*UPDATED* Finished At Last

Please do me a favor.  If I EVER mention that I’m thinking of tackling a major home-improvement project when my children are out of school, please drive to Oklahoma and SMACK ME. 

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I have finished the Great Master Bathroom Project of 2006.  Though technically, it should be called the Great Master Bathroom Project of 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006–that’s how long there has been some sort of remodeling disarray in this room.  I WISH I had "before" pictures, though some things are best forgotten.  Our house was built in 1982, and the bathrooms were all terribly outdated when we first moved in.  To quote my Hubs, this particular room was "urgly with a capital urg". 

The cabinets were a non-descript, mousy brown, as were all the doors and trim.  The wallpaper was hunter green and white striped, with waaaay too many flowers weaving in and out of the stripes.  I started ripping it down within months of moving in four years ago.  Lo and behold, there was more wallpaper underneath, and y’all…this paper was ivory colored with peach and beige and gray (yes, GRAY) paint splatter shapes. 

(Can I just pause here to ruminate on the fact that this was apparently ATTRACTIVE in 1982?  What, may I ask, were we thinking?  Maybe we were so distracted by the Cold War that all our good decorating sense was temporarily suspended.  Who knows.)

Anyway, this awful paper was, evidently, applied with Super Glue.  As I ripped it down, chunks of sheet rock came down with it.  Lovely.

What to do, what to do…I refinished the cabinets and painted all the trim/doors white.  But that still left the dilemma of the walls.  I wasn’t wild about re-papering (it’s expensive and not exactly the look I wanted), and painting was out of the question with such damaged walls.  On the advice of a neighbor, I decided to try a technique called paper bagging.  I’ll publish the how-to tomorrow for Works-For-Me Wednesday, but today I wanted to show you the finished results:

Here’s a view of our new-and-improved bathroom from our bedroom (the light fixtures aren’t finished yet, obviously):

Bathroom1

Here’s the wall directly behind the double sinks:

  Bathroom2_1

We’ve had that mirror for years, and it perfectly matched the new cabinet finish.  But since it’s opposite our big vanity mirror, we get that mirror-in-mirror effect like you get at dressing rooms.  I’m not wild about that:  A) because I don’t like looking at my hindquarters while getting ready, and B) it’s a bit of an existential crisis too early in the morning:  Am I here or there or here or there?….:

Anyway, here’s a close-up of the finish on the walls:Bathroom4

Last shot, I promise…here is a shot taken from the shower.  I wanted to show off the finish on the cabinets, but the flash kind of messed it up.  It’s sort of an antique, distressed, walnutty sort of look:

  Bathroom3_1

If they ever give an award for Most Transparent Blogger will you please remember, my friends, that I showed you a picture of my TOILET, for Pete’s sake? 

That’s it.  Mission accomplished, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how it turned out.  Despite all my complaining, the paper-bagging was actually much easier than wallpapering, and I’m pretty pleased with the overall effect.  I still have moments of wondering if it looks like, well, bits of paper bag glued to our wall.  But in the meantime, my kids are having a ball looking at it–it’s kind of like watching clouds.  So far we’ve found Idaho, Alabama, George Washington and Elizabeth from Pirates of the Caribbean. 

*UPDATED TO ADD*  My snarky friend Jules has had a little fun at my expense–go see her version here.

The how-to will be coming tomorrow.  Hope you’ll consider coming back to participate in Works-For-Me Wednesday.  Remember to read the guidelines here before participating. 

61 thoughts on “*UPDATED* Finished At Last

  1. flipflopmamma says:

    Wow. That looks really great!! I don’t think I could get it to turn out…I’d be like you, wondering if it really looks right. But it does!! It really looks great!! And I’m so pleased to be the very 1st commentor!! How exciting! (for me, not you. LOL) I would like to thank my baby who wouldn’t stop crying so I’m up with her so my hubby can sleep…so I’m blogging at 3am. Can babies have allergies to peaches? That’s the new food I gave her for dinner. Ok, I’m done rambling!!

  2. Kim from Hiraeth says:

    Looks great, Shannon!
    Can’t wait to find out how you did it! Wondering if you seal the paper somehow. (Seeing the picture of your toilet and remembering what it is like having little boys around. . .) (How’s that for transparent? )

  3. maria says:

    wow looks great, as you were explaining the process i was thinking you had fallen off the deeep end (haha). but the effect is lovely. please post, i think i will try that in my sitting room.

  4. Kim says:

    That turned out beautiful! I can’t wait to read the “How-To” hopefully with a section marked: “Avoid at all costs!”

  5. alliesofiamom says:

    I stumbled across your blog (love it-can’t do without it now) a few weeks ago and thought, “she’s doing what?” It looks incredible! You should be well pleased! Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. Susanne says:

    How nice did that turn out? I’ll be back to see how you did that! Love the mirror. We have mirror that goes from waist up across the whole wall across from the tub so it’s real shocking, if you know what I mean, everytime you get out of the shower! 🙂

  7. Pass the Torch says:

    Gorgeous!! We’ve been known to do insane remodeling projects, while living in the mess too. We never seem to learn our lesson either.
    And we never remember to take “before” pictures either.

  8. Tsh says:

    That looks really good. From the moment you blogged about it, it’s been in the back of my head as something I should try one day. And from here, it doesn’t look like paper bags at all. Congrats! Sit back and have a margarita.

  9. Cheri says:

    I love the room- it really turned out great!
    This gives me hope because I’m about to start my bedroom also- hope mine turns out half as well!!
    Cheri

  10. Shannon in Arizona says:

    I think it looks awesome! I would never have done it I like totally have no patience for something like that. I also have huge vaulted ceilings and that would have really made me quit. I think it is awesome you finished! I just do border see I can’t even wallpaper I have no guts…. 😦
    LOL
    Good job!

  11. Kristina says:

    I think that looks REAL good. I don’t think I could pull something like that off. I try to be to symetrical…….a friend of mine kind of did the same thing with the cement on her back porch…ok so obviously it was different, and different types of paints…but you knwo what I mean. It looked great and I loved it but I knew that I, myself, could not do it….someone else would have to do it for me!

  12. Rach says:

    I just realized I read all your posts but don’t comment very much…i LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My bathroom’s next, m’kay?????????????

  13. Cheri says:

    I think you ended up with fantastic results and really really you showed us your toliet it doesn’t get more real and personal than that…well except maybe a picture in your mirror that reflects the mirror that leaves you looking at all angles of yourself. 😀

  14. aggiejenn says:

    Looks amazing!!! I can’t wait to get instructions. (My hubby is probably running as fast as possible in the other direction right now as I plan another project!)

  15. Jenny says:

    Looks great! I had thought about doing that to my hallway, I couldn’t get up the nerve…I was going to paint on top of it too, can’t tell- did you paint it or just leave it brown? I went over to everyday mommy’s page, too funny!
    Jenny in Ca

  16. Barb says:

    Wow Shannon! It looks great. I saw your snarky friend’s version first and was almost afraid to come back here and see the whole thing. 🙂 Second attempt sure looks better than that first one. I cannot imagine, however, getting on my hands and knees and working behind that toilet. Huge kudos. It has a soft leathery look and that mirror is gorgeous.

  17. Goslyn says:

    That is gorgeous, Shannon. And labor-intensive. You are a decorating goddess. Maybe you can get your own show on HGTV.
    Can’t wait (till tomorrow!) to find out how you did it.

  18. Rebekah says:

    I am so jealous!!! It is gorgeous! Will you come decorate my house? I’m needing some major help!!!
    So, when are ya back in KC?? Hm? Hm?

  19. Pieces says:

    Existential crisis–too funny.
    I love the paperbagging–can’t wait until tomorrow to find out how to do it! I have a basement bathroom with destroyed walls–it may just be the answer to my problem!

  20. chilihead says:

    It turned out so elegant! It is beautiful. Now that you’ve done it, I believe I may tackle it for MY bathroom. Then we can be exactly-alike-twins-sharing-a-brain, kay?

  21. mimi2six says:

    It looks incredibly great!!!!! I’m glad I’ve gotten to see this work-in-progress through all it’s stages, and I can hardly wait to see the finished product in person. The wall treatment looks fantastic!A job very well done!!

  22. Phyllis says:

    Looks wonderful,I wasn’t sure about the color, but it really looks marvelous!! I’m glad you got it right the “second time.” =) I’ll bet you will watch HGTV with new appreciation now as you have learned that you really can’t turn a project around in 30 minutes!

  23. green3 says:

    Great, now we all have to go put paper bags on our walls. 🙂
    Do you have any tips on using cat hair and dog hair for such creative projects? Cause I seem to have a lot of that sitting around.

  24. peach says:

    Very, very beautiful. Loved your whole decorating scheme — yet I didn’t quite get a close enough look in that trash can next to the potty. What were you snacking on while that door was closed? Hee Hee!

  25. janet says:

    it looks wonderful!! WHen you were describing it, I pictured one inch pieces of brown bag. I really like how you used chunks (not that that is a better descriptive word). I can’t wait till tomorrow to see exactaly how it is done. Till then, I will wonder if it would look right in my home. If I knew how to post photos I could have participated in the tour of homes and you all could tell me 🙂

  26. Lauren says:

    I find it odd that you have a magazine rack in your bathroom and not a place for your laptop instead. Nice job on the papering.

  27. Amy says:

    Beautiful, Shannon! We are all holding our breath for your tutorial tomorrow 😉 Gotta love those Wednesday works-for-me ideas.
    We have had our bathroom in a state of remodeling for the past three years. We still need to hang a light fixture, hang the mirror and pictures- but otherwise it is DONE! Just to have a functioning bathroom that isn’t molded wallpaper is such a relief.
    Unfortunately we need to tackle the next bathroom. You going to be in Indiana so you can show me that technique in person?
    Great job!!

  28. Nancy says:

    It looks really good….and I’m quite picky about these things! Thanks for sharing Jules version. That was too funny. I think I need for her to give me Photoshop lessons.

  29. Shalee says:

    Okay, I may just need to refigure the “I’m never gonna do that” thought. The bathroom is gorgeous!
    Congrats to you for sticking it out and congrats to Chili for making you do it!
    And I’m all for driving down to smack someone. I get to get right back into the car and peel off before you can react! (Didn’t you say you were going to knock down a wall or something next week…)
    I will of course come back to take you to Cold Stone Creamery. That should put me back into your good graces. 🙂

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