Frugal Bathroom Redecorating

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I really hated our downstairs bathroom. The lady who re-did it before we moved in did a horrible job with the wallpaper. It was peeling, you could see the edges, they didn’t even come close to matching and it was just plain ugly.

I also didn’t like the fixtures in our upstairs bathroom. They were silver but I had a warm garden theme in there that would have looked better.

We have navy towels for the downstairs so I kept those. I mixed three 1/2 gallons of leftover paint together to get the right color, use up the paint and save some money.

I then took the towel rods and light switch covers and mirror and put them in there instead of upstairs.

I did buy a new bathmat ($9), light fixture ($20), caulk ($2) and soap dispenser ($4) and clock ($7).

Mike is looking for a better paying job so we may end up selling this house and moving. We really needed to get this bathroom fixed up. I figured if we fix it up the house will sell better and if we don’t we can enjoy the new bathroom! I spent $42 total but we did have to replace the old light fixture, it was not working and a fire hazard. We also needed a clock in there. The only things that I bought that were "frivolous" were the bathmat and soap dispenser.

I ended up caulking the entire thing too since they did a bad job on it. I also painted the vent which was rusty and a water spot on the ceiling from a previous leak with some Kilz I had on hand.

It looks wonderful!! It’s a warm tan color, navy and silver. Look just like a hotel or spa. I could just go and sit in there all day! LOL

I am doing a little bit in the upstairs bathroom. I am putting up new towel rods. I painted the light fixture to look better. I made a new mirror out of an old window my brother gave me. I used the old mirror from downstairs and had the glass place re-cut it to size for me. ($2) I asked for new towels for my birthday so I will be using those. I could still use the old ones but I really just want something new after 11 years. I only needed to buy one new towel rod but I painted the old one to match the light and it turned out ugly. I can’t really re-fix so I am just going to get a new one. I will have spent ($15) in the upstairs bathroom.

Be sure to try and paint anything you can before buying new. The towel rod paint stuck really well and I painted the switch plate covers and they look great. I might try and think of anyway to paint the towel rod before I buy new.

It’s amazing how much a little thing like that will change your attitude. I hated cleaning that bathroom because it was so depressing but now I am vigilante keeping it clean because I want to keep it looking nice.

It doesn’t cost much to fix things up in your house. Try to find ways to decorate so you are inspired to keep it clean!



photo by:  blmurch



  1. Peggy Coons says

    Try to use a spray paint for metal items for towel rods, metal mirrors, and light fixtures. One can goes a long way. I got a hammered copper color and painted the bright brass builder chandelier in our dinging room. I used 2 coats and made sure to take everything apart and paint them separately. It looks fabulous — and now matches my dining room chairs and a decorative wrought iron grate. Paints come in a huge variety of colors including stone, terra cottas, gold, silver and a huge variety of metallics in various finishes.

  2. Nancy says

    I read this article because I wanted to know what she did with the peeling wallpaper – then it didn’t even mention it. :( I have two bathrooms with truly awful wallpaper. Rather than try to remove it, we’ve heard that we can texturize right over it. However we’re hesitant to try it before we find out how well it actually works. What happens to the wallpaper underneath?

    • says

      I’ve done some work with wallpaper.
      1- if at all possible tear it down and then paint. If the wallpaper was put in the last 20 years it’s usually pretty easy to tear down. Just tear off the top layer, the spray the bottom layer with water, let it soak and scrap off with a putty knife.
      If it’s older than 20 years you will need to re-glue it before you do anything on top of it. We just paint over the top of it. You need to prime some papers first but usually the paint sticks just fine.
      I don’t know anything about texturizing but you might try. Just do a Google search and I’m sure someone has done it.

  3. Bonnie Bosch says

    I love your idea of using paint to redecorate. It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time; it started when I was newly married, and very poor. At a garage sale, I found an old mirror with an ugly brown plastic trellis frame. Since my bedroom had a print with a trellis in it, the mirror frame matched exactly once it was spray-painted white. It’s now twenty years later, and the mirror still looks almost as good as new.Old chairs picked up from other people’s curbside rejects and spray-painted get a new purpose in life; there is one in my bedroom right now that works as a valet for clothing.
    Keep on writing more of these hints…I am a faithful reader!

  4. Tosha says

    At most hardware stores (walmart, home depot, lowes) they have an area in the paint department that they put the ‘opps’ paint. The color didnt mix correctly or the customer didnt like the color. I bought a nice gallon of a beige color for 5 bucks for my bathroom. I also bought 2 pint size in purple and pink for the furniture in my daughters room for 50 cents.

  5. nona says

    For removal of wallpaper…fill a spray bottle with about 1-2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap and hot water. (You might need to score your paper some.) Spray paper, let sit for a few minutes, scrap off with a paint or putty scraper. Cheaper than renting a wallpaper steamer machine. Be sure to try and wipe off any glue left before painting. If the glue doesn’t all come off….it just adds character to your walls when you paint!!!!

  6. Donna Friend says

    I love to check the mis-mixes at Lowe’s.I found a $30.00 can of paint for $5.00,the color was dark brown, I painted the bathroom with it & filled it with anything you would find on a walk in the woods.A mushroom figure with a frog perched on top, green fern print, dragon fly pic my daughter took & appropriate colored towels.It looks great & I love it.

  7. Georgia says

    Thank you for your innovative, fun suggestions for around the house. I dont know, but, it appeals to the very
    heart of my desire to express resourcefulness within my
    home environment. It gives me such a feeling of satisfaction when I give these ideas life.

    Here’s to Invention!!!


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