Master Bathroom Transformation: Under $500

August 19, 2022


Our master bathroom had always been a project I was dying to take on, yet very hesitant to tackle. Bathrooms can become one of the most costly rooms to renovate, despite their small size. With major plumbing running throughout, potential tile work, and constant exposure to water & humidity, there can be unexpected surprises hiding behind the surface.

Knowing this, I decided from the get-go that a complete master bathroom remodel wasn't in the cards for me. I was looking for a passion project that I could manage on my own in a timely manner. I've only recently dipped my toes into the whole DIY thing, so I didn't want to fool with the "big stuff" quite yet... Just wanted to prove [mostly to myself] that you can add value to your home & love a space again without having to demolish it entirely. 

Decor and small cosmetic updates can go a LONG way for any room--and it doesn't have to hurt your wallet! I was able to renovate my master bathroom for under $500.... Including mistakes! Below, I'll show you all the details, cost breakdowns, and link my project tutorials & tips so you have everything you need to transform your own space! I truly mean it when I say, "If I can do it, anyone can!"

Here's an overview of what's in store below so you can skip around to the parts that you're most interested in:





  • Prepping the Vanity
  • Painting the Vanity
  • Installing new lighting
  • Finishing touches



Now, without further ado...


The master bathroom wasn't terrible to begin withbut definitely needed some love. For the most part, our home is pretty neutral--from the paint to the furniture and decor choices--so I wanted our master bathroom to look cohesive with the rest of the house.

believe the vanity is from the home's original build [since it matches the other 2 bathrooms in our home]. I considered removing it entirely, but was concerned about needing to replace the flooring. Removing it allowed more room for error, so I told myself I would give the DIY-ing a shot, and if I messed up or didn't like the outcome, then I could look into changing it. Spoiler: I am really happy I didn't get rid of it.


Below is a breakdown of what I planned to change and what I wanted to keep the same. This list helped me focus on what I needed to make decisions on so I could form a plan.


  • Vanity Color
  • Cabinet Hardware
  • Toilet Paper Holder [attached to vanity]
  • Light Switches & Outlets
  • Vanity Light Fixture
  • Decor


  • Wall Color [Exact Color Here]
  • Flooring [Installed by previous owner]
  • Shower
  • Vanity [structure]
  • Faucets [Upgraded about a year ago with these]
  • Toilet
  • Mirror [debated on this one... maybe next time lol]


Now that I knew what was changing, it was time to create the vision. I scoured the internet for real, obtainable pieces that I could pair together and created a mood board, essentially. I was able to rule out what I liked and didn't like before purchasing anything, as well as make my final picks for what I would actually purchase. I knew there was a chance I could change my mind after seeing something in person, but this gave me a place to start.


The biggest change of this master bathroom transformation was the vanity & lighting... This is also (ironically) where both of my major mistakes took place.

Prepping the Vanity 

I removed all the old hardware [handles and toilet paper holder] and prepped the cabinets for painting. My new toilet paper holder only required one side to be mounted, vs. two like the previous one, so I filled the old holes with some wood filler. I bought new hardware that was the same length as the previous hardware, so that didn't require any drilling. I sanded and deep cleaned the cabinets to give myself a smooth, fresh base for painting. Then, I taped it off and was ready to roll.

Check out my dedicated post for prepping and painting here for all the products and steps in detail.

Painting the Vanity

For the vanity cabinets, I wanted to find the perfect neutral shade of grey to tie into the flooring, walls, and decor pieces I had chosen above. This would bring cohesion to the rest of the home's color scheme, as well as provide a safe choice for potential resale value down the road. I originally had chosen a light grey "cabinet painting kit" found on Amazon. However, after applying 2 coats of it, the cabinets were almost the exact color of the walls... no bueno.

I was frustrated for not liking the way it turned out, especially after spending so much time on it, but knew I shouldn't settle. I brought home NUMEROUS paint sample cards from Home Depot and was searching for the perfect neutral grey: something darker that added interest and contrast to the bathroom. What felt like 50 samples later,  I opted for my final paint color choice: Behr Greyhound. After properly applying Behr Greyhound over the first color, I was very pleased with the outcome! I popped on my new hardware, and felt very optimistic that this was renovation was all downhill from here!

Installing New Lighting

I look back now, and cackle at myself for thinking the wrong paint color was going to be my biggest obstacle... Then the light fixture entered the chat.

 I thought swapping out the vanity light fixture would be a BREEZE. I have changed a couple light fixtures in my day, so I knew you take one off, pop the new one on, connect the cords, and boom. Done. Oh what a nightmare this became.... Long story short, I realized there was an issue with how the original light fixture was installed [even with the little electrical knowledge I had]. One FaceTime call with my dad later, this turned into a bigger issue that required junction boxes, wiring, drywalling, and drywall painting. For the sake of this post, just know all was taken care of in the end without much cost--just a lot of time spent fixing the [potentially dangerous] shortcuts taken by someone before us.

Finishing Touches

After the vanity and lighting were finally completed, the rest was truly a piece of cake. I swapped the dated beige outlets/covers for white ones, hung artwork, laid down a fresh rug, and added accessories to the countertop. Now.... the moment we've all been waiting for: the big reveal.




Vanity - $81

Vanity Prepping - $37.66

Vanity Painting - $44.12

    Decor & Cosmetic Changes - $275.83

    Unplanned - $35.97

    • First Cabinet Paint Color: $31
    • Total Vanity Electrical Rework: $4.97 (thanks to my Dad for having supplies)

    I had so much fun redoing this space! It's crazy what paint, decor, and a little elbow grease can do. Thanks for reading!

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