Bathroom Makeover {DIY Weekend Refresh}

Easy Affordable Bathroom Makeover

One of the very first room makeovers we did in this house was our son’s (girls’ and guest, too) bathroom. At the time, we skipped more complicated or messy things like new counters or painting cabinets and instead added a wall of DIY board & batten, some fun cheery paint, a DIY faux tin tile backsplash (which by the way you can see is still there and working great for us years later!), two home improvement store outdoor lanterns, new cabinet hardware and some art. We left everything else as is.

The goal in the first makeover was to take this builder bathroom and give it a little charm and personality on a budget. You can see the previous bathroom makeover here (please know that I had no idea how to take a photo in the dark bathroom before and while the color was bright, it really wasn’t as bright as it appears with my horrid photos, haha).

Flash forward to now. My son is almost 14 and since we were working on his bedroom makeover recently, it seemed like a good time to freshen up the bathroom too!

Bathroom Lighting

This time we actually refreshed even less, and ONLY changed the paint! It was one of those weekend projects we had been putting off for awhile, but we finally made it happen.

I still have dreams of maybe new counters, a new mirror and flooring but you know, priorities. Slow decorating and all. Sometimes those big ideas are exactly what slow us down or keep us from moving ahead at all, so it helps to reel in the project and make it more manageable with the time, budget and the tolerance you have for messy projects. We had no tolerance for any of the above so we stuck with only wall paint.

I can’t believe how much more we love it now, even without changing anything else but the paint!

Easy Bathroom Makeover Ideas

DIY Bathroom Makeover

It feels like a whole new bathroom to us! It’s calm, peaceful but still quirky and fun. It works for us so really there is no need to do more at this point.

Bathroom Hooks on Board & Batten

Quirky Gallery Wall

We still love that quirky animal gallery wall, so we left it as is.

Maybe we will update it someday but it still makes us laugh. It’s just random art we found on Etsy years ago, a couple of drawings of our old pup Winston, and photocopy or two of silly childhood storybook pages like Frog & Toad are Friends. It’s all meaningful to us and reminds all my kids and me of childhood.

Affordable Bathroom Makeover

And one of my favorite parts is all the hooks. That’s the best part. You can never, ever have too many hooks.


What weekend refresh have you been putting off?

Maybe it is time to get it done!

Color: Polished Grey by Glidden {ask about it at the Glidden paint counter, it is several shades lighter than WoodSmoke in the Glidden paint color book).
Towels: Blue and white are from Target, grey and white are from World Market.
Round rug is from Anthropologie.
How to DIY a Faux Tin Backsplash instructions are here.

DIY Faux Tin Ceiling Tile Back Splash

Easy Affordable Bathroom Makeover

Easy DIY:  Installing Faux Tin Ceiling Tiles as a Backsplash

Greetings! I appreciated all your kind comments on my kids’ bathroom facelift and your overwhelming support of my little faux tin tile backsplash idea! Glad you liked it and shared it. If you missed it, you can find the bathroom makeover and all the explanations of what and why on that post.

As with any quick simple makeover, everything isn’t perfect.

But if I was going for perfect, I’d spend a fortune in time and money and that was not my intent with this project. There are things I might want to change down the road. But that is the beauty of a makeover like this. You can transform your space in a short amount of time relatively affordably all on your own without a lot of skill, tools or carpenter friends.

You can do this! If I can, you can.

Here is what you’ll need:

Let’s get started with the backsplash tutorial!


Rip off existing back splash and metal trim.

Clean off remaining debris and dust from the wall and counter.

NOTE: I think you could probably install this right over the formica backsplash, except for the metal trim piece on the formica might be too bulky. You might find a way to do it, though.


Measure the area for your backsplash and cut the faux tin squares according to the size you need.

You can cut it with sharp scissors.

The “cove molding” piece (that I used to bridge the tile and counter) and trim pieces (which cover the raw edges of the tiles) are a little more challenging to cut, so you’ll need really sharp scissors or a saw or something! You DIY gals probably have just the right cutting tool. We used regular scissors but my husband had to do it for me. I was a wimp.


Tape the back of the tin tile with the double sided adhesive tape. Keep the paper on the tape until you are ready to stick the tile to the wall. I put tape on all edges of the tile and the cove molding piece to make sure it would stick well.


You might not have to deal with this step like I did, but if you have a tight area, such as the small space between a standard builder mirror and your back splash, you might be able to tuck the tile a little bit under the existing mirror so there is no need to put any trim piece on the top part of the tin tile under the mirror.

It was a little tricky to squeeze the tiles in between the mirror and the counter while keeping the tile flat and in the lower cove molding trim piece. You just keep tweaking the tile size with scissors until it fits flush.

Helpful Hint: I would advise an extra set of hands for this step! It wasn’t hard to do, just tricky! If you don’t have to fit the tile in a tight squeeze, you won’t have to worry about this step at all.

This is what the trim piece looks like in case you are wondering what I’m talking about, it is leaning against the finished back splash where trim pieces are installed.

The trim is what you put around all the exposed edges, it fits on like those plastic report cover things we used to bind papers with in school? Hard to explain, sorry I didn’t take a photo of that step.  I don’t have a photo of the cove molding piece, but you can see it in the photo above, as it was installed on the lower part of the back splash.

Step 5:

Lastly, you just remove the paper from the double sided tape and smash it to the wall. Hold it for a little bit to give it a chance to stick. The beauty of this is if you make a mistake, you just pull it off and try again. If you use the tape, it isn’t like super glue where it will pull the wall apart but it worked great for this installation.

I have no experience using the glue like adhesive, but I suspect if you were doing this on a bigger scale or on a ceiling, you might want to try the glue.

Putting this back splash together is just like doing a puzzle, you piece things together until they look finished. I didn’t worry too much about it all being perfect. If your tile pops away from the wall, just add some more tape.

This faux ceiling tile has been installed in this bathroom as a back splash now for almost a year. NOTHING has happened to it. It will be easy to remove when we want to change the counters and it could certainly be reinstalled if we wanted to.

Obviously, you would not want to install this product in your shower. Eh hem. But as a backsplash or on a wall or ceiling, yes. I was even thinking of using it in my cabinet doors as an insert! I also thought about painting my counter with a coordinating metal paint and sealing it well, but that will have to be for another day.

Affordable Bathroom Makeover

And here it is, the faux tin tile is still in the bathroom several years later! It has stood the test of time in a boy’s bathroom :-)! See the current update to the bathroom, here.

If you are looking for a way to do a simple makeover of a wall or back  splash, I would say this is definitely worth the try! While this tile isn’t really “cheap,” when I compared it to the cost, hassle, mess, the need to hire help and “one thing leads to another” back splash options I considered, this is the one that made the most sense for me!

If you use this faux tin tile somewhere, I’d love to see a picture! Come share it maybe on my Facebook wall?

Have a great day!

Boy’s Bathroom Before & After

Easy Affordable Bathroom Makeover

Update! Here’s what this bathroom looks like now (above!), after another bathroom refresh a few years later! :-) Below is the first refresh!

Boy’s Bathroom Before & After

So, last week I told you I was going to give my son’s bathroom a little facelift.

And now we’re done! Just like on TV.

Oh, wait.

No, actually, that was LAST YEAR that I told you were were doing this quick bathroom makeover!!

Holy cow, time flies when you are a busy family. A whole year! Anyhoo…let’s rewind the clock a little bit ALL THE WAY BACK TO FEBRUARY LAST YEAR and refresh our memories, shall we?

When I say it was last year when we started this, don’t be fooled — it didn’t really take a year. We really only worked on it a handful of days. This was just a quick facelift, not rocket science. But we are just too busy to work on it five days in a row. And, it was mostly done awhile ago, I just was kind of lazy about taking pictures.

This room I speak of was a fine enough bathroom to start with, better than many I’ve had in the past. It is a new house so we aren’t trying to deal with bad remodeling or horribly outdated rooms or anything. I’m not really a fan of ripping decent stuff out just because you have a whim to have something new, you know? so that wasn’t my plan at all. I knew we could make a few little updates without going overboard, as it was little on the dull not-so-youthful-or-fun side.

While mostly this is my son’s bathroom, my daughters also use it when they are home. So it had to be decorated for all of our kids and guests alike. We decided quirky-fun would be better than new-house-dull, so that is what we set out to do on a small budget and a few days of effort.

The first thing we did last year was to change the drawer pulls.  The vanity is a natural brownish wood and I initially wanted to paint the cabinet but after painting all the walls, I just wasn’t in the mood for more painting. Pulls make all the difference so we were fine with leaving the cabinet natural wood. Time and money saved. BOO-YA.

I decided I would abandon my usual neutral wall paint and let this room be a little pop of happy as you come down the hall. I have to say I love rounding the corner from a more serious gray hall with white trim (which I love, Studio Taupe Behr all in one) and then feeling a big smile come across my face when I walk in this room.

At first I was worried about how bright the teal – turquoise color was (Lagoon by Martha Stewart) and had visions of people getting headaches and wanting to wear sunglasses upon entering, but by simply painting the shower room the same gray as the hall, it all balanced out just fine. Now I love it!

Then we did a very simple white board and batten treatment on just one wall. It was fairly easy and painless. More math than we’d like, and some snafus with getting the right white paint color, but we worked around it all and got it done. We ended up painting the board & batten and doors White Dove from Benjamin Moore. The walls are Martha Stewart Lagoon. The potty room and hall outside the bathroom is Studio Taupe, Behr All In One.

On the sink side of the room, we had some thinking to do. In order to do more board & batten we’d have to do more cutting and trimming and tie it all into the counter. NO! Too much work. Maybe not for you DIY Divas out there, but I have my limits. Or maybe I’m lazy. But really a fancy kids bathroom was not at the top of my list of things to do last year. So, we just decided to make things easy on ourselves and paint the walls.

But I really didn’t like the existing Formica back splash. I mean, the counters are not my fave either but why use Formica for a back splash too? It was just too much for me. I didn’t want to go through the hassle of new counters right now and I wasn’t in the mood for a tiling project (blah blah blah), so I found a simple solution at Home Depot. Faux tin ceiling tiles. They were super easy to cut and install. And so pretty! This is an easy-peasy durable non-messy project that can be completed in a very short time. Score.

Here is the tutorial for how to do this faux tin ceiling tile backsplash!

And it will be no problemo to change out the counters and back splash if we want to in some future makeover.

I thought about framing the mirror too, but decided not to. There is already plenty going on in this room without framing the mirror, so I just left it simple and clean.

Then since we decided to keep the existing counters, we wanted to tie it all together so we went with metal and brown frames (that we had around the house) and quirky animal artwork on the opposite wall. We had or made about half the art and the rest came from Etsy shops.

Why quirky animal art, you ask?

Because my kids and I have always cracked up over animals. We thought Funniest Animal Videos was the most hysterical show ever. We laughed ourselves silly reading Frog & Toad are Friends. Now you know why we find so much humor with our puppy Jack. Apparently we just think animals are hysterical. And animals in swimsuits or sweaters are particularly humorous. Maybe we are weird.

Like I said, we smile when we come in this room.

And yes, I know one of those pictures overlaps the board & batten and the hook is lower than the rest. I did that on purpose. I don’t like a room to be too predictable, so I kind of like that element of surprise where the picture overlaps and ties into the board & batten. Quirky. Rebellious. Rule Breaker. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. Freedom of creativity is ours.

There is probably nothing more awesome in a home than hooks. Am I right? I bought these chunky beauties years and years ago. Glad I still had them, they were another great tie in to the metal accents and they have loads of personality. Not to mention, hooks are just crazy practical. So much more so than towel bars, I think.

We put a variety of hooks everywhere we could. And a few numbered ones for our kids to keep track of their own towels or whatever they need to hang there. You’ll also spot a quirky little zebra hook in some of the pictures. Cause every room needs a quirky little zebra. That is what I always say.

This is just a little peek at the shower/potty room. That flood of light from above is a skylight.  As I mentioned, we painted this little room Studio Taupe to tone down all the turquoise. It is nice a crisp with the white waffle texture shower curtain and all the white trim.

So, lastly, I decided to change the lights above the vanity. I really hesitated because the existing lights were fine and as I said, I don’t like to just change things because I’m a decorating snob or obsessive about my house. But, let’s be honest. I LOVE light fixtures. If they have personality, they make such a big statement in a room. And really, these industrial work-type lights gave a lot of bang for the $25 or whatever they were at Lowe’s. I had to have them.

So, there you have it. Our kids’ bathroom facelift. I can’t say it is “the after” as I don’t think this will be the end for this room, but it is done enough for now! And that is always a great feeling!!

Movin’ on!

Turquoise Paint: Lagoon by Martha Stewart
White Paint: White Dove, Benjamin Moore
Gray Paint: Behr All In One Studio Taupe
Linking with: Today’s Creative Blog 

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