eventually I'll replace it with something more stylish.

The door was painted white but I changed it to match the walls which are Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, HC-170. It's a small room and I like how the gray door blends in.

Here you can see along the edges of the vent the green color I painted the bathroom when it was in its "temporary" stage. Below is the green tile color and an example of the original floor tile - only it was green.
Now, ABOUT PAINTING CERAMIC TILES...I painted these gray 5 years ago. Below is the damage that occurred when the new floors were installed. Prior to that, the painted trim tiles survived 5 years of use without any chipping. I didn't use ceramic paint. Instead I first applied 2 separate coats of Sherwin williams PrepRite 200 Interior Latex Primer and then regular Benjamin Moore semi-gloss Conventry Gray. The paint formulated for ceramic surfaces seemed to have more VOCs and I didn't want to use it. I think painting the trim tile worked because it is not subject to water the way a floor tile or wall tile in a shower would be. You can't clean these painted tiles by scrubbing them. Instead I use damp paper towels without any problem.


Here's my solution for covering my very 1950's looking mirror medicine cabinet. I found a lightweight 20"wide X 24" high mirror ($25) and attached it to the original mirror with eye screws and picture hanging wire. The cabinet still opens as widely as it did before because the mirror just clears the wall.
I painted the interior w/Sherwin Williams paint - Swimming Pool is the name. It's a bit aqua but my kids like and it was leftover from another project.
To make the trim appear more realistic, I painstakenly avoided painting the grout between each tile. Some people haven't realized they've been painted until I tell them.







Here I decide to bring the wall paint color right through to the ceiling. It adds height to the room and made the painting so much easier. The walls are in Pearl finish, Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC-170. Cost for all the paint was $90.


Up to this point, the total cost has been $1,155. Now time to fess up - the floor is where I splurged as compared to the rest of the bathroom. I chose the mini basketweave in St Regis Gray and Morgan Black from the Madison Collection - Renaissance Tile. The floor cost $1,100, bringing the total bathroom makeover to $2,255. Interestingly enough, almost every male guest who has visited our house remarks on this bathroom floor. They seem to really like it! However, I think with some careful shopping you could find a floor that makes a statement for less money than I paid.

The wreath is a leftover from Christmas. I need to find something else for this wall - round shapes seem to work the best and I"m thinking of something in a darker pink for some contrast to the gray. Also I think it's time to replace the yellowed rod cover w/either a white or gray one!

Here's a closer look at the Toto Aquia dual -flush toilet. I can HIGHLY recommend this toilet - it is like magic! I was quoted prices from $750 - 1,000 for it at local bath showrooms but purchased it from Cowan Supply in Atlanta for $392, free delivery. Besides working extremely well and offering a .9 GPF option, I love how the skirt extends to the floor. It covers the unattractive "tubing" of the toilet and makes for very easy cleaning. I plan to use this same toilet for the remaining 2 bathrooms - one of which has the distinction of being pink and black!

37 comments:

DesignTies said...

You may have spent a little over $2,000 on this makeover, but it sounds like that was over a period of time - not all in one go (well... except for the floor tile... but $ well spent 'cause it's lovely!). Spreding out these costs really makes a difference - makes remodeling a space dooable. Your end result = clean, fresh and very attractive! Good job!!
Victoria from EdinDesigns @ DesignTies

Porchlight Interiors said...

What a great job you have done with a small amount of money! I have to say the tiles are my favourite - it's always best to spend the money where there will be the biggest impact! Fabulous! Tracey xx

Lee said...

Wow, what a great bathroom makeover on a small budget! You definitely got bang for your bucks especially on the gorgeous floor. Thanks for sharing the results with us.

L.B. said...

Very nice! I have the same Toto toilet and love it for it is so easy to keep clean due to the skirt design. Your floor is really wonderful!

My next project is to replace the light switches to the toggle type you have in your bathroom, including dimmers. Wondering if that is a Do-it-yourself job?

Sofea said...

wow.. i like how the tubing of the toilet is not seen and its connects straight to the floor !!! great job !! very nice !

Leslie Rowlands said...

I like the updated clean lined look. What a transformation! It looks great. The tub area really updates the bath, one would think it was gutted and started again!
Also love the loo!
lamaisonfou blog

Renee Finberg said...

bathrooms can be zero fun to redo.

but you are so clever , with the medicine cabinet remedy.

xx

Kathleen said...

It looks wonderful. Nice work.

Marge said...

We are prepping to paint green marble tiles in our bathroom and kitchen this weekend. The taping process is endless as we need to use a spray primer. I hope ours end up looking as fantastic as yours do!

Coffee with Cathy said...

Thanks for the inspiration! It's always good to be reminded to look for those lower prices and not be satisfied with too-high quotes. Super job!

michelle said...

Great idea with the mirror on the medicine cabinet! love it.

We still live with old baths and kitchens at my house, which was built in 1977...so I know where you are coming from!

Great job! It looks fresh and clean...

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Oh I love it all. Good choice with paint color. I love how the soap even matches!

The floor tiles are beautiful and you now have me lusting after that toilet.

I never thought those words would come out of my mouth! :)

London Calling said...

Well done. Love the tiles, color choices and all.

pve design said...

love it, looks like money well spent. would love to see some sort of shelf hung where the wreath is to hold a perfume or small items, could be frosted or something that you find and painted in a fun pop color, like a citron or pool blue color.
pve

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Well Done!!

gatherings home said...

New to your blog. Looks like I've been missing out! great ideas for a bath redo. Turned out lovely too! I've begun a little remodel of my own. Ours is a little 1/2 bath with a laundry room adjacent to it. The adventure will begin soon and I love the idea of painting the ugly tile the beautiful dove grey you chose. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Lauren said...

it looks so good!!! and i too love the floors!!

Annie Pazoo said...

The gray looks fantastic, and I'm going to use your own idea of extending the wall color on the ceiling. Have a low-ceiling powder room that I've been wondering what to do with. Love the floor too.

Kathy said...

What a great job! Beautiful.

How did you "painstakenly avoided painting the grout between each tile"?

Astroboy said...

Very nice, epecially considering what you had to work with.
The basketweave tile floor is impeccable, therefore I suggest you punch up the room a bit to correspond to it more strongly.
As you said, the wreath has to go - it looks haphazard. You need artwork, perhaps a black and white print or litho with a splash of your accent color of pink. (A single giant flower or something).
A polished chrome shower rod matching your faucet and bath hardware would give continuity. Plus, polished surfaces in bathrooms give a sense of cleaniness. The white terry shower curtain suggests warmth but is too bland. A thin vertical striped curtain (just a bit wider than the basketweave in the tile)in black, grey, pink and silver would give lift to the room, stimulate the eye and tie in the floor to the rest of the room. But be careful. You don't want to overpower the floor pattern and wash it out.
Black accents, used sparingly, will really punch up the depth of the beautiful grey walls (and again, will tie in the beautiful floor tile). Try switching out the grey soap bar for a black one and you'll see what I mean.
Last, when you have to touch up the painted tiles, use a sponge brush to get a smoother finish and avoid the drag lines from a bristle brush.
I love your idea of hanging a new mirror over the old mirrored medicine cabinet door!
Overall, you've done a beautiful job.

wendy985 said...

Can you be more specific about how you painted the tiles (and avoided the grout)? How were you able to achieve such a smooth, glazed-tile finish? Roller? Brush? Other???? I've seen two-step epoxy paints that are made esp. for this purpose (at Home Depot & Ben Moore stores) -- but you said that's not what you used.

Kitty said...

Soft, yet crisp and clean. Uncluttered! Thanks for sharing your methods. It's a first quality re-do, except I don't know where you store the things one needs to have readily "at hand." I do admire minimalists, but am not certain I could achieve that status! Love the "apron" that hides what looks like a digestive tract, as well as hiding the bolts.

Jennifer said...

what a great makeover! very inspiring.

it is remarkable how similar how bathrooms are! our tub, toilet and cultured marble vanity top were different shades of blue, but the tile on the walls and floor is white. we're going to replace the floor and vanity (the blue didn't work, thankfully) and reglaze the tub and call it a day.

I think we have the same curtain rod. If so, you should be able to pull that yellow plastic cover off to reveal a perfectly nice stainless rod. We had two, one yellow and one magenta!

and congrats on the Washington Post mention!

My Notting Hill said...

Thanks for all the comments!
Kathy & Wendy - Great question - the way I avoided the grout lines was to use an artist paint brush. It was painstading but when I primed them I traced around each tile. The little brush gave alot control. After that I used a paint brush but Astroboy brings up a good point - a better option probably would have been a sponge brush instead.

I didn't go w/the epoxy paint just because I was concerned about the VOCs. This is the bath my kids use. Although an epoxy paint will probably give a stronger bond. If I were to do it again though I think I'd still go w/the 2 coats of primer and the regular semi-gloss. It's held up well. The shutter was installed after I painted the tiles (not the best idea) and there was only one small mark eventhough the installer was going about the installation as usual.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

I think you may have spawned a cottage industry. As unglamorous as the niche may seem the results are anything but.

Marnie said...

wow i am impressed - i would never have tackled that - but then again i haven't tackled any home renovation projects myself - You have inspired me !

Queen B. said...

so lovely !!!

Kevin Graves said...

Very nice Michele. Understated and the gray tub picks up the tones of the floor. I like your idea for the medicine cabinet. Love that floor too.
You did a great job.

maison21 said...

pretty genius with that mirror solution; and painting the tile but not the grout? completely obsessive compulsive, and i love you for it! looks great

(astroboy has a great suggestion with a graphic black and white print to tie in the walls to that superb floor).

seriously good work, here!

flnative84 said...

Wow - great job! I have a house in FL (currently a rental) and one bath is PINK and Seafoam and the other is blue and peach. Whenever I sell I'll need to renovate. You gave me some great ideas - problem with my project is that the tile is chair rail height around both bathrooms and the fixtures are original - meaning I either have Miracle Method paint the tile and bathtub/shower fixtures or I rip out and start from scratch. I have used MM before - on another house with a pink tub - and it came out beautifully. The VOC issue was not a problem since the house was not occupied during the reno. I've pondered this project for several years now and figure each bathroom will cost at least $2,000 - but that's excluding replacing the existing tile floors. We'll see! Thanks for the color ideas and the photos!

Heather said...

Wow, I am so impressed with both of your bathrooms. They look great! I love gray paint too. Quick question - where did you find your shower curtain? It looks nice and long. I am having trouble finding one that is long enough.

mashudi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mashudi said...

This article gave me new insights. Thanks for sharing
hot tub cover

Malathi said...

Excellent information provided by this blog.


Bathroom Cabinets

swimming-pool-financing said...

Wow - great job! nice mirror

Randell Jeffries said...

That sea form green sink looks absolutely retro. Anyway, your bathroom looks great! The color theme you chose greatly helped to make it appear contemporary, bright and welcoming. Kudos! :]

- Randell Jeffries

maruf hosen said...

Thanks for the share. Great stuff, just nice!
Basketweave Tiles

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