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If your bathroom is feeling dated, or if you just want to spruce it up, renovating can be a pricey prospect. With cabinets, countertops, fixtures, and plumbing to consider, a small redo can add up quickly. If you’re not ready to spend enough money for a total upgrade, there are some things you can do to update your bathroom on a much smaller budget. Here are the 10 things you can update in your bathroom, all for well under $100, to make it look more updated without breaking the bank.

1. Hang some low profile shelves

Bathroom storage can be tricky because there are so many little cosmetics and toiletries that need to be corralled, but generally, bathrooms are pretty small and there aren’t many options. Adding some low-profile shelving ($38.99) to increase storage while not taking up too much space can add both practical and aesthetic value to your bathroom. Ledge shelves ($38.99), corner shelves ($16.99), or even a DIY custom wall shelf with brackets($18.99) can be an effective way to add some charm and functionality to your bathroom.

2. Make the ceiling stand out

Painting your ceiling a bold accent color ($51.61), using some wallpaper ($0.58/square foot, $5.59/roll) to the ceiling, or stenciling ($7.99) a pattern using flat paint ($64.99) as a base, and gloss paint ($25.33) as the pattern to give the illusion of texture are all ways you can create some impact with your ceiling.

3. Update metals with paint

It might seem like once your bathroom fixtures, cabinet handles, drawer pulls, and other metal accents have lost their luster that the only thing to do is replace them. But most metals can be painted to breathe new life into them, so long as the surface is properly prepped, and openings and moving parts are properly masked. You can use metallic spray paint ($10.48) on most metal surfaces after it’s been cleaned and lightly sanded or you can choose to use a color ($6.98) instead for a totally different look. To spray-paint metal, you should remove the hardware if possible to avoid overspray in the rest of the room. Remember to paint in a well ventilated area like outdoors. You will also need some tape ($4.98) to mask off areas like nozzles that you don’t want to paint.

4. Add some plants

Adding plants might be the simplest of all the upgrades you can do, plus choosing them is fun and plants are generally good for your wellbeing. Using smaller pots ($30.00) with little pops of green can work even if you don’t have much space, or you can choose a hanging ($24.99) variety to avoid taking up precious surface space.

5. Stencil the floor

If you have self stick tiles or vinyl flooring that hate (but aren’t ready to replace), you can paint ($54.95) your tile and stencil ($13.99) your own pattern on top with a bold color ($17.97) to give it a fresh look. A painted pattern won’t last as long as a new tile job, but at less than $100, it’s certainly worth the cost.

6. Add some trim

You might not think of putting wainscoting ($23.42/ 32” by 48” panel) or crown molding ($2.47/linear foot) in a bathroom, but adding a little trim will bring some texture in without spending a whole lot of money, and it can add some interest to a plain surface. Installing molding does require some tools, so if you’re very new to DIY, this shouldn’t be your first project. If you have some tools and measuring skills though, adding trim can be a completely DIY job. 

7. Update your lighting

Putting in a new light fixture can completely change the look of your space. You can swap out your vanity fixture with a new one ($87.99) for under $100, or you can opt to replace your overhead light ($24.99) instead. For swapping a light fixture, you’ll likely need a screwdriver, some wire nuts ($4.98), and you might need some wire strippers as well. Always remember to turn off the power to your fixture at the breaker box before doing any work on a light fixture.

8. Upgrade your towel holders

Towel bars, hook, and toilet paper holders don’t always stand up to the test of time. Because they’re simple to switch out, you can replace them yourself for a cost effective upgrade. You can get a set of modern towel hardware ($27.99) for under $30, or you can go with a more vintage inspired towel hanger ($39.99) for around $40.

9. Refurbish hinges and hardware

If you have older hinges or door handles in your bathroom that have been painted over one too many times, or have built up a layer of patina or tarnish, you can refurbish them yourself to breathe some new life into some old hardware. Removing metal hardware and placing it in boiling water to loosen up old paint and build-up on the metal and then using a wire brush ($7.98) to scrub away paint and tarnish is probably the cheapest bathroom upgrade you can do. Just don’t scrub away at stainless steel so you don’t damage its coating; if you have metal with a more delicate finish like that, it will be more difficult to remove paint without damaging the finish, so you might consider swapping it out or repainting it instead.

10. Use gloss enamel on an accent surface

If you need a pop of color, you don’t have to paint a whole wall to get a fresh new look. Repainting the frame of a mirror, drawer pulls, hooks, or handles, as well as any other little accents you choose with a high-gloss enamel can make older accents look new again and change the look of your space without spending much money. You can find high gloss enamel ($7.98) in almost any color for under $10.

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