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Quick Bathroom Beautification Projects

September 30 2009

When you’re trying to sell a home, beautiful bathrooms can go a long way toward winning over buyers. In some cases – especially in older homes with bathrooms that have undergone little or no updating – a complete bathroom remodel is the way to go. If you have the money up front to put into such a project, it could offer a higher selling price in the end. But if you are working within a limited budget, there are still ways to give an affordable facelift to your home’s bathroom without breaking the bank.

Follow these five easy steps to a more beautiful bathroom, and you may be surprised at how quickly you can transform a tired, overworked space into a spa-like retreat that will have you wanting to draw a relaxing bubble bath for yourself.

Fresh Paint

Nothing beats a fresh coat of paint for instantly updating a room and bathrooms are no exception. In fact, because they are usually smaller spaces with tiling and mirrors over some of their surfaces, bathrooms constitute one of the easiest paint jobs in a house, perfect for even the least experienced painter.

In terms of paint, select a durable semi-gloss, which will stand up well to moisture. In terms of color, draw inspiration from exclusive spas at chic hotels or the pages of magazines, like Better Homes and Gardens®. As you’ll probably notice, cooler colors and lighter hues can help convey a sense of relaxation and calm while also adding the illusion of spaciousness to smaller rooms. If you are unsure of a color choice, purchase the smallest quantity available and try painting a small area on one wall to get a feel for it before you commit to the entire room.

Tub or Shower Resurfacing

Bathtubs and showers get a lot of use, so it’s no surprise that they can show a lot of wear. Whether yours is an antique porcelain claw-foot or a five-year-old fiberglass whirlpool, you could be plagued with knicks, cracks, chips and other damage – or just stuck with an outdated color or drab, dull finish. If pulling out the whole thing and replacing it is not an option, consider the more affordable alternatives of tub refinishing or relining. 

Fixture Updates

What better way to add a little sparkle to your bathroom than through shiny, new fixtures? You can select fixtures yourself at a home repair store, choosing from a wide range of styles from classic to modern. Replacing a sink faucet makes a good DIY project. Just remember to turn off the water supply at the valves beneath the sink or at the main water-supply valve. Then follow the directions provided with the new fixture to remove the existing fixture and pop-up drain, secure the new faucet, attach the drain housing and flange, install the new pop-up drain, and clean the supply tubes and test for leaks.

New shower fixtures – especially ones with luxury features such as a large-diameter full-flow rain shower, multiple showerheads, or adjustable-flow, multi-speed massage options – are another way to add a degree of pampering while staying within your budget.

Lastly, consider replacing your straightforward, utilitarian shower rod with an updated sweeping curved one. Available for just $35 to $50, they replicate the look of a fine hotel while adding as much as half a foot of extra elbow room in the shower.


Organization is key in most rooms and the bathroom is no exception. Take the time to neatly fold or roll towels – clean, fresh ones that match the colors of the room – and create an attractive display in shelves adjacent to the shower or tub. Remove any personal toiletries from site, keeping counters and surfaces clean and uncluttered. And bring order to the insides of cabinets and cupboards, since prospective buyers may open them up to assess storage space. Finally, stow any bathroom cleaning products in a closet or separate utility room.

Final Touches

Here’s your opportunity to complete the spa theme. Replace worn bathmats and shower curtains with fresh ones in soothing colors to match the rest of the room. Add accent color with coordinating accessories such as a soap dispenser, tissue box, water glass, and hand towels. Arrange a few current magazines artfully in a rack or basket. Finally, strategically place a few elegant candles or a simple vase filled with cut flowers on the back of the toilet for a final splash of color and pleasing aroma.