This kids bathroom makeover turned a boring builder-basic Jack-and-Jill space into one that’s now bright, playful, and full of personality!
All it took was a little paint on the walls and cabinets, some DIY faux wallpaper, and a few fun decorative accessories.
You don’t want to miss the before-and-afters…they’re pretty JAWesome! :)
Kids Bathroom Makeover: Shark Attack!
My two little boys (ages 7 and almost 4) share a Jack-and-Jill (errrr, Jack-and-Jack?) bathroom between their respective bedrooms.
This space was the next room up for a makeover, and they decided on a shark theme with blue as the main accent color.
Now, the shark aspect in this room is not IN YOUR FACE or hitting you over the head. It’s more of just a wink.
A subtle, mature suggestion of our appreciation of the aquatic creatures.
I wanted to instead have the sharks introduced through the artwork, shower curtain, bathmats, etc., or things that can easily be swapped out.
That way, if/when the boys outgrow them and decide another mini-makeover is in store years from now, it will be painless and inexpensive.
You know us moms…we’re always thinking ahead, y’all.
OH! And you can find all the items we used in this makeover in the complete source list towards the bottom of the post!
Kids Bathroom Makeover: The Ugly, Boring Before
So here’s the room that we started with. Not a horror story by any means, but still in need of some TLC.
And this is a KIDS bathroom for crying out loud! It should be fun and playful and have some quirky character to match the two little boys who share this space.
Ok, can we just take a moment to discuss the ughhhh that is in these Before snapshots??
That boring beige was on EVERY WALL when we moved into this house back in 2016.
Not only was it just so blah, but in this small bathroom that doesn’t have any windows, it just made the space feel so sad, dreary, and claustrophobic.
Walking in here always made me feel like Dementors were nearby, just sucking out all of my joy and happiness. (My fellow Harry Potter fans will understand the reference…and probably feel my pain.)
And then there’s the GIANT builder-basic wall mirror. I mean, can you say “overkill”??
Not to mention the dated light fixtures and towel rings and cabinets…
Speaking of cabinets…
They weren’t in terrible shape either, just a boring plain oak color with dated hardware.
Some paint and new modern pulls were definitely needed.
Opposite the sinks is a large wall and doorway that leads to the toilet and tub/shower.
This wall had a random towel bar that was utterly pointless and my oldest frequently bumped his head into it.
Therefore, it needed to disappear and be replaced with some cute artwork.
And here’s a peek into the verrry exciting water closet! Yay, everyone loves a loo!
Same boring beige. Same boring style of cabinet. Same lack of personality.
Pay attention to this ugly non-centered light fixture because it’s going away too. So long fancy boob light!
And the pattern continues as we make our way through the rest of the Magical Before Bathroom Tour and check out the tub area!
*Please keep all arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and flash photography is strictly prohibited.* :)
That dingy boob light/exhaust fan would also be getting replaced.
Kids Bathroom Makeover: The Process
Step 1: Removing the Builder-Grade Mirror
The first thing needed in this kids bathroom makeover was getting rid of that GIANT builder-grade mirror.
Luckily, my dad is a retired construction superintendent, and I always put him to work on his visits.
Remember all his assistance in DIYing our own mini hallway mudroom with our board and batten hook wall??
So, prior to Papa’s visit, I casually requested his expertise (and manual labor) in helping remove a couple builder-grade bathroom mirrors (look for a post on our guest bathroom makeover soon!).
He brought a couple suction cup handle thingys, and thankfully, the mirrors were not glued to the walls.
Therefore all that was necessary was to remove the clips holding them in place, then carry them away forever.
And THIS is what was revealed. *insert screaming emoji*
Can you believe that at one point, the ENTIRE bathroom was painted in this NEON LIME GREEN?!?
Holy Migraine, Batman! indeed.
And then there’s all that crazy patched hole business…
Step 2: A Fresh Coat of Paint
Next up was giving the walls, ceiling, and trim a fresh coat of neutral but not dreary paint.
Since there aren’t any windows, bright (but not a blinding neon) paint was needed to liven up the space, and I’d be adding color via the cabinets, faux wallpaper, and other decorative accessories.
I chose a slightly warm shade of white called Alabaster from Sherwin Williams (which, according to Pinterest, happens to be one of JoAnna Gaines’ favorite colors…and may or may not be why I picked it, haha #FixerUpperFanatic).
Doesn’t just this simple new paint color totally brighten up everything so much?? It’s amazing what a little paint can do!
Step 3: New Light Fixture Shades & Mirrors
The light fixtures themselves weren’t terrible either, but the glass shades needed to be swapped out for sure.
They just weren’t very interesting and also didn’t allow enough light to shine through. Big bummers.
I found some of these neat brushed nickel geometric wire vanity light shades, and actually first used them on the ceiling fan in Rowan’s room. We liked them so much, we decided to utilize them again on these bathroom vanity lights.
They really add a coolness factor, and since they’re wire, they also brighten up the space so much.
Talk about an easy and inexpensive update!
And check out the After photos below to see the really cool vintage LED Edison light bulbs we ended up using!
Next up came installing the new separate mirrors above each sink.
I chose these rustic rectangle ones, and they also have some weathered navy blue paint scattered around the wood frame which would work PERFECTLY in this space.
Step 4: Painting the Cabinets & Installing New Hardware
Now for one of the most dramatic changes in this entire makeover: painting the cabinets BLUE!
Look for an entire post on this process in the near future with allllll the nitty gritty details. For now, I’ll just skim over the steps so I don’t make this post any longer than it already is. #italktoomuch
I will fully admit that I like to work smarter, not harder, AND I have a touch of laziness (who doesn’t?).
Prep work also happens to be my least favorite part of any DIY project, and I did NOT want to mess with any sanding or priming of these bad boys.
No thanks. Not happening.
Therefore, I used this brand of paint that doesn’t require either of those boring and tedious prep steps! Wahoo!
I just gave the entire surface of the cabinets and doors/drawers a good scrubbing with this prepaint cleaner, then slapped on my first coat of paint.
It will admittedly look absolutely horrendous (much like my manicure here), but fear not! It’s supposed to be like that and will start looking splendid after a second coat.
Here’s a shot after the first coat:
And below you can see how much better a second coat goes on versus just the first…
The cabinet above the toilet also got the same treatment.
After the 2-3 coats of paint were fully dried, I then applied two rounds of a satin topcoat.
Step 5: DIY Faux Wallpaper Using Vinyl Decals
I wanted the wall above the sinks as well as a couple walls in the water closet to have a fun wallpaper look, just to give the space some more color and personality.
Buuuut, I didn’t want to actually mess with rolls of real wallpaper, even the removable kind.
Like I mentioned above…lazy.
So, I fired up my trusty Silhouette Cameo and DIYed my own using indoor removable vinyl.
***FYI: To see allll of my Silhouette projects and tutorials, check this out!
You can see my FULL post on how to make faux wallpaper for all the nitty gritty details on this project!
Here, I’ll just skim the steps…
I cut out some equilateral triangles (yes, I retained some stuff from 9th grade geometry, thankyouverymuch) that were roughly 2″ in size out of indoor vinyl in the following colors:
- a turquoisey light blue (Geyser Blue)
- a navy blue (Dark Blue)
- and a medium gray (Gray)
The only other items needed for this task were a level (to keep the triangles straight and even), a tennis ball (to ensure a good sticking on our slightly textured walls), and a step ladder (cuz I’m short).
I didn’t want to mess with any measuring or math (ughhh), so a random, scattered placement of the triangles was the name of the game here.
Even though they were being placed randomly, I still wanted a semi-structured look to the walls.
Therefore, I made sure each triangle was pointing either directly up or directly down, and this required the use of a level.
They’re our nod to shark fins, if you will.
One by one, going a color at a time, I peeled off a triangle and stuck it to the wall.
Then I gingerly rolled the tennis ball all over each triangle to make sure it was really stuck on there goooood.
Here’s a quick little animated gif showing the INCREDIBLY complicated tennis ball application method.
I just don’t think most folks would have been able to understand this step without seeing it in action. #sarcasm
And here’s how it looked after the first color was added! Pretty cool, indeed.
I continued the process with the other two colors, and filled in any gaps as I went along.
Step 6: Final Decorative Touches
Now that the main steps in this makeover were complete, it was time for the REALLY fun part…adding all the decorative accessories and making the space whole!
One of these easy but impactful touches was updating the cabinet hardware.
I chose these modern bar cabinet pulls, and we used them not only on the drawers, but also the doors instead of tiny round knobs like before.
All it took was drilling a new hole on each of the doors.
Now everything is streamline and updated and oh so cool.
Remember how I mentioned above about the vintage LED Edison light bulbs we ended up using??
Well, here they are!
They are the bee’s knees and SOOO DARN BRIGHT! Perfect in this windowless bathroom.
Also, make sure to take notice of the shark poster reflected in the mirror because…
…it’s super neat-o too!
I purchased the design here then had it printed as a poster here.
We framed it and it’s now hanging on the big blank wall that previously housed a useless towel bar.
It’s such a better use of that space.
And now the boys also frequently comment on which species they currently have in their Animal Crossing inventories, so there’s that on the plus side too. :)
On the side walls next to the boys’ respective bedrooms, we removed the boring towel rings and replaced them with hooks that have their first initials.
You know I love me some good personalization.
Plus, I’m a HUGE proponent of swapping out towel rings and bars for hooks because they are much more likely to be used (i.e. no more towels piled up on the floor), AND there’s no need to fold them all prettylike.
Just hang and go. Perfect for little boys (and fully grown ones too, amiright?).
I also added a cute set of framed shark bathroom artwork above the towel hooks.
Here, you can also see the new automatic motion light sensors that we swapped out the previous standard switches for.
Now, the lights come on automatically when someone enters the bathroom and/or water closet, and they all turn off on their own after some time.
No more lights being left on all day or night! And no more grumpy husband grumbling about the electric bill…
I found a cute faux shark head that was blue and just too adorable to pass up, so he’s currently hanging above the door to the water closet…and closely monitors how well the boys brush their teeth each morning and bedtime.
Above the toilet, we hung an uber appropriate ‘BOYS ONLY’ sign (cuz Mom here wants nothing to do with that area, thank you).
It was originally black, so I spray painted it navy blue to fit the space better.
In the little cubby on the bottom of the wall cabinet, I added a few cute decorative touches: a faux potted succulent, a framed photo of the boys taken during their first trip to the beach down at Gulf Shores, AL, and an adorable dinosaur planter.
Next to the toilet near the toilet paper roll holder (and hung perfectly at eye level for when they’re sitting and getting down to business), I hung an adorably playful hand-painted sign.
No, I did not DIY this but instead found it while perusing a local vintage shop, and I just had to snatch it up.
I mean, could this quote be any more perfect for a boys’ bathroom??
Such great life advice from Mommy Dearest that they can see and remember each and every day.
Kids Bathroom Makeover: The After!
So, now that you’ve seen process shots as well as closeups of some of the decorative touches, how about some total room shots, hmmm?
Without further ado, I present THE AFTER!
Here’s the view of the bathroom from Rowan’s room.
Someday I’ll get around to finally sharing a post about his industrial video game room makeover…maybe. #suchaslacker
And here’s how it looks through the doorway from Brayden’s modern woodland room:
The view into the water closet!
As mentioned above, we also swapped out the fugly light fixture for a cute drum pendant light, and used a swag kit to center it in the space.
And here’s the shower/tub area:
Kids Bathroom Makeover: Before & Afters
Since this post has gone the way of my usual MO and is exponentially long, you may have already forgotten just how ugly and boring this space was before we started this makeover (as if that would be possible, pffft…).
So, how about some lovely Before & Afters, hmm?
Quite the upgrade, huh??
We love how our boys’ shark bathroom makeover turned out.
It’s so cool and BRIGHT now!
Complete Source List
- ‘Alabaster’ wall/ceiling/trim paint
- Rustic rectangular mirrors
- Vintage LED Edison light bulbs
- Brushed nickel geometric wire vanity light shades
- Removable indoor vinyl
- Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter
- ‘BRUSH YOUR TEETH’ toothbrush holders
- ‘WASH YOUR HANDS’ foaming soap dispensers
- Faux potted eucalyptus plant
- White decorative shark coin bank
- ‘R’ and ‘B’ letter towel hooks
- Navy blue hand towels
- Automatic motion light sensors
- Spray cabinet prepaint cleaner
- Blue cabinet paint & satin topcoat
- Brushed nickel modern bar cabinet pulls
- Shark bath mats
- Shark wall poster
- Shark 8×10 wall art set
- Faux shark head decor
- ‘BOYS ONLY’ wall sign
- Faux potted succulent
- Blue & white picture frame
- Dinosaur planter | Target One Spot
- ‘Don’t be a turd. -Love, Mom’ wall art | Purchased from a local vintage store
- Toilet paper holder with shelf
- Drum pendant light & swag kit
- Light & exhaust fan
- Shark shower curtain
- Shark head wall decor with towel hooks
- Shark hooded towels
- Navy blue ‘SPLISH SPLASH’ bath mat
Looking for Some More Easy & Impressive Makeovers??
Check out these other projects I’ve shared! And be sure to check out my Project Gallery for all of my projects, tutorials, and freebies!
We turned a blank hallway into a personalized board and batten mini-mudroom hook wall!
In just a weekend, I made over our porch!
I also brought new life to our weathered and rusty metal porch railings!
Here’s our spare bedroom turned Modern Woodland Nursery!
Thanks so much for stopping by!