Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Updating My Bathroom...How To Guide

Thanks for all the kind comments and questions about the bathroom. I've had a few emails from people asking if I'd painted the tiles and the other changes I'd made so I thought I'd write a post on it.

Firstly, yes I painted the tiles. Our tiles were in really good condition and none were chipped or cracked, so they were the perfect candidate for painting. I also painted the doors and drawers on the vanity as well as changing the handles to new ones. I also created the frame around the mirror.

If you are thinking of painting the tiles in your bathroom, I would highly recommend getting a professional painter in to do this for you, if your budget will allow for it.

If your budget won't allow for a professional painter then I will very upfront in saying it can be a long and very laborious exercise and once you put that first bit of paint on, there is no turning back! You should also know that when you are up close to the tiles i.e. standing in the shower or sitting in the bath you WILL be able to see that the tiles are painted. No matter how much care you take you will be able to see small brush strokes, it will never be as perfect as a ceramic tile. If you simply cannot stand to live with imperfections, then you need to engage in a full re-tile of your bathroom. Of course those of you who need glasses have the benefit of simply having your shower or bath sans glasses and presto, no problem!

The products I used were White Knight products. I was advised to use their Griplock primer as my tiles were black. I only needed one coat of the primer to cover most of the black. White Knight have a specialist Tile Primer and I would imagine its best for most tile painting projects, I doubt the world is full of black tiled bathrooms like the ones we inherited.

Now for the most important thing I learnt through this process - it is VERY important that your application of the primer is as smooth and flawless as possible! Don't overload your brush with excess primer or you will get runs and these will still be visible (albeit only up close) in your finished result. Take time putting on the primer and your end result will be that much better for it. I would also advise that you start with an area that is concealed, for example behind the bathroom door, until you get used to using the paint. The primer and tile paint are very different to the paint you use to paint your walls.

For the top coat I used the White Knight Tile Paint. I only needed two coats of this paint to end up with the result you've seen. White Knight recommend that the tile paint only be used on vertical surfaces, but I obviously decided to also do our tub deck. I am really careful to mop up any water that sits on the tub deck when we are finished with the bath (especially after my girls have been splashing around in there!)

You can also use the tile paint to paint on laminate surfaces which I did for the vanity doors and drawers as they were a light grey and I wanted them white. I also wanted to cover the wooden border on them.

I swapped the wooden knobs with new ones for the doors. These handles were a bought from my local hardware store and were actually a gold finish, which made them look quite horrible and dated. I simply sprayed them with some black spray paint I had.

I created the mirror frame from lengths of decorative timber moulding. These are also able to be purchased, for a reasonable price, from large hardware stores. I'm proud to say that I cut the corners myself, using a mitre box and saw. Then they had a date with my can of black spray paint! Remember to spray both sides of the timber when creating a frame for a mirror, or you will see the unpainted wood in the reflection.

The curtains are called Eivor and are from IKEA, as is the curtain rod.

Here is a quick budget breakdown:

Griplock Primer (2 cans) - $52.00
Tile Paint (2 cans) - $132.00
Mirror Frame (wood) - $70.00
Eivor curtains - $29.99 for the pair!
Vagen Curtain rod - $14.99
Door Handles - $24.00
Drawer Pulls - $24.00
TOTAL: $346.98

The rest of the items I needed such as paint brushes, masking tape etc. I already had, so I didn't need to factor those in. I also already owned all the accessories so this wasn't included in my budget either.

I hope this helps those of you wanting to do something similar in your bathrooms.

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