Assess What Needs Updating

Take a look at your current bathroom and make a list of what needs to be updated. Consider the following:

  • Is the paint, wallpaper or tile outdated? A new coat of paint or wallpaper can make a big difference.
  • Do the fixtures need updating? New faucets, showerheads, towel racks and other fixtures can modernize the look.
  • Is the lighting poor? Improved lighting with new light fixtures can make the room brighter and more inviting.
  • Is the storage lacking? More cabinets, drawers or shelves can help organize toiletries and supplies.
  • Are appliances old? Newer models of sinks, toilets and bathtubs may be more energy and water efficient.

Focus on the elements that will provide the biggest visual impact or fix functionality issues first. Cosmetic changes like paint often make the biggest difference.

Purchase Necessary Supplies

Once you’ve assessed your needs, make a list of the required supplies and purchase them in advance. Having all materials on hand will prevent mid-project delays. Consider getting:

  • New fixtures, faucets, sinks or other appliances.
  • Paint, wallpaper and adhesive for surfaces.
  • New lighting fixtures and bulbs.
  • Storage items like cabinets, shelves, bins and drawers.
  • Updated hardware like doorknobs, drawer pulls and towel racks.
  • Tools for installation like drill, screwdriver, wrench set, etc.

Shop sales and clearance items to save money on supplies.

Prepare the Space

To maximize your time, thoroughly prepare the bathroom before making updates:

  • Remove all removable items from the walls like art, shelves, hooks, etc.
  • Clear all surfaces of toiletries, towels and other items. Store them in boxes temporarily.
  • Clean all surfaces thoroughly to remove grime and prepare for upgrades.
  • Cover the floor with a tarp or drop cloths if painting.
  • Turn off water supply and disconnect sink, toilet and other fixtures if replacing.

Proper prep prevents having to re-do tasks later.

Update in Stages

Tackle your bathroom makeover systematically in stages:

Stage 1: Paint and Wallpaper

Painting is one of the easiest and most effective updates for a bathroom. If time is limited, focus on this first:

  • Prepare surfaces by cleaning, spackling, sanding and applying primer if needed.
  • Paint the ceiling first, then walls. Use 2 coats for best coverage.
  • For wallpaper, apply adhesive evenly before hanging paper. Smooth out air pockets as you go.

Use mold-resistant paint and caulk all gaps to prevent moisture damage.

Stage 2: Storage and Hardware

Improving storage and updating details like hardware can make a big functional and visual impact:

  • Add new cabinetry, shelves, bins, baskets and hooks for more storage options.
  • Install new handles and knobs on doors, cabinets and drawers.
  • Replace towel bars, toothbrush holders and other hardware.

Well-organized storage helps keep the room tidy.

Stage 3: Fixtures and Lighting

Replacing fixtures and lighting provides the finishing touches:

  • Update faucets, showerheads, drains and other plumbing fixtures.
  • Install new light fixtures around the vanity and shower.
  • Replace mirrors and medicine cabinets if needed.

Proper lighting ensures you can see for grooming and tasks.

Make It Feel New

To complete your one-day bathroom makeover, finish up with these final steps:

  • Reinstall any items you removed like artwork.
  • Return all stored items to cabinets, drawers and countertops.
  • Thoroughly clean the new surfaces from dust and debris.
  • Reconnect plumbing fixtures and turn on water supply again.
  • Test out new lighting, cabinets, faucets, etc to ensure proper function.
  • Hang up fresh towels, mats, shower curtains and other linens.

With good prep and efficient execution, you can transform your outdated bathroom in just 24 hours. Focus on quick upgrades that make the biggest difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I update my bathroom on a tight budget?

Focus on cosmetic changes like paint, wallpaper, new shower curtains or towels, and improved storage using lower cost solutions like over-the-door hooks, removable shelving, and baskets. Also shop sales and clearance items.

How long does it take to retile a bathroom?

Retiling a full bathroom can take 2-3 days between removing old tile, prepping surfaces, laying new tile, and grouting. Retiling just one section like the shower can be done in a day.

Should I update lighting or paint first?

It’s generally easier to paint first before installing new light fixtures. For a simpler lighting update, consider replacing bulbs rather than entire fixtures.

Can I install a new bathroom sink myself?

With some plumbing experience, you can install a new sink in a few hours. The faucet, drain connections, and water supply lines will need to be transferred over or replaced.

How do I update my bathroom on a rental property?

Focus on affordable, removable upgrades like peel-and-stick wallpaper, tension rod curtains, freestanding storage, removable shelving, and lighting you can take with you. Check your rental agreement first.


With some diligent preparation and strategic staging, it is possible to complete a mini bathroom makeover in just one day. Target high-impact changes like paint, improved lighting and updated storage first. Work systematically and efficiently to get the most done in a short time. Preparing the space properly and having all your supplies ready to go will help the process run smoothly. With a focused effort, you can enjoy a fresh, updated bathroom in just 24 hours.