How to Renovate Your Bathroom on a Budget + HOMAX® Product Giveaway

January 14, 2017

Disclaimer: I am currently partnering with HOMAX® and this post is part of my involvement. While Homax has provided me with materials and the necessary resources to complete various projects, all statements and sentiments in this post are my own.

before photo of my bathroom

after my bathroom renovation on a budget

Since we just purchased our house, we are on a very tight budget for any furniture and renovations. The Homax TOUGH AS TILE® product by PPG was perfect for this renovation since the hallway bathroom isn’t used often (at least not yet), it’s in a well-ventilated area, and the Tough as Tile product is an inexpensive refinishing solution to spruce up an unsightly tub, tile or sink! It allowed me to get the look of a new bathroom countertop and sink without spending hundreds of dollars!

Depending on the type of materials you purchase, you could do a similar renovation for just over $100.

Here’s what I purchased (some links below are affiliates where I get a percentage of the sale):
Floating Vinyl Flooring: $40 (The Home Depot- However, you can find cheaper flooring at Ollies or Sam’s. We chose this particular flooring since we could cut it with a razor knife for the most part.)
Stick-On Tile for Mirror: ~$30 (Amazon- find it here)
Paint: $16
Hardware, Electrical Covers and Floor Vent: $16
Homax Tough as Tile: $36 (I received the brush-on product free but you can purchase it at The Home Depot or Lowe’s. Learn more about this product here. I had paint brushes, caulk and tape already.)

How to Use Homax TOUGH AS TILE to refinish a sink

How I Renovated my Bathroom on a Budget

In my opinion, deciding on a theme or color palette can be one of the hardest decisions…mostly because it will dictate all buying decisions moving forward for that room or space.

To help me make the decision, I used a free app called Color Capture. In the app you can take a picture of an item and then match color swatches to it. The app will also show you complimentary colors.

I based the color theme for the bathroom off of my favorite shower curtain, which I purchased several years ago at Kohl’s. I also happened to have a series of metal bird frames I purchased from Target that matched perfectly. They also tie together the bronze and silver in the room.

DAY 1: I took off the mirror, vent cover, and everything on the wall including  the electric covers. I filled in all the holes that I wasn’t planning on using in the new bathroom and once they dried I shaved it down with 120 grit sand paper. Afterwards, I cleaned. It’s amazing how a good cleaning can transform your area. I used a mixture of white vinegar and water and a sponge to clean the walls. I then wiped it down with a microfiber cloth.

DAY 2 : Once the walls dried, I used a roller to paint the walls. I hate wasting masking tape so instead I used a paint edger, which makes it easy to get right up against items with a smooth line and no mess.

DAY 3: Since this paint needed two coats to cover the pink beneath, I waited a day and did a second coat on day 3. Also on day 3 I did the tile on the bathroom mirror. I used stick on tile so all I had to do was cut the page of tile into rows of 3 and connected them like Tetris. (It looks better when you do jagged cuts to go with the natural flow (or ‘grout’ lines) of each tile vs a straight line through the tile to start the next strip).

DAY 4: I cleaned the counter and sink per Homax’s instructions. Then I applied the first coat of Homax Tough as Tile, waited three hours, and then applied the second coat.

DAY 5: I painted the cabinet below the sink and added the new hardware. I also began laying floors, which took longer than I anticipated since we decided to tear up the vinyl floor–which is a pain in the butt! If we did it over again, I would just lay the floating floors over the vinyl. We tore up the vinyl and then used boiling hot water with a few tablespoons of white vinegar to sponge over the glue that was holding the vinyl to the floor. After 10 minutes, we used a floor scraper to tear up the glue.

DAY 6: I laid the floor foam/plastic, which I got from Ollies. Then I measured out the boards and placed them together. While the razor knife worked for straight cuts, I had to use a jigsaw to make the cuts around the toilet.

DAY 7: I removed masking tape from the sink, screwed on the electric covers (painted the switches with white nail polish), put up the mirror, screwed in the toilet roll holder and towel holder, and added the decor. Viola! The bathroom is finished.

You can learn all about Homax Tough as Tile in my bathroom renovation video here:

For those who prefer to read, here’s a recap of my review of the Homax Tough as Tile Refinishing Kit.

How to Use Homax Tough as Tile to Refinish a Bathroom Sink

(Please refer to the Product Label, Technical  Data Sheet (TDS) or Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for safety and detailed application instructions.)

You’ll need several items before you get started with the refinishing kit:

  • NIOSH-approved N95 dust mask or respirator (Do NOT use Homax Tough as Tile without one!)
  • Eye protection
  • Two to three 1/4” nap shed free rollers or two to three 2-3” polyester brushes
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Cleaning supplies (white vinegar and water solution, paper towels, microfiber cloth, bucket)
  • Lacquer thinner

Follow the instructions on how to clean the sink and counter area. Note, proper cleaning is critical. The outcome of this project is dependent upon proper preparation. During this time you’ll want to set your home’s temperature to 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity should be lower than 80%. This means, if you want a window open for ventilation (which you should), you’ll need to do this renovation in the spring or fall when the humidity is low but the temperature is warm.

While I don’t have any pets or kids, if you do and the bathroom is near their room or play area, consider letting the kids spend the night at a friend’s house since this is very strong epoxy paint and not good to breathe in. Also, be sure to lock your dog in a different area of the house away from the room and smell. The one part finish has a strong odor, so it should only be applied in a well-ventilated area. I also closed all nearby room doors (except for the empty room across the hall where I had both windows open and a fan blowing to begin circulating the air). Homax Tough as Tile brush-on and roll-on must be thoroughly stirred, not shaken (shaking it will actually create bubbles when you paint it on). Use a clean stir stick to gently stir the paint before each use.

The one part finish is slightly transparent when first applied. After two (2) minutes surface will become sticky. If errors are not corrected within the two minutes, wait 15 minutes, use rubbing alcohol to smooth out error then reapply finish when dry. To avoid drips, only apply light layers. This means you may need to apply a third layer of finish. If you are considering using Homax Tough as Tile on a shower or tub, I would suggest using the aerosol version. I haven’t used the aerosol version personally, but I think it would be easier to have an even and drip-free look when it comes to applying the finish to an upright surface wall.

before during and after bathroom renovation with homax tough as tile

Once you have the first layer down, wait 3 hours to apply the second layer. You have to apply the second layer between 3 to 6 hours after the first layer. If you go past that 6-hour mark after the first application, call the Homax technical service line at 1-800-729-9029 for guidance on how to proceed.

For the second application, stir the finish with a clean stirring stick and then use a clean nap or shed free brush to brush on the second light layer. If you plan on doing a third layer, wait 3 hours again and then do the third layer before you reach the 6 hour mark after the second layer had been applied.

Once all the layers are done, dispose of the brushes, gloves and anything else with the finish in a separate bag in the trash. (See your local area’s regulations for disposing of paint.)

You’ll need to keep your home between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity under 80% for the next 48 hours as the finish dries.

Once the 48 hours have past, you can remove the masking tape and use the sink.

Homax Tough as Tile Refinishing Kit Review

All thoughts in this review are my own and do not represent that of the Homax brand.

I’ve never used the previous Homax refinishing kit so I’m not sure how this formula compares to the older version.

I would say I’m a borderline perfectionist and it was tough to try to get this coating perfect. While it does a good job at making it look brand new in pictures and at a glance, close up you can still see a few areas that had drip marks or an uneven coat of paint. This is probably because of two reasons (which are really my fault and not because of the Homax Tough as Tile formula):

1) The second unused paint brush I was planning on using wasn’t polyester (I didn’t realize this till I tried using it and it kept losing its bristles) so I ended up having to reuse the first paint brush. This was a huge no-no according to instructions but since the stores are so far away (and it was Christmas weekend) nothing was open near me to get another paint brush before that 6-hour mark. Of course, with that said, I’m actually surprised how well it did turn out despite that reuse of the brush!

2) Whenever I noticed a paint brush smear or a drip my perfectionism drove me to paint over it again….This meant more finish would have to be placed on that area which caused some areas to have more finish than the thin layer that is recommended. Hence, the drips. Although if you came over to see it in person you probably would have never noticed.

One thing to keep in mind: When you begin painting you might freak out a little when you see the brush strokes are so obvious. But I later saw that these brush strokes actually meld together and disappear (that’s probably why you need to keep the room above 70 degrees).

It’s a very interesting product that can save DIYers a ton of money renovating your bathroom. As I begin to use the sink more, I’ll update this post with my further thoughts.

One thing I do want to seriously caution you is to make sure you have a well-ventilated area and a NOISH approved respirator (not just a paint odor face mask). The fumes are really potent even for a few days afterwards. I was in the bathroom doing the cabinet that night and got a headache and felt nauseous from the fumes. So definitely leave the bathroom and area to ventilate for a few days.

Looking back, I also think I would have done a third coat on the inside of the sink basin and the upper ridge backsplash area. Those areas I did thin coats and they don’t have the solid porcelain look as much as the rest of the bathroom countertop.

Before and after photos of cheap bathroom renovation with Homax

Homax Giveaway Hosted by DIY Home & Health

Want to give your bathroom a new look!? You can enter to win a Homax Tough as Tile Refinishing Kit (brush-on or spray-on and your pick of white or bisque color (bisque only available in spray-on)!

To enter, share this post on Twitter or Pinterest and then comment below with which product you would like (include color and whether you would want the brush-on or spray formula) and what your project would be. Contest ends midnight on February 1, 2017.

Whatever email you use to comment will be the one that I contact if you’re the winner.

Can’t wait to hear about your projects!

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  • Reply David January 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    I would want the spray-on variety in bisque. I shared this on Twitter at

    • Reply Alicia February 4, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      Congrats, David! You won the drawing for the Homax Tough as Tile giveaway! I’ll email you details and for your mailing address. Thanks!

  • Reply Ali January 16, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Brush on white

  • Reply manda January 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Spray on in white.

  • Reply 4 Must-Know Hacks to Renovate Your Bathroom on a Budget – The Property Blog January 19, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    […] Alicia from DIY Home & Health recently did a bathroom renovation that only cost around $150 and in the post below she’s going to reveal her hacks for renovating a bathroom on a budget! […]

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