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Try An Easy Method for Painting Bathroom Cabinets this Weekend

Refresh a small bathroom on a budget by painting the bathroom cabinet and other simple ideas that you can do in a weekend!

*This post is sponsored by Velvet Finishes, but all thoughts are my own.  Thank you for supporting brands that help make Up to Date Interiors possible.

What do you do with a builder-grade bathroom when you have a small budget? I have faced this challenge many times! Today I’m giving the scoop on my most recent one with ideas for a stylish yet budget-friendly bathroom makeover. Read on to see how I spent less than $150 for this dramatic transformation.

Painting the Bathroom Cabinet without Sanding

Small Bathroom Makeover on a budget with blue cabinet and green wall
From Builder Grade to Jewel Tones!

This is the first master on-suite bathroom we’ve had in the last twelve years.  It’s super small but I’m happy to have one.  Here is what it looked like when we moved in five months ago.

Bathroom Before with light yellows brown cabinet and sink and brown over the toilet cabinet
Small Bathroom Before

The shower is to the left and is a pretty good size!  The space works just fine for my husband and me.  After living in Japan, nothing in this house is too small.  Except maybe my closet…;)

How to Decorate a Small Bathroom on a Budget

Here is what I did and what you can do to maximize a small bathroom and give it a facelift!

  • Opt for open shelves for wall storage to keep the space light and airy.
Before And After Small Bathroom with dark green walls and dark blue vanity
Small Bathroom Update on a Budget

The first thing I did was remove the cabinet over the toilet.  You saw what a struggle it was if you’ve been following my Instagram stories.  😉  But I won the fight and now have a focal wall for art.  There’s a small space on the opposite wall that is better suited for wall storage. 

  • Small spaces are perfect for darker walls.  Try painting your focal wall in a jewel tone, moody color, or use a dramatic wallpaper.
Small DIY Bathroom Vanity Makeover with a forest green accent wall and dark blue cabinet
DIY Bathroom Vanity Makeover

The accent wall was painted green and the remaining walls a bright white.   That’s a perk of a small space;  it doesn’t take much time to complete!  Use a one-coat coverage paint to make the job even faster.

How to Redo the Bathroom Vanity Cabinet

  • Paint your cabinet and replace the pulls for a DIY bathroom vanity makeover that won’t break the bank.

*This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  You still pay the same price but I might make a small commission.

get a DIY Bathroom Vanity Makeover On A Budget by painting your bathroom cabinet a dark blue against a green wall. Close up pictures of Paint system on blue cabinet against green wall.
Painting the Bathroom Cabinet Blue

The Best Paint for Bathroom Cabinets

Our bathroom cabinet is laminate and was transformed with Velvet Finishes “handsome”.  This is my favorite paint for furniture and with its simple 3 steps is very easy to use and for all types of surfaces. The results are always amazing and the blue looks beautiful with inexpensive new gold pulls. Learn about the entire process with this furniture paint in this article! Here’s a quick run down on how to paint a laminate cabinet without sanding using the Velvet Finishes three-step system.

  1. Wipe down with a damp cloth to clean or just spray Ready, let sit a few minutes, then wipe. Your furniture is ready to be painted! This great product has reduced the need for using primer has it strips away glossy or shiny surfaces like laminte so your paint can adheer to it.
  2. Shake your paint container or use a stir stick to mix the paint to an even consistancy. Paint your first coat of Colour which is a low VOC and non-toxic, water-based latex paint. Use 2-3 coats on laminate cabinets.
  3. Wait for a couple of hours (or overnight) and then apply Velvet FinishesProtect topcoat with a brush or sponge brush for a satin finish. I absolutely love this stuff! It protects against dings and scuffs and if the surface is used often I highly recommend it.

The jewel tones in the bathroom with pops of gold make it look so much more lux.

Eclectic Glam Bathroom Makeover with girl sitting on a blue vanity with a gold light fixture and green wall.  Update bathroom vanity with paint
Refinish Bathroom Vanity with Paint

See!  That’s me.  Happy. 🙂

  • Update light fixtures and bathroom accessories with spray paint.

Vanity Light Makeover

Now this one can be tricky because there’s nothing worse than a bad spray paint job on a light fixture or other metal item.  Follow these steps for a sure way of updating a light.

  1. Remove the light fixture from the wall.   Make sure to turn off the breaker first or hire an electrician if you don’t feel comfortable doing this.  Take off the shades and tape socket openings.
  2. Spray paint a metallic color (I used gold) in light coats.  Use a paint or craft brush to very lightly create brush strokes in some spots.  This is great if you have any drips to cover!
  3. To create an aged effect, lightly “dust” the metallic color with a flat black.  Chalkboard paint in a spray can is perfect for this.
Vanity light makeover with gold spray paint on a green bathroom wall and mirrored vanity cabinet
Vanity Light Makeover
Bathroom Wall Ideas with butterfly art and woven wall hanging on a green wall above the toilet
Small Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Painting the other bathroom accessories with black chalkboard spray paint and then a coat of polyurethane compliments the new gold pulls and updated light fixture. 

  • Dress your small bathroom like a hotel for a luxurious appeal using white towels and a hotel towel bar.

The installation of a gold towel bar with two shelves was my big-ticket item at $79 but adds a boutique hotel style and much-needed storage.  I could have done something like my DIY bamboo ladder for under $10 and small profile but I really wanted to add more glam.

Towel Racks on a yellow wall with window and white towels
Towel Racks Before

Here is the sliver of the wall by the bathroom door before.

Small Bathroom Makeover On A Tight Budget, view of white walls with a bench and gold towel rack
Gold Hotel Towel Rack

Here is the result.  The white walls with a pop of gold, greenery, and a bench create a lovely corner with practical storage and seating. 

Glam Bathroom Decor with a gold towel bar and shelves housing towels, toilet paper, and a plant on white walls-hotel towel rack
Close up of gold hotel towel Rack
Eclectic Bathroom Decor with white walls and reclaimed wood small bench
Wood Bench for the Bathroom
Bathroom Wall Decor Ideas, mirror reflecting gold shelf next to a green wall
Mirror Reflection and Wall Art

A shot from the other side showing the towel rack in the mirrored vanity reflection.  It looks so stunning with the green walls. 

  • Use vertical space when hanging bathroom wall art or a collection of items on open shelves to make the room appear taller.

The future plan is to have a gallery wall of oil paintings and portraits that will take time to curate.  I had plenty of items “shopping the house” to give the bathroom an eclectic global glam look for now.  Most of the items were picked up in other countries so that makes it fun for my family to see!

Bathroom Makeover with green and white walls and a blue cabinet. Woman facing the vanity.  Bathroom Vanity makeover DIY
Bathroom Vanity Makeover DIY with Paint
Small Bathroom Makeover Ideas with green wall and bathroom wall art using botanicals and woven wall hanging
Boho and Glam Bathroom Decor

And that, my friend, is how I made over our bathroom in two afternoons.  What a difference right?  Here’s a resource list so you can easily recreate the look.

Small Bathroom Makeover Ideas On A Budget Mood Board
Eclectic Global Glam Bathroom Shopping Guide

Velvet Finishes Paint | Gold Pulls | Valspar Paint | Gold Towel Rack | Minted Tropical Art Prints | Macrame Wall Hanging | Planter Basket | Small Wood Bench | Hanging Faux Plant 

I love these tips for budget friendly bathroom makeovers from my friens at 2 Bees in a Pod to makeover your bathroom quickly! You can also find my favorite colorful bathroom shower curtains and more bathroom refresh ideas on a budget in this article.

Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!

Have you done any recent weekend projects?  Leave me a comment and let’s chat.



  1. Hi Kathy, I love the jewel tones in this small bathroom! It’s so eye-catching, I had to read this article. You’ve inspired me to do something “bold” in my bathroom too. Congrats on your move back to the US and new home!

  2. Hey, Kathy, I have several nice clocks that you might use for accent pieces. Contact me and I’ll send you photos. I love your story about the bathroom.

    1. Hi lisa! I purchased it from Amazon and shortly after it stopped being available. There are similar ones in silver and chrome but none in a warm metallic. 🙁 I would try West Elm or Crate and Barrel maybe? Also World Market usually has brass items.

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