Staging Challenge: One Day Bedroom Makeover For Only $500

Transforming a bedroom for only $500 in one day? We see this on HGTV shows, but is it possible in real life? Taking the challenge, we turned a teenage haven into guest room heaven!


Set a budget and stick to it. Plan the details of the project so that you have all materials on hand and all ready to go on Makeover Day.


$75 for new Matelasse bedding in a soft blue at

$50 for Sherwin Williams Duration Paint which guarantees one coat coverage. (Color: Simplify Beige) We didn’t have to prime the walls, it went on like butter and covered everything, even the really bad spackling job we did on the hook holes in the walls. This is more expensive than regular paint, but is worth every penny in time saved. We had over half a can left after painting a 12 x 12 room and will be able to easily paint another room from this initial investment of $50.

$35 for painting accessories; blue tape, plastic dropcloths, small can of spackle, putty knife, several paint brushes.

$35 for the new lamps on the dresser at Target.

$65 for a new mirror.

$100 for the little hand painted vanity, which is an antique that we found in a consignment shop.

$60 for the two antique piano stools that we used for a vanity stool and a “bench” at the end of the bed. We found these at another local consignment shop.

$6 for the floor lamp from Wallmart.

$22 for a new drapery rod in brushed nickel from Wallmart.

$46 for two new faux silk drapery panels in cafe brown from Wallmart.

$10 for drapery rings.



The trim and ceiling were in okay shape in this room so we decided to not paint them. Once you refresh the wall color, the trim looks much better and you can touch up any dings along the bottom moldings. Also, use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean off smudges or fingerprints. These sponges are truly magic and save you lots of money in painting costs.

1.) Declutter all surfaces and remove everything from the walls. Take down the old curtain rods. Just take everything out of the room and put it into a holding area. Do not get ‘stuck’ going through old mementos. Remember, you have to finish this in 4 hours. By setting a time frame, it becomes a challenge to meet it and is actually amazing how much you can get done in 4 hours. Push the furniture to the center of the room and cover with a plastic dropcloth.

2.) Spackle the holes in the walls with a thin layer so it drys quickly. Use a damp sponge to smooth spackle while still damp.

3.) While the spackle is drying, tape off the trim with blue painters tape so that you only have to “cut in” at where the walls meet the ceiling. If you are not confident about having a steady hand, tape off the ceiling also.

4.) Gently sand any rough patches when the spackle dries (we basically skipped this step – hey we are not professional painters:)

5.) Have two people start cutting in around the trim and ceiling, one up on a ladder and one working on the easily reachable trim.

6.) Have one person following with a roller on an extender rod.

7.) By the time you work your way around the room, the first wall is already dry with this Duration paint.

8.) Remove the painters tape.

9.) Voila, a perfect paint job! It took longer to clear out the clutter than it did to paint. From the time the first brush touched the walls, we were done in 1 hour and 10 minutes.

10.) Take a break and have lunch. The hard part is over, now the fun part begins.

11.) Place the furniture. Don’t worry about it if your furniture is different colors and finishes. The design trend today is not to have everything “matchy, matchy” but eclectically mixed to create visual excitement and more interesting spaces. There are no “rules” – use what you have and add a few “wow” pieces from a local consignment shop. Here we used the window to “frame” the bed. By extending the rods 7 inches on each side of the window, the drapery panels became the “frame” Using rings make it a snap to pull the panels open and closed and the drapes we bought at Wallmart are insulated and room darkening.

12.) Make the bed and add the new bedding in a soft color to keep the room transitional and classic. Place the lamps. Accessorize lightly. Do not fill in the space with “stuff”, but keep it uncluttered and simple. Celebrate your successful day and start planning your next project because you will be so excited that you accomplished this in only a few hours that all of the other projects in your home will suddenly seem possible! Post if you need advice on your project…..

Project Complete!