Powder Room: Before & After

Goodbye, Brains! That’s what we’ve been saying all week. We finally got rid of the ugly wallpaper that looks like brains in our half bathroom, also known as the powder room where all the ladies go to powder their noses. Out of our three bathrooms, it’s the one that visitors use most often because of its proximity to the family room and kitchen area. It’s only 3′ x 7′ but sees a lot of action.

It started off like this. (Excuse my man-pajamas outfit.) Classy grapevine mirror and scones, thanks to the previous owner. You like?

Let me just say that removing wallpaper is incredibly tedious and not at all a fun, after-work activity. I’m hiring someone next time. It took us a week to finish the project, with work and life fitting in there somewhere. We used the fabric-softener mixed with water in a spray bottle technique. (I tried Paper Tiger and it didn’t really seem to make a difference so I opted out.) After the initial hours of scraping, we realized this is going to suck.

Close up of the Brain.

After many more hours of scraping and screaming, the Brain was finally banished! So much better already.

We spackled and sanded all the rough spots until the wall looked like a blank canvas. Now all we had to do was slap on the new paint…WRONG! Turns out primer and paint don’t like to stick to fabric softener and glue! Ha Ha Ha. Joke’s on us. So after more sanding, scraping, and scrubbing with damp cloth, we were finally able to prime and paint the room. Crawling around the toilet and sink was awesome! -___-

I decided on Indian River by Benjamin Moore to give the tiny room with no natural light some warmth. We also removed the extra towel bar to make room for some framed photos of succulents.

No more Brains!
Reminder of the “before”:

I still plan on getting a white hand towel and a some chrome knobs for the cabinets.

Here’s the cost and the sources:
Paint & tools: $70
West Elm Mirror: $149
2 West Elm Wall Scones: $118
2 Photo Frames & Mattes: $33 (Aaron Brothers Penny Sale!)
Hours of Labor: :(

Total: $370 + :(
Going to the bathroom without looking at Brains: Priceless!

BTW, happy Fourth of July! Don’t blind yourself with fireworks!

Leave a comment


  1. Nice job as usual! I never made the brain association until you started calling it that, haha.

    I liked the grapevine sconces, but the new powder room look is much more in keeping with the style of the rest of your house. Very clean and crisp. :)

  2. Wow, I never realized how much effort it took to get off wallpaper, can you imagine having to do this in a larger room like a living/dining room? +SHUDDER+

    Great job, it was transformed from scary ’90s faux marble to clean & chic. I’m liking those fun photos too!

  3. Can you image doing a whole house?!!! Death! I would make the seller remove all the wallpaper as a part of our contract.

  4. Wow! I love it! Glad I found you…….I am not so sure how can I follow your blog.

  5. I love the color you have chosen. Happy to have stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest!

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