10 DIY Bathroom Projects

In a weekend or less, transform your bathroom from standard to stunning with these easy and inspiring projects

1. Apply tiled backsplash to your bathroom counter
2. Build a wood-framed bathroom mirror shelf
3. Paint a striped bathroom floor

Paint your bathtubPaint your bathtub
4. Paint your bathtub
Rust-bonding primer (only if there's rust)
Shellac-based primer
Latex enamel, 1 quart
Drop cloths
Rubber gloves, bucket, and sponge-type scrub pad
Household cleaner, or deglosser if existing paint has a gloss finish
Painter's masking tape, 1 inch or wider
Synthetic-bristle brush, 1½ inch
Paint tray
Mini roller
1. Wash. You'll be painting only the exterior of the tub. Check that any existing exterior paint is intact and not flaking off. (If it is flaking, you'll need to have the tub stripped or sandblasted first so the new paint won't peel.) Position the drop cloths. Wearing gloves, wash the exterior of the tub with water and the cleaner. Clean as much of the outside of the tub as you have access to. Let dry.
2. Apply the tape. Apply the painter's masking tape to the top edge of the tub feet or to the floor around the feet, depending on whether you are leaving the feet with their existing finish or are painting them. Also apply tape along the top rim of the tub, to keep the interior paint-free.
3. Treat the rust. Inspect the tub exterior, and the feet if you plan to paint them. If you find rust, use the brush to apply the rust-bonding primer over those areas (this chemically converts the rust so the paint will bond to the surface).
4. Prep and prime the surface. Don't sand, as you normally might before priming, because the existing paint is likely to contain lead. Pour the shellac-based primer into the paint tray, and use the roller to paint the main areas of the tub. Then use the brush to smooth out the finish and fill in where the roller won't reach, such as the underside of the tub rim. Prime the feet, too, if you plan to paint them.
5. Paint the exterior and feet. Apply the latex enamel in the same way you applied the primer in step 4. (Skip the feet if you'll paint them a contrasting color-see Style Note.) When the first coat dries, apply a second coat if needed. Let dry.

5. Create a bathroom accent wall
Drywall mud or spackle (if wall needs patching)
Acrylic wallcovering primer with sizing
Pre-pasted wallpaper
Plastic drop cloths
Ladder or step stool
Rubber gloves, bucket, and sponge
Household cleaner
Putty knife (to apply patch material)
Paint and water trays
Roller, 9 inch or mini
Synthetic-bristle brush, 1½ inch or 2 inch
Tape measure and pencil
Carpenter's level
Wallpaper brush
Seam roller
Wallpaper sponge
Taping knife, 6 inch to 10 inch
Single-edge razor blade
1. Prep and prime. Position the drop cloths. Wearing gloves, wash the wall with water and the cleaner. Let dry. To patch any holes, apply the drywall mud or spackle with the putty knife. Let dry. Pour some primer with sizing into the tray and prime the wall, using the roller. At corners, switch to the synthetic-bristle brush. Let dry.
2. Find the starting point. With the tape measure and the pencil, measure the wall's width and mark the midpoint. Then, using the wallpaper roll as a guide, mark wallpaper-width increments across the wall from the mid-point to the edges. If less than half the paper's width is left over at each corner, plan to center the first strip over the wall's mid-point. Otherwise, plan to have the first two pieces flank the wall's midpoint. In either case, use the pencil and the carpenter's level to draw a vertical line ¼ inch to the left of where the left edge of the first strip will be (so the pencil mark won't show in the seam).
3. Cut the paper. Measure the wall's height. On the floor, unroll a length of the paper. Choose what part of the pattern you want at the top of the wall. Allowing an extra 2 inches at the top and bottom, cut off the strip with the scissors. Unroll another length of wallpaper, line up the pattern with the first strip, and cut to length. Repeat for the remaining pieces.
4. Paste. Roll one of the strips so the pasted side faces out. Add water to the wallpaper water tray. Submerge the rolled strip in the water. Grab the paper's top edge and lift the sheet from the water as it unrolls. Place the strip right side down on the drop cloths. Loosely fold the top and bottom edges toward the center (a process known as "booking"), so no sticky side faces out. Wait the recommended booking time.
5. Apply. Unfold the top half of the paper and align it with 2 inches extra at the top, ¼ inch to the right of the guide line (from step 2). Working your way down, smooth the paper against the wall with your fingertips and the wallpaper brush. Brush from the center toward the sides. Prepare and position the remaining sheets in the same way, butting the edges tightly together. About 15 minutes after you apply each sheet, roll over the edges with the seam roller. Wipe the wallpaper with the damp wallpaper sponge.
6. Trim. To trim the top and bottom edges, place the taping knife over the wallpaper and press the tool's thin edge into the corner. Trace against the edge with the razor blade, neatly slicing off the excess.

6. Create a stencil-art roller shade for your bathroom window
(Not including the fabric roller shades)
Printed image to copy (optional)
Stencil board or heavy card stock
Screen printing ink or fabric paint suitable for shade material
Glue stick
Cutting board, at least half the size of your image
Craft knife with extra blades
Drop cloth
Tape measure
Masking tape, any width, or repositionable spray adhesive
Stencil brush
1. Prep the image. Select an image from a clip-art book or website, or draw one yourself. With a photocopier, enlarge the image to the desired size, if necessary. For a larger image than your photocopier can handle, enlarge each half separately.
2. Create your stencil. With the glue stick, coat the back of the photocopy. Make sure to spread the glue onto all areas. Flip the image and adhere it to the stencil board or card stock. (If you enlarged halves of the image separately, glue each half to the board.) Let the glue dry. Then lay the stencil board on the cutting board. With the craft knife, carefully cut out the image. You may need to go over your cuts more than once to be able to lift out the image. Be sure to use sharp blades to avoid ragged edges; replace the blades as needed.
3. Position the stencil. Position one roller shade flat on the drop cloth with the room side facing up. Place the stencil on the shade. Use the tape measure to make sure the stencil is centered. Adhere the stencil (or multiple stencil sections) to the shade with masking tape or by spraying the back of the stencil with repositionable spray adhesive.
4. Paint. With the stencil brush, dab the printing ink or fabric paint through the stencil cutouts onto the shade. To keep the stencil tight against the shade (to prevent the ink or paint from seeping), press your fingers down on the stencil near the section you're painting. Let dry.
5. Set and hang. Remove the stencil and follow any paint label instructions for setting the color. Repeat on any additional shades. Hang as you would any roller shades.

7. Repaint your bathroom vanity cabinets

Wood filler (if wood needs patching)
Primer for slick surfaces
Gloss or semi-gloss latex paint or latex enamel, 1 quart per 50 square feet (to allow two coats)
Drop cloths
Painter's masking tape, 1 inch or wider
Rubber gloves, bucket, and sponge
Household cleaner, or deglosser if existing paint has a gloss finish
Putty knife (to apply wood filler)
Sandpaper or sanding sponge, 100 grit and 180 grit
Microfiber dust cloth
Synthetic-bristle brush, 1½ inch or 2 inch
1. Prep. Apply tape to any adjacent surfaces that won't be painted. Remove the cabinet drawers and, with the screwdriver, remove the knobs. With the pencil, number the drawers (on the bottoms) and number their corresponding locations in the cabinet. Place the drawers face up on a drop cloth. Wearing gloves, wash the drawers with water and the cleaner or deglosser. Let dry.
2. Smooth the surfaces. With the putty knife, press wood filler into any nicks. When the filler dries, sand the patches smooth with 100-grit sandpaper or the sanding sponge. With the 180-grit sandpaper or sanding sponge, scuff all the surfaces. Remove residue with the dust cloth.
3. Prime. Working on one drawer at a time, brush on the primer. Start from the center of the drawer. First paint the center panel, then the bevel around it. Then work out to the edges of the drawer front. As you complete each part, brush away any drips. Repeat for all the drawers. Position a drop cloth beneath the cabinet. Brush primer onto the remaining cabinet areas, in the direction of the wood grain. Let dry.
4. Paint and complete. Apply the paint in the same way. After the first coat dries, apply a second coat. Let dry. Remove the tape, reattach the knobs, and replace the drawers.

8. Paint colorful frames for your bathroom wall
9. Make a faux Roman shade
10. Build bath-side candle ledges