Painting Ideas For Your Bathroom


In most homes today, there’s at least one tiny bathroom. Whether it is the “powder room” for guests or a half-bath down a hallway, chances are, many home decorators are stumped about how to make this small space appealing. It’s time for bathroom painting ideas to the rescue!

Start by remembering the first lesson of Color 101: Light colors make a room look bigger. Whites of all shades, light neutrals, naturals or pastels – any of these will do the trick. If the room looks boring, then liven it up with accessories in bright colors, especially towels, rugs and soap holders.

Another way to approach painting a small bathroom is to pick a bold color to contrast with the fixtures. For instance, a small bathroom that has typical white sink and toilet, or white tiles, can stand up to a bold color. Say for instance that the bathroom has white or black-and-white tiling. Then consider painting the walls a color such as vivid Chinese red, a deep turquoise or a sunny yellow. It’s amazing how such colors can work with the whites to transform a room. The combination then can be reflected in the additional accessories.

Yet another option is to paint a large graphic design or a mural on one of the walls. This may seem to be an overstatement in a small bathroom, but the point is to create that essential focus that’s needed in every room. If you draw a visitor’s eye to a big tropical palm tree on one wall, they’re likely to forget how small the bathroom really is.

Paint also can help create an illusion of height in a small bathroom. To accomplish this effect, paint vertical stripes on the walls. It’s probably a good idea not to paint very wide stripes, as this could have the opposite effect from the view you’re trying to achieve.

Painting walls opposite each other with different shades of the same color can have an interesting effect as well. By painting the smaller walls in a hue that’s just one of two shades light, the room will seem larger, especially in a rectangular room with two walls that are longer than the others.

Faux finishes are another way to create texture and depth in a smaller bathroom. One of the easiest techniques is sponge painting. To create this effect, choose two shades of a color, one that’s a little lighter or darker than the other. Paint the desired base color on the walls and allow to dry thoroughly. Then take a large natural sponge and lightly dip it into the other color poured into a paint tray. Pat that all over the wall, turning the sponge slightly each time it’s applied to give the pattern more texture. Repeat this technique until the walls are covered.

Another painting trick for a bathroom is to add a stenciled border. Stencils often are better than wallpaper borders, especially in bathrooms, because it’s easier to paint over a stencil border than it is to take down a wallpaper border. What’s more, stencil borders won’t be affected by the heat and humidity common to bathrooms. The room will look taller if the border is stenciled at the top of the wall near the ceiling.

It isn’t necessary to reserve these handy techniques for the smallest bathroom. Any of them can be used in any size bathroom to give interesting textures and appearances.

One Response

  1. This article has lots of great tips. I especially like your use of color to give a small bathroom more appeal–one wall a few shades lighter to make it look larger, strong colors to offset white fixtures, and sponge painting to add interest.

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