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Before/After: A Perfectionist’s $1,000 Bathroom Overhaul in Brooklyn


Before/After: A Perfectionist’s $1,000 Bathroom Overhaul in Brooklyn

August 4, 2017

For the past few months, Athena Calderone, an interior designer, stylist, chef, and author of Eye Swoon, has been camping out in a small apartment in her Brooklyn brownstone while it’s under renovation. “When I temporarily moved into a vacant apartment in my just-purchased brownstone, the existing bathroom was in bad shape, with a scuzzy, powder-blue stained tub,” she says. “I know I sound like a prima donna, but I could not imagine using the space on a daily basis.”

“Enter the obsessive, problem-solving side of my personality. I knew that you could reglaze a worn bathtub, but I didn’t realized you could reglaze ceramic tiles and flooring as well. I took a shot in the dark and Googled ‘bath refinishing’ and came up with Supreme Bath in Brooklyn, who came to my house and reglazed the entire bathroom in one day—tub, floor, and wall tiles—all for $800.”

How does tub and tile reglazing (also known as resurfacing work)? First, the tile is cleaned to remove dirts, oils, grease, and soap residue. Then, any chips or cracks are repaired and the surfaces are prepped with an acid etching, which creates a porous surface. After the prep work is complete, a surface primer is applied, followed by a top coat.

Photography by Sarah Elliott; see more at Eye Swoon.

The Refreshed Bathroom

athena replaced the original sink with a lillangen talleviken sink cabinet 17
Above: Athena replaced the original sink with a Lillangen Talleviken Sink Cabinet with two doors ($159 from Ikea); the chrome-plated Olskär Bath Faucet from Ikea is $24.99.
&#8\2\20;the reglazing plus a fresh coat of super white paint from ben 18
Above: “The reglazing plus a fresh coat of Super White paint from Benjamin Moore completely transforms the space,” Athena says. “I wanted the brightest white because it’s a narrow and dark space.” The Sterling Windham Toilet is $138 from the Home Depot.
the white lillången mirror is \$49.99 from ikea. the vintage danish s 19
Above: The white Lillången Mirror is $49.99 from Ikea. The vintage Danish spatter-painted vase is an eBay find.
a budget hand towel option: the linen kitchen towel in natural from linen & 20
Above: A budget hand towel option: The Linen Kitchen Towel in natural from Linen & Gifts is $6.25 via Amazon.
athena&#8\2\17;s gray linen shower curtain from h&m (shown reflected in 21
Above: Athena’s gray linen shower curtain from H&M (shown reflected in the mirror) is no longer available; for something similar, consider the Vintage-Washed Belgian Linen Shower Curtain in pewter, currently on offer for $99 at Restoration Hardware.


the bathroom before. 22
Above: The bathroom before.

For another genius (and low-cost) remodeling project, see Kitchen Upgrade: The Low-Cost DIY Black Backsplash. And to read about our own adventures in bathtub reglazing, see DIY: Refinishing the Bathtub in Time for the Holidays.

Finally, get more ideas on how to evaluate and choose the hardware items for your bathroom in our Remodeling 101 Guide: Bath Hardware.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on June 22, 2016.

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Frequently asked questions

What is reglazing tile?

Reglazing tile is a process of refinishing or resurfacing the existing tiles to give them a fresh look. It involves applying a coating of enamel or glaze on the tiles to restore their color, shine and durability.

Why should I reglaze my tiles?

Reglazing tiles is a cost-effective alternative to replacing them and can give your space an entirely new look. It can also improve the functionality and durability of your tiles by protecting them from wear and tear, stains, and moisture damage.

Can all types of tile be reglazed?

Most types of tiles can be reglazed, including ceramic, porcelain, and fiberglass. However, some tiles like natural stone or heavily damaged tiles may not be suitable for reglazing.

Is reglazing tile a DIY project?

While it is possible to reglaze your tiles yourself with a DIY kit, it's recommended to hire a professional for best results. A professional will have the experience, tools and materials necessary to ensure a proper and long-lasting finish.

How long will reglazed tiles last?

With proper care and maintenance, reglazed tiles can last for many years. The longevity of the finish will depend on factors like the quality of the materials used, the type of tile, and the level of wear and tear they receive.

How do I maintain my reglazed tiles?

To maintain the finish of your reglazed tiles, avoid using abrasive cleaners or excessive force when scrubbing. Instead, use mild cleaners and soft sponges or cloths to clean the tiles. Also, avoid placing heavy or sharp objects on the tiles as they can scratch or damage the finish.

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