DIY: Bathroom Make-Over

Published on 19 May 2024 at 11:46

Author:  Kelly Lowthian

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When we purchased our 52-year-old house, the bathroom was a perfect time capsule from the 1970s, complete with an avocado green bathtub, shower, and sink. By early 2024, we decided it was high time to modernize this space and embarked on a DIY renovation adventure. In this blog post, I'll take you through our journey of transforming the outdated bathroom, all while sticking to a budget. We'll dive into how we refinished the tub and tile, giving them a fresh new look, and how we replaced the floor, walls, lighting, countertop, and sink. Along the way, I'll share practical tips and tricks we've learned, aiming to inspire and guide you through your own bathroom makeover. Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner looking to update an old bathroom without spending a fortune, our experiences and insights will offer valuable advice and creative solutions. Join us as we turn a vintage relic into a modern bathroom, proving that you don't need to break the bank to achieve stunning results.

The Original Bathroom

Replacing the Flooring

I originally wanted to do a painted cement floor, so we attempted to get the original tile up.  That was a task that did not go as planned.  If you've never tried to remove 52-year-old tile, let me tell you, it's quite a task.  After chipping away at it for hours and renting a demolition hammer, we still only got a small portion out.  So, we pivoted.  In order to keep from having a professional come in and remove the tile, we decided to fill in the area we had removed with cement and we placed laminate flooring right over the top of the existing tile.  It wasn't exactly what I had planned, but I am happy with the way it turned out.  And I was happy that we didn't have to spend hundreds of dollars to have someone remove the tile! 

Refinishing the tub and shower tile

One of the biggest expenses in a bathroom remodel can be the replacement of an existing bathtub and shower.  I did some research and discovered that there were several products on the market that would allow me to paint over the existing color.  This part of the project took me a total of 8 hours to complete (with drying time) and cost approximately $120.00.  If you're interested in the specific details of how to do this and the products I used, click here to access my blog post which contains a step-by-step guide.

Repurposing the Vanity

We utilized the existing vanity but replaced the countertop and sink.  The original vanity had a middle cabinet and two skinny cabinets on each side.  I took the doors off and cut the door frames out so that the entire bottom would be open.  I replaced the handles, and chalk painted it.  The more aged and weathered a piece is, the more I like it, so I was happy to take an old vanity and make it look even older.  Plus, we saved a bundle by not replacing the entire vanity. 

Walls, Fixtures and Lights

The original sheet rock in the bathroom was in terrible shape, so we tore it all down. Once we finished, my husband admitted that he really hates sheet rocking, so instead of replacing it, he suggested we install shiplap.  It ended up being less expensive and less labor intensive than hanging new sheetrock, and it helped create the farmhouse feel we were looking for.

The last few touches were a new light fixture, shower fixtures, mirror, shelves and towel ring, all of which were purchased on Amazon.


And there you have it—the complete transformation of our 70's bathroom.  From refinishing the tub and tile to installing shiplap walls and updating the fixtures, we tackled every project ourselves and learned a lot along the way. This makeover was not only budget-friendly but also incredibly rewarding.  I hope our journey inspires you to take on your own DIY renovations and shows that with a bit of creativity and effort, you can breathe new life into any space. Happy renovating!

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