Monday, July 27, 2015

RV Renovation - The Bathroom edition


The bathroom was probably the biggest disaster we were dealing with and since the toilet was out and then replaced it was here we started with the renos. We decided to paint all our cabinets and this was where we started!

Here's the obligatory 'Before' shot of the old toilet, sink and cabinets;


All the cabinet and closet doors came off. Surfaces were thoroughly cleaned with a strong solution of TSP and then very lightly sanded, and then cleaned off again. The doors were part real wood (the framework around the outsides), and part dodgy wood-effect laminate type stuff (the centre of the doors). The cabinet bases were all the laminate. I say laminate - I think it's some sort of particle board that's been covered with a wood effect kind of paper. All I do know that when it's in contact with water over extended periods of time the board expands and the paper cover 'bursts' so we have a few lumps and bumps around from the water leakage issues we've had.


We bought Behr One-Coat latex paint in semi-gloss for the cabinets (Whisper White). The nice man at Home Depot convinced me I wouldn't need a primer with this paint. I was skeptical. And I had good reason. The cabinet base took 3-4 coats of paint (that was the fake wood stuff). It was tedious work I'm not gonna lie. All those nooks and crannies where you needed to use a paint brush. The top coat was done with a small foam roller which evened out the brush strokes and left a nice smooth finish to all the flat fronted areas. Same with the doors - we used a brush to get into the corners and edges of the doors and then the fronts were finished off with top coats using the roller. (The real wood edges generally needed less paint - just 3 coats).

Cabinet doors everywhere! We probably could've saved ourselves a bunch of time doing them in a more assembly line style but space was limited!


I originally wanted all new hardware for the doors but I started realizing just how much work and money that was going to be. I opted for (near) instant gratification of spray painting. All the hinges, screws and door handles were soaked in the TSP solution, sanded if necessary and thoroughly dried. Some had a little rust on them but nothing too bad. I used the Rustoleum Satin Black spray paint and gave everything a couple of coats - if you look closely they aren't perfect but I'm not planning on spending a lot of time getting up close and personal with my closet door hinges...

Making progress - one coat paint was definitely not 1 coat!! More like 4 but we got there in the end!


When the doors were off we realised we were liking the look of a couple of them without doors. Since we're not planning on driving around in Harvey all that much these days we figured that we'd leave them that way. In the bathroom we had a tiny shallow cupboard next to the sink which is now just open shelving and has given us the added bonus of having a usable counter top which we can put things on (Since before it had to be left clear to be able to open/close the cupboard door). We also liked the open shelving look under the sink. I considered hanging a little curtain there (all twee and cottage like) but in the end decided that some basket storage would look great. (if/when we're ever driving Harvey we'll figure out a plan for storing those items but 98% of the time he's parked up for months at a time so it's just not of concern to us right now.)

I was trying to find some baskets that worked for our space but it wasn't that easy. We had some pipework in the way on the top shelf so the baskets acted more as a cover-up than a functional storage box. In the end I decided to make some boxes myself that would custom fit in the space and around some pipework


We painted over the exisiting wallpaper. It was a smooth paper in great condition so after a quick wipe over with the TSP solution we painted with an Eggshell finish paint in a greige colour (Behr's 'Creme de la Creme'). It went on sooooooo nicely - we barely needed a second coat and it was a real pleasure job after all the cabinets!

The final update to the bathroom was the addition of some tiling around the sink area. Adding some tiling really jazzed things up and changed the look dramatically! I used the peel and stick Stick-it Tiles'. I'm delighted with the look but not totally convinced on the application. I think they may have 'slipped' slightly since I put them on and the top edges are peeling back a little. They do suggest using glue which seems to defeat the idea of self adhesive tiles but I will try next.

All that's left is the flooring - which will hopefully happen sometime this fall (once we've installed a new roof and hopefully stopped any water leakage issues!!).

15 comments:

  1. You did a fantastic job. Everything looks spectacular. I love the white cupboards. In my opinion bathrooms should be white. It is a traditional style. Thank you for sharing your project. I hope you have more like this one. Best regards!

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    1. Thanks Gail. We've got more renovations on the RV to share soon! We've had the RV back in storage over the last 6 weeks but will be working again to get the bedroom and bathroom totally finished (still no carpet in there yet!) and of course all those tiny finishing touches!!

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  2. I love everything but one thing. The gold light bar. Silver or black would complete the fresh updated look. Gold looks like left over 80's

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    1. Agreed! We also don't love the gold shower trim and the unfinished flooring, but it's still a work in progress!

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  3. A bathroom looks more beautiful with minimal colors. You can never go wrong with white. It always go with other colors. Congratulation to this successful bathroom makeover.

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    1. Thanks! We're loving the bright, freshness of the white!

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  4. Do you mind giving a rough estimate on the cost of the bathroom reno? I'm remodeling an rv too. Just did flooring which was actually easier and cheaper than I imagined.

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    1. Hi Sandra, I'm really not sure as we weren't really keeping track. It was a slow process for us so things were bought bit by bit. The biggeset expense would have been the new toilet which was I think around $180 (all Canadian prices so much higher than the US). Paint was cheap when you consider the bathroom is so small and the paint we bought it doing the whole RV eventually. Cupboard handware was all just re-sprayed. We did all the painting ourselves so time consuming but free! The smart tiles were probably around $120. And since this photo was taken we did fit carpet into the bedroom and bathroom area - we lucked out and got an off-cut so we only paid about $100 for that!. I hope to do some more RV reno posts this spring since we've done so much more work since the bathroom!

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  5. Do you mind giving a rough estimate on the cost of the bathroom reno? I'm remodeling an rv too. Just did flooring which was actually easier and cheaper than I imagined.

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  6. This is really beautiful! I've been looking at Pinterest for two years now and your pictures just made me ready to get to work. I will be watching for more posts from you.

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    1. Thanks Connie! We've actually done a lot more work since the bathroom, and you comment reminds me I really must post some progress pictures and updates!

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  7. We decided to paint all our cabinets and this was where we started! Knoxville Remodeling Kitchen

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  8. While shopping balance your bathroom ideas with your budget for the bathroom makeovers.http://www.easeofmobility.com/best-canes-guide/

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  9. Never thought to paint it all white - so doing this. Love all your input, especially on pricing. So excited to have this inspiration. We camp all summer long, but our 1996 camper needs an update. Thanks.

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