A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Paint A Bathroom

Are you looking for an inexpensive way to freshen up your bathroom or give it a new look? Painting it is the answer! Painting a bathroom can be trickier than painting a living room<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> or a bedroom due to its damp nature and constant use. It needs more manoeuvring around mirrors, sinks, tubs, and toilets and requires proper surface preparation and colour choices.

white bathroom

Painting your bathroom can be fun and have impressive results if you do it right. Wondering how you should do it? Do you need some extra tips and tricks to prepare your bathroom for its makeover? Keep on reading to find all you need to know for the beautiful results you want!

Planning your painting project

Choose the right colour for the right mood

Wondering how to choose the right colour for you? A professional decorator would advise you to ask yourself how you want to feel when entering the room. Create a pleasant vibe for you and your guests by choosing the correct colour. 

  • Go for an airy blue, light green, or natural colour to create a light and relaxed atmosphere
  • Prefer a warm colour in a bolder hue if you want to feel invigorated and awake.
  • Opt for a white colour scheme to project a feeling of cleanliness, purity and openness.
  • If you wish to paint it black, it is ok to combine it with whites or paler shades. But have in mind that it can create an undesirable mood if your room doesn’t receive a lot of natural light.
  • Create a common traditional bathroom colour scheme using black and white.
  • If you want to use more than one colour, you can use three colours, one neutral, one accent and one rich colour.
  • If your tastes lean more towards minimalism, you can paint it all white to match your white bathtub and tiles. Or you can paint your tiles the colour of your choice. You could even paint the bathtub the colour of your choice. Your call.

woman selecting colours

Choose the right bathroom paint

One of the essential features of paint for your bathroom is to be water-resistant. These days you can find many paints specially designed for bathrooms, so you should choose the one that suits your circumstances. For example, you could choose a less resistant paint than others if your bathroom is well ventilated and doesn’t suffer from condensation or dampness. If you have mould in your bathroom, there are many mildew resistant paints. But the best thing to do is find the root of the problem and wonder why you have that in your bathroom. Concluding, the paint you will choose should have these 4 key characteristics: Mildew-resistant properties, water-resistant, washable finish, tight structure.

    • Flat or acrylic eggshell paints are the option you should avoid if there is moisture around. They are not washable and will not suit wet areas.
    • Matte paints are an option since there are now designed for bathrooms, among other uses. They are easy to apply and will work well.
    • Satin paint is better for bathrooms with little moisture in the air. If you need to paint a small bathroom with good ventilation, it is a good choice.
    • Semi-gloss will look good in the bathroom thanks to its high sheen and will repel moisture.
    • High-gloss is the best repellent of water and is considered to be the best paint for bathrooms. The only negative could be that its highly reflective sheen can show all the bumps and lumps in your walls. 

Measure up your space

Measure the bathroom’s dimensions to see how much colour you need, and be prepared for the time you need to work. Consider if you want to paint the whole bathroom, part of it, with or without its features, as a bathtub and sink.

man using measuring tape

Survive the work

Is there only one bathroom in the house and you have a big family? Or maybe you shower a lot during the day? Then you need a plan to survive this project. The first thing to do is not to delay the painting job. When you start, make sure that you will finish as soon as possible. If it takes longer, and you need to take a bath, you have to be careful with the water going on the paint. 

Prepare your bathroom before painting

Before you start your DIY painting project, there are some things you need to do. You don’t want to end with a mess but with smooth, beautiful painted walls. Find here all you should do to avoid a major headache later!

1. Remove all hardware

Clear out all items in the bathroom that you can remove relatively easily, like mirrors, outlet covers, light switch plates, towel racks. It is also possible to remove the toilet tank, so you won’t have to work around the obstruction. To do so, go to the shutoff valve on the wall to turn off the water supply and flush the toilet to expel all water. Then put a couple of old towels on the floor to catch spills and remove the tank. If this is difficult for you, cover the toilet surface, as you will do with the rest. 

2. Clean all surfaces to be painted

You don’t want your paint to peel, chip, or wear down. To avoid all these, you should clean all the surfaces where you will apply the colour. If you leave any scum and dirt on, at some point, they will come off and take your new paint with it. You can wash most walls using a sponge and warm water. If they need extra cleaning use a mixture of Trisodium Phosphate, a potent cleaning product, and water and rub gently in a circular motion. Rinse your walls using a damp sponge and let them dry.

hands with gloves, sponge and bucket with soap

3. Get the walls ready

  • Remove old paint using a scraper. 
  • Fill any cracks or holes with a filler designed for use in a bathroom.
  • If the old paint on the wall was gloss paint, “de-gloss” it using a solvent. 
  • Vacuum the wall to remove dust and clean with sugar soap.

4. Cover areas that will not be painted

To avoid paint splatters, cover fixtures and fittings, especially the bath, taps and shower. You can use drape drop cloths or fixed covers particularly suited to covering large areas. You should know it is challenging to remove paint from stainless steel without scratching it if you don’t. To protect the floor from any paint spillages, drop down a sheet. You can also use caulk or tape around the sink, around the bathtub, and other places you can’t remove, like countertops. If you will not paint the ceiling, tape around it to ensure clean lines.

5. Patch any holes or cracks

  • Use bright light to spot holes and cracks in the bathroom and trim to spot areas that need patching
  • Patch problem areas using a scraper and create a smooth surface scraping off the excess compound
  • Repair any holes or nicks in the baseboard, chair rails, or trim around windows and doors using wood filler or drywall compound.
  • Allow the drywall or filler to dry for 6 to 24 hours.
  • Continue with sanding the surface with fine, grit sandpaper until it’s smooth.

putty knife patching holes

6. Prime before you begin

Add an extra layer of protection by priming the surface before decorating. This will improve the adhesion of the paint and its durability. Get the paint job to seem more professional using an air-purifying or stain-blocking primer, depending on your needs.

How to paint your bathroom the right way

What you’ll need

  • Wall joint compound or spackle
  • Bleach
  • Tarps or plastic sheets
  • Painters’ tape
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Sleeve and pan
  • Sash brush
  • Paint roller
  • Step ladder
  • Putty knife

materials for painting

Step 1: Cut in the paint

You have already tapped off the intricate areas, but you can also cut in to ensure clean lines

  • Use an angled sash brush and paint up against the painter’s tape in all areas. It is better to use that type of tape since masking tape dries out too quickly and becomes difficult to remove.
  • To avoid drips, make sure to keep the paintbrush relatively dry when painting against the tape. 
  • If something happens and you need to wipe off the mess-up, do it right after the mistake. Use a putty knife and a damp rag
  • Wrap the damp rag just once around the scraper and slide it along any mess-ups to wipe off the excess and ensure another clean line.

Step 2: Apply undercoat to the ceiling

When painting large surfaces, use a plush roller cover for good coverage. You should keep the roller’s flat surface on the wall side while rolling, so the metal bracket won’t damage your wall.

Step 3: Apply undercoat to the bathroom walls

Before painting your walls, you should paint the baseboards and other trim with an angled brush. Once you’re done with the edge, start painting your walls with the underpainting, following the ceiling’s same process. Let it dry before applying your next coat of paint.

paint brush and white colour

Step 4: Apply the topcoats

Make sure your undercoat is dry before applying the topcoat. If you’re using latex paint, you should be able to apply the next coat after 4 hours. Start by cutting in your ceiling and walls. Then paint the ceiling with your paint roller, applying an even paint spread for the first coat. Let it and give the ceiling a second coat.

Step 5: Apply the paint colour to your walls

  • If you don’t want the colour of your wall to be the same as the ceiling’s, you should clean all of your painting gear. You don’t want to mix your paint colours, do you? 
  • Tape up the ceiling along the wall joint to protect your new paint.
  • Prime the walls if you’re making a significant colour change. Using the primer, cut the edges with a brush, then use a roller to paint broader areas.
  • Cut in your wall edges with an angled brush.
  • Roll your first overcoat onto the walls and let it dry for at least 4 hours, or as directed. 
  • Add a second coat, using the same techniques, and let it dry.
  • When it is dry, remove all the tape from your walls.

Extra tip: Paint 1 wall at a time to avoid painting over dried paint.

man painting with painting roller green colour on wall

Step 6: Wait 24 hours to replace mirrors, curtains, wall hangings and socket covers

  • When the paint is completely dried, use a utility knife to cut along the taped trim’s edge and then pull back the tape
  • Store the drop cloths, remove the coverings and replace mirrors, wall art, curtains, electrical covers, and towel racks.
  • If you had removed the toilet, replace it and turn on the water supply.

Extra tip: Avoid using the shower for the next 24 hours so the paint can dry properly.

Maintain your bathroom’s look

We all want our bathroom to look fresh and clean. After painting it, you have the results you look for, but there are specific ways to maintain its appearance. Imagine having a pleasant looking, mould free, fresh-smelling bathroom. It’s surprisingly simple!

Caring for your bathroom can make a difference

  • Open the windows to keep your bathroom well-ventilated.
  • Clean your painted surfaces regularly. 
  • Avoid water splashes on painted surfaces since paint cannot tolerate large volumes of water.
  • Dust, sweep and mop often to get rid of dust and eliminate any debris on the tiling
  • Scrub dirty grout with plain warm water and a stiff-bristled brush.
  • Clean the toilet, shower and bathtub and all tiles with an all-purpose cleaner. If you have severe buildup to your shower, use an acid-based cleaner.
  • Spray the all-purpose cleaner on all the other surfaces, like towel racks, shelves, doors, and window sills.
  • Wipe down your screen after every shower to keep your shower & bathroom looking fresh.

hand with gloves cleaning the bathtub

Save time cleaning with the right bathroom design

  • Avoid having water-damaged and stained edges on the floor where the cabinet meets the floor.
  • Replace plastic cisterns on the toilet. Their discolour is a matter of time, and we are sure you don’t want an unpleasant shade of yellow in your bathroom.
  • Very small bathroom tiles are also a magnet for grime and stains. Walls and floors with large tiles are even better when they have gaps as small as possible between the tiles.
  • Replace any weak exhaust systems that can extract puff through their dust clogged vents, let alone moisture.
  • Go for “wall faced” or “back to wall” toilets to reduce the awkward narrow spaces you have to get behind and scrub.
  • Choose a shower screen made of glass, which is easier to clean.
  • To reduce grime, dirt and gunk, build-up coat glass with nano-technology coatings.
  • You may want a new hose shower, also known as a hand shower.  It will not only be handy for showering, but it can also help you with cleaning, making washing down shower screens a breeze.
  • You can get a removable toilet seat. You can remove it, and it will be much easier to clean the toilet and the seat itself.
  • Heavily framed shower screens magnetise grime, moulding, and stain build-up, especially around the frame.

bathroom with bathtub in the centre
Your bathroom serves a necessary and functional purpose, being one of the most used places in the house. But it is also a space to inject your personal style, and nothing beats a fresh coat of paint to achieve that! Painting your bathroom is an easy weekend project, but it is important to pay attention to all aspects of bathroom painting if you want beautiful results. Give your bathroom the makeover it deserves and breathe new life into it!

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