Single mum builds new bathroom for just £200 after picking up free sink and £50 bath

Clare Bryson, 34, from Perthshire and mum of two kids aged five and seven, kept costs down by picking up a free sink and bathtub for £50 on Facebook Marketplace

A mum-of-two has saved herself thousands of pounds on a new bathroom by completing the job herself for just £200.

Clare Bryson, 34, from Perthshire and mum of two kids aged five and seven, kept costs down by picking up a free sink and bathtub for £50 on Facebook Marketplace.

She also purchased bargain supplies including paint and tiles from shops including B&Q, Screwfix and Toolstation.

A friend was on hand as well to do the main plumbing jobs that Clare wasn’t able to complete.

Clare, who works as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner in the Emergency Department, says she first started dabbling in DIY when she left home at 16.

She now has a YouTube page called Blondy Builder where she shares her tips.

Clare told “I was painting kitchen cupboards and laying laminate flooring, wallpapering and so on 18 years ago. It was far from perfect but you learn as you go.

“At 23 I designed, project managed and helped build a ‘dream’ house with my 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.“

Clare said she decided to do up her bathroom as it was “boring and dated” and she wanted to make it as “modern and luxurious” as she could on a budget.

The first task was removing the bathroom. Clare then 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.

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

“There was a big hole in the floor from the old shower tray so I used some leftover floor screed I had from another project and levelled the floor.

“I then made decorative concrete bowls with the remaining mixture.”

Clare then applied sugar soap to the wet wall, lightly sanded it and painted it with Bedec Multi Surface paint using a mini foam roller.

One wall was in the shade Anthracite and the rest was in Soft Satin White. These tubs of paint were £20 each from Toolstation.

Clare decided to use exterior paint for PVC windows to cover the walls, as these would get wet, and tested out different colours first before making a final decision.

“Then I scored the wall and tiled it approximately one metre high around where the bath would go and finished the edges with tile trim,” said Clare.

“The tiles were £13 per square metre from B&Q and the tile trim was £8.99 for 2.5m from Screwfix.

“A friend of a friend did the plumbing for me, and I finished the look with some mirrors from The Range. 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.”

Clare said she “wouldn’t do anything differently” and is thrilled with her finished result.

Tom Church, co-founder of money-saving Black Friday app, said: “Wow, Clare is clearly a woman of many talents and this project is truly impressive.

“If you’re considering upcycling a door by adding molding panels, here are my top tips.”

  1. Make sure you measure and mark the doors. This way you will know exactly what size of panel to buy.
  2. Fix any chips before starting your project. These issues should be a priority so that you can begin on a fully functional surface.
  3. Get the right supplies. For example, use construction glue and a level to make the finished job look as professional as possible.
  4. Cut the wooden trim at a 45 degree angle. Otherwise, they will not slot together nicely and the overall result will look messy.
  5. Give the adhesive time to set. You don’t want to risk it sliding off the door! Try using sticky tape to hold it in place while it dries.