5 Tips for an Easy Bathroom Refresh

anonymous people painting the wall

by Kimberly Pangaro | Kimberly is a mom of four daughters and the owner of the lifestyle parenting media company Atomic Mommy. When she’s not running her company or momming all day, she’s writing about family life. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This is an honest review and I have not been paid for my review of the products mentioned.
However, if you click on the links below, I may earn a commission. To learn more about how affiliate links work, please read my affiliate disclaimer here.


We’ve all looked at our bathrooms at one point or another and wondered how to give it a refresh without spending a ton of cash. I’m no different than you. When I bought my home in 2019, I hated my bathroom. The color scheme felt off and the furniture was too dark.

The whole vibe just clashed. I hated it!

And just like all of you, I am not a fan of spending my hard-earned money. After all, being a parent is quite costly, so we have to save our pennies wherever and whenever we can. When three different contractors offered to redo my bathroom for upwards of $10K, I opted out and chose to do it DIY style!

That’s why I’m here to share my top 5 tips on how to give your bathroom a quick refresh without breaking the bank. After all, I did give my bathroom a nice little makeover for just under $1,200!

And just to guide you on your DIY path, I’ll even share the before and after for my bathroom. Plus, you’ll get to see the total cost of my bathroom refresh and where I purchased everything.

Get ready… because you’re about to have a DIY bathroom refresh training in less than 10 minutes!

5 Tips for an Easy Bathroom Refresh

#1 New Coat of Paint

Honestly, new paint is the best thing you can do to give the bathroom a full refresh! You don’t need to get rid of your old tiles. With a coat or two of a really great color, your bathroom will get the only face lift it needs. Check the below photo to see what a new paint color did to my bathroom!

Before
After

There are obviously a bunch of items in the “after” photo that I’ll address in the tips, but I really wanted to share how a simple coat of paint changed the entire vibe of the original bathroom. The new color somehow brought the room to life and gave it a spa-like energy!

The big question is what kind of paint did I use and how much did it cost me. Here’s the kicker. I purchased the good stuff. I bought one gallon of Benjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa – Matte Bermuda Turquoise – for around $90. It took 2 coats of paint and I had plenty of paint left over. No priming necessary!

I also needed only one paint brush. Considering I’m not a painter, the person who worked at the hardware store was nice enough to tell me which one to use. The brush only cost me $7.

Now, here’s a trick that I got from a fellow DIY mom — use the same holes that are on your walls to save time and money! By planning to reuse the same holes for after you’re finished doing the bathroom refresh, you will be saving yourself a ton of time and you won’t have to buy the extra tools needed to spackle and sand like sand paper, an electric sander, the spackle stuff, and the spackle spatula.

Using this amazing paint taught me a few things. First, quality paint provides quality color. Second, it had great coverage over the blue that was there before, so I didn’t even need to buy primer. That’s a huge money saver, right there! Third, if you happen to drop paint on the toilet or tile floor, just use a rag and warm water because this paint cleans up super easy! Finally, it won’t peel off during those long hot showers that we all tend to take! So, this was a win-win for my pocket and my DIY project.

Total Cost for Paint and Tools: $97

#2 Get New Lighting

Lighting is often over looked as a factor in giving any room a refresh, but the truth is, giving a room new lighting is like debating on whether or not to change from work clothes into dress clothes for a night out with friends. It does make a difference!

One of the biggest mistakes here is that most inexperienced DIY-ers go to their local lighting stores or hardware stores for fixtures. But their prices are killers and more often than not, you leave feeling unimpressed by your choice and by your expense.

You can easily purchase a great light fixture at a fraction of the cost, while maintaining function, style, and your wallet intact! That is why I always recommend to do a thorough search on Amazon for lighting fixtures. The best part about using Amazon to purchase lighting, is that there are deals year round. I was able to purchase my chandelier for $180 and my two wall sconces were $60 each.

Total for New Lighting: $300

#3 Get New Accents

My bathroom floor looks and feels like walking on a river bed of stones. So, to stay in line with that, I wanted to add a sense of relaxation. With that said, adding accents can be expensive but only if you don’t shop at the right places.

My favorite stores to shop in-person and online are Marshalls, At Home, Home Goods, Wal-Mart, Etsy, and Christmas Tree Shops. Why? Because these stores hold some of the best deals for home decor and the clearance racks are always plentiful.

I picked up my 36 inch round brass mirror for $50 at Marshalls. The three art accents on my wall I purchased in the store At Home, the two smaller ones were $9.99 each and the larger one was $15.99. The floating bookshelves I purchased on Amazon for $44.99 along with the bamboo hamper ($18).

The little accents you see on my floating bookshelves were also purchased in the clearance section at Marshalls: pack of 4 hand towels $2.99, glass Q-tip holder with Q-tips $6.99, glass cotton holder with cotton balls $5.99, and the lavender oil diffuser $5.99. The two live plants you see there are small succulents I found on a supermarket run to Stop & Shop and they were on sale, 2 for $20.

Total Cost for Accents: $191

bathroom refresh
bathroom refresh

#4 Get a New Vanity

This will be your most costly update in your bathroom, but trust me when I say, it is one of the final touches you will need. Here’s where a Lowes will do your wallet a great savings! I was able to grab my vanity with a marble top, brass faucet, and custom vanity handles for just $520 all at Lowes and Etsy— That’s a steal!

Lowes sells these really cute vanities in a box and are a huge savings for those of us change collectors! Don’t worry if you’re feeling that a cookie cutter vanity just isn’t for you. That’s where Etsy comes into play. I wanted a custom feel in my bathroom and for that, I decided to change my handles. I set out to shop on Etsy and found these little babies! They really added a luxury feel to my vanity. These are the acrylic handles I found on Etsy by a crafty maker. I ordered 5 handles for $35.54.

Vanity $349

Brass Faucet $129

Etsy Handles $35.54

Total Cost for Vanity Facelift: $513.54

#5 Add Plant Life

Plant life in a bathroom can make or break the final energy in a bathroom refresh. It’s such an important factor, too, because the right plants can filter your bathroom air for you. It can also be aromatic and create a calming and revitalizing sensation during a bath or hot shower. My go-to plants to have in the bathroom are Bird of Paradise or Snake Plant. Both do really well in bathrooms where light is minimal. The moisture filled air is similar to a tropical climate which allows them to drink up the droplets from the air. They are easy to maintain and with my black-thumb, practically impossible to kill. I purchased my Bird of Paradise on Amazon – from Costa Farms. I also bought my snake plant from Lowes.

Costa Farms Bird of Paradise: $55.99

The Takeaway

Don’t let the fear of costly renovations or remodeling affect your decision to update your bathroom! Be savvy in your hunt for products and be willing to shop around before purchasing any big ticket items. The trick to big savings is shopping at locations that offer deep sales, luxury looking items, and reading some great tips from other DIY-ers!

Total for Full Bathroom Refresh: $1,157.53


Recommended Articles