DIY - Give your bathroom a new look for less

  • DIY - Give your bathroom a new look for less

    by Artie Wallace


    Whether you're renting or a home owner looking to give your bathroom a makeover, there is no reason to break the bank while doing so.


    Bathrooms are the second most important rooms in the house when thinking about upgrades (kitchens being #1). They are also the only room that almost everyone that visits your house/apartment will use.


    The photo is a bathroom we dressed up for a customer.


    By changing a vanity,

    adding a floating shelf and painting,

    then topping it off with wainscoting

    (adding molding to dress it up),

    we gave this bathroom a totally new and updating look.



    This week I am going to give you the basics. For detailed instructions on installing some of the upgrades below click here to follow “TDS DIYer”, I will be covering these topics and more in my weekly articles.


    1-    Vanity: A vanity is easy to change and as one of the focal points of the bathroom. But when picking a vanity, be smart in choosing a new one. Plan on the overall look that you’re going for but also buy something that will allow for future changes (paint color, tile, etc.). Steer away from pedestal sinks, they offer no storage and are more difficult to install.


    2-    Toilets: In most cases toilets can be cleaned up to look like new (applying a coat of marine wax will help keeping it clean). Changing the toilet seat is a quick and easy way to make it look better. When picking your toilet seat, stay away from cushioned seats, they don’t last as long as solid seats. Be sure to get one with a non-slamming lid, you’ll be glad you did.


    3-    Paint: Painting is simple, or is it? If you use the wrong paint you will be repainting your bathroom real soon. For walls use either a good quality semi-gloss or a bathroom paint. For radiators use rest-oleum.


    4-    Floating shelves: Floating shelves are a little more difficult to install than shelves with brackets, but they give a much better appearance and provide a great place to add small item that will give your bathroom a personal feeling.


    5-    Wall coatings: As you see in the photo above, we used wainscoting. I particularly like the wainscoting. And it comes in a variety of styles and can be painted to match your color scheme. Buy keeping it at a height of about 36 inches, it will give your bathroom the appearance of being larger.


    6-    Accessories: No matter if its towel bars, grab bars or soap dishes, a new set of accessories will accent any bathroom.


    7-    Tub and sink refinishing: If your DIYer skill lever is 8 or above (on a scale of 1 to 10), this is something you can try. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the kit you buy (different kits may have different application instructions). If your skill level is 7 or below, do not attempt to refinish your tub or sink. Call someone in to do it for you.


    I hope these pointers helped you out with giving your bathroom a new look. Don’t forget to follow “TDS DIYer” for detailed instructions for any upgrades you may need a little more guidance with.


    For a list of recommended products from this and past articles, click here or visit our links page at



    With over 30 years experience in the home improvement field, Artie Wallace (owner of Rockaways Handyman) can help you with most of your DIY questions. For more information about Artie Wallace or Rockaways Handyman, visit his website at, like him on Facebook at, or email your questions to





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