10 Easy DIY ideas for bathrooms





Update a bathroom the easy DIY way with our top 10 affordable ideas. Tackling even one or two can quickly make a difference to a plain or dated bathroom.


1. Clean and refresh
It’s amazing what a thorough cleaning can do for a bathroom. We’re not talking about wiping down tiles and cleaning sanware, this is more about getting rid of mould or mildew, hard water marks and stained grout. Take a closer look at your bathroom and what needs to be refreshed.


  • To get rid of mould or mildew, wipe down surfaces with 1 cup of household bleach in a 5 litre bucket of warm water. If you prefer an eco-friendly solution, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 1 litre of warm water.
  • Remove and replace peeling or stained silicone sealer around a basin, shower or tub. Pull of the old sealer and wipe the area with a soft cloth and acetone. Once dry, follow our tips for re-applying silicone sealer.
  • Remove hard water or lime scale with vinegar and baking soda. Combine the two to make a paste and slather this over the affected areas. Leave on for about 30 minutes and then lightly scrub with a kitchen scrubber. You may need to repeat this depending on how long the build-up has had time to accumulate.
  • Clean up stained grout with a paste of baking soda and an old toothbrush. If this doesn’t work try using a Plascon Grout Pen to refresh grout, or use a grout removal tool to remove a thin layer of grout and re-apply grout. Don’t forget to finish off with grout sealer.


2. The power of paint
One of the most affordable and easy DIY ways to update a bathroom, especially one that is not tiled floor-to-ceiling, is to use paint to add colour to a plain bathroom, brighten a dark bathroom, or simply just to refresh paint that has yellowed with age. Today’s modern acrylic paints are formulated to be easy to keep clean, easy to apply, and have a low or zero VOC [volatile organic compounds] content.


3. Modern fittings
Replacing dated taps and fittings is as easy as choosing the style you like and swapping out old fittings with new ones. Switch off the water supply at the mains, have all your tools handy and modernise your bathroom with new taps and water efficient shower head.


4. DIY bathroom furniture
Equipped with basic DIY skills you can easily make a bathroom vanity, or a simple shelf, for any bathroom. Hardware stores and timber merchants stock a wide range of board and timber products that can be cut to size for easy assembly. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you are unsure what products to use.


5. Dress up windows
Even if you have frosted glass windows in a bathroom, the right window treatment also helps to refresh, add a splash of colour and texture, or finish off a window. There are various options for window treatments ranging from bamboo blinds to louvred plaswood blinds. Another option to consider is to frame a bathroom window with moulding and trim.


6. Mirrors
A framed mirror is an easy DIY project that not only adds a new dimension it also assists in making a small bathroom appear visually larger. You can so easily frame a plain mirror with moulding or trim and paint this to match your existing bathroom decor or style. Go bold with burnished or bright gold or keep it plain and simple with a stained or painted finish.


7. Storage
Keeping clutter out of sight is essential in maintaining a well-dressed bathroom. Freestanding wall and floor units are an easy DIY project for anyone with a bit of DIY savvy, and combined with baskets and storage bins, provide a place for all your bathroom supplies. If storage is minimal, a mirror-fronted medicine cabinet is an easy and affordable do-it-yourself project.




8. Accessories
Choose bathroom accessories that complement the look and style of a bathroom. Choose tumblers and wastebaskets that match; white ceramic or chrome finishes are always appropriate. And a new set of fluffy towels will help to bring together a cohesive colour scheme. And if your shower is fitted with a shower curtain, think of it as a blank canvas and use it to make a statement. Go bold with serious graphics, add pop of colour to a white space or put a playful print in a children's bathroom.


9. A touch of nature
It’s so easy to add colour and bring nature indoors with plants and flowers. There are so many plant varieties that thrive in the humidity of a bathroom, but just choose plants according to the amount of natural light in the room. In a very dark bathroom you could consider an arrangement of colourful silk flowers to brighten up the room.


10. Lighting
Many bathrooms have inadequate lighting and could do with an extra fitting or two. In a bathroom with a single ceiling fixture, consider adding wall scones down either side of the mirror, or adding additional low-voltage downlights into the ceiling to brighten up the room. And do shop for fittings that accept CFL or other energy efficient light globes. That way you can boost up the light without increasing your electricity bill.


Most of the easy DIY tips we have mentioned above can be tackled over a period of time. So set aside some time over a weekend, gather together the materials and supplies you need and let's get started.


Janice Anderssen

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