How to Reinvent a Bathroom on a Budget

Are you looking for new ways to refresh your bathroom but don’t have the cash for a complete remodelling project? Well, you don’t have to be an interior designer or a professional decorator to reinvent a bathroom on a budget. You can achieve a lot in a short amount of time. Especially with a little inspiration.

Here are some ideas to help you turn your bathroom into a welcoming sanctuary for you and the family.

Reinvent a Bathroom on a Budget:

1) Clean and Clutter-Free

reinvent bathroom on a budget

Even if you don’t have the time or budget to do anything else, just clearing out the clutter and giving your bathroom a good, deep clean will give it an instant face-lift.

Start by taking stock of all the cosmetic clutter. Such as shampoos, gels, lotions, creams, make-up. Also, identify the products that need to be finished and get rid of any that have gone out-of-date. If there is a jar of body cream that has been left untouched and gathering dust on the shelf for longer than you care to remember, just get rid of it. If you haven’t used it by now, you never will. Chuck out old razors, toothbrushes and other similar items that are taking up precious space. Then turn your attention to the cleaning.

When you have given the bathroom a proper once over, commit to doing a little bit every day to keep on top of the cleaning and keep this room sparkling.

2) Get Organised

Now that you have cut down on the sheer volume of stuff, and your field of operation is clean and clutter-free, it’s time to get organised. Getting the space organised is, obviously, completely free – therefore the best way to reinvent a bathroom on a budget.

Aim to get as many of your products out of sight as possible. Except the most attractively packaged and vital items on your surfaces. Everything else, particularly bulky and unsightly cleaning products, should be tidied away.

For the items that remain to be seen, find some interesting and decorative storage containers. Before you go out and spend any money, scour the house to see if you already have anything that you can use. Perhaps a small vase for your makeup brushes, baskets for soaps or some pretty china for your toothbrushes to add a vintage vibe.

And remember that if you are using liquid soap, an attractive reusable canister is preferable to an ugly branded plastic pump dispenser.

3) Get Serious about Storage

Bathroom storage ideas (1)

If you have a pedestal sink, consider having units built around it or repurposing a cabinet or dresser for a vanity unit. Put up some floating shelves or invest in some clever custom built hidden storage solutions. This is where a small budget can have a big impact.

Maximise on space by installing several towel rods on the back of the door. If you already have one on the wall make sure that the space above it is not wasted by putting a shelf above it.

Another trick to make the most of the space in small bathrooms is to replace an inward swinging door with a sliding one. You could even add an extra shower rod inside the shower or bath. Plus, hang hooks from it for towels and other items.

4) Accessorise for Impact

clashing blue and yellow bathroom accessories John Lewis

The best way to reinvent a bathroom on a budget is to up-spec your bathroom suite by upgrading your accessories; you’ll find it’s a much more manageable investment and will have an instant effect.

Start with the shower curtain and work from there. If you want to maximise the feeling of space and light in your bathroom, go for something white and avoid any busy patterns. Next, pick out your bath mats and towels and chose the best quality items that your budget can allow.

If you have the space in your bathroom, make a statement by adding a piece of furniture like an armchair or table. This is to add some extra and unexpected comfort and style.

5) Shed Some Light on the Situation

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[Photo Credit]
Never underestimate the importance of good lighting especially in the bathroom. This is where people face themselves first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, so the lighting needs to be flattering but fair, and that means binning any fluorescents.

Aim for the most natural light possible. Use bright clear bulbs and install dimmers so that you can achieve bright and airy in the day; as well as a more soothing atmosphere for long relaxing baths in the evening.

To make the most of the light that you have got in the bathroom, go big and bold with your mirrors. This will also enhance the feeling of space.

6) Create an Atmosphere

For you, your family and guests work to create a sanctuary in your bathroom. The addition of some plants or flowers will help to enhance the atmosphere. So, bring the outside in with such plants as bamboo, a peace lily or an orchid.

And finally, invest in some luxurious scented candles to further set the mood.

7) A Splash of Colour

reinvent a bathroom with a colourful feature wall (1)
[Photo Credit]
And now for some colour. If you can’t afford to splash out on new tiles or units, why not repaint them instead? It’s much less hassle and not as hard as you might at first imagine. The results are quick and will give your bathroom an instant refresh.

You may prefer something neutral for the walls and units. However, do remember to add a few pops of colour here and there to add interest and personality.

Another easy and inexpensive way to bring colour is to get decorative with your linens. Add depth to space by displaying brightly coloured towels and bath mat and incorporate texture with a strategically patterned rug, if floor space allows.

How to Paint Bathroom Tiles and Reinvent a Bathroom

If you just can’t bear to spend another day looking at ugly tiles and you’re desperate to reinvent a bathroom then this is for you. Learning how to paint bathroom tiles is easy, plus, it’s certainly cheaper and not as messy as replacing them.

Before you start learning how to paint bathroom tiles, you should be aware that this is not just a simple paint job. The smooth surface of ceramic tiles makes it difficult for conventional paint to stick, so for this project, it’s all about the preparation and the materials.

Tip! The ideal time to tackle this DIY project is during the spring or early summer when there is less chance of rain, and you can ventilate the room more easily. It will speed up the curing process.

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[Photo Credit]

Equipment and Materials

  • Dust sheet
  • Polyfilla
  • Wet/dry 180-220 grit sandpaper
  • Cleaning products
  • Masking tape
  • Paint (and primer)
  • Small paintbrush for cutting in
  • Sponge roller
  • Grout Pen


The preparation for this project is key. Any step skipped could result in a bad finish that will not only look bad but won’t stand a chance of surviving the rigours of bathroom life.

  1. Clean the tiles thoroughly to get rid of any grease, dirt, mildew or soap scum. Use an abrasive cleaner for this and then banish it from your bathroom forever, as it is no friend of the painted ceramic tile. Rinse and then dry the tiles.
  2. Sand the tiles lightly (use 180-220 grit) in order to give a rougher surface for the paint to adhere to. The aim is to take the entire surface from glossy to matte. It is a laborious job, but the key to success, so don’t skimp and if you can get your hands on an orbital sander you’ll be saving on time and elbow grease.
  3. Get rid of any silicone sealant around bath, shower, and sink. Paint will not adhere to the sealant and you can re-apply it afterwards. Look at the grouting and fill in any cracks with poly filler or new grout.
  4. Rinse to get rid of any dust and dry thoroughly.
  5. Put down your dust sheets and mask-off bath, shower, and sink as well as any other fixtures and light fittings that you don’t want to get covered in paint.

Which Paint?

Home renovation

Epoxy Paint
Although the colour choices are limited, you can use a two-part epoxy paint specifically designed for painting tiles and similar surfaces. Apply at least two coats, the first will act purely for adhesion, and follow the directions to the letter, allowing the recommended drying time between coats.

Latex Paint
The other option is to use a bonding primer before painting. Apply one or two coats of a bonding primer followed by two coats of acrylic latex wall paint. Be sure to follow directions for both products regarding drying times.


Before you start any paint job, please ensure that the area where you are working is adequately ventilated. You may also want to use a dust mask or respirator as the paint fumes can be unpleasant.

Use your smaller paintbrush to cut in the corners and edges and use the roller for the larger areas. Let the paint cure and harden for a week, during which time keep it dry and don’t do any harsh cleaning.

Finishing Touch

For a near-perfect finish use a white grout pen to redefine your grout lines.


The result will be entirely dependent on how well you prepped for the job, and aftercare will determine how long the finish will last. If you take good care, it will last up to three years before you have to redo, and you can, of course, touch-up the area in spots when needed. Be sure not to use any abrasive cleaning products on your painted tiles as it will remove the paint and make a waste of all your time and effort.

TIP! How do you calculate the amount of paint that you will need for one coat?

Measure the length and height of your walls to get your square meterage, then divide that figure by 12 and you have your literate.

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