‘Savvy’ woman renovates two bathrooms and kitchen for under £600 – using free furniture and stick-on tiles

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A savvy woman has shared her top tips and tricks for transforming a home while on a budget – and has completed her revamp for less than £600.

Hayley Burke, 38, from County Wexford, Ireland, is a self-proclaimed DIY aficionado, having purchased a three-bedroom semi-detached home for £269,300 (€310,000) in December 2006, with her partner, Alan, 32.

While the couple loved the space, Hayley was eager to give it her “unique” touch – but had a strict budget to work with.

Hayley had a strict budget to work with (Picture: Jam Press)

Now, she’s completely revamped the space herself using nifty hacks, such as stick-on tiles, by flipping old furniture, as well as skip-diving and claims it’s only cost her £562 in total.

In a bid to share her transformation, Hayley also decided to upload a video documenting the process on TikTok – with one video racking up over 12.3 million views and 326,000 likes.

“My whole approach to DIY has always been about doing something as cheaply as possible, but to the highest standard,”  Hayley told NeedToKnow.Online.

“I get a real buzz out of finding free items such as wood skips, free furniture or very cheap furniture being sold online.

“You get a chance to make something out of nothing and completely transform the piece for cheap – it’s a sense of achievement.

Hayley’s DIY projects give her a sense of achievement (Picture:Jam Press)

She started with the downstairs bathroom. Switching up the older fluorescent yellow flooring, Hayley replaced this with paisley-patterned tiles from Shein – which cost £25 in total.

She said: “My downstairs toilet is full of colour and when I saw these tiles, I thought they’d be really fun and go well with the room.

“Given they were thin, I needed to fill all the grout lines using a universal filler and once dried, I sanded them until they were smooth.

“I gave the room another thorough scrub and then began laying the tiles.

“I started from the centre of the room, so that the pattern would be central and worked around from there.

“The cuts were easy with these tiles, so that definitely made life easier.

“I still had to repaint the back wall to better match the floor, but it’s a very easy project that cost very little – but had a huge impact.

Hayley gave her main bathroom a chic makeover for just £337 (Picture:Jam Press)

“A large part of my knowledge has come from learning from my mistakes.

“I made a lot at the start, such as choosing the wrong paint and not knowing when to use primer – but trust me, you’ll learn very quickly.

“I want to be able to teach people, especially women, how to do things and give them confidence.” Next, Hayley tackled the main bathroom, giving it a chic makeover for a total of £337.

Once again turning to online retailer deals, she applied a stick-on material known as reed glass on her shower screen to give it a luxurious effect for only £7.80 from Shein.

Hayley also switched up the cracked bath panel in the main bathroom with a homemade one, which she made using wooden panels.

Keen to do her own DIY, she also using wooden pallets to create a stunning bath rack and shelves, which she sanded down and modified, before adding black and white adhesive vinyl flooring for just £47 for six boxes from HomeBase.

After carefully measuring the boards and cutting the panels to size, Hayley secured them with a couple of screws before varnishing and the final product cost only £35.

She often looks for deals from online retailers (Picture Jam Press)

She added: “It looks like a completely different bathroom!

“For the tiles I opted to use a dark grey primer and a charcoal topcoat for a moody lux look.

“I left the original black and white border there and tied it in with a chequered black and white floor.

“For the bath I bought new taps, built a wooden bath panel to replace a yellowing broken plastic panel with tongue and groove boards which I stained and varnished.

“To create the fluted glass look I used privacy film in two sheets, it looks fantastic!

“I needed extra storage so using old scaffolding boards I cut, sanded and oiled two shelves and put them up using new black brackets.”

After that, it was time for the stairway, with a dreadful carpet that Hayley “hated”.

She ripped this up, as well as the stair grippers and nails, before sanding the base boards.

Hayley’s love for DIY is inspired by her dad and it now helps her mental health (Picture:Jam Press)

Hayley sanded until she could see the original wood and used paint stripper to clean up the edges, before staining with three coats of varnish and repainting the handrail – costing £40 in total.

One of the biggest projects however was the kitchen. Now, it’s completely unrecognisable from its original state, with olive-green cupboards and a colourful backsplash allowing brightness to shine through.

She said: “I began by removing the laminate from the cupboards using a hammer, which was a relatively easy process.

“I used vinyl adhesive tiles for my backsplash and similar to the [bathroom] floor, this was a very doable process.

“I covered my worktop with dc fix adhesive vinyl and I was blown away with how realistic this looks.

“Then I removed all the cupboards, gave them a really good sand and a thorough clean, followed by two coats of primer.

“Once back up, I replaced the hardware with new handles from Amazon and I’m thrilled with it.” Overall, the project cost her just £160 to complete.

She says that the stick-on-tiles are a very ‘doable’ process (Picture:Jam Press)

“Colors are incredible” said someone else. Someone else wrote: “Soooo you like color…” [sic]

“Let’s get something straight.. both floors are amazing,” said someone else.

Hayley aims to provide tips and tricks for her followers and has always worked “as cheaply as possible.”

She added: “There’s something for every budget out there, but I will say, no matter how much money I had, I’d still be looking to do my projects cheaply.

“Check local buy and sell pages, as well as Facebook Marketplace and look after your paint brushes so you’re not replacing them all the time.

“Periodically, soak them with fabric conditioner to keep them soft.

“Try doing things for yourself even if you haven’t done it before.

“YouTube is brilliant for step-by-step guides and follow accounts like mine on social media, as it’ll help build confidence.”

Hayley also suggests asking friends and family for secondhand pieces of furniture, mixing your own paint colours using half tubs of paint to help reduce waste and always looking in charity shops.