A while ago we had a leak coming from the bathroom - well we've had a few leaks (apparently they come with a Victorian house). Consequently we've pulled the bath panel off enough times to need a new one. As with everything in our house, it was impossible to source one that fitted correctly and we were budget conscious too so I decided to make one. I'm going to share with you in this post how to make your own bathtub side panel so if you don't have a standard bathtub and need to replace the front panel, this post is for you!
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You will need
You will need to measure the size that you need the bath panel to be and have a piece of MDF cut to that exact size. If you aren't into wood work and DIY the easiest way is to get someone to do this for you. We had this done in B&Q but many a hardware store and DIY shops will do this for you.
You will then need a wallpaper that goes with the theme of your bathroom. There's no need to buy a whole roll, ask a friend for their wallpaper leftovers or ask for a sample from a wallpaper store.
Use the wallpaper paste to fix the wallpaper to the MDF panel and when dry trim off any excess. The best way to go about this is to balance the MDF panel on a flat surface such as a wallpapering table or protected dining table.
Then you will want to make the panel water-resistant by varnishing it. I would recommend multiple thin layers of clear varnish - at least 4, leaving it to dry between coats.
I was really pleased with the finished effect of this make your own bathtub side panel. We actually did this a few months ago so it has stood the test of use with wet, splashy bath times! People always comment on it when they see the bathroom too as it is so unusual. It's a great idea for bathroom makeovers too as you only have to change the one thing to make a big impact.
It is the panel that goes alongside your tub. It is usually an acrylic bath panel and basically functions as an access panel so that you can get to the plumbing under the bath still, but not have it on display.
You might want to replace the side panel of a bath if yours has got damaged or is old. It might be that if you have an old tub you aren't able to find a matching and fitting side panel so making one is the next best thing and means that you won't need to replace the whole bath. Bathtubs come in all different sizes, standard baths are a myth I think! You can make a side panel to the exact measurements if you follow this tutorial. It is expensive to buy a new tub, especially if the tub itself is in good condition and it is only the side of your tub that needs to be replaced.
As we only had to buy the MDF and trim this was a really budget option and came in at about £15. The other bits and pieces we already had in our DIY arsenal. I'd definitely recommend making your own bathtub side panel - it really adds something special to the room and is very budget friendly. It also didn't take a lot of time - it is not a big project and this is a DIY that you could complete in a couple of hours, excluding drying time.
If you are clever you could attach the side panel in such a way that it has easy access and you can make the most of the little bit of storage space that there often is underneath the bath. Maybe use hinges and create doors that can be opened to reveal the space underneath.
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