Simple Updates in the Master Bath

January 28, 2016

Well hello! It's been a productive few weeks! I LOVE focusing on things that have sat on the to do list for way too long. It's so easy for me to see the shiny new project and let little things go for a stupid amount of time. I'm over that though, and have vowed to start  knocking more off my list. 

This one was in our master bathroom -- lately I've been asked a few times to share more bathroom projects. I've completely redone two bathrooms in our home (the powder room and basement bathroom from scratch), but haven't tackled the two larger bathrooms for a few reasons. One, because it will be expensive. I just finished that kitchen. ;) Two, it will be a big inconvenience to go without one of those bathrooms and three, I take forever to figure out exactly what I want. I'm pretty sure where I'm going with my son's bathroom and will tackle that first. 

Our master bath is not really my style at all anymore but it will most likely be the last room I make over in our home (for all the reasons above). It's a nice bathroom and it functions well. It is my dream bathroom? No, but I don't' even know what my dream bathroom is yet. ;) And I want to put money where we spend more time. 

So all of that to say I haven't really touched this room since we moved in nearly 12 years ago. The paint has been the same since then and the small changes I made all that time ago have stayed. About seven years ago I made a few small updates like adding picture frame molding and a tile surround (I was a newbie so it's not my best work). I also added a little decorative flair to the walls:  
This is a very old photo but it's the best before I could find. I shared how I did that textured stencil here -- it really was a cool project. That stuff stayed put for all these years! (I'm sure it helps that this isn't exactly a high traffic area.) But for a couple years I've been wanting to remove that texture. I think it's a cool result but it's just not my style anymore. My taste has become a lot less fussy over the years.

I haven't touched this stuff for seven years but I figured it wouldn't be too hard to remove. Thankfully I was right. Here's a close up of how it looks:
Textured design on wall

It came off with my nail easily, so I tried a razor blade first, but that was digging into the wall too much. I found this little paint can tool and it worked much better: 

It wasn't hard -- just took some elbow grease. 

After I got it all scraped I wiped it down with a magic eraser: 

That got any residue that was left. If I really wanted to scrub I think I could have gotten it all off with that, but my arms were really tired at this point. ;) There was absolutely no damage to the walls! It helps that I painted this area with semi gloss -- it takes scrubbing much better. 

I knew I was going to cover what was left with paint so I just made sure it was as smooth as possible: 

The incredibly exciting projects continued (not gonna lie, it was a little exciting to me because I had put this off for so long) when I caulked where the tile and the tub meet: 
Best caulking tip

Best tip ever -- when you're caulking something like this, tape it off first, then you can make a big mess as you're wiping it down and it won't get all over everything. Remove the tape while the caulk is still wet. 

By the way, years ago we had what we thought was a leak from this plumbing. Turns out it was just water getting under the tile -- and this is why you finish the little details my friends. Gah. Since then I've been more careful when cleaning the top of the tub so it hasn't happened again. Now I don't have to worry about it. :) 

This tub has looked pretty spectacular lately (that's sarcasm) because when we had the "leak" checked out they had to remove our panels around the tub. They have sat kind of wonky-like since. The plumber removed trim to get the panels off and it was all around really pretty: 

So I finally got that back in place and attached the trim again. 

Side note -- I covered our tub panels with beadboard a long time ago and they've held up great. I painted them to match the room and I still love that little bit of detail. It was a super easy and cheap project!

So anyway, to recap the things I knocked off the list -- the texture was removed, walls were touched up, tile was caulked and panels were put back into place: 
Decorating area around tub

I don't miss that texture at all. I'm loving the simpler look which is good because this is how it will stay for the next two to three years before we redo this space. :) 

I do think about what we'll do in this room often -- our shower is teeny tiny and this spot would make for a GREAT, large shower (after moving the window of course): 
Picture frame molding on walls

But we both love a good soak so we'll be keeping a tub, I just don't want to keep this ginormous one. 

I have even considered moving our vanity area over here for all that natural light (on the walls to the left and right of the windows) but I don't think we'd have enough room: 
DIY tile around tub
Lots of ideas floating around up in the noggin. Good thing I've got plenty of time to think about it!

For now I'm thrilled to get more projects off my list and I really like the calmer look in here: 
Spa look in bathroom

It took me an afternoon to get this all finished up -- again, this was one of those projects that was going to take all day in my head. That happens a lot. :) I'm hoping to get a few more knocked out over the weekend, but full disclosure -- I spent money on knobs at Hobby Lobby yesterday. They were on sale and I wanted to grab them at 50 percent off. Otherwise I've been pretty dang great at not buying anything for the house! 

Have you made big or small changes to your bathroom? Did you wait a long time like us? I just haven't had the urge to do much more with this room yet -- but I know that will change eventually. 

I hope to finish up a few more projects this weekend and then you'll probably find me at the Target dollar spot on Monday. ;) 
Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. Wow what a huge improvement, it looks fantastic :)

  2. I love the way it looks. Great job! It has a nice spa feel. We're getting ready to knock out our bathroom. It's dated to 1967. It has a blue tub and sink. Lol. Can't wait to get it finished.

  3. It looks great! I actually hate using tape for caulking, I recently discovered a tool that leaves no mess and you don't have to deal with tape

  4. It looks GREAT! And thank you for that awesome tape-before-caulking-tip!! I will use that one for sure. :) Always enjoy your blog, Sarah.
    Sofia F.

  5. Wow! That came out so good it actually looks like a totally remodeled bathroom.

  6. Very nice! Good choice to get rid of that texture detail, but the molding looks great! Are you planning to paint the tub surround white? I think that'd look really clean and lighten it up from the dark floors.

    1. Thank you! I'm not planning to do anything else in here for some time. I think white would look great but the floors are actually really light, it's hard to get good shots in that room. :)

  7. Love the clean lines and simpler look. Great job!

  8. It's crazy how much of a difference just removing that textured detail makes! I did a quick update to our master bathroom at the end of the year. It needed updated but I didn't want to spend a lot of time or money (eventually it will get a full overhaul), so I just updated the paint and backsplash tile. It feels like a brand new space (you can see it here, if you would like:

  9. Soooooo pretty!! Add bubble bath, candles, and wine and it's the absolute perfect way to end the night!!

    Mel |

  10. This is such a great makeover!!! I mean it's like night & day. I also loved that you kept some of the original tile it looks like.. which makes it soo much more practical!! It's so fresh & simple spa like now..VERY NICE JOB!!!


  11. Looks great. Have you considered painting the bead board around the tub white?

    1. It would look great but I won't be doing any other projects in here till we redo the whole space. I'm happy with how it is. :)

  12. This looks so relaxing. The candles, that lighting fixture, the colors; it all just works perfectly.

  13. Kind of amazing, because your stencils were very cool, but I really like the "after" appearance too! Looks so fresh and sleek. Interesting.
    Happy weekend.
    ps-after seeing that TALL photo of Bub, I'm guessing you need to keep a lot of food in the house these days!

  14. I like the new, calming look of your bathroom:) I am in the middle of a complete redo of my master bathroom. I have been tiling the shower for two days and I am looking forward to the finished space!

  15. Love the space! Your home is so inspiring! I have a similar tub area and I never thought of a candle light fixture. Can you share where you found yours? Thank you!!!

  16. Wow the room looks great! Like a spa getaway and I love those tall ceilings. Great work :)

    Lauren | Lovely Decor


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!