Savvy woman builds entirely new bathroom for just £200

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·5-min read
Clare Bryson has completed an impressive bathroom makeover for just £200. (
Clare Bryson has completed an impressive bathroom makeover for just £200. (

The cost of installing a new bathroom can easily run into the thousands, but one savvy DIY-er has managed to complete an impressive transformation for a fraction of that cost.

Clare Bryson, 34, from Perthshire set about transforming a boring and dated wet-room that had previously catered for someone disabled, but wanted to keep costs as low as possible.

"I wanted to make it feel modern and luxurious for as little as possible," the advanced clinical practitioner in the Emergency Department told the money-saving Black Friday app.

Read more: Basic bathroom to Scandi spa: How to get the look for less

The bathroom before was uninspiring. (
The bathroom before was uninspiring. (

Bryson says she first started trying DIY when she left home at 16, 18 years ago.

"I was painting kitchen cupboards and laying laminate flooring, wallpapering and so on," she explains. "It was far from perfect but you learn as you go."

At 23 she says she designed, project managed and helped build a ‘dream’ house with her ex husband.

"It took me months to decorate on my days off but I got lots of practice painting and now I’m a pro!"

While she has her own ideas about how she wants things to look, she says she seeks further inspiration from Instagram.

"I’m passionate about recycling and upcycling old materials, making things look great on a budget. I like to inspire others, especially women, to give DIY a go and so I share tutorials on my Blondy Builder YouTube channel," she explains.

Read more: Man reveals budget DIY tricks that turned bland bedroom into rock 'n' roll sanctuary

The bathroom before was dated and bland. (
The bathroom before was dated and bland. (

When it came to overhauling the bathroom, the mum-of-two knew she wanted to give the space a modern-luxe update.

"I wasn’t sure if you could paint over a wet wall but I read up on exterior paint for PVC windows and figured it would be similar to this," she explains.

"I decided to test out some different colours before making a final decision on the shades I would use."

Once she had the vision of how she wanted the room to look, Bryson set to work.

"First, I removed the bathroom - which left some unsightly holes," she explains. "I then decided how I could cover these with tiles and mirrors."

In order to keep within budget Bryson turned to Facebook and Gumtree to look for a new bath and sink.

"I was pleasantly surprised with the bathtub and tap I found, which I picked up locally for £50 in great condition," she says.

"I found the sink for free, and recycled the tap from the original sink."

Read more: Dark to light: This brilliant bathroom makeover cost under £100

Bryson used external paint to paint over the wet wall. (
Bryson used external paint to paint over the wet wall. (

In order to cover the hole in the floor left from the removal of the old shower tray, Bryson used some leftover floor screed from another project before levelling the floor.

And proving nothing was wasted, she then made decorative concrete bowls with the remaining mixture.

"Next, I applied sugar soap to the wet wall, lightly sanded it and painted it with Bedec Multi Surface paint using a mini foam roller," she says.

"It took three thin coats to get the best coverage. One wall was in the shade Anthracite and the rest was in Soft Satin White. The tubs of paint were £20 each from Toolstation.

Watch: DIY projects and affordable finds bring farmhouse style to a dated '80s home.

The next job was tiling.

"I scored the wall and tiled it approximately one metre high around where the bath would go and finished the edges with tile trim," Bryson continues. "The tiles were £13 per square metre from B&Q and the tile trim was £8.99 for 2.5m from Screwfix."

Bryson did the tiling herself. (
Bryson did the tiling herself. (

Bryson says a friend was able to do the required plumbing work, so all that was left was to add the finishing touches.

"I finished the look with some mirrors from The Range," she continues. "I’m sure they were only £6 each at the time. I made my own macrame plant hanger and painted over the concrete floor with some masonry paint. Finally I upcycled the door with mouldings from Wickes and painted it."

While she says the painted wet wall is no longer a ‘wet area’, other than the odd splash of water from the bath, the paint has proven to be wipeable and hard wearing.

"It’s suitable for exterior windows which take a lot more wear and tear than this," she adds.

Having recycled and upcyled where possible, the finished room came in at an impressive £200.

"This was such a cheap and effective makeover and I'm so pleased with the result," Bryson says. "It’s so much more satisfying doing it this way. It took me a year to do this project on my days off while the kids were at nursery and school and COVID caused an extra six months delay with various lockdowns."

The finished bathroom looks sleek and luxurious. (
The finished bathroom looks sleek and luxurious. (

While she wouldn't change anything about the overall look, Bryson says the biggest challenge in completing the project was finding the time and energy to work on it.

"I was also working on renovating the whole house at the same time," she explains. "While also working full time in my day job and looking after the kids!"

Commenting on the impressive makeover, Tom Church, co-founder of Black Friday app, said: "Wow, Bryson is clearly a woman of many talents and this project is truly impressive."

Watch: This small bathroom makeover cost just £350 thanks to clever DIY upgrades.

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