How the Pros Choose a Bathroom Paint Color

Have you ever been frozen in your tracks when trying to choose a bathroom paint color? The decision can be intimidating. Do you ask yourself, “What if I make a mistake and I don’t like the color?” You’re not alone—many people face the same uncertainty.

The reason for the indecision is the lack of a system or a method to choose a good bathroom paint color. The process is actually pretty simple. Armed with some basic knowledge, anyone can choose a color that will bring a bathroom to life and look like the work of a pro.

Here’s how the pros pick a color:

First Step To Choosing the Right Bathroom Paint Color:

Think of the mood you want to create. How do you want to feel when you walk into the room? Will your bathroom paint color make the room bright and cheery, neutral, or dark and cozy? The color should reflect a quality of your personality. For bright and cheery think yellow. Beige or white will give the room a neutral feel. Dark colors provide an inviting and cozy atmosphere.

bathroom paint color scheme

Second Step To Choosing the Right Bathroom Paint Color:

Choose an overall color scheme. The foolproof way to color a room is to move from dark to light vertically. Use a darker color on the floor, a medium color on the walls, and a lighter color on the ceiling. But, you can’t go wrong with a monochromatic (one color or shades of one color) color scheme either. If possible, get a sample of the floor, wall and ceiling color and lay them side-by-side to get a better idea of the complete look. Trim can be painted neutral or a few shades lighter or darker than the walls for a more dramatic look.

bathroom paint colors

Color hue, value, and intensity also play a role in the effect of a color.

Third Step To Choosing the Right Bathroom Paint Color:

The last step for choosing your bathroom paint color is to choose the sheen. Paints come in these sheens: flat (or matte), satin, eggshell, semi-gloss, and gloss. Eggshell and semi-gloss are the best choice for a bathroom because they are washable, but semi-gloss will show more defects in the walls and trim. Typically, an eggshell, satin, or flat is used on the ceiling.

bathroom paint sheens

If you get really daring and decide on a two-color scheme, you need to know how to use a color wheel. This handy device will show which colors work well together.

bathroom paint color theory

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Faux painting (decorative painting) has become very popular. A good faux artist can make your walls look like leather, marble, and many other muted patterns—the sky is the limit. The same color rules for choosing a bathroom paint color apply.

These steps offer some guidance for using the most common methods of choosing a pleasing color scheme. But if you asked five different designers how to choose a color, you would probably get five different answers. The reality is that you have to please yourself. This is your home and you must be happy with the way it makes you feel. So if you choose a color that is unusual, but it makes you feel good—go for it. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing your perfect bathroom paint color.

bathroom paint colorsTip: If you’re nervous about your choice of wall color, paint a two-foot by two-foot sample area in a prominent spot. Wait a few days until you’ve had a chance to see the color in different lights and then make a decision. Some stores offer sample colors in small jars so you don’t have to buy a gallon and waste it.

Don’t be afraid. Follow the three steps and make a choice. Paint a sample on the wall and vote yea or nay. Choose your personal bathroom paint color and go to work. My guess is that if you followed the steps, you’ll be happy with the result. Now you have a newfound skill you can use to tackle another room.

Check out Color Therapy at Home for a more detailed discussion on the power of color and how it affects us emotionally and physically.

Happy painting!