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I’m calling this the budget bathroom update because well I didn’t feel that remodel or renovation applied here.  We didn’t technically physically change anything major in our bathroom. This house has one bathroom and when we moved in my mind was on updating all the other living spaces in the house ( kids’ bedrooms and living room). And well the bathroom functioned in that it met our needs as a bathroom and that was that. We have now been here for a little over a year and using the outdated bathroom every day was getting me itching to update it.

A little backstory first though, the bathroom has two entry doors, one leading to a small hall into the kitchen and the other into the master bedroom. And this bathroom is big which isn’t a downside but it really could be split in half. But instead of splitting it in half with a wall and creating a master bath our long-term goal is to add to the house and create a bigger master bedroom cause it’s tiny right now. We had architecture plans drawn up and got a quote for the addition and it’s not currently in the budget, especially with construction costs that are super high in our area. Soooo enter the bathroom update to at least get the feeling of an updated space to last us the next five years when our goal is to have the addition done.

So let’s take a look at what it looked like before…

Over the sinks before paint with mirror removed

First I must say the built-ins in this bathroom are awesome! There is so much storage space and I love it. Our last home was a builder grade home and I felt the bathroom storage was seriously lacking. With an older home, I find that the built-ins are everywhere and storage is abundant and I love it.

The tub and shower are a tan color and I’m not a huge fan but at this point, they are still functional. And even though I don’t like the color we didn’t want to buy new when we hope to renovate in five years.

So now let’s look at all the things that received an update!


The alcove of the bathtub had wallpaper so I used the same technique we used in the dining room to remove this. The ceiling and walls all received a much-needed coat of white paint (the walls are the same color as the shiplap in the stairwell). There were a couple of shelves attached to the wall that got the ax too. I have said it before and I will say it again, painting walls even just a white instantly brightens any space.

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Wallpaper removed from the bathtub alcove

I painted all the cabinetry except the medicine cabinets with two coats of Rust-Oleum chalk paint in Country Gray and then a top coat of polyurethane. I painted the medicine cabinets with Linen White in the Rust-Oleum chalk paint because I wanted them to blend into the walls more and not stand out. We replaced all the hardware and hinges on all the cabinetry with an oil rubbed nickel finish and a pair of glass knobs for the medicine cabinets.

Bathroom built-ins received some chalk paint for a transformative update


The overhead lights in the bathroom (there are 3, one with the fan) were actually functionally well and I like the look of them so they stayed the same. The vanity lights, on the other hand, were somewhat outdated. I actually liked the design and look of the sconce part so I gave them a facelift with black spray paint. The globe covers were updated with a sleek, simple and modern design that I found at Lowe’s for about $8 a piece! Winning!

Vanity lights received a coat of spray paint and new globes
Vanity lights a new mirror
Vanity space after painting cabinets with chalk paint, adding a new mirror and updating the lights

The mirror in the bathroom over the vanity was huge and hung on the countertop backsplash. (I forgot to grab a before pic of the mirror in place, oops!) I had a large mirror in the garage that actually hung over the fireplace at our last house and we hadn’t found a use for it here yet. Until now 🙂 The black of the mirror frame (that I spray painted after buying it off a Facebook garage sale site) would match perfectly with the vanity lights.

The countertop is staying the same right now, I have thought about doing a countertop painting technique but haven’t done enough research yet. The sinks and faucets were actually changed out right after we moved in. Justin, the plumber discovered that they were leaking in the cabinets underneath slightly and so new sinks and faucets were installed right away.


And now to the floor, my favorite! The floor before was sheet linoleum, not as ugly as the kitchen but still looked dirty even after mopping. So while perusing the aisles of Home Depot I came across the vinyl tiles and fell in love with this Carrera marble tile that I wanted. I showed Justin pictures that I took on my phone that day and he agreed that it would look great, so back to Home Depot I went and filled my cart with all the boxes of tile we would need. Justin installed the floor over a weekend and we chose to add grout lines like the example in the store and it looks amazing! (Full tutorial on the floor coming soon)

The trim in the bathroom before had been a vinyl type stick on so we replaced it with 4″ MDF trim painted white.

Stick on carerra marble flooring from Home Depot

And then comes my favorite part of finishing the bathroom: adding new decor elements. I found this pipe detail shelf from Kirkland’s and love its spot over the bathtub. We previously had our towel hooks up high and down low for the kids and I didn’t like the way it looked (but again it was functional). So I found some scrap wood in the garage with a live edge and stained it and added the hooks to this and now there is a more uniform look for the towels.

New shelving and towel hooks add so much to the bathroom update
Linen closet updated with a new coat of chalk paint

And then the last element that I knew would be somewhere in the bathroom was pictures of the kids in the tub when they were younger. I ordered 11×14 canvas prints from CanvasPeople (on sale!) and made them black and white. I love seeing their smiling younger faces when I go into the bathroom every day.

We are also slowing changing all our interior doors to be paneled and painting them white to match the newly painted trim. So that will need to be done in the bathroom as well.

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3 Comments on Budget Bathroom Update Reveal

  1. That bathroom looks so great now, what an improvement! I love that built in cupboard and the pictures of your kids in the bathtub are precious! I used that same flooring in my hall bathroom!


  2. Great article! A budget bathroom update reveal can be a great way to refresh the look of your bathroom without breaking the bank. By making simple changes like updating the paint, switching out hardware, or replacing the shower curtain, you can create a whole new look and feel for your bathroom. The key is to focus on small details that make a big impact, rather than undertaking major renovations. With a little creativity and a bit of effort, you can give your bathroom a fresh, modern look that will make it feel like a whole new space.

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