How To Renovate A Bathroom Under $500

How To Renovate A Bathroom Under $500

Realtors always advise home owners to put their renovation budgets in the kitchens and bathrooms, but they are also insanely expensive projects. As a frequent HGTV watcher, I see these bathroom renos and dream of my dresser sink and standing waterfall shower, but I am not getting that anytime soon. In a moment of pure insanity I decided to tackle this project right before the holidays.  I knew I didn’t have the budget that I wanted for the project, so I had to get creative. I was able to redo our bathroom under $500 and I am in love with the results.

The Before

Our downstairs half bath was in need for an overdue makeover. It was the one room on the first floor that I hadn’t touched, and it was because I honestly didn’t know what to do with it. 

I question many of the decisions that the previous home owners made, but I will forever curse them for putting up decorative spackle. I honestly don’t even know if this is what it is called, but just imagine if popcorn ceilings and wallpaper had a baby...that is decorative spackle. This invention that came straight from hell was cracking and peeling in several areas but was also EXTREMELY secure in others.  

After many hours we removed the spackle, sand the walls and could begin the fun stuff. Putting everything up was a fun weekend project and we are in love with the results! Here is a list of the materials we used. 


  • Wainscot Paneling- $13.97 a panel 
    • I really had to search high and low for a paneling that I thought was different enough but not $50 a panel and I believe I found it. I didn’t want the traditional vertical lined bead board because I was afraid that it would look too busy with the wallpaper. This paneling helped to breakup the wallpaper and add some light to the room.  
  • Magnolia Home Olive Branch Wallpaper- $79.98 per roll 
    • A note about the wallpaper. I read multiple reviews before purchasing this wallpaper. Some seemed to love it and others said it was the worst. I realized that the key to the wallpaper is to watch the how-to videos and to saturate it when spraying it with water. The first panel we did not spray as well and we had to redo it. All wallpaper seems pretty secure now and it may now be my favorite room in my house! 
  • The Rowan Floating Shelves by Willow and Grace Designs- $62.27 per set
    • These beautiful shelves have so much dimension to them! They are burnt multiple times and then polished and I love they look completely different depending on the angel that you are looking at them. The antique gold corner pieces help to bring all the gold accents together and make the room feel complete!
  • Thrift store Circle Mirror
    • This was a pre-pandemic find and then the motivation for this whole bathroom renovation. I found this beautiful mirror at our local Goodwill for $3! I had no clue what I was going to do with it when I bought it but I knew I wanted to do something! 
  • Gold Brushed Sink Faucet- $44.99
  • Gold Brushed Towel Ring- $15.99

When everything was said and done, we finished this project for $488. Besides the removal of the spackling, it was pretty easy, and that is coming from a renovation beginner. With a little creativity and mad internet skills, you can make any room in your home look beautiful without spending a fortune! I would love to know what you think or hear one of your renovation stories in the comments!


  • Reno Bathroom Remodel

    Great article! Thanks for sharing this.. Renovating a bathroom can be an expensive undertaking, but it’s possible to achieve a significant transformation with a budget of $500 or less. Some cost-effective renovation ideas include updating the lighting fixtures, replacing the showerhead and faucet, adding a fresh coat of paint, installing a new toilet seat, and swapping out the hardware on cabinets and drawers. It’s important to prioritize and focus on small changes that can make a big impact while staying within budget.

  • Matt Johnson, Professional Tile Contractor in Topeka

    The color change is amazing. It looked like those are two different bathrooms side by side. The mirror is also a fantastic addition. Great job!

    Matt, Owner of Topeka Tile Installation

  • Letisha Williams


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