Guest Bathroom Sink Area Debacle

The guest bathroom is basically the red headed stepchild of the renovation in that it hasn’t received that much attention. Unfortunately I don’t have a before picture (RIP external hard drive). Below is the closest I have and I’ll fill in the details.

Guest Bathroom Before

This is the subfloor that was underneath the tiles, but the tiles were pretty close to this color. They were that beautiful peachy tone that was in the rest of the house. Above the bluish gray wall tile was the most hideous wall paper I’ve ever seen. It was thick black stripes bordered by thinner gold stripes alternating with thick beige stripes. Hanging from the ceiling was a wrought iron kind of gothic chandelier with a matching fixture over the medicine cabinet. The rest of the bathroom was in good condition and is the original midcentury style. The tile, tub, toilet and sink are all the same grey with a hint of blue color which is definitely manageable.

So, we decided to give the bathroom a minor facelift. First thing was to take down the wall paper and hideous light fixtures. We then chose 6×6 Daltile in biscuit for the flooring complemented by a strip of small glass tiles for the threshold.

Guest Bathroom Floor Tile

The same glass tiles were used on the sill of the beautiful new window.

Guest Bath Window Tile

The old window was what is known as a divided pane window.

Divided Pane Window

I strongly advise against divided pane windows; they are nearly impossible to clean and you will have to stare at dirt and gunk caught under the dividers every day.

The bathroom was painted Sherwin Williams Heron Plume, a nice neutral white tone with a hint of gray. The floor tile and wall color match better in person, I swear.

Guest Bath Overview

I bet you’re wondering what exactly the debacle is. Well if you look to the left and right of the sink in the picture below, you will see a hole on each side of the sink.

Guest Bathroom Sink Area

A hole right in the 1950’s tile that will be very difficult to find. What made that hole you ask? Well I suppose in the 50’s it was all the rage to support the sink with chrome legs that connected to a towel bar that ran perpendicular to the side of the sink and inserted into the wall. Unfortunately it’s almost 60 years later and that chrome is not looking so nice.

Towel Bar Closeup

The obvious solution is to re-chrome the legs and towel bars. However, it will cost between $350-$600 to re-chrome these pieces. I visited with a couple of “Metal Refinishers” as they call themselves, who assessed the bars and claimed they are bronze and would re-chrome nicely but the other pieces are “pot metal”. Pot metal, I learned, is whatever cheap metal was laying around that could be thrown into the pot boiling with chrome. Furthermore, the pot metal could look nice for a day, a week and then the corrosion would resurface. For $600 I don’t think that’s our solution.

We could try to find a vanity to fit below the sink and cover the holes. However the intent with this bathroom was to maintain its’ historical integrity and I’m not sure a vanity will fit.

The final alternative would be to have the “Metal Refinishing” gentlemen strip the pieces for $95 and hit them with some spray paint or silver leaf. I saw some Krylon Chrome spray paint at a local craft shop that I’m going to have to try.

Does anyone have any other suggestions or experience spray painting metal?



About designnsuch

I am a just turned thirty, diy maven in the midst of a major home renovation.
This entry was posted in Bathroom, The Great Renovate and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Guest Bathroom Sink Area Debacle

  1. sarah jenkins fonseca says:

    hi!. we sprayed our kitchen cabinet knobs. they were a white center and the metal surrounding was old and dingy. went to home depot, sanded and sprayed outside on a nice day and so so compliments the appliances now.dont remember the brand off hand as it was over 4 yrs ago but it was a spray.

  2. Scott says:

    You could also get the pieces powder coated for a lot less than chrome. This is much more durable than paint — it’s what they use on industrial equipment. We had it done to an old metal bed, and it’s great.

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