DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget

DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget Click To Tweet

I know I’ve mentioned before my husband and I bought a house earlier this year. I’m still excited that we made the jump to buy. Slowly but surely I’ve been trying to do projects to make it not just a house but to make it our home. Please check out my other posts of developments I’ve made so far, my huge painted wall clock, a cute little project of putting a family name decal on our dining room wall and I created a beautiful family tree over our staircase. My latest idea was a DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget in our basement. It was SO needed.

I love DIY projects. When you jump out of bed in the mornings because you can’t wait to get to your tasks, you know you love DIY projects. After working for a few hours I’m sore, tired and ready for a long break. This is usually when I wait till the next day to resume my fun. But the next morning, there I am jumping out of bed to start-up again.

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DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget -


For this adventure, I decided to modernize our basement bathroom. It was painted an awful green and the vanity and fixtures were unpleasantly old (very ugly). They were horrible looking and tarnished from the 80’s. I really wanted to get this done asap because we have quite a few guests coming to visit this summer. Some of our guests arrive next week, so to say the least I was quite motivated.

First up was choosing a paint color for the walls and the vanity and decide what I wanted the finished product to look like. Then, I was ready to take everything apart. I removed all the cabinet handles, cabinet doors and drawers, taking down the light fixtures, towel racks and toilet paper holder and cleaned it all. I planned to spray paint most of the fixtures to make everything the same color and uniform. This bathroom looked like a mish mosh of things they found after remodeling the upstairs. BTW the remodeled upstairs is what sold us on the house.

DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget -

I knew that remodeling the basement bathroom wouldn’t cost too much because I was reusing some of the stuff I already had. But some stuff had to go, like that wooden toilet paper holder. Ewww… I bought a shiny silver spray paint to use on all the metal I wanted to keep. Next thing I did was paint the walls. I bought a semi-gloss paint + primer combo ($22) but still had to use two coats to make sure I covered that hideous green. We live in Minnesota and its cold here this week. So I had to wait quite a few hours in between coats. What an incredible difference!

Next I sanded, cleaned and painted the vanity and mirror above it. This semi-gloss paint + primer cost $10. The vanity also needed multiple coats. The next day I spray painted the metal pieces in the garage in between coats of painting the drawers. Spray paint is awesome because it dries so quickly, makes an enormous change and only cost $4. Within two hours I was able to mount the handles back on the drawers and cabinets. There were two cabinets on the vanity but I decided to only keep one, the one that hides underneath the sink. The other cabinet I opened up plugged the holes and painted over them. I painted the sides inside the open cabinet and all the drawers. Since the plan is to make this look like a hotel bathroom, I’m going to put towels and toiletries on the open shelves.

I bought contact paper (like this one) to go on the shelves of this open cabinet and inside the drawers. If you’ve ever worked with contact paper you know it’s kind of a pain. It’s sticky but at the same time it likes to crease and bubble on you as you’re trying so hard to get it down without ruining it. It came out beautiful!!!

DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget -

It surprised me that once I got the hang of it, trimming and placing each paper in the drawer and on each shelf went smoothly. Contact paper has a grid on the back of it, so I didn’t even have to really measure, I just unrolled enough to fit in a drawer and cut with a razor blade. Then put it back in the drawer and trim up the sides because it was just slightly too wide. You always want to cut a little too big. It’s better to have to trim it than to waste it because it’s too small and have to start over.

Then I used a putty knife to smooth out the bubbles and get it nice and tight into the corners. It probably took me five minutes on each drawer and shelf. Not too shabby huh? This gave it a nicely polished look. I think just painting inside would have been too boring. Plus the roll did the whole vanity and was only $5. I plan to use the same beautiful contact paper in my guest room dresser drawers too. That will be another fun DIY post.

This is the biggest project I’ve taken on in this house so far and it’s also the most exciting. I love working on it. Paint makes such a huge difference in a room. If I would have done nothing more than just paint the walls and of course changed that toilet paper holder, it still would have made a huge difference but I wasn’t willing to stop with just that. I wanted that wow factor and for our guests to feel very comfortable. I ordered a beautiful shower curtain that will add to that wow factor.

After painting I was happy with the changes I was seeing but putting everything together was the part I couldn’t wait to get to. After putting up the new towel racks, toilet paper holder, shower curtain was getting me really excited for the finished creation. All the little details I purchased for this new bathroom were just waiting to be put in their new home too. I found the cutest white box when shopping for bathroom stuff, labeled Le Petite Spa (too cute). The excitement was getting greater every day.

DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget -

I bought big hotel type white towels ($35 for 6) because of the ease of washing in between guests. I love when towels smell like bleach, so clean. When I was putting everything together I had a small amount of contact paper left and decided to cover the old looking outlets and light switch covers instead of buying new ones. I think it adds a little extra to this room.

I looked everywhere for a round shower curtain. When I failed to find exactly what I wanted I resorted to buying curtains. I had to shorten them of course, but I actually cut them and then used hot glue to seal the bottoms with a seam. You’d never know they aren’t sewn, they look great. It saved me a ton of time. Sometimes you have to get creative to get what you want. But I love trying to think of new ways to use my resources.

For the picture on the wall, I simply found a photo online that I loved and printed it. I then bought a white frame ($12) and hung it. What a great low-cost way to make a statement.

DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget -


When you go out shopping you have this picture in your mind; you don’t have to wait to put a room together to know that you’ll love it and that you chose all the right items to pull your plan together. I had a blast shopping and dreaming of what I wanted this room to look like. Putting all the little pieces together made this bathroom amazing. I worked really hard this week and it paid off. Just look at that after picture!

This was a FUN DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget. Who wouldn’t want this bathroom?! Would you want this bathroom in your home? I love it and I’m sure my guests will too!

23 thoughts on “DIY bathroom remodel on a small budget

  1. Great remodel! It looks so fresh and clean now. This seems doable! When we get our next house, I won’t feel so overwhelmed now if the bathrooms aren’t updated at all.

  2. WOW! It’s amazing how much even a new shade of paint totally transformed the entire room! I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind as I move into my first “solo” apartment next month!

  3. You did an excellent job, and I’m sure friends and family who visit and use that bathroom will be impressed. Buying window curtains to enhance the shower when you could not find pretty shower curtains to go with your design and then modifying them to fit is genius. Lots of great ideas here to borrow!

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