What Color Should I Paint My Bathroom?

By: Ezra Plank

Are you doing a complete bathroom remodeling, including new fixtures? Or are you still using the same fixtures, and only repainting the walls? In either case, when painting a bathroom, you must have a complete plan that coordinates both fixture and wall colors. This page should give you a few ideas to help you in choosing the colors for your bathroom paint.

Paint Color Cheat Sheets

Coordinating colors with your bathroom fixtures:

If you are still using the bathroom fixtures that are already there, then you must first make an important decision. (a) Do you want the color of the walls to blend in with the color of the fixtures, so that they don't stand out? Or (b) Do you want to use contrasting colors to make the fixtures very noticeable?

master bathroom by carolavannini, on Flickr
Contrasting colors emphasize fixtures.

If you decide on (a), then you could match the wall color to the fixture colors. Or, if you really don't care for the color of the fixtures, you could use a complementary color having the same brightness as the fixtures. In either case, use other accessories, such as shower curtains and towels, in bright contrasting colors to take attention away from the fixtures.

If you like the fixtures' color, then use contrasting colors for the walls. Go with light-colored walls with dark fixtures, or dark walls with light fixtures. In either case, the walls can be the same basic color, but a lighter or darker shade.

Colonial Georgian by Adam, on Flickr
Dark fixtures with light walls.

The effect of room size:

Most of us know the general rule that light-colored walls make a room look larger, whereas dark-colored walls make it seem smaller. While this may be true, there's no reason to be bound by this maxim. After all, if the only bathroom paint color is light in tone, it can look pretty boring. So why not break with this tradition?

Valspar Medallion Exterior Latex Semi-Gloss Tint Base

You can have two light colors, and a third contrasting dark color, if the dark color is used only for an accent. For example, use a light-green color for most of your walls, and use white or pale-green for the trim.

But use forest green for a small part of the trim -- say to outline your windows, or for your picture frames.

Or you could completely break the rule, and use dark bathroom walls, with a light-colored or white trim. This could create a cozy feeling, rather than feeling cramped, if there is plenty of light in the room.

The New Bathroom by Andrew Bowden, on Flickr
Relaxing blue walls.

The affect of colors on mood:

This theory is not strictly scientific, but most people would agree that different colors have some effect on the psyche. So if you want your bathroom to induce a feeling of calmness rather than to energize you, don't choose red!

Other bright colors, such as yellow or orange, would tend to reinforce a cheerful mood, but when painting a bathroom, that's probably not exactly what you want. Most people want to relax in their bathroom - that's what a warm bath is for! So the best bathroom paint color to help promote relaxation would be a shade of blue or green.

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by Ezra Plank, an Ezine Articles Platinum Expert Author

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