12 Ways To Refresh Your #BathroomOnABudget

Reviving a tired washroom needn’t require a total overhaul. Learn how to add style and character at an affordable price.

1. Coordinate Accents

coordinating bathroom accents

Give your bath a designer touch with matching accessories. Here, the medicine cabinet’s silvery frame is echoed by the decorative metal outlet covers.

2. Tile the Countertop

tiled bathroom countertop

An alternative to a stone slab, a tiled counter resists water but costs a lot less and is easy for DIYers to install. This terra-cotta top has white-painted wood edging to go with the vanity below. A bead of clear caulk keeps water away from the wood.

3. Refinish Fixtures

refinished bathroom fixtures

Rather than replace an old cast-iron claw-foot tub and sink, save a bundle by reglazing them instead. A pair of fixtures can cost upward of $2,000, compared with about $800 for having both reglazed by a professional.

4. Paint the Floor

painted bathroom floor

Give worn wood floors new life by brushing boards with glossy porch paint tinted to match your bath’s color scheme.

5. Salvage a Towel Rack

salvaged towel rack in bathroom
Hang towels within reach on a $30 flea-market coatrack. Just be sure to seal its aged finish under clear polyurethane.

6. Make Your Own Wallpaper

diy bathroom wallpaper

Make your own graphic wall covering out of pages from a vintage book. Brush the page backs with wallpaper paste and adhere to the wall. Then seal the surface with a clear top coat.

7. Install a Salvaged Slider

salvaged bathroom slider door

When space doesn’t allow for a traditional hinged door, install a sliding one. This salvaged schoolhouse door glides on a wall-mount track patterned after barn-door hardware. Glass in the door’s top panel ushers light from the hallway into the windowless bath.

8. Create a Harmonious Color Palette

bathroom with green color scheme

Create a striking monochromatic effect by painting walls to match your floors, as was done in this sunny space. Similar to shown: Mildew-resistant Bath Paint Semi-Gloss Finish.

9. Frame a Mirror

bathroom with framed mirror

Frame mirror glass with fluted door casing.

10. Use Elegant Lighting

bathroom with chandelier lighting

Turn the ceiling into a focal point by installing a medallion and handsome hanging fixture, such as this bronze-toned light with crystal teardrops. If installed over a tub, as seen here, be sure there’s at least 8 feet of clearance from the tub rim to the bottom of the pendant to comply with electrical code.

11. Install Plantation-Style Shutters

bathroom with plantation style shutters

Install louvered interior shutters to provide privacy and direct streams of sunlight for subtle illumination. Vinyl ones are mold- and warp-resistant, and require little upkeep.

12. Make a Rustic Towel Rack

bathroom with rustic towel rack

Make a wood holder by cutting a 2×4 into five 12-inch sections and nailing each to a mounting strip cut from the same board. Brush on a wood stain and fasten the assemblies to the wall, leaving space in between for rolled hand towels.