A bright and airy bathroom painted in a pale cool lilac colour and decorated with yellow bathing accessories

How to paint bathrooms: step-by-step guide

By Iona Bower on

Painting bathrooms requires some special prep and careful thought but it’s also a room you can afford to go a bit wild in. If you’re already a bit wild, go wilder.

Here's our step by step guide on painting bathrooms. Let's dive in.

 a light and airy bathroom with light pink coloured wall, mint green tiles and under sink cabinet painted in teal colour

Who said that bathrooms should be boring? Not us, that's for sure. Add some colour and a lot of personality to yours and it will suddenly become your favourite space in your home. And yes, feel free to steal this Serene Pink and Loving Teal colour combo.


1. Consider colour.

The bathroom is not a room you spend an awful lot of your life in (bar the odd long soak in the bath) which brings great opportunities as a decorator. It means you can try things out you aren’t totally sure about and experiment with colours you haven’t used before. Bathrooms are also rooms you tend to be alone in (unless your life is very exciting at the moment or you have an excited toddler running around nonstop) so you can make them quite personal with shades that you really love. 

The fist and most important tip for decorating bathrooms is: use an eggshell paint finish. Eggshell is the way to go with bathrooms as it’s more hardwearing and stands up to the slightly damp environment. Here at YesColours, we just happen to have some of the best eggshell paints for bathrooms in our very fine collection.

Aiming for a cool, zingy feel that’s as fresh as a mouthful of toothpaste? We’d suggest our Electric Mint Green paint colour paired with our universal and always safe neutral choice — Electric Hot White. Going for a soothing experience reminiscent of a long soak? Our deeper paint colours, such as our Passionate Blue and Loving Teal will do the job nicely. Or maybe you want a cheery, quirky look? Our Joyful Aqua and Friendly Peach paint shades will give your bathroom a backdrop that starts conversations (even if it’s just a chat with yourself in the shower). 

As bathrooms are often quite small rooms, using bold colours can actually help create a sense of space by drawing the eye into the walls.


A bright and airy bathroom painted in a pale cool lilac colour and decorated with yellow bathing accessories

Need a bathroom paint colour that's gentle, soothing and yet, full of personality? Look at our pale, cool Graceful Lilac hue. You'll thank us later.


2. Prep once and prep well.

Sugar soap your bathroom walls thoroughly to remove any marks and splashes, then rinse thoroughly and leave the walls to dry overnight. If you have a fan, leave it on to draw any moisture away.


3. Do a cover-up job.

Put masking tape around any porcelainware that adjoins walls you’re about to paint, for example at the back of the basin and along any places where the bath adjoins a painted wall. If you can, remove the whole toilet cistern so that you can easily paint behind it. Unscrew things like loo roll holders and towel rings from the walls and store them carefully with their fixings.


4. Get cutting in.

Use a brush to begin cutting in at the ceiling. Don’t forget to use eggshell paint, which is more hardwearing and copes better with humidity than ordinary matt emulsion.


5. Roll up, roll up.

Once you’ve finished cutting in all round, use a paint roller for the main areas of the wall for the smoothest finish. Allow that first coat to dry fully before doing a complete second coat. Once that’s dry too, see how you feel. You’ll never be sorry you did a third coat but the colour might be deep enough for you. When everything is dry, peel away the masking tape, put all the fixtures and fittings back where they were and get out your new loofah and soap on a rope ready for the most pleasing ablution of your life. Zen yeah.

We hope these handy tips and tricks have inspired you to decorate your bathroom however you like. 

And if you need any help with choosing the colours for your space, simply book a colour consultation with us and we'll sort your colour puzzle in no time. It's easy, it's fun... and there's a free option available too.

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