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How to Paint a Bathroom

If it's time to give your bathroom a makeover, one of the simplest ways to brighten it up is to give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Since many bathrooms are fairly small, you likely won't have to spend more than one day of your weekend tackling this project. Read on to learn how to paint a bathroom and give this room in your home new life.


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    Take down any wall hangings and decorations or accessories from the sink and tub. Remove electrical outlet and wall switch covers, towel bars, window treatments, and cabinet handles or knobs.
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    Remove the toilet. Complete toilet removal is not mandatory to paint a bathroom, but it is suggested to make painting the wall behind the toilet easier. In some cases, toilet tanks might be too close to the wall for paint application.
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    Put painter's tape on baseboard moldings and door and window trims to avoid dripping paint on these areas. Tape at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) in width is recommended. Smooth down tape with a putty knife to ensure full adherence and to avoid any paint getting under the tape.
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    Place drop cloths on the floor and over the tub and counters. Make sure the edges of the drop cloths are up against the baseboard to avoid any paint dripping onto exposed areas of the floor.
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    Paint the ceiling first, if necessary. Use a brush around the edges where the ceiling meets the walls. Complete the job by using a roller on the end of an extension pole. Allow for required drying time, then apply a second coat of paint to the ceiling.
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    Apply primer to the walls, if necessary. If your bathroom is currently dark and you are looking to make it brighter with a light, softer color, you will need to prime the walls. Follow manufacturer instructions for application details and dry time.
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    Cut in around windows, doors, corners, outlet and wall switch openings and along the ceilings and baseboards with a brush. Start in one corner and work in one direction around the entire room.
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    Use a roller to paint the larger sections of walls. As with cutting in, start in one corner and work in one direction around the room. Paint using a vertical motion. Avoid applying too much pressure to the roller.
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    Repeat, if required, with a second coat. Many paint manufacturers recommend applying 2 coats of paint for best results. Be sure to wait the recommended drying time between coats.


  • For bathrooms, it is best to use a semi-gloss finish that is mold and mildew resistant.
  • Keep rollers and brushes wet between applications by wrapping them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Remove any mold on walls before painting.
  • Tap the brush gently inside the can to remove excess paint and avoid dripping.


  • Do not use plastic drop cloths, as they can become slippery if paint drips on them. Heavy cloth is best to use because these will absorb any paint drips or spills.

Things You'll Need

  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Brushes and rollers
  • Extension pole
  • Drop cloths
  • Paint stick
  • Paint can key/screwdriver
  • ladder
  • gloves
  • paint tray/hand held bucket

Article Info

Categories: Painting and Other Finishes