4 Ways to Spruce up an Old Bathroom Without a Complete Remodel

I don't know about you but watching HGTV sometimes leaves me feeling like every room in my home needs a complete overhaul.

Well, take heart, my friend, there are ways to give your home a refresh without hiring an expert designer and changing every square inch. And you can definitely spruce up an old bathroom without a complete remodel.

I do love to watch complete home renovations and see how amazingly a room can be transformed. And all in under 30 minutes, right? It's super fun to get inspired by seeing what other people do and how they do it. 

It All Started With a Tub

My husband and I needed to replace the tub in our upstairs bathroom. I'm going to walk you through some of our thought processes on this project.

We knew that replacing a tub/shower unit could potentially lead to completely gutting the whole bathroom. We considered this as the sinks and countertop were all over 20 years old and were showing some signs of wear. 

However, we kept telling ourselves that we just wanted to spruce up our old bathroom and not add lot of extra work. We also wanted to stay in budget and those items can get pretty pricey. The big determining factor for us was going to be how the edge of the new tub matched up with old flooring.

If the new tub was going to leave a gap we would have to replace the floor. If we decided to replace the floor then it seemed like a good idea to consider replacing everything.

Getting the new tub and shower surround was the first step.

Fortunately the fit was a good one and there was no need to replace the flooring!

Yay! - Bummer!

Yes, thats right. I was happy and sad all at the same time. We could stay in budget, but no brand new sinks or countertop for me! 

I  immediately set out to see how I could bring about the biggest transformation for the least amount of expense. (this is something I LOVE to do!)

Here are 4 Ways I Chose to Spruce up an Old Bathroom

1. Tear Off the Old Wallpaper Border and Repaint

Fortunately, we had used sizing when we put the border up years ago so it came off fairly easily with a spray bottle of water, a putty knife and a little elbow grease. 

 Removing wall paper border

Old wallpaper border in a pile

Since our bathroom is a smaller space, I was able to use leftover paint that we already had.

For the bead board on the bottom half, I used a burgundy color that we used on one wall of our living room. It is one of my favorite shades of burgundy. I found it years ago at Lowes and it's called Mark Twain House Brown.

As I was painting the bead board I was reminded of some sweet friends of ours.

They had torn this bead board off of an old porch ceiling many years ago. My husband and I, being the scroungers that we are, had salvaged the wood and repurposed it when we added this bathroom in the upstairs of our 1890's home back in 1995. 

For the ceiling and tops of the walls, I choose to use the paint that we had used in our kitchen a few years back. The two colors contrasted nicely and seemed to make my old countertop look like it belonged again.

New paint in the bathroom


2. Replace the Shower Curtain.

This was an easy one for me since we sell shower curtains! Our Cheston pattern was one of my favorites! The burgundy and creme colors in the patchwork block fabrics were an awesome match with the paints I used.

We made several videos of 10 primitive shower curtains you could use in your home if you'd like to get some more inspiration.

Cheston shower curtain

3. Get a New Rug.

I chose one of our 20x30 cotton braided rugs. I love the antique vintage look of these rugs! This one is made by braiding together strips of printed cotton fabric. This one goes so perfectly with our Cheston pattern.

Cotton braided rug

4. Add Home Decor Accents.

I found some block letters and a wood wall sign along with a wood box for some extra toilet paper.

 Faith Wood Letters

Love wood sign

I wanted a new rack for our towels and decided to make my own.

I headed out to the garage and found a scrap piece of wood. I gave it a very quick, light coat of the same paint I used on the walls and ceiling, purposely not covering every area of the board.

Then I added some light brush stokes of black. Once the paint dried it was time to sand it just a bit. And lastly, I went over the top with some stain and quickly rubbed it off.

wood board with paint

Wood board with sanding block

adding stain to wood board

wood board on heater

wood board with hooks

I love how the finished product turned out. It was just as I pictured it. I wanted it to look like an old weathered board that has been sitting around for years. 

rack with towels 

 We are very happy with our "brand new" bathroom! It suits us much better than if we had done a complete overhaul and it was much easier on the pocketbook!

bathroom with counter

Do you need to spruce up an old bathroom?

It's possible that a new shower curtains may be just what you need. A few years back I was somewhat "forced" to redo my downstairs bathroom. You can read about how I got a nudge from my sister to consider that makeover.