March 23, 2021

Transformation Tuesday #19: A splash of paint!

Thank you so much for the last-minute submissions for Transformation Tuesday! As you know, I love this series (and I know many of you do, too) so please keep them coming (see bottom of the post for details to submit).

After going through all of these, I realized that the main topic was paint--it's amazing what a splash of paint can do to completely transform a room or a piece of furniture. If you don't have the money to update the look of a room, a single gallon of paint in the right places can do wonders. And it feels so good when you love the new look :)

Here are some fun transformations involving paint for this Transformation Tuesday...

I finally decided to update the master bathroom in our house, since it was the last room on our main floor that we hadn't painted since we bought our house a few years ago.  We put the new sink faucet in a couple of months ago..., then I painted the walls, the shower doors (with metallic spray paint), the countertops (with a marble countertop kit) and the cabinets.  I got a new mirror and hardware and my husband installed a new vanity light. (I don't do electric!)  It feels like a brand new room for under $500!

- Jen

This is my fiancĂ©'s pool/guest bathroom that I took on as a project. I was trying to do this as cheaply as possible, so mainly I used paint to change the look of the bathroom. Blue and green are my favorite colors, so you can definitely see my influence here! I purchased a new rug, and found the pictures and shower curtain in a thrift store. I repurposed the plant and the white shelf that we already owned.  I also replaced the blind on the pool door. Next will be to replace that ugly yellow plastic sheeting on the overhead light! 

Eileen, Florida, DIY'er

We were excited to open our saloon on the lower level of our old school building a year ago, but COVID struck. It's still not open but we did a lot of work on the original kitchen that the kids used a looooong time ago.

-Karen, antique mall owner

It all started with a black mirror. I loved the mirror above the dining room buffet, but it didn't look quite right with all the brown on the buffet.  I decided to paint some of the trim in black milk paint and I loved the way it turned out, Of course I had to paint the trim on the table next.  And, finally, the chairs also needed to be painted to look like they belonged.  I do love the final outcome, but I am really tired of painting and applying top coats!

- Cheryl

Project: Bedroom "refresh" for a [interior design] client--this was a very large room, with a wall of sliders onto a porch with an ocean view(!) but I'm only using the bed-wall in this before/after

Process: Visit, talk to client about goals (in this case "cozier" "place to draw/paint" "place to read in afternoon", find out client priorities (client had been struggling with paint color for a couple of years before she hired me), ask about things that needed to stay (in this case, a 1980s burgundy leather chair/ottoman, built-in bedside drawers, etc)

I spent about 2.5 hours on site, talking, measuring, taking pictures, thinking about what else in the home might be moved to be used in the bedroom, honing paint colors.

What I Delivered:  an overall look and "plan" including specific instructions for paint, detailed photos of items to be purchased, right down to the duvet cover and dog bed. the rug was something the client already owned and loved, so I suggested re-locating it to bedroom, and I pulled the accent wall color from it.

In a more involved re-fresh, I'd visit several times (to confirm palette, talk to contractors if necessary, bring samples of window treatments, etc)-- but this project was smaller so that the client could implement changes as time and budget permitted.

One of my favorite things is to incorporate vintage or second-hand items if possible, and if the client is open to it--it's more environmentally kind and almost always less expensive, but it can take longer. in this case, the client was open to a vintage Kevi chair that I supplied. The Kevi chair was designed in Denmark in 1958 as the first adjustable/ergonomic work chair, and it is still being made for over $600! (it's very comfortable--I considered keeping it myself)

- Amy, New England, passionate designer with a love for vintage and secondhand stuff

Thank you so much for sharing your fun projects! 

Jen, the update on your bathroom is amazing--and I can't believe how inexpensive it was. (Is that paint color Argos by Sherwin-Williams, by any chance? It looks identical to the gray throughout most of my house.) I love the color you chose for the vanity!

Eileen, that bathroom is exactly what I mean when I say how much paint can transform something. That wall color is perfect! You did a great budget-friendly makeover. (Also, I've had the song "Come On, Eileen" stuck in my head while I worked on this entire post, haha)

Karen, that looks like so much work! But I am fascinated that you are using an old school building for a saloon...did I read that right? What a fun project. I'd love to see more pics!

Cheryl, your post made me laugh because I know that train of thought SO well ;) You did an amazing job--the buffet is gorgeous! I am terrible at envisioning brown and black together--but your furniture looks like it's from a design catalogue. Love it.

Amy, thanks so much for sharing the process of designing for a client! That would be a super fun job (unfortunately, I definitely don't have the "design eye" for rooms... I just change things out by trial and error, haha). I'm sure your client was thrilled with the new look!

If any of you have a fun transformation (it doesn't have to be DIY... just any sort of before and after) that you'd like to share, I'd be thrilled to post it on a Transformation Tuesday post! Just email a before photo and an after photo to me at: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. Include a description of the transformation, your name, location, and what you like to do (whatever you feel comfortable sharing).


  1. These are awesome! Great job everyone. These post are fun Katie

  2. Katie is your knee healed? I hope so. Yes, it's different to make a saloon in an old school building. What the place is now is a 4 floor antique mall and we want the saloon down on the lower level. It hasn't been used as a school for ?20 years. We will send pictures of future progress. I love all of these cool transformations!

  3. These are so great! I am super interested in learning more about the old school house being transformed into a saloon! I hope she sends you more updates! I love what a fresh coat of paint can do!!

  4. Jen,if you see this could you tell me the color you used on your vanity?! I'd love to paint mine that color!
    All these look amazing! Love the furniture!

    1. Hi Missy, I used Rust-oleum milk paint finish, in Navy for the vanity. It took a few coats, but I love the color!

  5. Thanks, Katie! I love these posts! The paint I used on the walls is Behr Still Gray. All of the projects look fabulous!


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