DIY Home Improvement: Budget Bathroom Makeover for $265

This budget bathroom makeover project started when I thought we were going to move.   I haven’t been able to redecorate like I used to before my hubby was laid off from his job 2+ years ago.  Living in limbo and not knowing what tomorrow will bring is not an ideal way to live.  We just take it one day at a time, knowing that moving is most likely going to happen sooner or later.  I figured if we do have to move I might as well get a head start as this bathroom would need to be updated if we put the house on the market.   Soon after thinking about all this,  I saw an inexpensive brown damask shower curtain while browsing at HomeGoods. I loved it and that was all the incentive I needed to get started.

Budget Bathroom Makeover

This bathroom has come a long way from the builder beige and stock cabinets that came with the house when we first moved in.  My girls were little then,  now they are 24 and 21  – they grew up using this bathroom.  My youngest is coming home tonight for a few days. I can’t wait to see her reaction.


Since my daughters are no longer living at home this bathroom is basically unused. I could make a mess and leave all my tools out. I never cleaned it all up until  last week.   It was very nice  working this way, plus I was in no rush.  I truly took my time as I did everything myself, except for putting in the new light fixture. I don’t do electrical or plumbing – that is hubby’s contribution.

I have recapped everything I did in the bathroom in this post and have included links to the actual tutorials if you would like all the specifics for each project.





How To Add a Decorative Front to a Bathtub with Beadboard and Molding

There is one of those modular shower enclosures in this bath that I had to keep as this was truly a budget project.  I wanted to make it blend into the background as much a possible so I made a beadboard frame to hide the front. The other way I made it less noticeable was to paint the room’s walls the same color as the enclosure.

My initial plan was to make the decorative front in front of the tub – level with it, but I would have had to move the shower curtain rod out and it would have landed right smack in the middle of the window. I went to Plan B which was to wrap the decorative front over the front edge of the tub so the shower curtain rod could stay where it was.





Click here for the full step by step tutorial-

 How I Added Decorative Molding Around The Tub

How to Add Wood and Molding to Frame a Mirror

Next I moved on to give the existing mirrors a bit of style. We bought them at Home Depot when we moved into the house. We installed them with mirror clips as a temp fix that lasted till well…this past month.  It turned into a long term fix, time to get it right.  I think the new mirrors are my favorite part of the makeover.







Click here for the step by step tutorial-

How I Added Wood and Molding Around the Plain Mirrors

How To Install a Board and Batten Treatment to Walls

The part of the makeover that took the most thought was installing the board and batten. Lots of things to think about – how far apart I wanted the boards, thick or thin boards, how many obstacles I had to work around, how high etc.  I had some of the boards cut to the exact size I needed at Lowes, not only to make the job easier, but so the boards would fit into my Jeep. The mitered corner cuts I had to do on my own.  The miter saw was set up in my garage, this bathroom is upstairs – I got  a lot of exercise. I just pretended I was at the gym and was on a Stairclimber. I used all pre-primed Mdf boards. I like using the Mdf because there are no wood knots and every piece is uniformly smooth. I used Liquid Nails to attach all the boards so I didn’t need a nail gun, but a level is a must to make sure your boards are vertically as well as horizontally straight when you attach them to the wall.  I spaced mine 12” apart which made it easy as I just placed a wood 12” ruler between the boards to get perfect spacing.


2 coats of paint and lots of caulking- it was done.


How to Make a Small Window Look Bigger

The window in the bathroom is not very big, it actually always looked squashed to me. I fixed that by adding a piece of plywood and crown molding above it.  It now has much more impact.



I chose the wall color to match the molded tub – I wanted the tub to blend more seamlessly in the room – not stick out. Painting the wall above the board and batten the same color creates a nice flow around the room.




Click here for the full tutorial-

 Installing Board and Batten

How to Paint and Caulk Board and Batten

How to Make an Easy No-Sew Window Valance using Foam Insulation

When I added the molding above the window I knew I would be adding this type of valance –it works with the line of the window.  It is a very simple project that anyone who knows how to wrap a gift box and use a glue gun can do.  I found the fun fabric for $6 a yard.


Click for the full step by step tutorial-

How I made the No-Sew Window Valance

How To Transform a Vinyl Floor for $10

This was the part of the project that kept me up at night thinking of ways to redo the floor without spending much.  I ended up using a trick that I used when I worked in display. It turned out better than I expected.




Click for the full step by step tutorial-

How I Transformed the Floor for $10

I am thrilled with how it all turned out, but it is a good feeling to be done. I spent about $300 on everything.  I still have 2 more small additions in the way of decorative accessories that I am making.  I will post about them soon.


I am also going to add theses Interchangeable Faucet Handles.  Beckie over at Infarrantly Creative made them  and I just thought it was such a fun idea as I have similar faucets.   I can just imagine personalizing them when guests come.  That is going to be fun!  What should I write?  Any clever ideas?


$265 Budget Bathroom Remodel


  1. says

    Your bathroom is amazing! It gives me hope for my outdated bathroom with the exact same set up! I love it, Kudos to you!

  2. tsw says

    This bathroom transformation is so inspiring. You say you matched the paint color to the tub–do you remember the name of the color? It looks like a great neutral that would go with any color scheme.

  3. Alison Peters says

    wow.. i wish i had that much creativity!! But thank god for the internet.. now i can “borrow” yours

    but seriously, its nice to see a budget makeover which is exactly that. Something that atainable to the average family.. and doesnt require $50,000 worth of specialist tools to help with the build ( something that is often forgotton in other tutorials)

    keep up the good work … and ideas

  4. Lori says

    I found you via Pinterest and I LOVE this bathroom remodel. We are purchasing our first home and it has a very similar bathroom. It will be the first room remodeled, it has some hideous 1970’s wallpaper that must go. I have been thinking about getting a saw for all the DIY projects I plan to do with the house, and the house has a woodworking workshop already made so I guess I will have to bit the bullet and get a table saw and get working on this. I simply can’t believe how a few changes and a few hundred dollars can make such a HUGE difference. Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. says

    Good day! I know this is kind of off topic but I was
    wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had
    issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another
    platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the
    direction of a good platform.

  6. says

    Hi! Just wanted to thank you for the inspiration! This room inspired our recent bathroom re-fresh. I just posted about it a few days ago so it’s kinda funny to me that you happened to link back to your awesome makeover today. If you’d like, you can see what we came up with here. We are loving the update!

  7. says

    I have removed that service (too many problems) from my blog and you should not get any follow up comment emails. If you still get emails, please let me know – as there may be something different happening

  8. says

    I’m really inspired with your writing talents as well as with the
    layout in your weblog. Is this a paid topic or did you modify it your self?

    Either way stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s uncommon to look a great blog like
    this one nowadays..

  9. interesting things says

    That is very attention-grabbing, You are a very skilled
    blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking extra of your fantastic post.
    Additionally, I have shared your site in my social networks

  10. Ann says

    While I think the end result is really great, I wonder about the fabric choices you made. The shower curtain has a totally different feel (feminine, traditional) than the window valance fabric which is much more offbeat and modern. The colors in these fabrics do not harmonize or speak to each other either. Could you explain your thinking behind these bold selections? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Ann – Decorating successfully is all about the mix. The right mix for you. Nothing needs to be matchy-match anymore in decor. I like to mix things up and tend to like rooms I see online and in magazines where the homeowner showcases their style over having a room look “themey” or “matched”. It is no longer the norm. Personal style reigns over having to match. I like to mix and coordinate. It gives a room more character so it does not end up looking like a furniture showroom where everything is of one style.

  11. Geri says

    I am late to your blog, but I have been so inspired! You’re a genius. How the heck did you paint the cabinets
    in your family room? Brush, machine? I’m salvaging a bones gorgeous shelving cabinet from my mother in law because of you…Thank you!

  12. Elizabeth says

    This is the answer I have been looking for. I have wanted to change out our old oak moldings for white but didn;t know how to incorporate the almond coloured sink, tub and toilet. This is perfect. In stead of the tub enclosure I have room to add a curtain rod on the outside of the tub and floor length drapes. Thank you so much.

  13. kc chick says

    Your bathroom is so pretty. What a great job you did and on a realistic budget. Like someone mentioned previously, many supposed “budget” renovations cost thousands of dollars that I just don’t have right now thanks to having two boys in college. And thank you so much for the step-by-step directions.

    • says

      Thanks Kc chick – I had two girls in college a few years ago and remember how much tighter our budget for living was then. When I did the bathroom, the youngest was still in college. I found the decorating process was much more enjoyable trying to find ways to make a vision come to reality when you have to think out of the box and be more resourceful. I think it gives the house more character and makes it truly our own. It makes me happy to know that what I share and write about is inspiring for you. XO

  14. colleen says

    I don’t even know but all I feel is so damn proud of you. What a wnderful job. Proof a little thought and care is what a beautiful home really means. Not buckets of cash but loads and loads of loving attention. Good on you girl!

    • says

      Thanks Colleen – I enjoy the thrill of the challenge to find ways to save money and still get a room to look and wear well. I used to work in retail display where we had zero budget and were expected to come up with eye-catching displays for the store using only what we had on hand in a prop room. It is how I learned to decorate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *