How to Do a Budget Small Bathroom Remodel with Flair and Creativity

Wanting to do a little redecorating can be tricky when you’re on a budget. So today, I am going to share with you how to do a budget small bathroom remodel with flair and creativity.

painted bathroom cabinets

My daughter, Lizzy, called me a while back, sharing that she was wanting to do a cute update to her outdated bathroom. To update her bathroom, she really wanted to save money.

She’s super creative (I’d like to think “a chip off the old block”) and not afraid of a little DIY. Plus Mama (that’s me) could provide a bit of paint for her cabinets from our amazing Bungalow 47 Furniture Paint, and she was off and running (or painting actually).

painting a vanity

Paint fixes everything, especially a bathroom vanity

The easiest way to add a bit of fun to your bathroom is to paint it. Paint can transform a space, and when working on a tight budget, paint will be your hero.

When Lizzy and her husband bought their 90s home three years ago, the first thing she did was repaint the kitchen and the primary bathroom cabinets. With a fresh coat of Bungalow 47 Furniture Paint, everything began to look different. See how the kitchen looked before here.

painted kitchen cabinets

The house was a blank slate, and needed a bit of her young and fun modern style. Adding color to the double vanity in the master bathroom changed the whole room and made it seem like they had done an entire bathroom remodel.

You can see how the bathroom looked before here. So she was no stranger to this cost effective way to an update.

painting bathroom cabinets

As they have lived in the home the past three years, she tells me how much they love it and want to stay forever. It was time that the second old bathroom got a new look for her girls, along with the main half bath, which is what guests use when they come over.

A fun paint color will add some flair, and can update the vanities while keeping the total cost down.

before painting a tiny vanity

Getting creative to make a big difference

Focusing on the half bath first, she had a few small bathroom remodel ideas that would be budget friendly but have a big impact. It’s a very small space that used to have a basic pedestal sink.

She needed some storage space, so she found a little bathroom vanity on Facebook marketplace for just $20, along with a faucet for $12! Super cute choice without the high price tag.

painted green bathroom vanity for a tiny bathroom

The vanity was painted in a deep green color using Bungalow 47 Furniture Paint in the color Topiary. The main floor of her home has many cool tones, and rather than do the same color, she added depth and warmth with the green vanity.

Bungalow 47 furniture paint

Next, she came up with other budget friendly ways to add big style to a small space:

Painting the tile flooring

The tiles on her bathroom floor were super bland and butted up to some fun patterned tile they had added through the hallway. To keep the project on budget, she simply painted the floor in a complimentary color to her fun tile, using an epoxy paint.

painting a focal point wall in a bathroom

A focal point wall

By trade, Lizzy is a professional photographer, and her talents run deep. She is also an amazing artist, with a creative eye, and a “can do” attitude. But you don’t have to be any of those to add some visual interest to your bathroom.

Using Bungalow 47 Furniture Paint, in the color called Paddleboat, she hand painted a simple design on the back wall behind the toilet with a detail brush. The pattern added so much style to the small bathroom and made the bathroom walls come alive!

wall cleating for floating shelves

Adding more storage and style

Since the small bathroom is narrow in width, she built some floating shelves the width of the room over the toilet. The darker stained shelves are a contrast to the small vanity in the room. Click for some cute bathroom signs.

half bath floating shelves

New bathroom mirror and light fixture

The room has no natural lighting so she replaced the light fixture with a $10 marketplace find that had multiple bulbs. Replacing light fixtures can really make a difference in where the light is positioned, with up or down lighting. The mirror was a vintage find from mama’s stash of goodies.

small bathroom remodel

Accessories to make it personal

With just enough depth to hold extra toilet paper rolls, folded hand towels, and other toiletries, the shelves were a great place to add some fun. Not only do they add storage and style to the small space, but they keep the room tidy keeping extra TP away from dogs and toddlers.

focal point wall in small bathroom

Small Half Bath Remodel Checklist

  • Painted tile floor + cabinet
  • New plumbing fixtures
  • Focal point on wall behind toilet
  • Shelves for storage + styling
  • Mirror + accessories

Budget bathroom remodel ideas

Being homeowners can be very fun, but also very expensive. So when a small bathroom remodel needs to stay on a budget, then you DIY it! Color will make a big impact in a small room, and in Lizzy’s secondary bathroom for her girls, she wanted to punch up the look to something more fun.

before bathroom remodel

The before of the bathroom was “wa,wa,waaaa” with it’s greenish vanity top and oak cabinets. Here’s how she changed it:

painted bathroom cabinets

New hardware

The gold hardware added a bit of style next to the pale pink, and girls like bling, right? New hardware can make a difference in a bathroom. It’s easy to change out a toilet paper holder, hooks or bars for towels, and even door knobs. When a major update isn’t in the cards, simply switch the hardware!

Cute hand towels make a difference too. Find some cute floral and polka dot ones here.

small bathroom remodel

Updated plumbing fixtures

The gold tone plumbing fixtures look so pretty with the pale pink cabinetry in this bathroom. Switching them out isn’t difficult, when there’s surely a youTube video to teach you how to DIY it.

If replacing the bathtub fixtures, make sure you are purchasing a compatible tub kit for what you currently have. But with an updated finish, they can make a budget remodel feel like you got a whole new tub.

small bathroom remodel

Paint and accessories

Paint makes the biggest impact for your money in a small project like this. Add accessories that make sense for the space (shower curtain, rug, mirrors, picture frames, vanity decor, etc.) and reference the paint color for choices that will pop. We custom mixed this pink from our Bungalow 47 Furniture Paint line.

If replacing the flooring isn’t in your project budget, a great rug can make basic tile look amazing. I love this one from Anthropologie, as it has a vintage flair.

Assessing the project

When wanting a change and deciding on a little bathroom remodel, the first thing you will need to do is assess the project. What will your remodeling costs be? Does that line up with your budget? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Does the flooring need to be replaced or can it be updated with paint, vinyl overlays, or other DIY options?

  • Do the walls need painting or another wall treatment? Consider wallpaper, paneling, tile, and more.

  • Is the tub or shower still usable as is? Or can it be epoxy painted? Or does it need to be replaced?

  • Is the current bathroom tile (on the walls, floors, or in the shower) still good? Can it be painted or simply covered with a cute shower curtain?

  • Is the vanity usable or need to be replaced? It can be updated with trim, paint, wallpaper, or many other ideas to make it look like a completely different vanity. Remember if you remove it for a change, it will affect the floors as well.

  • Are the mirrors in good condition? Can they be trimmed with moulding, or replaced with something new. Think about size and budget.

  • Do you have a medicine cabinet or cubby area for storage? Is there more storage that can be added as needed?

  • Is the sink needing to be replaced or is it usable? When the sink is replaced then the vanity top may need changing as well. Things tend to snowball when remodeling bathrooms!

  • Can hardware be spray painted a different finish for a budget option? Or does it need to be replaced?

Don’t Forget These Remodeling Tips

Don’t forget the ceiling. This is your fifth ‘wall’.

Bathroom faucets and such can make or break a budget. Look at what needs to be updated for your sink or tub and consider cost efficient options that add style without wreaking havoc on your budget.

What other elements in the room can benefit from paint, storage, and style? Don’t forget about the door, the shower door and track, built-in shelving and whatever elements are in your room.

shelf styling bathroom

What should my bathroom makeover budget be?

This literally is the question of many homeowners. The budget obviously depends on what you can comfortably earmark. This will determine if you are doing a full bathroom remodel, an update of some elements, or a budget restyle.

Just make a list of all your ideas, and possible costs and add it up. Add 20-30% on top, because I can guarantee you will need that buffer.

Walls will be cost efficient to update with paint, floors can be painted, and tile can be covered with vinyl stick-on options. Assess what item will eat up your cost the most in your remodel, and budget your bathroom remodel from there.

painted green bathroom vanity for a tiny bathroom

Low price but big impact

You can see from these photos of Lizzy’s bathrooms that for a low cost, you can style out your bathrooms on a budget and without doing a major remodel. Adding a bit of flair and creativity will help your bathroom remodel stay on budget!

For great inspiration, follow me on Pinterest. I’m finding great ideas there and have them organized into boards by room to make it easy to find what you are looking for. Check out some bathroom renovation projects I have done. It’s always such a transformation and great for your property value.

To see more projects, subscribe to my newsletter and receive a free eBook! You can also purchase our chalk and clay paint here, so you can update your own cabinets.

Drop a comment below and tell me which transformation was your favorite! What have you transformed with paint?

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