Before & After: The ManCave Bathroom

The best part about pregnancy? (Besides the beautiful baby that you work so hard to create.) It is definitely nesting…the instinctive urge you have to rip apart, deep scrub and reorganize every nook and cranny of your house.

Saturday, while making my way to the laundry room, I passed through the eyesore of our house: the second bathroom. Everyday I have to walk through and every day it makes me cringe. So yesterday, I was officially fed up. I decided to give it a good scrub. About 45 minutes in, I was ripping wallpaper off the walls. You can’t tell from the pictures, but the far right wall was covered in a lovely shimmery palm tree print paper, circa 1979, perhaps? Besides the terrible wallpaper that was peeling and ripped in places, there was also a lovely wallpaper border on the other three dingy, dirty walls. I can’t fail to mention the disgusting sliding door on the shower, ancient ripped padded toilet seat, plastic-framed recessed light fixture and medicine cabinet (spaced too closely together) and white wicker toilet paper holder (I guess to complement the tropical themed wallpaper). Obviously there was nothing about this bathroom that said “paradise”.

I googled online and found a super easy and effective way to remove wallpaper. I mixed equal parts fabric softener and water into a spray bottle and soaked the walls. The top shimmery layer came off first. The yellowed to brown paper backing and glue was left, so I saturated that and scrapped it off with a plastic spackle spatula. It came off so easily and was so gratifying watching the wallpaper roll off in strips with such little effort. I was expecting it to be much worse. I replaced the toilet seat and took down the shower door by myself. Sometime after lunch, my wonderful husband joined in to help remove the rest of the wallpaper and prep and paint* the walls. By the end of the night we had turned the tropical paradise nightmare into a nice little bathroom that we would actually allow our guests to use. (*My OB doctor says its okay to paint while pregnant as long as you are in a well ventilated space. We had the windows and doors open and a fan circulating the air the whole time we painted.)


I am so pleased with the results! No more embarrassing second bathroom! Now I can take people on a full house tour without worrying about having to skip the dreaded second bath. The best part? We did it all in one day! And did I mention that while I was in renovation mode in the bathroom, Patrick was rocking it in the front yard? (More pics of that to come later.)

Project Breakdown

Wallpaper removal – cheap fabric softener in a spray bottle I already owned $1
Paint – Baby Fawn by Ben Moore left over from living room FREE
Shower Curtain – bought at a consignment sale $4
Rug- I already owned FREE
Mirror over toilet –  one of two purchased at same consignment sale $3.50
Light Fixture – Home Depot $9
Toilet Seat – Home Depot $9

Total Project Cost: Somewhere around $20


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