5 Tips for a Cheap DIY Bathroom

I’m a little envious of all you people who have gorgeous new bathrooms. You know–the newly renovated or newly built homes that come with that big ‘ole jacuzzi tub that you never use but sure are glad you have “just in case” you ever want to hop in. You don’t have stale wallpaper. Oh–and your floor is ceramic or marble instead of crusty ‘ole peel n’ sticks vinyl.

What I just described was how mine looked just before I decided to DIY my bathroom:


Horrific, wasn’t it??

This is what it looks like now, with my favorite calming Sherwin Williams Sea Salt paint:



Before DIY’ing it, I’m embarrassed to say that we lived with a doily shower curtain up at the window for at least 6 months.

I know–total ghetto fabulous.


But after a lot of hard work, the result was astounding.




TIP #1 Embrace Your Eye Sore!

So someone mentioned recently that they had PINK TILE in their bathroom when they moved in. YIKES. Do you also have an eye sore in your bathroom? For me, it was this turquoise shower. See it over there, with the outdated brassy door??


Now, in a recent post, I told you that I wish everything in my house could be turquoise. True enough. But my SHOWER?? Um, yeah, that’s a bit much. However,when we moved in, that’s what was here. And we don’t have tons of money yet to rip it out and install a new shower.

The solution? Decorated around your eye sore.

I simply love Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, but thankfully, it also compliments the “who-in-the-world-chooses-a-turquoise-shower-stall” shower stall. Now it’s no longer an eye sore. :)


TIP# 2 Just because it SAYS it’s a robe hook…….

…doesn’t mean you have to hang your robes on it. Have you seen the price of decent towel bars?! Expensive. So grab some cute robe hooks and toss your towels on it instead. Trust me, they rarely fall off. And for, like $12, you’ve got something cute to hang your towels from instead of paying double or triple for a towel bar.


TIP #3 Unleash your inner photographer.

This is seriously one of the cheapest ideas. First, let me say that I’m terrible about decorating my walls. If you were to come over to my house, you would see huge blank walls of nothing. I take tons of pics but rarely do they end up getting printed.

Don’t be like me :)

Go take some amazing pictures of flowers or landscapes, or whatever floats your boat, and then print them. Pick up some cheap frames from the thrift store. And then grace your walls with all your awesome shots!

Those 2 pics to the left?? Yep, I took them myself and framed them. Like 10 years ago. And I’m still rockin’ ‘em…. :)


Here’s a close-up of one, which I absolutely love! (Sorry for the crappy quality. I was using my old camera).



TIP#4  Get it all covered!

If you have ugly peel-and-stick tiles like me, but can’t afford to upgrade to tile yet, you’ve got to find a way to deal with whatcha got. Rugs will be your best friend. The more you can cover up, the better! And be sure to choose rugs that don’t contract with your floor. Get something that blends in so that when people walk in, they don’t turn away disgusted. LOL

This plush rug I got from Home Goods covers up half of the little floor on this side. I chose white because it blended best.

When you’ve gotten the cash to upgrade to tile, research how to choose tile so you can avoid expensive mistakes in choosing tile.

And most importantly,watch video tutorials on how to install bathroom tile yourself! One of my favorite DIYers is this guy Ron Hazelton, whose video tutorials are sooooo easy to follow. Plus, his videos always make you feel warm and cozy. Maybe it’s the music? Love that guy!



TIP #5 If you only did one thing in your bathroom, do this:

You see this mirror? Okay, some of you that really love vintage things may “ooh” and “ahh” over it, but I had another reaction that was more along the lines of doubling over and holding my stomach. LOL


My real estate agent/friend gave me THE best tip for cheaply sprucing up any bathroom.

And that is: change out the mirror.


I went to Home Goods and chose a mirror for $60 that traditionally goes in the living room or something, and put it up in the bathroom. It was a WORLD of difference! Doing that, with fresh white paint on the vanity (which didn’t get changed out), and it looks like a whole new bathroom!

The Bottom Line

Stupid me didn’t tally exactly how much everything costed, but I can tell you it was under $200 for all the supplies/materials. The bottom line is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to change an ugly room around, as long as you’re embracing its faults, covering up what can’t be changed immediately, and thinking outside the box a little :)

If you want to read more about some of the other crazy work that I had to do in this bathroom, you can see the original post here.

Your Turn!

So what do you think? Do you like my cheap DIY bathroom makeover?

Leave a comment below and tell me about some creative ways you’ve DIY’ed a bathroom or (any room!) so that you didn’t break the bank! Okay, ready? Go!



About the Author ()

Hey there, I'm Serena, a 36-year-old working mom of 3 young boys who can't get enough DIY! If you actually made it to the bottom of this post to read this, it means you're really enjoy my blog. That means SO much. If I can inspire just one person through my passion and energy for DIY, then I'm fulfilling my life's purpose. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you'll subscribe so we can keep in touch! ~Serena

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. 30 Design Ideas To Create A Better Bathroom | February 7, 2014
  2. Sherwin Williams Sea Salt and Rainwashed | Thrift Diving Blog | February 18, 2014
  1. Connie says:

    Your bathroom turned out beautiful. I wish that mine was that big enough for double sinks. I’m with you, there are many things that you can do to update your home without breaking the bank. You’ve done a marvelous job on yours, Bravo!!!

    • Hey there, Connie! The double sink thing is pretty awesome, especially when you’ve got a family of 5, like mine! The downside is that you’ve got more sink to clean! UGH! :) Thank you for the compliments! And you rock for leaving a comment. Thank you!

  2. Kimberly D says:

    Absolutely gorgeous Serena!! You did a fabulous job!

    BTW, this is one of your roomies from 2012 BlogHer ;) You’ve come a long way baby!!

    I wish you’d publish some of your poetry too **nudge nudge**

    • Kimberly!! Hey!!! Girl, it’s been a while! How are you?? Did you attend BlogHer ’13? I complained a little about it, but it really was a great experience! I’m doing my best to push this little engine that could called a “blog.” LOL. How’s your blogging coming along?

  3. Sarah says:

    Great before and afters! It looks beautiful!

  4. I could never get away with white paint with my messy boys. It looks great!

  5. Great job! You already figured out the number 1 cheap diy update….paint! It is the first thing I think of when I am ready to update a room. I have lots of room updates on my blog if you want to check them out, but they all start with paint. And I was stuck with peel and stick tiles too but I covered them with much nicer peel and stick tiles. I didn’t do it because I didn’t know that you could but on Addicted to decorating’s blog, she actually grouted between peel and stick tiles! It looked awesome. The other cheap update trick I ALWAYS use is thriftstore decorating, but you already do that too. You did a great job!

    • Now that’s a great idea: “tiling” over peel and stick! That’s a way to think outside the box! Thanks for sharing that tip. I may have to do that in a couple rooms that we are no where NEAR thinking about putting in tons of money to renovate yet! Thanks for that!!! :) And for commenting, of course ;)

  6. Karen F says:

    you did a “bee-u-tee-full” job on that bathroom! I like the idea of your darker wood mirror frame with the white vanity! it looks fresh, clean and new! good job! paint in gorgeous!

  7. Hey Girly! Lot’s of improvement for not a lotta moolah! Great Job!!! I loved meeting you at Haven thanks for doing the link up to the posts on the Haven page! I’m going to check out that SW color in my color deck when I drag my butt off the bed!

  8. Angela says:

    What a transformation!!! I love how it turned out!! AWESOME job!!!

  9. Jan says:

    This is a wonderful post. The difference in painting the cabinet base/adding a new mirror is amazing! Great job!!!

  10. Teri says:

    Oh my what a stunning little makeover. I adore the clean lines and the paint color you selected as your focal point. The little RELAX over the mirror was a sweet touch!

  11. Jodi says:

    Great tips! Budget DIY decor is my favorite thing to read. It’s amazing what paint can do!!

  12. You did a great job. Now I am envious with your newly renovated bathroom. Wish our bathromm is like that. Nevertheless, I’ll keep in mind all your tips. Thanks.

    Mommy Maye

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  19. Debbie E. says:

    Your bathroom is beautiful. I love it.
    When we got married, I only had $$$ for the discontinued paint. I went to thrift stores for material for curtains. But, I always had charming rooms.

    • Debbie, that’s how my mom decorated, too! When we were younger, we had no money. Everything came from the thrift store, my mom said. But she always put it together tastefully and you’d never even know! I think I must have inherited that from her. LOL. I’m convinced that there is no price that says what is a nice room. It’s all about how you work it together :) Thanks for commenting!

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