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Bathroom upgrades on a budget


Is your bathroom in need of a makeover? Whether you have lived in your house for many years or if you just purchased a new home, a complete renovation may not be ideal for your budget. Michele Harmon Team has multiple tips on how you can create a new and improved bathroom while keeping costs low. Transforming your bathroom can be as simple as a new wall color, new hardware, organization, or new wall decor. 

Choose a new wall color or apply wallpaper

New wall paint or wallpaper can completely change the look of your bathroom. However, choosing the perfect color or wallpaper pattern can be tough. Head over to your local home improvement store and browse through their samples and grab colors that spark your interest. Once you arrive home, go into your bathroom and visualize the samples on your wall and write down which ones you like best.  It is important to consider evaluating your favorite samples again in the evening because they can appear different in new lighting. 

If you go to the home improvement store and still find yourself clueless on what color or wallpaper to choose, check out the store’s most popular products and think about whether you prefer dark or light colors. If your local store does not provide a list of popular products, you can view the most popular products at similar stores, find what speaks to you, and compare with what your store has available. You can access Home Depot’s most popular paint colors and wallpapers at the following links: 



Frame the mirror

Spice up a boring bathroom mirror with a mirror frame! This can provide a huge change at a little cost. Whether you decide to build your own frame or to purchase one, it is important to have correct measurements of your mirror. If your goal is to cover the edges of your mirror and the mirror clips, it is important to consider your mirror size in addition to the space above the sink and below the lights.

Paint the cabinets

Instead of replacing your cabinets, a new paint job is a cost effective way to give your dated cabinets a new look. Think about what color cabinets would be great in your bathroom and after testing samples, purchase your favorite color along with a primer. Generally, we recommend the following steps when painting your cabinets:

  1. Prep by removing all hardware and cabinet doors
  2. Sand, then prime
  3. Buff and apply 1st coat of paint
  4. After drying, buff and apply 2nd coat of paint
  5. After waiting 24 hours, reinstall the cabinet doors and hardware

Purchase new wall art

Wall art can be found at a large variety of stores. Search for bathroom wall art from places like Target, thrift stores, Amazon, and more. You can search online to get an idea of what you are looking for before making multiple shopping trips. If you are a crafty person who owns a Cricut machine, you can even make your own wall art to make it unique to you and your family! 


A little organization can make a HUGE difference. Go through your drawers and cabinets, get rid of any junk, and use drawer separators and organizational bins to keep things organized for the future. This not only keeps for a nicer drawer and cabinet space, but it allows you to find your things with ease. If you have a small bathroom sink, it can be helpful to add shelves along the sink wall to store your daily products to reduce clutter. Hanging baskets can be useful for storing things such as children bath toys, unopened soaps, and towels.

Paint the bathtub

If you have an outdated bathtub, it might not be ideal to replace the entire thing. Painting the bathtub isn’t often thought of when it comes to upgrading the bathroom because the task can be tricky. However, if you are up for a challenge, here are our recommended steps when painting your bathtub:

  1. Lay down a drop cloth around the tub and tape it off.
  2. Open a window for ventilation and use a fan to air out the room. The fumes can cause lightheadedness and we recommend the use of a respirator mask to help prevent this from happening.
  3. Clean the tub and wipe with water after done with cleaning solutions. Wait for the tub to dry completely.
  4. Follow instructions on refinishing kit, and pour into a paint pan after mixing.
  5. Use a foam roller to apply paint and paint hard to reach areas first.
  6. Squeeze foam roller into grout lines, corners, and tight spaces and roll evenly.
  7. Allow the first coat to dry prior to applying the second coat.
  8. Make sure to remove tape immediately upon finishing. 

Update the light fixtures and faucets

Updating the light fixtures and faucets can make a huge impact on the look of your bathroom. The lighting is an extremely important element for the bathroom because the wrong lighting can cause misjudgement in makeup application or other style issues. You can choose to create a vintage, chic, or modern look just by selecting the right light fixtures. 

In addition, bathroom faucets are also small fixtures with significant importance! Would you be interested in a single handle faucet or a centerset? Imagine the overall and completed bathroom makeover. If your bathroom offers a lot of dark features, consider brush nickel to brighten the space up a bit. Looking at the current bathroom trends of new homes can help you decide on what updated look you would like to achieve. If you feel comfortable installing the faucets yourself, refer to the directions from your faucet purchase and check out Youtube for instructions if you get stuck. 


Updating your bathroom does not have to be a costly and lengthy process. Most of the projects can be completed over the weekend for a price that fits your budget. If you are unhappy with your current bathroom, consider making these small changes so that you can continue loving the look and style of your home without breaking the bank. Try to have a complete vision of how you would like your bathroom to look before starting the makeover. Source your materials to make sure that everything fits together nicely to save time, money, and headaches rather than selecting your items piece by piece. If you happen to use any of these tips to give your bathroom a makeover, please share before and after pictures with us on our social media page with the hashtag, #MHTtips.


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