This outdated bathroom was updated using just paint – the results are amazing!

It's amazing what a tin of paint and a vision can do – here's how you can get the look...

Bathroom makeover
(Image credit: Lily Sawyer Interiors)

Oh, we love a before and after, and this one is a good as they come. An old, small, outdated downstairs bathroom (complete with brown tiles and a cumbersome radiator) transformed into a stylish, spacious feeling room, using just paint. No plumbers involved, no ripping out tiles – just paint and imagination.

This project comes from Lily Sawyer at  @layered.home (opens in new tab), and it honestly the easiest, most effective DIY glow up we have seen in a long time. Keep scrolling to find out how to update old tiles in any room of your home, and for more inspiring bathroom ideas (opens in new tab) check out our gallery. 

You will need: 

Bathroom makeover

(Image credit: Lily Sawyer Interiors)

Step one: clean your tiles 

So as you can see from the before, this bathroom was all tiled with brown, boring tiles. If you have a tired-looking tiled wall in a bathroom or kitchen, this DIY would work well, but you can also do it on a small scale on a splashback too.

Start by giving the tiles a good clean, getting rid of any dirt, dust, or mould. Allow them to completely dry before you start painting. 

Step two: start painting 

Using a roller start painting you tiles – lots of thin coats works best so don't overload your roller. Lily used three thin coats to cover her tiles and radiator. Allow that to dry before moving on to the next step.

Step three: paint your pattern 

Switch to a different colour of paint for this – any colour that is darker than the base will work. Now, Lily freehanded her fern pattern using a small brush, and you can go down that route too, just do a few practices first. But if, like us, you know you would mess it up, there are loads of lovely stencils you can buy that will achieve a very similar look. We love Annie Sloan's stencils (opens in new tab) but you will find them on Etsy (opens in new tab) and Amazon (opens in new tab) too. 

Bathroom makeover

(Image credit: Lily Sawyer Interiors)

If you after more DIY ideas, tips on using social media and creating content, and just gorgeous interiors make sure you check out Lily's website (opens in new tab) too. 

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Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.

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