How to Cheaply Modernize & Update Your Old Bathroom

DIY Bathroom light and mirror in makeover
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Easy DIY decor ideas to redo your old bathroom

We have redone a few bathrooms in our day. Now, we always try to figure out the most economical way to redo a bathroom. Even our full master bathroom remodel, we still kept some of the fixtures that were already there. By updating bathroom vanities, tubs, and countertops, you can really modernize your bathroom without spending a ton.

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Economical Small Bathroom Remodel

If you have been following along with our DIY home projects, then you know we are currently working on updating our children’s bathroom upstairs.

Here is our “before” bathroom

Dated oak cabinet vanity in small bathroom
Before our cheap bathroom makeover

You can read all about how we painted the bathroom vanity grayish-blue and replaced the countertops (coming soon).

However, we just felt like we had more to add about how we remodel this space cheaply for our family. So here are a few more bathroom remodel or refresh ideas that you could try.

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Bathroom Makeover Ideas

Purchased bathroom remodel items used

For budget reasons, all of our home decor ideas are a mix of keeping what we already have and buying some new home items to go along.

Cheap Bathroom Makeover Supplies

Here is our in-progress shot of getting out the counter supplies ready. Look for our tips on how to easily install and bathroom counter and sink soon!

Bathroom Remodel Supplies

1. Pipe Fittings for Bathroom Shelving

2. Bathroom Vanity Paint in Charcoal Blue

3. Sink and Countertop (Trust me, this made our bathroom remodel and we were pleasantly surprised at the quality. We were nervous that this would look fake or not be sturdy enough. It was a great addition to add this countertop).

4. New Bathroom Vanity Hardware – Again, pleasantly surprised that we were able to find decent hardware on Amazon for a cheap price!

5. Kohler Faucet – At first my husband thought this was too square looking, but after we added it to the countertop, he changed his mind. I love the modern look and it can go with all different home decor styles.

Painted Bathroom Vanity

Replace or redo bathroom accessories

Once we saw the cabinet, new counter, and sink, we knew the construction grade mirror with those dreaded clips wasn’t going to cut it.

We ended up purchasing a new framed mirror at AtHome to help complete the bathroom vanity look. 

We debated about adding our own frame to our bathroom mirror. We love the look from this home diy blogger. But since I was able to find a pretty inexpensive mirror, we decided we didn’t need to build our own mirror frame.

You may not have an Athome near you, but I have also found mirrors from Target and Amazon that I love (and that are reasonably priced).

I love gold accessories, however, we do not have any in our home. Therefore, I couldn’t get this fun-shaped mirror from Target. If you are thinking of gold accents, you may want to check this mirror out.

Also, this oval mirror from Amazon (an Amazon-choice product) seemed very intriguing as it had a modern rubber frame. If I woulnd’t have found our mirror at AtHome, I probably would have considered this mirror especially because this is mainly a children’s bathroom.

Paint will always brighten and modernize your home decor

I am not one to say “ALWAYS” will, normally I say it may work for you, etc. However, if it one thing I know from all of the home painting I have done…

it is that painting is one of the best and most inexpensive ways to modernize your bathroom or any room. With a little elbow grease, you are able to transform your home.

One of those such spaces that require a lot of elbow grease and one that is commonly forgotten is the ceiling!

I know how much a bright white ceiling can really make a space feel new from when we added new drop ceiling tiles in our basement.

So in addition to adding some new accessories, we repainted the whole bathroom (including the ceiling). If you have never painted your ceilings, you would be amazed at how much brighter it can make a space (especially a small space like our bathroom). 

White Painted ceilings vs. old ceiling

Now I will not lie, painting ceilings is a pain, but for this size space, it went fairly quickly. I even painted the ceiling first so that I didn’t have to worry about trimming the ceiling with paint. We used Sherwin Williams Eminence Ceiling Paint with a large roller and brush for trimming.

After that, we decided that the current blue color is great for my son’s room, but wanted a more gray-toned bathroom. Since I had leftover paint from our basement makeover, I used that up for this space. 

How to paint your old bathroom vanity light fixture?

Oak bathroom light before makeover

This bulb light fixture was so dated that I actually feel like the style may be coming back around. And since it had an oak wood base, I was able to paint it at the same time I did the vanity.

Read More: See how I painted this bathroom vanity here. Lots of details and step-by-step instructions to paint oak cabinets that will last.

Painter's tape on old bathroom light

We figured that we will see if we like the new and cheap updated light fixture. We could always purchase a new one later if it didn’t work out for us. But I have to say that I like the unique light fixture for my children. 

Painted oak bathroom light fixture

Small and easy bathroom storage and shelves

Remember I said that this bathroom vanity makeover caused a snowball effect…

We had taken down an old bathroom cabinet that was above the toilet. I instantly was able to sell it in buy-sell-trade groups. 

Read More: Tips and Lingo About Using Facebook Groups To Buy and Sell Items Easily

We debated about painting it and putting it back up.

However, we decided we wanted opening industrial shelves like we did in our downstairs guest bathroom makeover. You probably want to check this bathroom makeover out. While some things are the same, a lot was done differently to update this bathroom…

can we say accent wall and gel stain?

So after the bathroom was painted, we ordered these flanges and used wood we already had to create new shelves to add to the space. I plan on buying each of my children a basket that they can store their things on the shelf with. 

I have just been busy and keep forgetting to order this basket. We have several different ones in our home that we use in our art area for our kids. I think this longer one will be perfect to store toilet paper or wash clothes under the shelf.

Bonus idea for children’s bathroom

We used to have hooks on the opposite side of the vanity pretty high up. Since our children are young, this obviously did not make it easy for them to hang up their towels. We just reused the hooks we had up previously. Nothing fancy, but it totally functional.

White wall hook half way up wall for hanging

Our finished cheap bathroom makeover

Bathroom Makeover with gray painted vanity

Cheap DIY Bathroom Makeover

And like always, this DIY bathroom project had me looking outside the bathroom and looking at our old oak banister. Check out how we were able to update & modernize our stairway using some of the same supplies we had out from this DIY project.

I just love that anyone can do these inexpensive tips and tricks to update their bathroom.

Simple bathroom makeover

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