<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://ct.pinterest.com/v3/?event=init&tid=2614356552436&pd[em]=&noscript=1" /> Skip to Content

Update Your Old Shower and Tub on a Budget

Does your bathroom have an outdated tub and shower? We certainly do (straight from 1973!). Even on the smallest budget, you can make home improvement changes that will greatly improve the look of your bathroom. With these easy solutions, you can update your shower and tub on a budget.

How to update a bathroom on a budget

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

How to update your old shower and tub on a budget

Clean It

First things first: you want to scrub your bathtub and shower until they sparkle. If you have a tile shower, you may need to let your cleaning solution sit to help get the mold and soap scum out from between the tiles.

I’ve had good luck using “cling” toilet bowl cleaner with bleach on the caulk to kill the mildew. You’d be surprised at the improvement that comes with a really good cleaning!

dirty tile scrubbed with blue rag

Paint the Walls

One great way to address an outdated shower and tub is to paint the walls in a contrasting color. For example, if your tub and shower are pale yellow, paint the walls a medium shade of blue.

The key is to choose a color that makes your original shower and tub look amazing. Even if you have a pale blue tub and shower you can paint the walls charcoal gray to make it look gorgeous.

Use a color wheel or ask a paint store professional for a suggestion. We went with a light gray since our tub is ’70s yellow. It looks so much more modern now!

Update the Fixtures

The fixtures can be the biggest problem. If your tub and shower are white and the fixtures are brass, just changing the fixtures to an updated metallic can make a huge difference.

Visit your local home improvement store or look online to see what’s available. Just make sure that your shower faucet matches your tub faucet. Some popular options are:

  1. Chrome: Timeless and shiny
  2. Brushed Nickel: Sophisticated and muted
  3. Oil-Rubbed Bronze: Warm and rustic
  4. Matte Black: Sleek and modern

You may also want to update your sink fixtures to match. We did this back when we first moved in, updated the fixtures to match (for one) and to a more modern metal. It makes a huge difference!

Use a Bath Refinishing Product

Last, but not least, if you hate the color of your shower and tub, you can refinish it. There are refinishing products that are painted on that allow you to change the color to white.

White is the best option because it’s a clean look. Best of all, a refinished white tub will go with any wall paint color.

If your tub is horribly scratched, you will need to repair the chips and scratches before you can use a refinishing product. I have been really tempted to try this–if you’ve done it, please let me know in the comments!

How to update your old shower & tub on a budget | frugal home improvement

You don’t have to spend a fortune to update your old shower and tub. With just a bit of work and a little money, you can make your old bathroom look like new.

Best of all, each of these tips costs less than $200 to implement. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can have the bathroom you want without breaking the bank!

More budget home improvement:

How to update your old shower & tub on a budget | moneywise home


Friday 19th of May 2023

We had (several years ago) a company redo our Avacado shower in a guest bath to white in an overlay of epoxy like material. They did an amazing job for a fraction of what a new shower would have cost.


Thursday 18th of May 2023

You make painting your tub/shower/bathroom tiles easy. It is not! And, it's very time consuming. The pros use an acid to prep the surfaces and a spray gun with respirator to apply the base coat and finishing coat. Everything must be taped off and the home well ventilated for the chemical fumes. Drying time needs to be taken into consideration before using the bath/shower. At least 24 hrs. Unless you are a super star DIYer, I'd let the pros do it. It's worth the investment.