One year ago (or almost, nearly, just about) I shared with you our master bathroom. Just to be clear, there is nothing masterly about a mauve countertop.
Nothing masterly at all. In fact, it’s the opposite of masterly. It’s ______(insert here whatever is the opposite of masterly – be creative).
So we decided to do something about it. Of course we got the push from our real estate agent who ever-so-gently mentioned it was worse than a nudist colony for those with unexpectant and explosive diarhea. Yeah. I went there.
Of course, we got some help from True Value…they had our home improvement backs (or backsides) with this one.
The first task at hand was ridding ourselves from the mauve monster. We simply cut the caulk around the edges, unhooked the sink pipes and then hoisted out the countertop. Apparently it was only held down by a couple finishing nails around the edge…so it made it super easy.
Once we had it out, I had like a major episode. You see, I saw this:
Oh yeah. Pink acid washed (and a little irridescent) wallpaper. This covered the walls when we moved in…and I spent two weeks removing all the remnants. It haunts me to this day.
So we decided to go with a butcherblock countertop available at Ikea. It’s cheap, easy and can be cut to size.
Jeremy cut it to length to make sure it fit first.
And then used the previous monster as a template to cut out the sink hole. Once he had it drawn, it just required a starter hole from the drill and our handydandy jigsaw to cut it out.
Then Jeremy gave it a quick (and heavy) coat with Thompson’s Waterseal. While that was drying, he ran upstairs and patched the drywall. It just needed a little swipe of mud.
Then we got a little crazy. We decided it was a good time to spraypaint the inside of the cabinet since the countertop was removed. And we figured it was a good idea because it looked less than clean. (Clarification – it was clean, it just looked unclean because of the splatter paint).
Ready for the crazy?
Okay…so it wasn’t that crazy.
We just wanted the cheapest and fastest way possible to clean things up a bit. One can of navy blue spraypaint later, we have a very polished looking cabinet…that hides dirt…and will make your toilet paper pop. Yes, you read that correctly 🙂
The backsplash area got sanded down…then I repainted it to match the rest of the room.
Then it was time for countertop installation. My darling boyfriend screwed the butcherblock to the cabinet with little countertop brackets underneath…while I fed Will. The next step was caulking. It was at this time I realized that I hated the faucet with a passion. I thought at first it would be just fine…afterall, this was supposed to be a quick fix…but the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to smash it with a hammer and blame Will.
Jeremy was smart enough to suggest that we pick one up with our remaining gift card balance at True Value. That’s why I married him folks…brains and brawn…and some other stuff not mentionable online 🙂
Is anyone else hot in here? Oh. Just me then…
This little faucet was the cheapest they had available that still appealed to me…it was only $30 🙂 I love me some brushed nickle. And the fact that it matches the other hardware in the room (like the towel rods and TP holder) just spins my pinwheel.
A quick follow-the-directions-installation later, we have one brand spankin’ new sink area!
Part of me likes keeping the caulk white….part of me thinks I should paint it to match the wall. Any voters?
ohhh…beautiful countertop. how I love thee!
I love how you make our vanity look like a piece of furniture with your backsplash-less ways. I love how you have variation in color. I love how cheap you were! I love how easy you were! I love how you infuse a little country vibe in our cottage of a master bathroom!
And because I know how much you guys like before & after’s – here’s how a little countertop switchup made all the difference in this room.
What do you think? Love it? Anyone else out there rippin out countertops lately? Any new faucets in the bunch? Any butcherblock adoration? We are saving the other portion of this bad boy to use at the potential new space…so it just goes to show that you could buy one and squeeze two or three mini counters out of it. Talk about getting something for cheap.
One hundred ABP points to those that can name the other two things that we did in this space to help freshen things up! And one thousand points to anyone who remembers to check our biggest True Value DIY project tomorrow! And yes, I am keeping track of these points 🙂
“I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”
You added a frame around the mirror! That is only one, but do I get 50 points?! I will give myself another 50 for being the first person to comment. Ahthankyouverymuch. 🙂
Happy New Year!
PS – I almost peed my pants when I saw my friend Stacey in your last blog post! We went to high school together! I am a dork, but love the editing job 🙂
New medicine cabinet?
I LOVE those countertops!
Huge improvement. I spy a new mirror/ or frame around it. At first I thought new shower door but i think it is just the angle of the photo.
Mommy G (Forty Weeks and then some) says
I think the mirror frame and the new lavatory faucet are also a great addition. 🙂
Funnelcloud Rachel says
I love this! It looks so spa-like! We have a butcher block kitchen island in our bathroom (weird, I know, but it’s a huge bathroom with NO storage, so the kitchen island holds our towels, TP, etc.) Love the idea of a butcher block countertop.
New medicine cabinet..or frame. I’m guessing the second thing is that you moved the toothbrush holder and stuff. Yes? No? Either way, looks soooo much better!! And the nudist diarrhea thing made me choke on my gummy worms…hilarious! 🙂
Sarah Danielson says
New medicine cabinet and new sink fixtures ! Love the make over! Fantastic!
Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons says
Oh gosh… this is gorgeous! and for the record – hot mess might be my favorite phrase of all time. no clue why- just so flipping fun!
So glad that old countertop is done-zo! the new one is beautiful!
Very stylish (and I like the new faucet, too). I suggest painting the caulk–I think it will make the counter look more finished.
I would buy your house in 2.2 seconds if we lived anywhere in the Atlanta area, or if relocating there were feasible!
I vote to paint the caulk. I think it detracts your attention away from the beautiful counter top, but that’s just me. 🙂
I love the look. There is just one tiny word of warning. We’ve just moved into a verry sweet apartment that has these butcher block countertops in the kitchen and the previous renters hadn’t oiled them enough. That’s why the moisture from the sink led to 5 mm (roughly 1/8th of an inch) cracks throughout parts of the wood. Not pretty… So you should maybe let the buyers know they ought to oil the countertops at least twice a year.
As others have said, you replaced or jazzed up the mirror. You also replaced that missing chunk of trim…and, although I found no photographic evidence, hopefully also added a door/curtain/loo barricade of some sort?
BTW, “acid-washed” wallpaper sounds so…toxic. “Marbled,” maybe? Nope, still ugly.
Just from the pictures, I think you should go with painted caulking… but in person it might be totally different! Just stands out a lot in the pics.
I like the framed mirror… I was just thinking that might be a solution to our bathroom mirror situation, too! Was it easy to do??? Did you use one of those kits or did you just get molding and frame it yourself?
Love how the countertop matches your lids on the jars and coordinates so well with all the baskets. Hope you called up your realtor right away and told her to add at least 5K to the price now that the pink monster is gone. Didn’t you do something to the closet door and put a curtain up.???? LOVE< LOVE<LOVE< all the great antedotes. You are a WHOOT, and this comes from a Jersey girl as well, I live in the southern part of GA and I believe us Yankees both fit in very well down here.
LUUUV IT! It’s amazing the difference that the butcher block made to this bathroom. It really brightened it up. Your work is phenomenal, thanks for kicking me in the butt to get in gear on my home improvements in 2011.
How did you guys waterproof the wood for the bathroom? Won’t it warp with all the humidity from the shower and water from the sink?
[email protected] says
holy gorgeous, Batman.
beautiful! one is a new mirror!
Great mini makeover. However, I vote for the caulking to be painted–I find that my eyes are drawn to it. Better to highlight the counter or the sink than some $1.99 caulking, I think!
Emily Lauren says
Disasterly to Masterly! Love it!!
Love it! You added a frame to the mirrored medicine cabinet and put in a new facucet for your sink. Also I LOVE your photo editing skills, I just may have to find some work for you – I’m hopeless with my Photoshop Elements, and believe me I’ve tried!
I definitely like the new counter top better. Now will you shorten the blind on the window. It is very easy to get rid of that huge stack of slats at the bottom of the blind. They even have you tube videos on how to do it.
Sorry, window coverings are my business and it’s just a pet peeve of mine.
Focipresley (Bon) says
Hi KT – Butcher Block – I never would have considered it. It looks great! I just wanted to leave my last comment on your blog – for the year… I’ve really enjoyed reading the blog this past year! I wish you Bowers all the best in health & happiness in the New Year… see you then! Cheers, B
m @ rambling musings says
1) shortened the curtain (2) added trim around mirror
Looks great! I would probably paint the caulk though—would make the countertop look more natural, I think! Fantastic job 🙂
Katie @ explanation required says
Love the makeover, as I once had mauve countertops too. In my kitchen. The shame!!
And your update is a timely one as we were just thinking of putting that same IKEA butcherblock in our new kitchen. Glad to see it goes in pretty easily and just needs a bit of caulking around the edge.
Looking good! Paint the caulk!!! It does detract the eye from the counter top. I would also recommend painting the lids of those jars white. It will really make the countertop appear beautiful!
I love your blog! You inspire me to do stuff around my house! Thanks for blogging! I spy a frame around the mirror and new faucets. It really is beautiful!
Well, you definitely framed out the mirror. Let us know how that process went, please. I can’t find #2. 🙁
I vote: paint the caulk. Liz mentioned the blinds: I have removed the bottom slats before. I was terrified I would permanently ruin something but it was pretty darn easy.
Your boyfriend looks super hot with a circular saw. Just sayin’.
It looks great Katie!
Framed out the mirror and decluttered the counter top area?
Sherry @ Young House Love says
Ahhhhhhhh! I love it so much. It’s even better than I imagined. You go girl. (Picture me beating the air with my fist as I say that).
Robynne @ Our Portable Home says
It looks amazing! Love it, and framing the mirror was a great idea! It looks so fresh and new and clean in there, great job!
The butcher block looks amazing!!! And what a clever idea to paint inside the cabinet! About the caulk, my first thought when I was scrolling through the pictures is how amazing it would look if it was finished off with a bit of trim to match the mirror…any scrap? 🙂 Can’t wait to see the big after promised & Happy New Year!!!
sara @ it's good to be queen says
you framed out the mirror and added a jar of sea sponges!! lOVE the counter top…so jealous that you live near an ikea. i feel my life is not complete ….i’ve never stepped foot in an Ikea. sigh.
I’m just sayin that too Cindy 🙂
xo – kb
We were going to do that Liz, but we didn’t know if potential buyers or renters would even want window blinds…so we thought this way they can be reused. Can you still shorten them without making it permanent?
xo – kb
I’d love to see what I can do to help!
xo – kb
I love the new look of the countertop! I always hate cleaning the back splash part of the counter in the bathroom. It seems to be the place that collects all of the dust. How great that the new look made the bathroom look brighter and will be easy to clean!
Like I said in the body of the post, we applied Thompson’s Watersealant to the butcherblock…so HOPEFULLY that should do the trick in keeping it watersafe. Plus, we don’t suffer from much humidity in there…seeing as how it doesn’t have a door 🙂
xo – kb
OMG looks so good! What a difference!
I like how much the new countertop brightens up the whole space. I wasn’t expecting that change. Great (cheap & easy) job!!
Rebecca @ the lil house that could says
Looks great! So fresh and clean. Those 3 glass jars look so great with it, they really stand out!
I also vote for painting the caulk, it was honestly the first thing I noticed in the ‘after’ pictures.
We put the same counters in our entire kitchen earlier this week. I don’t think we’ve left since – I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!
I never would have considered butcher block counters in a bathroom but you make it work! Very nice, hope you see some interest in the place soon!
My vote is to definately paint the caulk. Or, another option is to peel off the white caulking and get one of the colored caulkings that matches the butcher block or paint color better.
As for the other changes, the only thing I noticed was that the mirror is now framed or it was replaced. 🙂 Love the changes!
Not really because you’d have to shorten the ladders that run down the middle of them. Once they are shortened, they’d have to be replaced completely to make them longer.
Laura A says
1) switched the mirror
2) forgot to show us how the TP popped against the new navy counter-insides.
Looks great- I would never have thought of the butcher block in the bathroom, but I really really like it!
hmmrph. that’s kinda what I thought. I guess we’ll just wait to hear what the future bathroom users vote.
xo – kb
I love this makeover. And being a big fan of IKEA I love the use of the butcher block. I had an idea for the walls along the countertop, which is, how about using crown moulding painted white. Its a thought. There is enough of a gap between the countertop and the window that you could do something like that and it would be pretty cheap, cheaper and less work than putting up tile. Or I might be completely wrong with that idea, since you will have to be careful to wipe it down if water gets on it. Would like to know what you think.
Sorry, I see someone already mentioned the use of trim.
Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife says
It looks gorgeous! I just love butcher block countertops. I can’t wait to put them in my kitchen soon!
I’ve made your blog a daily read ever since the shout out on Young House Love. You guys rock! I vote to paint the chaulk. It drew my eye instantly as seeming unfinished and distracted me from that “ooohhh!” before and after pic exclamation.
Amy Barber says
I love it! I never would have thought butcher block could work in a bathroom, but you’ve proven it does. I shall copy, off to the motherland! (Ikea)
I vote for leaving the white caulk. But I love white contrasts. Painting it would give more of a spa like neutral- whereas the white caulk looks cottage-y to me.
The faucet make SUCH a big difference! Great update!
Do you wish you’d done it sooner so you could’ve enjoyed it while you lived there?
one word: AMAZING. We have a mauve counter top in our master too…and then a matching mauve jacuzzi tub. can we say romantic?! not. I am loving this idea and it just may be the thrifty DIY project of the winter. You may have mentioned this…but what was the cost of the butcher block for your space?
Happy New year to you and your gorgeous family.
For under $100? Oh yeah we do.
But if we end up renting, I might just ask the tenants if I can come over and use their loo every once in a while…you know, just to get my time in with this new countertop 🙂
xo – kb
I second your comment re: Ikea. Sads for us.
[email protected] says
That looks so much better! What a great solution. I never would have thought of a butcher block. I vote for painting the calk also. It’s so contrasty as is. I just tore out my tiny bathroom vanity, and was surprised by how easily it came out, just like yours. Happy new year!
brandt @ New House On The Blog says
Wow…very very nice job. I’ve only seen butcher block in the kitchens, but it gives a very nice light feeling to a room where sometimes some heavy stuff goes down (and yes KB, I went there).
My question though is what caused you to spraypaint the inside of the cabinet? Any reason, or just to even out the colors?
Please, please shorten the blinds. 99.9% that the next owner will not reuse them nor ever shorten them.
Looks great! The only thing I can see that’s changed (other than the mirror) is that you’ve stopped using soap and towels- ha! 😀
Looks GORGEOUS! 🙂 🙂 Fabulous job. I also vote for painting the caulk, it’d just be icing on the cake.
Happy new year!
allison cobb says
I love the new counter top! You should have tried clear caulking and you wouldnt see it at all. Great job on the Re-do.
We had a little gap between the countertop and the wall…so we figured that clear caulk would make it visible…if not exagerate the space. That’s kinda why we chose white…plus we already had it and didn’t really want to drive back to the store….again 🙂
xo – kb
LOVE LOVE LOVE the butcher block top, I wish I had these in my kitchen! Great “design on a dime”!!
It looks great! I never would have considered butcher block – super clever! The mirror changed, but what else? I can’t figure it out. I saw someone commented on shortening the blinds… I don’t want you to feel like we are being picky, but seriously I just got fed up and fixed ALL of ours one day and was so happy I did! It’s really pretty easy, and I was worrying about messing up so I left one extra just in case. Really, such a little thing but so worth it!
Love t his ! i do think you need to paint the caulk the same color of the wall it just stands out a bit. It would also look nice to put a single layer of decorative tiles behind the countertop as a backsplash. good job. you guys keep me motivated i am on my 4th bathroom remodel just getting a little burnt out.
Just wanted to thank you for this blog! You have been a blessing to me personally but to many others as well. Thanks so much!!! Happy New Year!!
Melissa @HOUSEography says
Looks GREAT Katie! Never would have thought to put butcher block in the bathroom but I like it! Good luck with selling the house!!!
Oooh very nice! It’s definitely much more *you* than that other counter!
Oh, and be sure to enter my CSN stores giveaway:
Happy New Year!! 🙂
Laura C says
Love the transformation, and REALLY love the new countertop! Anyone know if you can stain a butcherblock dark? I feel a google search coming on… 😉
We had pink countertops in our kitchen – I always refer to it as “dead-mottled-flesh-pink”. My fabulous husband resurfaced them on the cheap with black “granite look” formica. If we get to stay here long enough, we’ll upgrade to quartz eventually, but at least it completely transformed the kitchen for our stint here! (we’re military)
I never would have thought to use butcher block. It looks great!
I don’t see why not Laura….I mean, it is just wood, right?
xo – kb
We just wanted it to look cleaner….and since we had leftover spraypaint from Will’s side table project, we thought why not?
xo – kb
Emily @ NewlyWife says
Looks great, as always! I love the frame around the mirrors. I’ve been wanting to do that and would be interested to know how you did it. It seems easy enough, we just have those funky plastic pieces holding a sheet of mirror to the wall.
The butcherblock was $59. We allllmost got by with the $39 one (it was substantially shorter)…but in the end the cabinet was about 10 inches too long. But hey…we can probably get two countertops out of sixty bones…so it is well worth it 🙂
xo – kb
Looks great! Did you guys know you can remove the extra slats from your blinds? It takes about 5 minutes and you won’t believe how much more polished the room will look!
I LOVE the new countertop. I literally screamed and showed this to my fiance. We have been trying to figure out a countertop solution for our small master bath for a long, long time. I have always wanted to do the butcherblock for our kitchen — never would I have thought for a bathroom! Great idea! Can’t stop thinking about it!
So I’ve heard 🙂
xo – kb
Heather E Transue says
Katie! I think this might be one of my favorite before and afters that I have seen on your blog! It might be because it brings up memories of an ALL PINK bathroom (sink, counter, wall color, tile and tub) we had in our 1st house. We lived there for two years and never changed the sink and counter. I painted the walls and hid the tile and tub with a curtain, but HATED that pink. Man – does it make you wish you had done this quick/cheap fix long ago and enjoyed it for all of this time?! It’s so funny the stuff we force ourselves to live with and only change right before we try to sell. I hope you enjoy it lots before you move into the DREAM house!! Happy New Year.
Hey Katie – Great bathroom makeover! Our master bath suffers from old, old oak cabinets and stained cream countertops (not our stains… ewww). I’ve been toying with the idea of painting the cabinets white and using a dark-stained butcher block counter for awhile now, and this before and after sealed the deal!
I love that you can order the Ikea countertops online! Talk about a cost-effective solution. 🙂
Happy New Year and best of luck selling your house!
It’s about time! I was starting the think The Hot Mess would be around forever. Nice job, it’s lovely.
Ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com says
<3 the countertop! gorgeous!
On the whole “to paint the caulk or not to paint the caulk” question…I respectfully submit this suggestion. Your realtor may not like the idea, but I think it’s super cute and very much your style.
I think it looks fabulous! Bet you wish you’d done it sooner, rather than live with the mad mauve terror…
Genius on the Ikea butcher block in the bathroom. We have a countertop in our “master” bathroom that looks depressingly like the hideous wallpaper that haunts you. Yep – that weird faux marble in cream with the random early-90’s paint-like splatters in mauve. Our entire house was mauve (carpet, exterior paint, interior paint, countertop in bathrooms and kitchen) at one point. Blech! This post is being forwarded immediately to the hubby, and a trip to Ikea is in our immediate future!
That’s SO funny you freaked out about the wall paper! We had the same thing happen to us yesterday in our kitchen we’re “remodeling”. We took a cabinet off and the wallpaper from our horrid past was behind it!! AHHH!!!
Looks great! In my old house, I replaced 1960s yellow marbled formica with IKEA butcher block. It looked a million times better and I wish I’d done it a while before I sold instead of *right* before as part of the staging — I would’ve liked to have enjoyed it longer. I wish I had saved the spare piece I had when I moved so I could use it on … the glittery GOLD marbled formica in my current house.
Sarah @ The Ugly Duckling House says
Katie, love your blog. I hadn’t even considered butcher block for the bathroom, but this looks SO great! I am about to take on our master bath myself. In fact, I posted a letter to it the other day on my blog (we haven’t been the best of friends, you see).
Thanks to your great photos, I was able to communicate my idea a lot easier to my boyfriend, who needs a bit more visual help to understand where I’m coming from design-wise. Thanks!
Isn’t it crazy how a boyfriend doesn’t want to do a project until they SEE it?!?! It’s like the golden ticket to DIY 🙂
xo – kb
OMG. I love it!! I never thought of using butcher block in the bathroom- it looks country and modern all in one. So great.
Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating says
Yes, you can stain butcherblock. I have butcherblock (from Ikea) in my kitchen, and I stained it, and then sealed it with Waterlox. If you do it according to the directions, it’s food safe.
Hey Katie! Just wanted to let you know we’re using butcher block in our master bathroom and I linked to your post today. Hope you’re having a great one!
Meredith @ Welcome to Heardmont
I was just thinking of the same thing Meredith! (White cabinets and dark counters). If you have completed it and have pics to share, I’d love to see ’em. I’m trying to get my hubby on board with the idea!
I am new to your blog. Stubled upon this post and was wondering how the butcherblock is holding up in the bathroom? My husband and I are thinking of usin the same countertop from IKEA. Thanks for the awesome post!!
Well we have since moved from that house but our the current leasers told us its holding up great!
Justin Mitchell says
How did the Thompson’s Water Seal work out? Would you recommend it? We are doing a similar project and would love to hear from someone who has been there.
I also noticed on their site that they have a clear kind and a tinted one – which one did you use?
I would recommend it but I have also never used Waterlox…so I don’t know which is better. And we used clear.
xo – kb
Hi. I’m making a vintage dresser into a bathroom vanity. Because the top is wood, I was thinking about using Thompson’s waterseal. Have you had any issues with water damage?
We don’t live there anymore but from what I have heard, no.
xo – kb