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Meet the overnight TikTok sensation — 23-year-old ‘Picasso of the DIY world’ — whose followers are begging for an end to her viral disaster bathroom renovation

Summary List PlacementGrace O'Heeron knows exactly what she's doing. Except when it comes to upgrading her bathroom. The 23-year-old, who has described herself as the "Picasso of the DIY world," is an overnight TikTok sensation who unintentionally garnered the attention of millions online by documenting the weeks-long process of her budget bathroom reno gone awry. O'Heeron moved into her home in January after graduating from Baylor University in Texas last year, she told Insider. She said the home was built in the early 2000s, and like many homes from that era, everything was some shade of yellow or beige when she...

TikTok users's failed bathroom rennovation.

Summary List Placement

Grace O’Heeron knows exactly what she’s doing. Except when it comes to upgrading her bathroom.

The 23-year-old, who has described herself as the “Picasso of the DIY world,” is an overnight TikTok sensation who unintentionally garnered the attention of millions online by documenting the weeks-long process of her budget bathroom reno gone awry.

O’Heeron moved into her home in January after graduating from Baylor University in Texas last year, she told Insider. She said the home was built in the early 2000s, and like many homes from that era, everything was some shade of yellow or beige when she moved in.

Her dad helped her upgrade the kitchen and helped her refresh the paint colors throughout the house. But the bathrooms in the house remained untouched — until April when O’Heeron said she embarked on a plan to upgrade one of them in a short three-day DIY project.

The entire process, which has gone on for about a month, has been meticulously documented on O’Heeron’s TikTok in a series that’s the antithesis of flashy HGTV shows like “Fixer Upper” that depict picture-perfect remodels.

In one of the first videos about her renovation, which has been viewed more than 2 million times, O’Heeron showed her bathroom vanity. She painted the countertop white and added a “sparkle bomb” to create a faux marble finish.Bathroom

“It looks like a garage floor. Someone, please help,” she said.

O’Heeron told Insider that her friend barred her from using glitter in any future projects after the first failed attempt to transform the vanity.

Then came the tile floors. O’Heeron painted the off-white square tiles a dark gray color. Trouble ensued when she varnished a design on top of each tile using white paint and a homemade stencil. When executed correctly, painting tiles can be a cheap way to make a big change in space. Such renovations are commonplace on TikTok.

But after just a few tiles, O’Heeron said the stencil broke. So, she bought a $300 Cricut machine to print more stencils to finish the floor. With that purchase, she said already blown past her $200 budget for the project.

It took three days for her to make the stencil, she said. In a TikTok video, O’Heeron said the nearly finished product looked “terrible” and that she felt “doomed.” The white paint had bled through the stencil, leaving messy globs of paint. More than 311,000 people liked the video.

Since she began broadcasting the saga on TikTok on April 15, O’Heeron has uploaded more than 100 videos about the bathroom, detailing her mistakes, steps toward progress, setbacks, and trips to the hardware store. 

Days after the first batch of videos, O’Heeron took another stab at the bathroom counter. That time she used dark green paint leftover from her kitchen cabinets. But the paint was applied unevenly and wasn’t a hit with her or her TikTok fans.

One commentator said her sink looked like one found in an old high school bathroom. Another told her the countertops reminded them of a porta-potty.

“That one hurt,” she said. “It hit home. It really did.” 

In a subsequent video, O’Heeron haphazardly spread around a glob of the dark paint on the countertop that had already been plastered with multiple coats of the color. In the background, Miley Cyrus’ 2013 track “We Can’t Stop” played.

“I was joking in that video,” O’Heeron said.

“But everyone was like: ‘Oh my God! Go to the hospital! This girl is not okay.”

“I was like, yo, this is obviously a joke,” she added.

 

It took her three days to strip the thick layers of green paint from the countertop. It probably would’ve gone faster, she admitted, had she waited long enough between pouring the paint stripper and attempting to scrape the paint away.

“It was like really just me not being patient,” she said. 

O’Heeron said she’s always been impulsive, but in December 2019 she was struck by a drunk driver when she was walking late at night. She suffered injuries to her face, pelvis fractures, and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Her recovery took months.

The brain injury left her more forgetful she said, and probably more impulsive. It’s hindered her search for a job. She told her new followers about her experience in a video where she advocates against impaired driving.

“I posted that video not to say ‘Oh, I painted this because I have a brain injury,’ because that’s not at all why painted it,” she told Insider. “But now that I have a little bit of a following — all of these people —if one person might see it: don’t drink and drive.”

I can’t have all of these people saying: ‘I told you so.’

In a video with 16,000 likes, one account said they felt like a ghost trapped inside O’Heeron’s bathroom anytime they saw one of her videos.

“I swear by the time that woman is done destroying her bathroom, I’m going to need eight years of intensive therapy,” the commenter said. “I feel like I’m trapped in the bathroom.”

Bathroom floor, paint, stencilIn total, her videos have garnered more than 2.8 million likes. O’Heeron said she thinks most of the reaction to her series has been funny, even if some users don’t understand her “dry sense of humor” or that she’s in on the joke.

TikTok designer Emily Shaw, who has garnered 4.2 million followers making small but dramatic changes to her apartment in a video said she was “seriously considering traveling to this girl.” 

O’Heeron estimated she spent over $1,000 on the renovation, including on the Cricut (which she plans to use to sell custom goods like coffee tumblers and makeup bags online), paint, and a paint sprayer she didn’t know how to use (in one video she said she would sell the sprayer on Facebook Marketplace). 

When Insider spoke to O’Heeron, she primed the walls for paint, painted the cabinets green and the countertops a bright white color. She planned to add a glaze to protect the paint. But days later, in a Monday video, O’Heeron posted a video of the white paint peeling away from her countertop.

“Does anyone know why this happened to my beautiful countertop?” she asks in the video. 

Users speculated she improperly prepped the surface or used the wrong type of paint.

O’Heeron told Insider she “accidentally spilled acetone on them.” 

“I’m exhausted, please just let us go,” one person said in a comment with more than 3,000 likes. 

She said she keeps telling her followers to “trust the process” and doesn’t intend on letting them down.

“I’m so stubborn,” O’Heeron said. “I’m going to finish the bathroom. My mom always said ‘I told you so’ all the time. She still does. I hate hearing it. And so now I can’t have all of these people saying: ‘I told you so.'”

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