5 Tips for a Budget Bathroom Makeover That Will Save You a Ton

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While knee-deep in taking out the vanity and removing the toilet in my master bathroom, I started thinking about ways to make bathroom makeovers as affordable as possible.

You know how we do here at Thrift Diving: we hate spending a lot of money for decorating our homes!

Plus, we love to flex our creative muscle and prove to others (and ourselves!) that it really can be done without spending a boatload of money!

I’ve done three bathroom makeovers now (my half bathroom with stencils  and my kids’ bathroom makeover), and the latest was my pretty lavender master bathroom makeover! 

I wanted to share my top tips for creating a budget-friendly bathroom makeover!


5 Tips for Budget Bathroom Makeovers - Thrift Diving

TIP #1: Paint Your Vanity, Don’t Replace It

Have you priced bathroom vanities lately? Well, I have, since I’m redoing my entire bathroom.

A quality vanity ranges from $300 – $2,000 or more, depending on size and quality. If you don’t have to replace it, hang on to the old one and just paint it. In my case, since we were getting new bathroom flooring, the vanity needed to come out. It makes sense to replace it.

However, if you’re not replacing the flooring, paint is your best friend and can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for your bathroom makeover!

Check out this post on popular types of furniture paint and find one that works for your vanity!

The best thing about furniture paint nowadays is that you don’t have to sand or prime if the vanity is in good condition, so you can literally open the container and start the vanity right away (after wiping it down first, of course–don’t paint dirty wood!). 🙂


Small Bathroom Makeover - Vanity BEFORE - ThriftDiving.com


Small Bathroom Makeover Using Stencils - AFTER - Thrift Diving blog


Check out the entire half bathroom makeover HERE.


TIP #2 Tub Refinishing With Paint CAN Work!

The most expensive part of a bathroom makeover can be taking out the old worn tub or shower and replacing it with a new one (or with ceramic tile).

Don’t do it if you don’t have to.

Whether you’ve got shower tile, fiberglass, plastic, or a cast iron tub, you can paint your tub or shower!

When I tackled my master bathroom, it would have cost about $6,000 for me to hire a professional to rip out my old 1970’s turquoise shower (as see below).

Check out this post and see the entire tub refinishing makeover I did!


Shower and tub refinishing: save money when making over your bathroom by painting your tub or shower! Here's how to do it.


TIP #3 – Frame Your Own Photography or Art

Who said you have to spend money on wall art?

But I bet you don’t think of yourself as a photographer, do you?

Seriously, you don’t have to be.

But there are some tips you can use for taking your own photography, and when printed and framed, you can create inexpensive wall art for your bathroom!

Imagine how beautiful the picture below will look if I frame it and put it in my new master bathroom! 🙂

Read it: 10 Tips to Create Your Own Wall Art From Your Own Photography.


10 Tips to Create Your Own Wall Art From Your Own Photography - Thrift Diving


TIP #4 – Make DIY Privacy Screens Instead of Paying for Curtains or Expensive Blinds

I went on a home tour recently and in the master bathroom, saw the most exciting thing: privacy screens for the windows!

These screens were nothing more than sheer fabric stretched over a super easy wooden frame that you can measure to snuggly fit your window and put together with screws and nails. They’re easy to push up and down and to simply take out, if needed.

I am planning to make one of these for my own master bathroom!

No need to buy or make curtains, or pay the high costs of blinds or shades!


How to Make a DIY Privacy Window Screen - Thrift Diving


How to Make a DIY Privacy Window Screen - Create fabric panels to create privacy screens for the bathroom. - Thrift Diving


TIP #5 Wrap Your Trash Can in Rope

You’ve seen other things wrapped in rope, such as tires turned into ottomans.

So why not wrap your trash can in rope, too?

Reusing your existing trash can, like I did here (this one was looking old and haggard), lets you put your money towards other things and not on accessories that can really add up.


Wrap your trashcan in rope to create a DIY trashcan that's affordable - Thrift Diving


A Few More Budget Bathroom Tips

These are just a few of my favorite tips, but there are so many more, such as:

  • Stencil your walls instead of adding expensive wallpaper. Watch this tutorial here.
  • Use inexpensive robe hooks instead of buying more costly towel bars.
  • Hang wicker baskets sideways on your walls for instant shelving.
  • Shop at thrift stores and Home Goods for things like toilet paper holders. Use spray paint to update them to your preferred finish.
  • Remove old shower doors and hang up curtains to hide outdated showers.
  • Keep the same vanity top if you’re simply painting the vanity. New paint distracts from an outdated top. Consider just updating the faucets.
  • Can’t afford new flooring? Put down lots of rugs to hide it.
  • Learn how to remove and install your own toilet to save on installation. This is my favorite YouTube video tutorial for learning how to remove a toilet and learn how to install a toilet, as well.

Do you have any tips for budget-friendly bathroom makeovers? Leave your tip below and let’s talk about it!


5 Tips for Budget-Friendly Bathroom Makeovers - Thrift Diving


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  1. Annette Beattie says:

    I painted my bathroom ugly vinyl flooring using floor paint and painters tape. I put a seal over it when done. It’s been two years and still going strong.Thanks for all your tips above! I’m going to make a privacy screen this weekend. Great idea!

    1. Wow, that’s awesome that it turned out and lasted so long, Annette! 🙂 Good luck making the privacy screen!

  2. I never knew that you can refinish a tub with a paint can. We recently found out that we need to get our bathtub refinished. Thank you for the tips on doing a bathroom makeover within the budget.

  3. Bathroom renovation is the important part of home renovation. So to renovate bathroom you should make a plan for this, then decide the budget. According to the budget you should select the best flooring of the bathroom. Then decide bathroom accessories such as: bath tub, shower etc. You can also take the advice of an expert. You really did a great job and in your blog you really give the best tips for budget friendly bathroom makeover.

  4. Really it is an excellent informative post for me.Because you excellently describe a Budget-Friendly Bathroom Makeover. thank you for this great post.

  5. Joyce Terra says:

    A fun photo would be to take pictures of the kids peeking from around and under the shower curtain or brushing their teeth with paste all over their chins etc. Would be fun for the kids bathroom.

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