Painting the Bathroom! (Finally)

Painting the BAthroom Before and After at

I painted my bathroom over the summer!!!!!

(To be clear, the before photo isn’t actually “before.” I forgot to take a picture until I had already started playing around and painting that area to the right of the mirror.)

It was our half-bath. The one where we send guests. The one I started painting once before, decided I hated the color, and never really finished. Technically, all wall was covered, but it most definitely needed a second coat that I never added.

Y’know, about 9 or 10 years ago. Part of me wants to think hard and figure out exactly how long ago it was, but the sane part realizes there isn’t a significant difference between 9 and 10 years when we’re talking about a project I meant to get right back to.

bathroom before painting at


Anyway, I did it.

I’ve had the paint for over a year. 

But I DID it.

I spent the first few days of summer working on this project. I took my time. I didn’t rush. I focused on doing it well, on being careful. On really paying attention to the edges and on covering the walls well so I wouldn’t have a repeat of the other (super-ugly-even-though-it-seemed-cool-on-a-teeny-tiny-paint-chip) color’s issues.

This time, I had a whole gallon instead of two $5 sample sizes that I’d convinced my cheapskate self I could stretch to cover this tiny bathroom.

I was determined to do it right.

But I learned something about myself: I suck at painting.

The walls look fabulous, and I adore them. The color makes me happy every time I go. My double and triple coats covered that wall like nobody’s business, and I’m so proud.

paint the bathroom AFTER at

As long as you don’t look at the floor.

Or the baseboards. Details like making sure every last inch of floor and baseboard is fully covered and stays fully covered while the project takes days are not my strength. To say the least.

I just can’t. Even when I try, the paint drips mock me. The ones I catch, and especially the ones I don’t.

There are certain details in my life I can’t ignore.

Like which fingers touched my Kindle.

The Kindle I scooted out of the airplane’s aisle after I dropped it? The Kindle I scooted with a foot that’s wearing a shoe that just walked through New York City?

I’ll remember exactly which fingers touched my Kindle and not use those fingers for anything that will touch my face until the moment I can get to some soap and water. I can’t just shake that off.

But paint splats that sneak between layers of newspaper? Not so much.

I’ve learned to deal with this inability to see certain details in some areas of my home. I now see the point in loading the dishwasher even though I can’t stop and focus on every last detail. Details like drying the sink to prevent water spots or noticing that the dish soap is on its side and dribbling blue stuff onto the counter.

Even when I miss the details, I’m better off for having done the dishes. A spotty sink that’s empty is WAY better than a sink and countertop piled high with dirty dishes.

Yes. Do the dishes.  Because even if I do them badly, we’re all better off.

And because I can’t hire a live-in housekeeper to do them for me.

But . . . I could probably hire someone to paint my bathroom. And they’d probably know how to prevent the drips. And they’d be done faster than I was. And I could probably have had it done 8-and-a-half years ago so I didn’t have to cringe with embarrassment every time someone went in there. In there where I couldn’t go with them and laugh off the imperfection.

I’ve really started thinking lately about how my extreme frugality doesn’t always mesh well with my reality.

DIY is awesome. DIY is often my only option. But sometimes, I need to get over my extreme-to-the-point-of-hurting-my-home frugality and hire someone to do what I’ve proven again and again I don’t do well.

Am I saying I’ll never paint again? No. But am I saying that I need to be realistic about which home projects I’ll never actually do, or never actually do properly and seriously consider hiring someone to do them for me so they’ll actually happen and actually be done well? Yes.

I’m working on changing this mindset.

paint bath hang curtain at

And I finally, last week, I rehung the totally not perfect, still-never-sewn-into-a-real-curtain curtain. Yay for privacy and for hiding the paint cans that are still sitting on that ledge.

paint bath painting supplies at

Oh yes, I have issues. Many issues.

P.S. Another issue is that yes, someone (someoneS) has (have) been using that toilet paper roll without putting it on the TP holder.

P.P.S. I do love my Kindle, LaGuardia Airport germs and all. I consider it one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever received. This is my affiliate link to the one I have. 

Other posts about this Frugality Mindset Issue Thing:

My Changing View of Stuff and Value

Frugality Podcast

My Thoughts on Hiring Someone to Clean Your Home


I Painted the Bathroom over the Summer! at

--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    Why don’t you just sanitize your kindle? It will take you 5 seconds to wipe it (or any other electronic, for that matter) with a disinfecting wipe or even a bit of alcohol on a cotton pad.

  2. 3
    Sarah Ewing says:

    Yay! It looks awesome! 🙂 It always feels great to get something done (even when it’s not perfect).

  3. 4
    Lydia purple says:

    Why don’t you hire one of the kids to scrub the paint splatters of the floor? Ten bucks for a one time job… I do that with annoying jobs like removing the toddlers scribbles from doors etc.

  4. 7

    Yay! You did it and it looks fabulous! Don’t ever “let the perfect get in the way of the good!” Your new color looks really classy. Are you going to rehang your theater posters? Those are really cool.

    And for the kindle, maybe add sanitary wipes to your carry on next time? I bet you’d love to just have a pack in your purse all the time, my dear germaphobe! Just a thought…..

    • 8

      Soooo that’s the subject of another post. I can’t bring myself to rehang the posters because I love the look of the BARE walls!

      And yes, must restock the wipes!!!

  5. 9

    “I’ve really started thinking lately about how my extreme frugality doesn’t always mesh well with my reality.” wow wow wow….this quote is SO ME…thankyou…I need to let it sink in

  6. 10

    Your bathroom looks wonderful! Go you! That color is just beautiful and it looks so classy.

    I a mostly non-messy with major physical health issues living in a house with a couple of messies. I recently found your blog and it’s been a tremendous help! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us! The state of our house has always been a bone of contention between my husband and I and you’ve really helped us get on the same page.

    Thanks so much and keep up the good work!

    P.S. Next time just wipe off your roller a bit more – that stops most drips in their tracks! 🙂

  7. 12

    Your paint is beautiful – please share the brand & color, please! I’m proud of you – painting is hard work!!! We have lots of painting we need to do too.

  8. 13

    We have tried to come to terms with the limits of our DIY as well. I want to be a plumber, painter, and HVAC specialist so I never have to pay anyone, but let’s face it–these people have gotten licenses (some of them anyway) that proves they know what they’re doing and they actually have experience over my hour of youtubing. Does it hurt a little knowing I probably could’ve fixed my leaky toilet for $15, but paid a plumber $395 to do it? A little, but I also have the confidence that it won’t break again in a month because it was done right! That’s how I have to think of it!

    And we keep our TP off the holder on purpose–the three year old thinks it’s the greatest joy to unroll it! She can’t reach the windowsill!!

    Your bathroom looks awesome. And it encourages me to finish the curtains I bought fabric for a year ago!!! Out of sight, out of mind…. ?

  9. 14

    What is the color? I like it & great job!

  10. 15

    Germaphobe with Slob Vision (GWSV):

    Thoroughly washes and dries avocado. (The rubbing to dry removes more germs and other ick, such as pesticides, etc.)

    Cleans knife after piercing avocado’s skin so as to not drag any remaining germs and ick into the part that will be eaten.

    Peels off skin and leaves its pieces on the counter, along with paper towels used to dry it. That debris remains on counter, unnoticed by Slob Vision, how long? Until non-GWSV draws attention to it or GWSV gets worried about possibility that it could attract germ-carrying ants (or worse).

    P.S. LOL! I had written this comment off-line was searching to find the recent post where I wanted to add it. A non-GMSV came into the kitchen and remarked about green pepper seeds and other remnants, bag green peppers had been in, and used paper towels littering the counter.

    • 16

      This is so awesome!!!

      • 17

        I was amazed. This incident reminded me of a time you were working around an open cabinet door during a video and not noticing it. My mind was on avocado b/c hubby had told me about receiving a coupon for a restaurant that has guacamole he thinks I’d like; sure, except when I think germaphobically about the preparation of this dish behind the scene! I thought I had the kitchen all up to snuff and could take a break to comment on your blog. Only with a severe case of Slob Vision could I have overlooked the peppers-related debris!

  11. 18

    Oops, a non-GWSV, I meant.

  12. 19

    Your bathroom looks great! There’s a really easy way to get rid of those dried paint splatters. Squirt some rubbing alcohol on toilet paper and lay the soaked tp on the paint splatter. Let it sit for a minute or two. The paint should wipe right off with either the tp or a cleaning rag. I’ve used this trick A LOT! It even works when those splatters are a couple (or five!) years old.

  13. 20

    What is the brand and color?

  14. 21

    I love it! Good for you! We painted our small bathroom (after stripping wallpaper over a span of about 3 years) and I know what you mean about how great it makes you feel. Even though I like painting, it is much harder to do a small space with all those corners, edges, and fixtures to work around. Latex paint on a vinyl floor should come up with a scrub of soap and water. Oil based paint …. no so much. Thanks for sharing this victory!

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