My €120 Bathroom Makeover

When I introduced our Zephenhaus in February, I said that for the time being, Peter and I weren’t going to touch the second floor bathroom. Yes, the tile was ugly, yes, it was dark and creepy and yes, the fixtures screamed 70’s. However, because it still worked and we’re ultimately planning to rip it out anyway, we decided our energy (and money!) would be better spent elsewhere.

But I kept thinking about that bathroom. It is situated right at the top of the stairs and is the first thing you see when you come into the house’s main living space. Something needed to be done.

The Second Floor Bathroom Before. Not Pictured: Mismatched Light bulbs in Every Fixture

That something, I decided, was painting the tile walls. All white had to be better than what was going on in that bathroom, but was that even a thing?? Peter was dubious, but after asking a friend and scouring Pinterest, I learned that yes! Painting tile is definitely a thing.

Planning and Painting

Before starting this project, I read A LOT of tutorials on painting bathroom tiles, but I found Ashley from Domestic Imperfection’s guide to refinishing her shower to be the most helpful. Even though my project was a little different, I followed her steps for prepping the tile and used her supply list as a jumping off point.

Next, I had to decide what, exactly, to paint. I knew I was going to paint the tile walls, for sure, but would I also do the tile floor? The avocado green porcelain tub? Peter and I decided that we kinda liked the shape of the tile on the floor, and, since we’re really just planning to give Chimi baths in there, we could make the funky green work. Additionally, we decided against updating the light fixtures but invested in matching light bulbs.

After all of that was decided, it was finally time to gather my supplies! All of the more reliable seeming tutorials recommended using the RustOleum Tub & Tile paint, but I couldn’t find it at the hardware stores in Rottweil. Instead, I used the Hornbach brand two component tile paint. I’m happy to report that the Hornbach paint does not have the same strong odor that is associated with the RustOleum brand. We already had some of the supplies on hand, but for the rest of the items I followed Ashley’s list. For two Edison light bulbs, two foam rollers, a paint tray, sandpaper and three cans of paint we paid €120.

Bathroom Decor

Our biggest problem in the Zepfenhaus is the lack of storage. We have ONE true closet in the whole house! As we renovate we’re incorporating storage solutions, but in rooms like this bathroom I’m focusing on functional decor! The basket under the sink contains certain bathroom necessities and conceals the trash can. Our bath caddie is the only new decor item in this room. When I finally FIND the rest of our towels, I will place wall mount hooks above the tub. This will hopefully soften the room slightly as well as adding function.

The mirror came with the house! I. Love. This. Mirror. The shape is super unique but it a way that feels very modern. My Frida print was bought in Denver, lived in Miami, moved to Milwaukee and now resides in Zepfenhan. She is a very well traveled print.

Now, my only issue with this room is that it feels unbalanced. However, with a walkway of less than 20 inches next to the tub, I’m concerned that ANYTHING on the wall opposite the bath will take up too much space.


What would you put on the big blank wall? Anything? What is a small change that made a big impact in your home! Let me know below!