a new mirror brightens up a tiny powder room

Powder Room Update On a Budget

Our powder room is the tiniest I have ever been in. No joke you can sit on the toilet and wash your hands at the same time. I still wanted our itty bitty bathroom to look nice. Since it’s such a small space I didn’t give myself much of a budget. Here’s what we did in our powder room update for less than $100.

What We Updated

Paint, free

The easiest way to update a room quickly is to paint it. I had all of the paint I needed leftover from other rooms in the house. First was the ceiling and trim, just a standard white. Every time I paint trim it reminds me that baseboards should be deep cleaned more than every 20 years. Scrubbing years of gunk off baseboards is super fun.

I did the walls in the same light gray that runs throughout the house, except for the back wall. I painted that wall the same accent green that’s in our living room. While I’m not afraid of color, I was afraid it would be too much for such a tiny space. Worse case scenario, I’d have to repaint. But I really love the green wall. I think it’s unexpected and brightens up a small boring space.

OTHER PAINTING IDEAS: Painting Without Painter’s Tape | Guide to Painting Kitchen Cabinets | Painting Hardware

Mirror, $16

Before I painted we took down the ginormous frame-less mirror that was hung above the vanity. I found one at Goodwill for $8, but it was a nasty off white. That just means time for some spray paint! I used this hammered finish spray paint on it with paper covering up the glass. The mirror isn’t perfect, it has a few small dings, but it was a cheap upgrade from what we had.

Fan Cover, $8.78

This was by far the grossest part of updating this room. When I popped the fan cover off to prep the ceiling for painting, it was caked in dust. That’s a recurring issue in our house. The previous owners were gross. I might start wearing safety glasses every time I open something in the house we haven’t before.

The fan cover is held in by a set of metal pins. Brute force & frustration just leave you with cracked plastic. Those pins need to be pinched to make them to release. Anyway, after I cracked the plastic, I was weary that I wouldn’t be able to find a fan cover the right size. Originally I was figuring I’d have to deep clean and spray paint the old ugly yellow one.

Home Depot sells all sorts of stuff you never think about. I took our old with me to go shopping, and this one matched well. And it’s white. Not off white. Major plus for me.

Vanity Hardware, $22.64

While we didn’t update the vanity (more on that later), I did update the hardware. The vanity cabinets in all of our bathrooms are the same cabinets we have in our kitchen. When I updated the kitchen hardware I ordered enough hinges and cabinet handles for each bathroom too.

The powder room vanity served as a testing spot when I was buying hinges to try as well as when we were coming up with a plan for drilling new hinge holes. Since we aren’t planning to keep the vanity, it wasn’t a big deal if things didn’t come out right. Everything turned out fine, and we no longer have antique brass hardware in there. Gimli boy wants you to know that he helped in all aspects.

Towel Ring & Toilet Paper Holder, $43.96

The towel bar in this bathroom was over the toilet. Not beside the sink. So you had to turn around completely in an incredibly tiny space with wet hands to get to the towel. That meant water dripping all over the floor and toilet. Excellent design right? After I painted we put up a new towel ring beside the vanity. We updated the toilet paper holder to match.

The anchor holes from the towel bar are still a little visible. Eventually I’d like to had a shelf where they are that can hold toilet paper, pictures, extra soap, etc.

Wall Plates, $2.06

Every wall plate in our house was almond colored. New, bright white trim needs new wall plates to match. The bathroom needed a 2-gang switch plate and a 1-gang rectangular plate.

That brings our powder room update total to $93.53!

For lots of our home projects, I’ve used Home Depot gift cards earned through reward sites/apps to cover some of the expenses. For more on earning free rewards check out The 11 Best Money Making Apps.

What We Left Alone


I considered painting the vanity. The top is an almond/yellow color that I abhor so much I’ve contemplated taking a hammer to. But the vanity is too big for that room anyway and the long term plan is to replace it. No use wasting time or money trying to transform it.

Petite vanities don’t cost that much. I think we can get one for around $100. We just need to muster the energy to undertake swapping it out. There will be a lot of wall fixing and painting after prying that terrible counter top away from the wall.

Light Fixture

Eventually we might update the light fixture in here. But I don’t dislike the one in the powder room as much as others in our house though. [Read: boob lights from the 90s]. So this isn’t high on our priority list.


The floor in our bathroom is the same hardwood that runs though our living room and hallway. We updated the rest of our first floor with a dark laminate through Empire earlier this year. In the long term we’ll make the whole first floor match, and that will include the powder room.

Are you looking to update a powder room? What are some of your favorite ideas?


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