Major DIY Updates for a Dated Bath

Roll up your sleeves and upgrade your bath in a major way with tile, wallpaper, and fixtures. DIY art and a fresh coat of paint add the perfect finishing touches!

Before: Due for New

This dated bathroom needed a fresh look, fast. With the children grown up, it was time to transform this bright and bubbly bath into something more chic and guest-oriented. This amazing bathroom update got a boost from DIY projects you have to see to believe.

After: DIY Masterpiece

This bathroom makeover was completed without the help of contractors or designers. A fashionable bath is within your reach, too. Wallpaper was installed after the subway wall tile but before the tile trim so the trim hides the wallpaper edges. 

Not sure how much wallpaper you need? Find out here!

Tile Perfection

Add interest to a shower with a square of inset marble tile. Draw an outline on the wall where the inset tile will go, then set the subway and thin liner tiles around the designated area. For the inset, find the center of the space and set the first mesh-backed tile panel. Work up and out from the center piece. Cut to fit edge pieces within the border.

Right-Height Shelving

Have towels at the ready for guests with DIY bathroom shelving. Style your own by sanding an unfinished wooden shelf. Prime and paint the shelf a neutral tone so it doesn't compete with bold wallpaper. Finish with a polyurethane topcoat to combat moisture. To complete the area, frame a print you purchase, or paint one yourself using watercolors.

Take a Modern Dip

Create an unexpected splash of color in your master bathroom by updating an ordinary stool. Flip the stool upside down, and measure the height of the area to be painted. Place painters tape around each leg, then apply paint. Let the legs fully dry. Remove the tape and coat the legs' entire lengths with polyurethane. A uniform look isn't the only way to go: Paint each leg a different color, or apply bands of several colors for a more playful look.

Dip-Dye Projects for Your Home

Understated Lighting

Forgo the standard bathroom vanity light. Instead, install an industrial outdoor wall sconce centered above your vanity mirror. It is stylish as a stand-alone fixture yet neutral enough to not distract from surrounding patterns and decor.

Art to the Rescue

When you remodel your bathroom, you need art that captures your personality! Simple wall art starts with penciled dots that you cover with fingerprints done in an assortment of crafts paints. Heavy acrylic paint helps grown-up finger painting retain its peaks and textures. Mat and frame your artwork for a polished look, or use a wrapped canvas for a frameless masterpiece.

DIY Painting Projects for Your Home

Before: Green, Green, Green

Monotone palettes are great for accents, but not so great for small bathroom walls, accents, and furniture. This very green bath was ready for some contrast. Its DIY updates are stylish, unique, and full of color.

Our Favorite Bath Upgrades

After: Unique and Chic

Once wallpaper and tile have been installed, incorporate an open vanity and stylish faucet. You can boost storage like these homeowners did withbaskets on the vanity's open shelf. Built-in open shelving near the vanity mirror provides more storage.

11 Ideas for a DIY Vanity Upgrade

Marble Medicine Cabinet

Formerly concealed by an insert decorated with chalkboard paint, an old medicine cabinet makes way for a stylish DIY tiled niche. Cut a mosaic tile sheet to size, and apply it to the back wall using thinset, and allow to dry. Install subway tile on the sides, and incorporate marble slabs for shelves. Finish with trim tile then grout.

Basket Solutions

Storage baskets below a vanity are perfect for quick-grab items, such as towels and paper products. Personalize them by attaching large labels with ribbon or twine. That way, when items run out, guest don't have to search!

Easy Tile Ideas for Your Shower

Mix and match tile to create a beautiful shower that won't bust your budget.


  1. I love this bold wallpaper for the small space! Where can i find it please

  2. This bathroom is a mess. That kind of bold wallpaper calls for no art, let alone pictures with a totally different color scheme. I also don't care for the industrial sconce. The room looks like two entirely different bathrooms merged together. This is a far cry from your recent "Small-Bathroom Decorating Ideas" of which every design was unique and beautifully put together.

  3. I always LOVE BH&G makeovers---the Befores/Afters always amaze me. THIS bath, however, still has an uncoordinated, helter-skelter appearance, like, "we-only-had-48-hours-to-do-this" kind of look. It's way too busy; the artwork next to the mirror is overkill; the blue tags on the storage baskets are silly, look like they belong in a yard sale. That wallpaper was an unfortunate choice; it's powerful and asks for minimal decoration around it. This entire makeover is a hard pass for me; even the towels are wrong. Sorry, BH&G---you can ( and have) do much MUCH, much better !

  4. That wallpaper gives me a headache!

    1. I agree 100%. What happened to class?

  5. Where can I find the instructions for the bathtub redo?

  6. Do not like the wallpaper....

  7. How is removing a showe surround with a floor a do it yourself project

    1. I was wondering that too.

  8. I prefer the before!

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