Sleek and Bright Master Bathroom Update – Part I

So we updated our guest bath (here).  Now it is time for our master bath.  While the previous owners did remodel this area completely, the cabinets were still a gross medium-oak color (found nowhere else in the house), the light fixtures were too mod, it has a fugly louvered bi-fold door, the walls were a barely-there beige, the trim had yellowed, and I despise the black sink, Kohler or not.  Also, they used the same black granite from the kitchen in here which doesn’t jive with me, I hate it when people do that, everyone knows what you did, don’t pretend you got all fancy with granite in here too, cheapskates.  We discussed adding a second sink but that would require a vanity re-build, twice the fixture purchase, and a contractor to do it all and I just wasn’t ready for that.  I can tackle some plumbing, but adding a whole other supply ain’t happenin yet.  While I am requiring two sinks in our next house, we make this one work just fine for us since we usually aren’t in there at the same time, so whatevs.  For this bathroom, I wanted to do something more masculine and refined, with dark cabinets, sleek fixtures, chrome, etc.  Inspiration here and here.

This is the only decent “Before” pic I could dig up, sorry, but the vanity was the same medium oak as the cabinet and there was a full size builder’s mirror.

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To start, I painted the walls SW Perfect Greige (love) and the trim and entry door SW Westhighland White.  The mirror wall got painted when we changed the vanity light (nightmare to be told soon) and mirror.

On the vanity, I decided to try Minwax’s PolyShades like YHL did on their bathroom vanity.  It took five coats to get it this dark and the stuff was quite the pain to work with in the end.  Everything sticks to it (fuzz, cat hair, blonde hair) cause it takes forever to dry, it makes drips easy, and I used a foam brush to minimize strokes (a brush didn’t leave strokes I later found) but ended up with rough bubbles all over from it.  It is a nice color and a bonus not to have to do a poly coat but I think that old-school stain then poly is still the way to go to get a good finish.  Mine definitely don’t have a good finish, but they’re dark, so you can’t tell, shhh.  Hardware is from Lowe’s.
 For the shelves over the toilet, I ordered matching doors from Barker Door to conceal the storage (awesome), sanded the cabinet (not awesome), and stained everyone twice with old-school dark stain then two of PolyShades so I didn’t have the gloopiness issues like I did on the vanity doors, it was much quicker.

This is where we are now.  Sink and faucet have been bought and we are just saving up to do the countertop and update the ugly louvered bi-fold closet doors to something like this.  We are going with a quartz countertop again from the Depot but this time in a white, which is much more expensive than the guest bath’s was :/

There is such a huge difference already with the darker cabinets and framed mirror so it is much more tolerable, it blows me away every time what replacing those builder-grade mirrors with a framed mirror can do.  We aren’t going to tile a backsplash in here because both the awful glass blocks are busy and the floor tile is busy so I want to keep everything else sleek and smooth.  The hardest part is done in my opinion though as I’d rather install plumbing than stain.
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