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Refresh an old bathroom

This feature is specifically for those renting a flat, apartment, townhouse or house where the landlord puts in minimal repairs and you have to put up with a bathroom that's dingy and uninspiring. On a small budget, and with a bit of effort, you can transform an ugly bathroom into a relaxing haven, and here's how...


Not every landlord makes the effort to ensure that rental properties are kept in tip-top condition. Some landlords, especially where flats are concerned, are only given the most basic improvements before being rented out.

One room that receives the least amount of attention is the bathroom and it's common to find a badly stained toilet, sink with leaky taps, dirty grout and ceilings where the paint is peeling or badly stained. But that doesn't mean you have to live with it. If you are prepared to spend a small amount and put in some time and effort, you can have a beautiful bathroom in no time at all.

Scrub, scrub, scrub that bathroom clean

Pop into your local Builders Warehouse and grab a soft scrubbing brush and some Polycell Sugar Soap. You will also need a bucket and rubber gloves.

One of the most inexpensive ways to refresh any dingy bathroom is to scrub from top to bottom. Wash walls, tiles and painted trim to remove grime and prepare the surface for painting. Follow the instructions and rinse with clean water after scrubbing.

Remove and stop rust

Use Polycell End Rust to treat any rust spots on metal window frames, door frames and other exposed metal in a bathroom.

Polycell End Rust reacts with rust to prevent further corrosion and allows for painting with Plascon Velvaglo or Plascon Kitchen & Bathrooms paint.

Smooth imperfect walls

There are plenty of lazy landlords who will simply paint over chips, dents and cracks rather than fill them in, with the result that walls look rough and cracks reappear. You can easily get rid of imperfections with Polycell Polyfilla, 120-grit sandpaper and a paint scraper. Where walls have been painted with oil-based enamel, sand with 120-grit sandpaper to prepare for filling. Mix up a batch of Polyfilla to a stiff but creamy paste and apply to walls with a paint scraper.





Don't apply too much... you only need enough to cover any dents or holes and level out the surface. Once dry, sand smooth with 240-grit sandpaper. If the existing walls are textured, dab a sea sponge on the wet Polyfilla to match and miss out the sanding.

Finish off with paint

Most lease agreements stipulate that walls cannot be painted, but if you take the time to explain to your landlord that you are undertaking improvements that will be to his benefit, he's bound to let you carry on.

Freshly painted white walls will make a huge difference in a dull bathroom. But don't exclude paint techniques as well. Any paint techniques, such as striped walls, can easily be painted over with a coat or two of white paint when you decide to vacate the premises.

Plascon Kitchens & Bathrooms paint is a premium quality water-based enamel paint ideal for bathrooms. The product is formulated with silver technology that protects the paint film surface and inhibits the growth of micro-organisms.


In some cases bathroom walls may have been painted with oil-based enamel paint. Where this has been done you will need to sand down walls before painting with acrylic paint. Alternatively, paint walls with Universal Undercoat to ensure a good bond between surface and paint.