Painting is the cheapest way to revamp your bathroom, and can be a great DIY project for those who don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty. Before you get started, it’s important to know what kind of paint is best for each surface in your bathroom. For example, you’ll need to use an oil-based product if you’re painting over tile or any other non-porous surface that doesn’t absorb water; otherwise, an acrylic latex paint that can withstand repeated exposure to moisture will do the trick. It’s also important to pick the right color! We recommend consulting design experts on which colors complement each other well and choosing from there. Once you’ve picked out your shade and finish, it’s as simple as following these steps:
  • Begin by removing all of the fixtures from your bathroom walls. You may need to unscrew soap dispensers, towel racks or mirrors before starting.* Paint the ceiling first! This will prevent drips from landing on freshly painted walls.* Next up are the walls themselves; use a roller brush with a long handle for maximum efficiency.* Finally, apply two coats of paint to all of the trim (door frames, window frames and casings).

Change out your hardware

If you don’t want to tackle a full remodel, updating your bathroom hardware is a great way to breathe new life into the space. Hardware can include faucets, towel bars and toilet paper holders, drawer pulls, shower heads and curtain rods. It’s one of the easiest ways to update a bathroom. Hardware can be found at home improvement stores and also online.

Clean it up

  • Make the countertops sparkle by wiping them down with a toothbrush and a rag, leaving the sink alone.
  • Get rid of anything that’s already been there for so long that it might as well be clutter. If you’re just throwing stuff out, think about what you’re actually removing and make sure that it doesn’t need to stay with you any longer than absolutely necessary; otherwise, consider donating or selling it on eBay.
  • Clean the mirror by using a clean cloth to wipe off dust and fingerprints (and whatever else you can see), and then use a dry one to polish up the reflection until all the grime is gone—the artificial light will do most of the work for you once it’s shining onto the mirror’s surface again!
  • Pour bleach in your toilet bowl and let it sit for twenty minutes before flushing; this will get rid of any stains or smoke residue brought about by your previous visitors’ bathroom habits

reorganize and make better use of your space

Plenty of us who live in small apartments have found ourselves guilty of some serious space-stealing. As someone who’s been there, I can help you with this. I’ve compiled the following tips for making your space more efficient and inviting by utilizing less space and, in turn, less money.
  • Vertical Space: In a bedroom or living room, use your vertical space to make it cozy and welcoming—either by turning one wall into a fireplace or bringing in a beautiful piece such as artwork. The key is taking advantage of vertical spaces that might not be used for their intended purpose—a secret side storage room you weren’t even aware existed beneath your bed! There’s nothing like finding out about something new (and always beneficial) when you least expect it. Go ahead, check out what’s hiding beneath the comforter!
  • Under-Sink Space: This can be an ideal place to stash all those necessities that take up too much counter or cabinet space: trays, tubs, pumps…basically anything that takes up precious floor space but doesn’t need to be seen every day. Put them in the lower cabinets rather than keeping them on display on top where they attract dust and become messy. It’ll save you time cleaning around them and helping keep things within hand reach rather than having to get down on your knees or kneel on the floor to reach them. The next time someone else tries to offer you advice about toiletries not being stored on the highest shelf in their medicine cabinet (out of sight out of mind), just laugh at their ignorance like I did when my husband made this remark earlier today!

Upgrade your hardware

If you’re tired of your bathroom looking like a rundown, boring mess, upgrading the hardware can be one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get a nicer space. We’re talking about those little details that can do the most to change things up: the faucet, door handles, towel bars and hooks. They can be easy fixes—and all for around $100. If you have some basic tools (and know how to use them), swapping out your current hardware is something anyone can do in a weekend.

Regrout and caulk

For the past few months, I’ve been trying to get my bathroom ready for New Year’s Eve, which is on a Tuesday. And it’s not going so well. My problem starts with this: The original bathroom wall was made of concrete and cinder block, so after 22 years of use—including 13 years living in this apartment—the grout is failing. I took a close look at the grout and noticed that it was crumbling away from the joints in between the blocks. It looks terrible! If you have a cracked or crumbling grout line in your bathroom, don’t worry! All you need to do is remove it and replace it with new grout and caulk, then apply new caulk around the edges to make sure no water can get behind it. With that done, I’m ready for some New Year’s shenanigans!

Organize your cleaning supplies

Keep all your cleaning supplies together in one location. It’s super important to have your tools handy so you don’t waste time looking for them when it’s time to clean. Place the organizer in a spot where you can easily reach it, but not so easy that your kids can get at those chemicals. If there are children or pets in the house, keep cleaning supplies out of their reach and secured with childproof locks. Label each container clearly so you know what products go where when you’re done using them.

Shower curtain or door?

Okay, so you’ve decided to go with a shower curtain. But are you sure? Here are some things to keep in mind if you choose a curtain:
  • Measure your shower before picking out a size. You don’t want it to be too small and let water leak out all over the bathroom.
  • Make sure the curtain is waterproof and mildew-resistant. The last thing you need is mold growing on your shower curtain or discoloration where water has seeped through it.
  • Pick something that matches the rest of your bathroom. Some people get creative with their curtains, but if you’re working on overhauling the whole room, make sure this piece goes along with your vision for how it will all look when it’s finished.
Now here’s what to consider if you decide on a door:

Reglaze the tub and tile

Bathtubs, believe it or not, are not designed to last forever. The water in a bathtub tends to get hard and crusty after a while (especially if you ignore the tub every once in a while). The bathtub liner, as well as the soap scum that gathers on the sides of the tub (and occasionally gets tracked into the rest of your house), can cause both grouting and molding in your tub. These two ailments can be very detrimental to your bathroom’s aesthetic qualities and general cleanliness. Luckily, there are solutions that don’t involve replacing the container or scrubbing it with harsh acids. There are easy ways to prevent these issues from upstaging your bathroom in all its glory—and by apply any number of DIY liquid glazing systems such as Urine Off and Tile doctor II. These types of compositions will actually coat both grout lines and existing tile with an antifungal solution so that you don’t have to worry about making daily trips outside for performing this task yourself (*cough*).

Even small changes can make a big difference in the way your bathroom looks.

Even small changes can make a big difference in the way your bathroom looks. Whether you’re doing simple tasks like cleaning or painting or making more expensive updates like reglazing the tub, mounting new hardware on the vanity cabinets, or reorganizing the space altogether to make it look bigger, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your bathroom’s appearance.  
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