Home Staging: Updates for a Bathroom

I promised I would share with you all the details of the home staging I did over the past few months to get my house ready for the real estate market.

Now that our house has been listed, I can get back to what I love the most…writing for my blog and connecting with you.

Over the next few weeks I am going to put together a series (many of you have asked for all the specifics of what we did) and I will share it all in a few posts.

I figure the best place to start is with one of the rooms that is a big selling feature when selling a house… the master bath.

The master bathroom and kitchen are where we spent a majority of our money to be competitive in the market. Like it or not, your house will only shine if it looks better than the competition. Location helps a lot, but the house has to be updated to catch a buyer’s eye as soon as the “For Sale” sign goes up.

When our real estate agent toured the house back in July she said to make the master bath spa-like. This is what I tried to do, as best as I could with our budget.

I posted about how I stripped the wallpaper and painted the room using Antique White paint to match the tiles.  We also replaced a fiberglass molded shower surround with stone. I posted about that, here.  The bathroom’s tile, tub and sink already being a neutral color ended up working out in our favor.

Using neutral colors is a smart choice when preparing to sell a house since it allows the buyers to move right into the house, no matter the style or color.

Home Selling tips and tricks

Here is one of the original faucets that the builder put into the bathroom 22 years ago. They worked just fine and were in perfect condition, but were lacking the all important “style-factor”.

Supplies needed to stage a bathroom

To add some new sparkle to the mix, I went to my local True Value Hardware, bought two shiny chrome gooseneck swivel faucets, a new towel bar, and a tube of almond caulk to give the sinks a fresh new look.  Ed replaced them, while I took care of redoing the caulk and a few other minor updates to the counter that made the room feel a bit more spa-like and serene.

When I bought the faucets I didn’t realize the neck swivels side to side. A pleasant surprise I found out after Ed installed them.

supplies needed:

  • Peerless Swivel Faucet in Chrome


  • Tub and Tile Caulk
  • Scissors
  • Ice Cubes in a bowl of water or a spray bottle of water
  • Damp rag or paper towel
  • popsicle stick

The step-by-step illustrated installation directions that come with the faucet is very easy to follow even for a first timer.  I couldn’t write a better tutorial.

However, for caulking around sinks, I have a few tips that I have learned over the years.

tips on how to caulk around a sink

Trick for how to caulk around a sink

Sink Caulking Tricks

  1. The most important step is to cut the tip on the tube of caulk on an angle and the opening no bigger than 1/4″.  The angle and size cut make for the perfect bead of caulk to be dispensed as you press the tube and move around the sink.
  2. Hold the cut angle with the short end of the cut so it is touching the counter and facing the edge of the sink as you move the tube around to apply caulk. The longer end of the cut is away from the counter. As you hold the tube, gently press and move the tube around the sink using the same pressure.
  3. If you have to stop, it is OK. Stop and then pick up where you left off, but go back over just applied caulk about 1/4″. You can smooth the transition in the next step.
  4. Once you have a bead of caulk all the way around the sink. Fill the sink with water and dip your index finger in to wet it or dip a popsicle stick into the water. Use your wet finger or popsicle stick and run it on top of the just applied caulk to smooth the caulk.  Use the paper towel to wipe the excess caulk that gets on your finger/popsicle stick. Re-wet your finger and wipe excess on paper towel as needed as you work your way all around the sink.


  1. Fill a spray bottle with water. Spray water over the just applied caulk, then use your finger or popsicle stick to smooth.
  2. For extra smoothness, run a dripping ice cube along the caulk. Wipe away any excess water along caulk with an absorbent paper towel and let dry.
Tips for how to re-caulk around a sink

Practice a few times and simply wipe the caulk away until you get the hang of it.  As with mastering any skill, the more you do it the better you get. 

Tips on how to stage a bathroom to sell a house

After the sinks were done, I added two new bath mats in front of each sink. Everything else added to the counter was found throughout my house.

bathroom staging ideas

Some fresh flowers, a bar of soap and a candle help make the counter feel more spa-like without making it look cluttered. Fluffy white towels and a white tray are a good option to hold a few bottles of lotions and other products.

Notice that there is nothing personal on the counter. When staging you should always remove any personal items.

Staging ideas for a master bathroom

Before we left on our trip I put everything personal including toothbrushes, shampoo bottles, toiletries, prescriptions, razors, a scale, and a blow dryer under the bed in our bedroom. That way it’s easy to access when needed, but out of the way for showings so it looks clean.

Tips for selling a house

Have you moved recently or are you in the process?  What have you done to get your house ready to sell?

how to caulk around a sink with pro results

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  1. Thank you for the info! We have been trying to re-caulk our bathroom sink for a while and every time we do, the caulk binds up and wipes away after it gets wet. Even after the maximum dry time. Does this caulk do that or do you have a secret to prevent that?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jamie –

      What brand/type of caulk are you using?

  2. Hi! This article is great! My husband and I are starting a pre-listing service business marketing to Realtors and doing small handy man jobs, updates, cleaning etc. before the home goes on the market. The simple updates you made with the new faucets and fresh caulk are exactly what we will be doing. We’re just starting out, so still in the marketing phase. Would you give me permission to use your photos as an example on our Instagram? I could tag you and give credit of course!

  3. Beautiful….thanks for the post. On future posts could you include before and after photos.
    I look forward to seeing where you make your new home. I know it will be wonderful.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sylvia – I will be sharing the before and after of each room over the next few weeks.

  4. THANK YOU for posting these “staging” posts. We’re listing our house in January or February. We have to sell due to my hubby’s company relocating from Ohio to North Carolina. Needless to say, we’re worried about listing in winter. Any tips, staging websites, etc are greatly appreciated!
    Regarding our cat, when we sold our house two years ago, we hid the toys, beds, litter pans, food bowls etc in the van and garage and took him with us. We mostly sat and waited the showings out in a parking lot or park, but even took him in his carrier into Home Depot. We’ll do the exact same thing again and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He wasn’t “happy”, but I knew he was safe and less stressed overall. I was certainly less stressed not having to worry about him being in the house with total strangers.
    We were very diligent about not allowing the laundry to pile up while we were showing our house and took our dirty clothes with us for the showings.
    We played a light Jazz on the TVs really low, not to distract from conversation, just background. Pandora has fewer commercials than radio and all TVs can be set to the same station, if you don’t have whole house sound.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Aly – You sound like a Pro stager. I especially like your tips on how you dealt with your cat. Pets can be a problem, you handled it well. As far as winter staging tips. One thing would be to make sure you have salt or sand in a bucket with a small shovel so you can easily spread it over icy sidewalks and entrances to your home. You may want to get two extra heavy duty door mats. Place one inside and right outside the entrance so prospective buyers can wipe their feet of snow before entering the house and again once inside. This is important if you have carpeting. I would also make sure the heat was just right in the house so it feels warm and cozy.

      Best of luck on selling and your husband’s new job.

  5. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    I love your perfect bathroom. I would lose money if I were to sell my house. I really needed the tips on caulking, cause I have to recaulk both my main bath and kitchen sink.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll – Caulking is very easy once you do it a few times. Many think you just apply the bead of caulk and let it be. It needs to be smoothed to look seamless. :-) It is not an expensive fix either, but sure does make a world of difference.

  6. Beautiful and so practical! I will use your tips and those from other readers as I prepare my house to list in March 2016. Thank you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Teresa – Best of luck selling your house. It can be so stressful…a real roller coaster ride until you land happily on the other side and settled into your next home. I am looking forward to getting to that stage soon. :-)

  7. I’m so excited to see the updates you’ve done to prep your home for selling. We recently listed our home, as well. On the inside we put a fresh coat of neutral color paint in the living and dining room, entry, hall, bedrooms and master bath. We replaced the caulking in both showers and the kitchen sink. Updated all the dark wood trim to white and replaced the hollow core wood doors with 6 panel white doors. What a huge difference that made!! Decluttering and de-personalizing room by room was next. On the outside, we focused on our curb appeal by trimming and removing some overgrown shrubbery, power washing the siding. The addition of a fall wreath to the front door along with a potted mum and two pumpkins make the home look very inviting. Praying for the right buyer to walk to walk through our door, as well as yours!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – It sounds like you have been as busy as I have getting your home ready to sell…move in ready now for the buyers. The new doors must have made the biggest change. What a difference and not too hard or expensive to do. Best of luck with the sale. I hope you are settled into your next home soon.

  8. When we sold our house I replaced all the framed family photos with pictures from flower calendars. It was May so the calendars cost practically nothing. Stores were happy to rid of them.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Karen – Replacing family photos with flower photos is such a great idea. Colorful and cheery and allows the buyer to see the house as a “neutral” so they can envision their own life in the house. It is a great idea and as you said, cost you practically nothing. Thanks for sharing your tip.

  9. Becky in 'Bama says:

    We sold our house back in June of this year – IN ONE WEEK! Even though it was basically sold in the first couple of days, we continued to show it for about ten days before we finalized a deal. My biggest issue was what to do with our indoor pet – our cat. Every time we showed the house during the day, my husband would have to come home from the office and put her in a cage which was traumatic to us and especially to her. Unfortunately, people who do not have indoor pets do not realize that you cannot come in the front (or back) door and leave it standing open…the animal will possibly escape. I wish there was a way to educate people about this topic. Of course some people are super allergic or super crazy about having a cat in the house and one couple refused to even come in the front door when they realized there was a cat living inside. Whatever. Bottom line: animals can be a big issue when trying to sell your house.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Becky – Congrats on selling your house so quickly. Every home sellers dream.:-) Having pets does make the selling process even harder and can be a big inconvenience as you found out. It sounds like you handled it well. I have a friend who is highly allergic to cats so I understand about the couple not wanting to come in. I hope you are enjoying your new home now that you are on the other side of your move.