Bathroom Makeover on a Budget


Article Posted By: Liberty

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

With the construction market booming, many homes have basic contractor grade bathrooms. With a little time and elbow grease, it’s easy to transform your bathroom to fit your unique style. Cosmetic bathroom makeovers are great weekend projects that offer a lot of bang for your buck.

Above you see the results of our simple bathroom project on top– with fresh paint and new cabinet hardware– and the bathroom in its previous state on the bottom. Even though we kept the original vanity and tub fixtures, small changes like hardware, paint, and faucets have a dramatic effect in this bathroom makeover.

Bathroom Makeover


Materials for your Bathroom Makeover


  • Paint Roller
  • Philips Head Screwdriver
  • Socket Wrench

Step 1:  Remove Mirror

Bathroom Makeover

To tackle this project, remove elements of the bathroom that you are replacing. We chose to start with the largest item in the room: the builder’s grade mirror.

This step is entirely dependent on how your builder attached the mirror. For our bathroom, the mirror was held in place by a clip system. We recommend having two people remove the mirror as can be heavy and bulky.

Tip: To protect your flooring, tape your mirror with painter’s tape. This can help keep your mirror from shattering, potentially damaging your floor.

Step 2: Remove Bathroom Hardware

Remove Bathroom Hardware in your Bathroom Makeover

Most builders use economical bathroom hardware with a set screw installation method. To remove, locate the set screw that attaches the hardware to the mounting system. Depending on the hardware, you may need to use a small Allen key wrench or a small flat head screw driver.

Set screws use tension to hold the hardware to the mounting system. Gently loosen the set screw until you can easily pull the hardware off the mounting system. Set the hardware aside after removal.

Underneath the hardware, the mounting system should be attached to the wall via screws and anchors. If there are no anchors, the builder may have attached your screw directly into the stud. To remove the mounting system, use a Philips head screw driver to loosen the screw and the anchor from the dry wall or stud.

Repeat this process for all hardware, including the toilet paper holder, towel bars, robe hooks and towel ring.

Step 3: Remove Wall Plate

Bathroom Makeover

Now remove the wall plate cover from the electrical outlet with a flat head screw driver. This is purely a cosmetic change and does not require an electrician.

Follow all safety precautions, including turning off the electricity when removing these covers.

Step 4:  Remove Cabinet Hardware

Remove Cabinet Hardware in your Bathroom Makeover

Next, remove the cabinet hardware from your cabinetry using a Philips head screw driver.

Loosen the screw from the cabinet hardware by twisting gently to the left. As you loosen the screw, be sure to hold on to your hardware from the cabinet face to avoid scratching the cabinet.

Step 5: Patch Hardware Holes

Patch Hardware Holes in your bathroom makeover

Locate the areas you have removed hardware from. Using the spackling tool, apply a generous amount of spackling paste to fill in each hole.

After your first generous application, use the spackling tool to smooth the surface, and remove the excess paste on and around the holes. Allow the spackling paste to dry fully before sanding.

Step 6: Patch Lighting Hardware Holes

Patch lighting hardware holes in your bathroom makeover

We decided to update the lighting in the bathroom with our makeover; however, due to the complexity of lighting changes, we chose to hire an electrician.

The original lighting fixture had one mounting location, leaving a giant gaping hole that needed to be filled in after installing the new fixture.

Since the hole was so large, it required a wall patch before spackling. The HDX wall patch kit came with a 4-in. patch, a spackling tool and paste. The application of the patch is simple: remove the backing and place it over the hole in your wall.

Next, follow the same steps as patching the hardware holes. Just make sure that when removing the excess, you don’t see the mesh of the patch poking through. Allow the spackling paste to dry fully before sanding.

Step 7: Tape and Prep

Tape and prep for your bathroom makeover

Tape and prep for your bathroom makeover

While waiting for your spackle to dry, you can move onto the next phase, and start prepping your bathroom for paint. Tape up any areas you don’t want painted such as your baseboards, the edge of your vanity and around any remaining fixtures.

Step 8: Sand the Patches

Sand the patches in your bathroom makeover

After the spackling has fully dried, start sanding. We used the convenient sanding tool from the patch kit to sand all of our prep work. Fold in the edges on the crease of the sanding tool so that your tool stays flat against the wall.

The sanding process works best when you move in the same direction. Don’t apply too much pressure, or the surface will not be smooth. Be sure not to sand down too far or the mesh will peek through your paint.

Step 9: Paint

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

After sanding down the spackle to blend into the drywall, begin painting.

We recommend you first cut around trim and edges with a Wooster shortcut brush. For the remainder of the wall, use your paint roller to apply color. The Home Depot has great painting applications tips and tricks.

Step 10: Install New Cabinet Hardware

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

The original cabinets required a second hole on the cabinet door face for the pulls we chose.

We recommend using an Align Right Cabinet Hardware Installation Template for the most accurate placement of your installation holes.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

We chose to use the Delta Silverton 3 in. Cabinet Pull in Polished Chrome for our cabinet doors. We used the Delta Silverton 1¼ in. Cabinet Knob in Polished Chrome for our cabinet drawer knobs.

Not only is the collection stunning in a brilliant polished chrome, but they are a collection match to the bathroom hardware and faucets we chose to install.

These collections make it easy to choose matching hardware for a weekend bathroom makeover. Your decorative hardware should come with installation screws. Use a Phillips screw driver to install your hardware.

Step 11: Install Bathroom Hardware

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

The bathroom hardware collection we chose has an EasyClip™ mounting system, which is slightly different from the traditional set screw. Like the original mounting system, we were required to attach the base mounting system to the wall first by using wall anchors and screws.

The towel bar and toilet paper holder came with mounting templates for easy installation, making the measuring and marking process a breeze. After marking your holes, insert the anchor into the drywall. Slip the screw through the mounting system then insert it into the anchor.

Once you have all the mounting hardware installed, the EasyClip system allows you to slip the posts of the hardware right over until they click into place ensuring a nice tight fit.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

In the spirit of cohesive design, we chose to use the Delta Silverton Bathroom Hardware Collection in Polished Chrome. Like the cabinet hardware, this collection is specifically designed from the faucet with an exact finish and style match.

Instead of replacing the original 24 in. towel bar however, we chose to use the  24 in. Double Towel Bar for maximum amount of towel storage for our guests’ use.

Step 12: Install Wall Plate

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

Wall plates, although often forgotten, can truly be the final and finishing touches of your home. They make a big difference in comparison to the standard white plastic ones.

Installation is very easy. Simply use the included installation hardware and mount it to the existing electrical outlet. Follow all safety precautions listed on your wall plate packaging.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

We chose to use the Liberty Concave Wall Plate Collection for a matching chrome finish and transitional style.

Step 13: Remove Old Faucets and Install New Faucets

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

We delayed the faucet installation to near the end of the overall project since they can be removed and replaced in one fell swoop. Visit The Home Depot’s website where you can find step-by step-instructions with photos on how to remove and install a center-set faucet.

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

The faucet was the first design choice we made for our bathroom. We chose the elegant design of the Delta Silverton Centerset Bathroom Faucet in Polished Chrome.

The original faucet was a center-set single handle. Replacing it without removing or putting new holes in the countertops required the same size and valve set up. This lead us to the Silverton’s graceful arcs and classic detailing.

We chose to stick with the polished chrome finish since it worked so well with the original cultured marble countertops and gave off a feeling of traditional glamour.

All of our hardware choices were inspired by the faucet, and were made easy due to the coordinating collections and exact match finish!

Step 14: Hang the Mirrors

Completed Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

The final step of a bathroom makeover is to hang your new mirrors! We were pleasantly surprised at how easy the cleat installation method was. We recommend centering your mirror above your faucets and below your lighting.

Simply measure, mark and follow the instructions included. One thing we loved about these mirrors was that the cleat is smaller than the attachment area on the mirror. If your measurement is just slightly off to the left or right, you can still slide the mirror into the center above the faucet for the perfect fit.

Completed Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

Completed Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

Bye-bye builder’s grade, and hello luxury! Now you can enjoy how the small details of your new bathroom make such a big difference.

Follow our Bathroom Design Ideas board on Pinterest for more bathroom makeover ideas.

Browse our Bathroom Ideas on The Home Depot Blog for more ways to transform your space.