How do I give my bathroom a face lift, cost effectively?


I included pictures of one bathroom. I am a beginner and need help! I want to sell the house but need to get these bathrooms out of the 60’s. There’s tile covering about 50% of the bathroom and I just wish to break it up and get some fresh countertops and backsplash in here.

I was thinking of trying to make a new top with mdf board and a new backsplash with a thinner board and using epoxy or contact paper and epoxy over them. I am nervous about this route as I never demo a countertop before nor made new ones.

is there a way around taking this out? It is plywood underneath.

I started putting joint compound over the backsplash just to mess around.

q how do i give my bathroom a face lift cost effectively
q how do i give my bathroom a face lift cost effectively
  17 answers
  • Patty Patty on Jun 09, 2020

    Nope, I'd leave it. Bathrooms needvti be meticulously clean. Put in fresh towels in a modern color. Let the new owners fix it to their tastes. Take a discount on price if you must.

    • See 1 previous
    • Patty Patty on Jun 09, 2020

      Do a quick fix on the tile and call it good. The reason I say this is: I once looked at a house to buy and the owners had put in new carpet that I hated! If I had bought that house, I would have needed to tear out all that they did.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jun 09, 2020

    Hi Sarah: I'd save myself a lot of angst and not worry about this too much. Whatever you do may not be to the new owners taste and you will have done everything for nothing. As for the tiles that are coming off, you can either regrout or glue them in. What you can do is have that ceiling light fixture turned into something more effective, like a small chandelier type of light, unless it's a heat light. You could paint something that is softer in colour on the walls, paint the cabinets also, and change out the handles. They are a bit old fashioned. Scrub the grout so that it's white, and put some pretty pictures on the wall, flowers that compliment the pictures and towels and a shower curtain that match the colours in the flowers and picture. I have a pair of regular curtains on my bath tub that are sort of like Pricillas. You can get a couple of panels or a long valance that matches your shower curtain. Since they are just for looks, the shower curtain, itself, goes in the tub to keep the water from coming out. When the shower curtain is dry, put it on the outside of the tub for continuity. You can get a spring loaded shower curtain rod for the 2nd set of curtains. I'd get rid of that lamp and put a hanging chain lamp over the sink. The only other thing I'd like to see is more of the dog :) Here are a couple of sites that talk about cleaning grout:

    Good luck

    • See 1 previous
    • Betsy Betsy on Jun 09, 2020

      You can either re-grout or glue the old tiles back in. The new owners will probably tear them out, so I wouldn't stress over them. Good news about that light :)

  • Joy Elizabeth Joy Elizabeth on Jun 09, 2020

    If you can glue and regrout where needed, you could paint the countertop sink backsplash and all with Rust-Oleum tub and tile paint to make it a fresh clean white.

    Maybe you could frame the mirror also! Here is an example.

  • Joy Elizabeth Joy Elizabeth on Jun 09, 2020

    Stenciling the linoleum floor would make it more modern also! I do agree with the other posters thar since the bathroom is so dated, the new owners might decide they want to gut it anyway

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 10, 2020

    From my experience in both selling and buying homes over the years, more often than not, one of the first things new owners will most likely do is start ripping out your last minute attempts at quick fixes.

    My advice is to reglue the loose tiles back on, but apart from that, do not spend any other money on this bathroom trying to modernize, or spruce it up. At best, only a % of the money spend on a renovation can realistically be recouped at the time of sale.

    Due to the design that was set at the time of construction, this bathroom is going to need more than piecemeal updates to get it out of the 60's. If the decor is seen as drawback, reduce the selling price to reflect its deficiency, get the house sold, and move on.

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Jun 10, 2020

    I would paint the vanity with Satin Enamels paint from Decoart. It’s quick to apply and creates a durable surface for your cabinet. This is how I painted my vanity:

  • on Jun 10, 2020

    We did a whole bathroom update with a small budget - maybe some of the ideas will be good for you:

  • Lindsay Foy Lindsay Foy on Jun 10, 2020

    I would save yourself the trouble since this bathroom has alot of potential so the new owners may just undo what you do anyways....I would use the Rustoleum white paint (appliance paint, super hard and durable) on the countertops/backsplash and maybe even the sink to give it a bright crisp "new" look. For the floors, you could even leave as is OR i highly recommend floorpops peel and stick tiles. They are like $10 for a box of 10 12x12 tiles and they are so easy to install, just stick over the current floor!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 10, 2020

    Paint the walls, door, and trim. Frame the mirror. Add some rugs if you don't want to replace the flooring. Get a decorative shower curtain. Add matching linens on the hangers. Put pretty decor to the right of the sink.

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Jun 10, 2020

    The problem with inexpensive upgrades is that they normally look inexpensive. In a house you are putting up for sale this could cause you to lose money in the end. If you have your mind set on doing an inexpensive upgrade you should definitely stay away from contact paper. It’s nearly impossible to lay it down without leaving air bubbles, especially when covering large areas. The material of choice now seems to be granite or marble. These are expensive upgrades and even if you go with these products the buyer might not like the color or graining.

  • Janice Janice on Jun 10, 2020

    As a former Realtor, I would say to just clean, clean, clean, reglue any tiles, and call it good. Don't waste too much time, energy, or money doing fixes. Part of the reason people buy homes is to change them into what they love and that's likely what's going to happen with your home. What money you put into the bathrooms is likely a waste of it. Just be sure your entire home is sparkling clean and buyers will see the possibilities they have to work with.

  • Paint the wood white, Frame the mirror with trim to make it look polished. Add an inexpensive backsplash but don't go crazy with the countertops unless you know what you are doing.

  • Jim Cox Jim Cox on Jun 10, 2020

    Lose the mirrors, get two framed mirrors at a home store ($50 each) and treat that wall to the left with some shiplap or rustic boards, paint the cabinets a light gray. Check my profile for backsplash info

  • Dee Dee on Jun 10, 2020

    Fix the tiles as best you can and clean the grout. Mapei makes grout refresh, you can use it on all your tiles to make it look clean and bright.

    I would frame the mirror. Get thick molding, use straight cuts, and use the corner pieces. Go to Home Depot or Lowes to see the corner pieces. Glue the molding right on top of the mirror edge. Paint both sides of the molding because it will show in the mirror. Then put nice towels, a switch plate around the electric outlet and call it a day.

  • Jessica Green Jessica Green on Jun 21, 2020

    DON'T paint the cabinets! As an MCM fan, I would be appalled to see these painted. In fact, I love it as is and if I bought the house would restore it all. I would much rather find it as is than see a cheap paint/band aid fix as a buyer.

    • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 21, 2020


      More often than not, it is less expensive in the end to simply restore a decor to its vintage accuracy, rather than first having to 'undo' the quick fixes that were completed cheaply and improperly by the previous owners.

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Jun 29, 2020

    Paint would do wonders for very inexpensive cost

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Sep 19, 2020

    You could refinish the countertop with a kit like this:

    Hope this Helps! Jeremy -