This DIY bathroom renovation on a budget can be done in any bathroom, no matter the size. Check out my tips below for a timeless bathroom that will last for years to come.
Picking Timeless Hard Surfaces
Then we built our new home I knew we couldn't finish every room just how I wanted it. Let's be honest, I always need a project or 2 going on. Saving some of the projects for later was a great option and saved a lot on labor costs.
When I was working on the interior design of our home I made sure to pick neutral, timeless hard finishes. Hard finishes are much harder and more expensive to change out, especially bathroom flooring.
My daughters bathroom tile on the floor is a ceramic tile that looks like marble. Ceramic tiles are the most durable for a bathroom floor and very affordable.
I liked that it had a white background with grey and brown through it. Making it easy to change out my decor and even the wall color.
For the shower walls I went with the standard white subway tile. To add a fun design element I found longer subway tile. This worked perfectly with their new bathtub and tub surround.
To add some elegance to the space I added a gold shower head and fixtures.
Starting a DIY Bathroom Renovation
I have found the best ways to start a bathroom renovation, well any renovation for that matter, Is to first find inspiration. For this bathroom my inspiration is my daughters a-joining bathroom vanity rooms.
My oldest daughter's vanity area is Boho with citrus peel and stick wallpaper (all details here)
Middle daughters vanity area is black and white. (details here)
The goal is to merge these 2 rooms for an easy flow.
Gather Supplies for DIY Bathroom Renovations on a Budget
First I went through all my existing material. This is a great way to save a lot of money.
- Molding for batts - I had some left over molding in the garage I ripped down
- Top board - I had left over header from our home build
- Small molding - Home Depot
- Miter shears - great deal on Amazon
- 2x2 - Home Depot
- 2 ½ inch screws
- 8'x10' common board - Floating shelves
- Providential Miniwax stain
- Wood glue
- Brad nails 1 ½" long
- Brad nail gun
- Pin nailer
- Pins - 1" long
- Blue tape
- Painters paper
- Painter plastic
- Graco Paint sprayer
- Paint - Backwoods by Benjamin Moore
- Chop saw
Watch this DIY Bathroom Renovations on a Budget on YouTube
DIY Wainscoting for this budget bathroom remodel
A great way to merge these 2 spaces together is by adding wainscoting on the bathroom walls. No matter the size of your bathroom wainscoting is always a great choice.
I started with the back wall between the doors. To determine the spacing of my batts I measured the entire wall and then divided it until I got an even number.
Measurements My wall is 97" long so I have 5 batts that are spaced 17 ¾" apart with 1 ½" batts in-between. I will use this same spacing around the toilet so it flows.
First step is to add your batts. I start by placing them on top of my base and then spacing them accordingly down the wall.
To attach them I used 1 ½" inch brad nails and my brad nailer. You can use glue as well. However I feel like the nails hold them tight enough to the wall. If I ever decided to take them off there isn't as much wall damage to the drywall.
Textured Wall Tip
I have smooth walls so I just place my moldings straight to the wall. If you do not have smooth walls I would recommend buying 8'x4' boards of ¼" thick hard board to place on the back of the wall.
To do this I would first, carefully pull off your baseboards. Rip the hardboard down to the height of your wainscoting and then nail and glue it to the wall.
Then add your base molding back on. If you have to use more than one sheet of hard board, you will have seam where they come together. Make sure to plan your spacing correctly so the batts cover that up.
Adding the Top Board
Once the batts are on I added my top board. I used door header for my top board. It is all one piece of molding so it was easy to install.
A cheaper option would be to do a straight top piece. Make sure your top board is at least 6" wide for the best look. I find the wider the better it looks.
You can stop at this point for board and batten wainscoting. It will still look great and it is a great option for a tight budget.
Adding Small Decorative Molding
I wanted my wainscoting to be a little more ornate in this space. I ran over to Home Depot and picked up this small molding to run on the inside of the batts. Doing this did add an additional cost but the outcome was worth it.
I found these miter shears on Amazon are the best option to cut the small molding. This made the process so much fast. The miter shears make a cleaner cut then a miter saw.
I cut the molding at 45 degree angles and ran it on the inside of the rectangles.
I used my pin nailer to attach the molding to the wall. If you don't have a pin nailer a brad nailer will work. Just make sure to shoot the nail in the thicker spots so you don't split the wood.
Before I start on the the wainscoting around the the toilet I built the floating shelves. I wanted the floating shelves installed first so I could run my molding into the shelves for a cleaner look. I used 2x2's to create the support for the shelves.
The supports measure 23 ½" long by 6" wide.
First I found the studs in my wall. The supports for these shelves need to be really strong. I used 2 2 ½" screws into each shelf to attach the support to the wall as well as glue.
Make the Shelves
Another DIY project for the bathroom are floating shelves! I want the shelves to look like a big chunk of wood. To get this look I cut ALL the edges at a 45 degree angle.
My shelves measure 26" long x 7 ½" wide.
I then used brad nails and wood glue to glue everything together. To stain the shelves I used Providential by Minwax.
I sealed them with a clear lacquer. I have found this to be the cheapest way to add floating shelves.
Now that the shelves are in place I finished adding the wainscoting around the toilet. I didn't attach the shelves just yet. I will pull them off when I paint.
Caulk and Wood Fill
The DIY bathroom remodel is well on its way. All of the wainscoting is up and it is time to caulk and add wood filler. Do not skip this part. This is what takes a good finish work job to an amazing finish work job.
I used Crawford's spackle and a putty knife to fill the nail holes. Once it is dry I will sand all of the extra spackle off.
While the wood fill dries I caulk the seams. Do do this run a small bead of caulk along the crack. Use your finger and a damp cloth to smooth the caulk out and remove an extra caulk.
Tip: cut your caulk tube at a 45 degree angle. Apply a bead of caulk a the edges, then use a damp rag to smooth the caulk out and remove the excess.
Prepping for Paint
One of the biggest impacts you can make with DIY bathroom renovations on a budget is with paint.
To prep for paint the first thing I do is vacuum the floors and moldings to remove the dust. I then ran tape all along the floor.
Next, I roll my paper for the floor out and tape it to the tape I already applied. I know this sounds like overkill. But when you are spraying the air can lift the paper up. I have found it to be a good idea to stick tape to tape.
I also ran tape along the top of the molding and then added plastic all the way to the ceiling. If there is one thing I have learned. Anything that is not covered will have paint on it. So make sure everything is covered, doors, toilet, shower etc.
To paint I am using my Graco paint sprayer. This paint sprayer is my favorite. It puts out enough paint to get a good smooth finish. Keep in mind it does put out a lot of paint, so move quickly and evenly.
I applied 2 coats of Backwoods by Benjamin Moore. It is amazing the difference a fresh coat of paint makes.
Tip: If this is your first time spraying, do a test run on a scrape piece of wood.
To help merge my daughters 2 spaces I also used my decor
- Canvas - I pulled black in with this canvas print
- Boxes - These black boxes over the toilet are perfect for storage. I am thinking feminine supplies down the road
- Toilet paper basket - This is a great way to store toilet paper and add texture
- Vases - I used different size and shape vases
- Candlesticks - these are a go to when I need to fill a tall area
- Shower curtains - I stayed with a white shower curtain as to not make the space too dark
- Picture frames - A creative idea is to buy cheap $5 frame and printable to create inexpensive art
I didn't make any significant changes, but I still have a fresh look with this DIY bathroom renovation on a budget
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