Before and After: A Bathroom’s Builder-Grade Tile Gets a $300 DIY Glow-Up

published Sep 1, 2023
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Often, when you see a maximalist, extremely colorful home, there’s a good chance it wasn’t built that way. After all, color on top of color on top of color on top of pattern is a bit out of the ordinary (in the best way!), and most builders are looking to appeal to an ordinary buyer.

If you’re a maximalist color lover and your home didn’t come quite as color- or pattern-filled as you initially hoped, take a look at Melissa Faulkner’s (@colourfulmelissahome) bathroom redo. Its builder-grade beginnings and bespoke blue and pink “after” are sure to inspire you. 

“The ensuite before this makeover was very plain, boring, and dull,” Melissa says. “It was a typical gray and white new-build bathroom, and it just didn’t show any of my personality.” Melissa decided to make a change because being in the bathroom “didn’t make me happy,” she says, and the after is certainly much cheerier. 

Tile paint transformed the builder-grade space. 

“The change that made the biggest difference was definitely painting the tiles,” Melissa says. She did this on both the walls and the inside of the shower. “I didn’t want to get rid of the existing tiles, as the house was only built in 2018, so it seemed a waste to demolish perfectly good tiles, and I am all about sustainability,” she explains. “So instead I just changed the color of them with some tile paint and this has worked great for me.”

Melissa’s tile paints are Valspar’s Pink Icing and Lady in Waiting, and she painted every other one in each row to create a checkerboard effect. 

Peel-and-stick floor tiles added even more color.

For the floor tiles, she went with a different (equally colorful) option: peel-and-stick tiles. “I have not ever used peel-and-stick tiles before, but after this project, I am converted to them!” she says. She’s since used them in a kitchen project, too. 

“They are so easy to use and fun, and if you’re wanting to do up a space on a budget, these are much more affordable than using real tiles,” Melissa adds. In fact, she estimates her entire project cost under $300 USD.

Lastly, over top of the tile, Melissa added a fun bath mat and other decor to match her color scheme. “I just love how bright and colorful it is,” she says of the space. “I always look forward to coming in here now.”

Next up on Melissa’s DIY list for this space is adding film to the shower doors for some privacy and texture. “I did want to use some reeded window vinyl for the shower doors, however it didn’t work out as planned, as the vinyl I ordered didn’t have the effect I wanted,” she says. “So I am still on the hunt for some of that, but everything else went great.”

TL;DR? Decorate your space for yourself.

Melissa’s DIY advice is twofold: “Looking at what you can do yourself before getting any professionals involved is great,” she says. “It saves a lot of money doing it yourself.” 

And second, “decorate your home how you want,” Melissa says. “I have had a few people say I have ruined it for resale, but why would I decorate my home for anyone but those currently living in it?” she asks. “I love it now, and I am so happy I did it.”