Budget Bathroom Makeover

By: Danny Lipford
Bathroom before budget makeover.

Bathroom before budget makeover.

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We helped homeowners Brian and Jackie Cruthirds give a 40-year-old bathroom an inexpensive facelift for under $1,000.

Wallpaper Removal

To remove wallpaper start by perforating the paper with a wallpaper scoring tool (such as Piranha model 202301) to allow the remover to penetrate through the paper. Next, mix in a 5-gallon bucket:

  • 3 gallons hot water
  • 22 ounces wallpaper remover concentrate (DIF)
  • 1/4 cup liquid fabric softener

Scoring wallpaper.

Scoring wallpaper.

Pour the solution in a pump up sprayer, spray it on the walls, and allow it to soak for several hours to overnight before peeling off the wallpaper. After the wallpaper had been removed, a plastic scouring pad was used to remove any rough spots on the drywall.

A thin coat of joint compound was then applied to the drywall, allowed to dry, and sanded to give the walls a smooth surface for painting. Always wear an approved dust mask or respirator when sanding drywall and seal the room to contain the dust.

Watch our video on How to Strip Wallpaper to find out more.

Exhaust Fan Installation

The old bathroom vent fan was removed and a NuTone light/fan combination (model XN110L) was installed. The fan housing was screwed to the ceiling joists, the wiring connected, and the fan unit installed.

The old fan had been vented in the attic, which can cause mold and mildew to form. To prevent future problems, the new fan was vented through the roof.

Watch our video on Replacing a Bathroom Exhaust Fan to find out more.

New bathroom ventilation fan.

New bathroom ventilation fan.

Finishing Touches

Crown molding was installed around the ceiling, and the joints sealed with Titebond painter’s caulk. Watch our video on How to Install Crown Molding to find out more.

The walls in the bathroom were then painted with Sherwin Williams HGTV line paint in Sea Salt color (SW6204).

To improve the look of the plain mirror over the bathroom sink, a mitered frame from (pattern/color: Acadia Dove White) was installed around the mirror. Peel-and-stick adhesive on the back of the frame adheres the mitered molding directly to the glass.

Watch our video on Adding a Frame to a Bathroom Mirror to find out more.

A new light fixture from Hampton Bay (4-light brushed nickel, model 05382) was installed on the wall above the mirror. Watch our video on Bathroom Lighting Options to find out more.

Staining Grout Lines in Floor

To improve the look of the tile floor, grout stain (Polyblend Grout Renew, antique white) was applied to the grout lines on the floor. To apply the grout stain, an HDX Grout Sealer Applicator Brush Bottle was used as well as an old toothbrush.

Both grout stain and applicator bottles are available at The Home Depot.

Bathroom after budget makeover.

Bathroom after budget makeover.

Hybrid Hot Water Heater

Tankless hot water heaters offer an endless supply of hot water, however installation in an existing home can require additional plumbing and a larger gas line.

The Rinnai RH180 hybrid hot water heater solves this problem by combining both a tank and tankless water heater in one to provide more than twice the capacity of a standard 50-gallon tank without the extra installation expense of a tankless water heater.

Read our article on How to Choose a Hot Water Heater to find out more.

Other Tips from This Episode

Plastic bag full of white vinegar around showerhead.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Unclogging a Showerhead

Showerheads can become clogged over time from mineral deposits in the water. To dissolve the deposits, place a plastic bag filled with white distilled vinegar over the showerhead, use a twist tie to hold the bag in place, and allow the showerhead to soak for one to two days. If the nozzles are still clogged, repeat the soaking process until clear. (Watch Video)

Opening side door of Rubbermaid All Access Organizer.

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Rubbermaid All Access Organizers

Rubbermaid All Access Organizers are stackable and have a clear, drop-down door to provide easy viewing and access to the contents stored inside. They come in both small (19½” L x 17½” W x 11½” H) and large (22” L x 17½” W x 15” H) and are available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Venting Bath Fan in Attic

Ask Danny Lipford:
Venting Bath Fans

It’s important to vent bathroom exhaust fans outside, rather than in an attic, to prevent moist air from causing mold and mildew. You can vent an exhaust fan through a soffit or gable vent, but the best solution is to vent the fan through the roof using smooth metal pipe to reduce air resistance. (Watch Video)

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Budget Bathroom Makeover