$500 Powder Room Renovation Reveal

February 7, 2019

bathroom renovation, powder room makeover

It may have taken a few weeks longer than expected, and quite a few more unforseen hiccups, but it’s finished! Today we are breaking down this $500 Powder Room renovation challenge including before and afters, sources, and tips!

bathroom wallpaper

When we moved in, this powder room was a dark red hue, with a basic grade toilet and sink. It was so dark, but it was a working bathroom, and served it’s purpose! I love a good renovation challenge though, and it was only a matter of time before we gave it a makeover. We decided to give ourselves the challenge of a $500 budget, and make this a project that most of you could attempt as well in your own homes with the right tools (and a good deal of patience)! Did we stay in budget? Well, almost!

bathroom makeover, cloud wallpaper


We wrote a more detailed tutorial the DIY wainscoating (board and batten) in this post! We do want to talk about some of the hurdles we faced, because it may save you a headache or two when doing similar projects on your own! Here is part 1 of the steps we did in the renovation before painting!


Gabe is really good at solving problems as we go, and I don’t think we would attempt projects together otherwise! 😉 Here are a few inital problems we faced to give you a better idea of what you may come across if attempting your own renovation:

Uneven walls with a rough face We are realizing how common it is for walls to be uneven either in corners or on the surfaces. I think it’s more common in quick build homes, but nonetheless it was a problem when it came to installing wallpaper as well as board and batten. A good level will be your best friend when installing wallpaper and the board and batton. Gabe also smoothed out the surfaces with standard dry wall compound before we painted. You can use a thin coat of dry wall spackle with a flexible putty and taping knife. This will create a more even surface before installing board and batten and wallpaper. This is especially important when painting with a semi-gloss or gloss paint.

Off centered light fixture – After installing the board and batten on the right wall we quickly realized how off center the previous light fixture hole was. The light should be aligned with the sink faucet. There isn’t much you can do about that without moving the light’s electrical box and re-dry wall the area, so we worked with it as is to stay in budget. 

board and batten, wainscotting

Off kilter sink. The pedestal sink was installed slightly tilted. It was pretty obvious once we installed the board and batten, and we could have left as is, but it was a little glaring to the project perfectionists that Gabe and I tend to be. To adjust, Gabe loosened it from the wall by removing the caulk and loosening  bolts under the sink. He used a level on top of the sink to find the proper hight, cut a piece of scrap wood to fit that hight and used the scrap wood to support the sink, keeping it level as he retightened the bolts. Re-caulked.


cloud wallpaper - In Honor of Design
Cloud wallpaper
Cloud wallpaper

Wallpaper – I am pretty sure I browsed approximately 2147 wallpaper options before finding the one I was certain about. Any time I did find one I really loved, it would be $200+ per roll. Considering we needed 2-3 rolls, this would take our entire budget. I was beginning to doubt we would find an option to be honest. I fell in love with this wallpaper that ended up being the price of a mortgage, but after doing a similar image search on Pinterest of this wallpaper, it pulled up a much more affordable option that I actually liked just as much. I found it much easier to install this standard wallpaper than the DIY removable wallpaper. Highly recommend having a second person on hand to help you install. We might have to do a separate post on wallpaper tips soon.


Cloud Wallpaper – $180 (We used 2 double rolls and got it on sale after Christmas!)
Board and Batten pre-primed wood planks and shoe molding- $130
Paint (Sherwin Williams acrylic enamel in semi-glossWhite Moderne ) – $40
Light fixture – $49
Faucet – $126 (found refurbished on amazon)
Towel Bar – $40
Toilet Paper Holder – $21
Toilet Handle – $30 (found on ebay)

The caulk, wood filler, and other paining supplies we already had on hand leftover from other projects.

The items we kept:
Mirror – Spray painted! We used rust-oleum antique brass spray paint which was a really good match to the Delta Champagne Bronze color.
Total Cost : $616
(If you choose to paint versus wallpaper, the total cost amounts to $436)

Home renovations don’t have to drain your savings account, but you do have to get creative, and spend some extra time on research! I was doubtful we would swing it with wallpaper, and it challenged us to get creative with price hunting. One of our readers gave us the tip that Amazon has a refurbished option so we were able to get the Delta faucet for quite a steal. Some things that aren’t worth going poor quality on is faucets as you end up paying for it down the road. Delta is good quality, and on more of the affordable end. I was ready to toss the old mirror, but it’s incredible what a good spray paint coat can do!

Please let us know if you have any questions about this process below, and we would be happy to answer! This was such a fun project, but I am pretty sure Gabe was starting to really feel like he had his head in the clouds (wink) after working in such a small space for so long! Time to celebrate with a toilet paper cutting before we move onto the next renovation. Cheers!

Thank you Tara Carter Photography for the bathroom images, and Chelsey Heidorn for the process photos.

Leave a Comment

  • Looks amazing! Nice job you guys!

  • Wow that looks great and it’s so beautiful how you guys work as a team.. I have a bathroom that is in sore need of a makeover .. if My husband and I ever get the energy (and a babysitter ??) to tackle it, I really want to use that Sherwin Eilliams Modern White!

    • Thanks Maura! I hear ya! When Gabe was a school administrator, he had zero energy by the time he got home, and any extra projects had to be squeezed into Saturday. This probably would have taken us three years in that scenario. ha!

  • I’ve been looking for a bathroom fixture like this for a while, but haven’t been able to find one at this price point. Thank you!! Is it the only source of light in the bathroom? Do you feel it would provide enough light for doing your make up etc? (We only have one bathroom!)

    • Hi Zoe! Yes I loved it, and it was the best price I found. It is the only light source in the bathroom so we just got a super bright bulb with high lumens, and it definitely does the job! If it was any bigger of a bathroom we would have done a double fixture most likely.

  • I love it! We’re about to move into a house that has a very similar very red windowless powder bath. I love how bright you were able to get it! It gives me such hope.

  • Looks beautiful, congratulations for your patiance and hard work, I am also renovating my Powder room…similar job to yours but first i have to remove our old wallpaper that came with the house. I found the paper I want in both easy apply that just sticks and with the more conventional application where you need to apply a coat of glue on your wall before.
    I would love to know your opinion on which one would you recommend based on all your experience applying wallpaper…I am thinking the conventional one might be more durable and I am planning on not doing any future updates on this bathroom.
    Also do you have more tips on how to apply the standard wallpaper?
    Thanks for your help and inspiration!

    • Hi Maria! I found removable wallpaper harder to apply than standard since it was made of a material that stretched if you pulled it off to realign it. We had a really hard time aligning the pattern on the removable wallpaper without it getting too stretched out. If it was a solid color or simple pattern it might be different however.

      Standard wallpaper is thicker so after you apply the adhesive to the wall it is easier to align and smooth. We will be posting a video next week with some tips! Hopefully it can be helpful to you:)

  • Looks amazing! I’ve had great results with that exact bronze spray paint too… can transform just about anything to a current look. Love that you found that beautiful wallpaper at a steal. Inspiring. Thank you!

    • Anna Liesemeyer

      Thank you Maria! Yes I had originally planned to use a different mirror that didn’t fit quite right so was so excited to find a spray paint that matched!

  • Kenneth Gauthier

    The transfiguration of the room is impressive. I agree that you need to calculate the budget in advance and understand how you want to see your interior. Any trifle is important during construction. Choosing the right finishing materials will influence the look of your interior. This article will help you choose the right counter tops when buying https://marble.com/articles/waterfall-countertops-what-to-consider-before-buying

  • […] ___________________________Total Cost: $410 Side note – This cost almost as much as our powder room bathroom makeover – whoa! Although, I would say this could be half the cost if you just use whatever baskets […]

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