A $170 Bathroom Makeover with Painted Tile

Wahoo! We are so excited to introduce you to a new member of our contributor team, Thalita from The Learner Observer. She has a beautiful style and some lovely DIY skills, as you’ll remember from her wall unit to kitchen hutch feature awhile back. You’re going to love the bathroom makeover she has to share with you today — the painted tile made SUCH a big difference!

Hello Remodelaholic people! It’s Thalita here from The Learner Observer, and before I get started with today’s DIY post, I just wanted to let you know how super insanely excited I am to be contributing on this fantastic blog and connecting with all you amazing people!

Alright, so let’s cut to the chase. I’m coming to you today with a bathroom makeover on a serious budget! Here’s a peek at the final product.

DIY Guest Bath Makeover for under $170 on Remodelaholic.com


Budget Bathroom Makeover with Painted Tile

How many of you have a less-than-stellar bathroom at home? You know the kind I mean – as much as you clean it, somehow it always looks dingy, a little sad, and just isn’t a room you’re proud of! I had one of those, and it was our guest bathroom. For the longest time I had our guests use our upstairs bathroom because I was so embarrassed of the other one! Then I came up with a few low-budget solutions thanks to some research and a little elbow grease.

Step 1: clean and paint tile.

It may sound silly, but you want to make sure there’s no residue or film on the tile before you prime for better adhesion. Mine was pretty clean so I wiped it down quickly and got to work. I used a water-based, stain-blocking primer like this one and applied with a 2-inch brush first along the grout lines.

How to paint tile by The Learner Observer on Remodelaholic.com

The primer was applied in 2 light coats all over the walls with a foam roller once the grout lines were dry, which didn’t take very long.

The next step was to apply the paint. I used the same stuff I applied to the kitchen hutch I made over, so one can of paint went a long way to make my house a little prettier! Here’s the progress with the tile painted:

How to paint tile by The Learner Observer on Remodelaholic.com

Step 2: new vinyl tile flooring

Step two of the transformation was the tiles. The vinyl on the floor had seen much better days, so they got ripped up (which didn’t take much effort since they were so old). I replaced them with new, thicker vinyl tiles with a Roman travertine pattern.

Bathroom makeover with painted tile and new floors by The Learner Observer on Remodelaholic.com

Step 3: accessorize!

The final step was adding some new accessories to pretty up this space. I got most things from either my own house, my parents, or IKEA, which kept the cost way down low! A new mirror and light fixture were a must, as well as a nicer-looking shower curtain because the original forest green wasn’t going to work!

Bathroom makeover with painted tile and new floors by The Learner Observer for Remodelaholic.com

I should also mention that this bathroom has been finished for a year now, and the paint has not peeled or chipped at all! The floors are also holding up great. Overall, this entire DIY was a huge success and I am no longer ashamed of letting guests use this bathroom!

I will also leave you with one last bit of information, and that is the cost and materials used for this project, which is really exciting for me because never in a million years did I think I could pull this off for less than $300, let alone for less than $170.

Guest Bathroom Makeover for under $170 by The Learner Observer for Remodelaholic.com.jpg

Cost and materials breakdown:

  • Paint & primer: $35 (they were also used for the hutch makeover, so I split the cost in half.  Each can was about $35 though)
  • New flooring: $1.39/sq. ft.  –  total: $47
  • New toilet: $30 (because I know a good deal when I see one! Holla!)
  • Mirror: $17
  • Shower Curtain: $10
  • Miscellaneous decor items: $30
  • Shelf and light fixture: FREE!  (thanks mom!)


Basement washroom makeover details by The Learner Observer for Remodelaholic.comAnd there you have it, folks! I did this over one weekend and it felt pretty amazing to have everything finished in just a couple of days. I hope this inspires you to make over a bathroom of your own without having to rip up any tile or spend a ton of money!

Looking forward to sharing another project with you soon! I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about any of the steps I took to complete this project, so fire away.

Until next time!



Needing some more motivation before you’re ready to give your bathroom a makeover? Feast your eyes on these blah befores to amazing afters:

$100 Chic Bathroom Redo$100 bathroom before and after

Dramatic Bathroom Makeoverdramatic bathroom makeover

Great Bathroom Makeovers
inspiring bathroom makeovers

Website | + posts

Thalita is a mom of twins, teacher, and blogger over at The Learner Observer. She is a frugal DIY-er and avid lover of thrift store scores with a passion for making over spaces with pieces that are both meaningful and beautiful. Favourite colour? White. Favourite food? Ice Cream. Favourite Pastime? Instagram, where she shares an abundance of pictures of her twin boys along with her latest home reno and decorating adventures!

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  1. Hi! Congrats on being a new contributor! How exciting! So I know you said this is a guest bath, how often does it get used? I have an older style ranch with only 1 bathroom (for now) and it has OLD tile. I have really thought hard about doing this but i’m just not sure how it would hold up to daily use? Thoughts?

    1. Oh thank you, Heather! The bathroom does get used daily, though not too much for showering. It has held up well to general touching and whatnot, but if you’re wondering how well it holds up to steam and humidity, I may not be the best judge of that. I will say this though, friends that have used either this method or Rustoleum’s tile paint in bathrooms used for showering daily are very happy with the results, so I feel confident in using it and recommending it!

  2. Hi Thalita,
    Great post and your guest bath looks fab!

    Did you also paint the tiles in the shower? May I ask how often the shower used? Our entire bathroom is tiled with peach and mint green antique tile. I’d like to freshen it up but we are a family of four and share one bathroom.


    1. Hi Gina! Thanks so much!!
      Our shower is one of those plastic, pre-made showers, so I did not have to paint the inside of it. That being said, as I said to Heather, I know other people have used this method or Rustoleum’s product for painting tile and are very happy with it in their own showers. I will say this: prepping your surface is KEY! As is giving the paint proper time to cure and dry, so you might have to tackle a project like this at a time when you can use someone else’s shower for a few days. It’s tough, but worth it in the end! Please let me know if you have other questions! 🙂

      On a side note, mint is kind of hot right now! It might not be so bad to keep some of it around for a cool retro look like this:

    1. Thank you, Beth!!! I can tell you that over a year later, this paint job is holding up really well! Best of luck with your projects!!

  3. Woohoo! Thalita, you’re on Remodelaholic! Congratulations 🙂

    Also, I love your bathroom makeover. It looks seriously awesome, so fresh & white!

    Love, Midsommarflicka

  4. I just did this myself, painting tile. We have a nice big fireplace in the living room that was a really dark teal and we hated it. It made the room look so closed in and outdated. I bought a brownish beige primer/paint and painted the entire thing and added updated sconces and we just love it now. I painted the mantle a darker brown for contrast. It doesn’t take over the room anymore and it looks very classy.

    1. Hi Crystal,

      It was already attached since I didn’t actually tile the walls myself – I just painted them. It looks like the tile doesn’t go all the way down to the floor, so the baseboards were able to be nailed into the drywall and it was definitely caulked on the tile on top. I hope this helps!

  5. Hi, I was wondering if the product you used on this tile or the Rustoleum product would work well for painting tile floors? I want to repaint my master bath floors, a temporary fix until I can gut the bathroom. Do you think it would hold up to normal use of two people on the floors? I HAVE to get rid of the EMERALD green tiles and emerald green grout!!! OMG who picks that!!! UGH I ate the 90’s as far as decor goes!!!!

    Thanks so much!!!

  6. What paint did you use on the tile? I’d like to paint over my kitchen tile. I ahve the 1-2-3 primer, but I can’t find the paint type in your blog

    1. Hi Marie! I just used a regular high gloss latex paint. As long as you let it sit and cure long enough (usually at least 3 weeks without any major rubbing, scratching, etc), the paint will hold up beautifully! We don’t have a single issue in our bathroom so far. I hope that helps!

  7. I Love it. Can you do the same with the tiles on the floor? I hate mine but can’t change them now. Can I paint them?

    1. Hi Alice!
      I’ve never tried painting tile on the floor, but I think that may be tricky to do. The paint has to set for quite a while before it really sticks to the tile, so walking on it would be hard to do. I’m not sure if there are other products on the market that make painting floor tile possible (maybe one of the ones meant for showers), but I wouldn’t personally try it myself with the method I used. Sorry!

  8. Hello! Wht type of paint did you use? I saw that you used the Zissner primer, but couldn’t find the paint! I’m planning to tackle this project this weekend so I’m looking forward to your answer!