Taking the Dread Out of Painting Your Bathroom

Painting your bathroom can make it look much better considering that bathrooms tend to get dirty and sometimes mold and mildew can occur on the walls and ceiling with the abundance of moisture. A new paint job in the bathroom is not difficult if you follow a few simple steps.

1. Preparation – Take everything out of the bathroom you can. You can either remove the carpet or make sure it is fully covered with a drop cloth. Next use some polyfiller to patch up the holes or cracks on the walls. You can use a putty knife to fill in the cracks or holes with the polyfiller and smooth them over as much as possible, making sure the gaps or holes are filled. When the polyfiller is dried sand it down as smooth as possible so the paint sticks to it better. Then mask the areas you do not want the paint to touch such as fixtures, mirrors, and tiles.

2. Cleaning – Get some fine sandpaper and sand over the walls and ceiling to remove any dirt, grime, mold, or mildew before you start to apply the paint. (this is optional but the paint will stick to the walls better, but if you use a primer this step is generally not needed) When the sanding is complete vacuum up all the dust so it doesn’t stick to the paint when applying. You can also use a sugar soap solution to wipe down the walls and ceiling to remove any excess dirt or grime. If you do this, wear gloves as the solution is bad for the skin and can wear it down. Once it is completely dry you are ready to paint.

3. Painting – Choose good quality paint or you could end up with cracks sooner and you will have to paint the bathroom again. Generally, oil based paint is used for bathrooms for a glossy finish and the ability to wipe down easier. First, cut (meaning brush around where the roller will not get to) around the ceiling edges, wall edges, tiles, and fixtures of the bathroom. Use a brush for the cutting and edging and a roller for the walls and ceiling. Bathroom paint is generally oil-based and thicker so not much paint needs to be applied to the roller. Roll the paint evenly and if there are big drops of paint go over them with the roller. Depending on how dark the color of the paint was before you started, you may want to put a second coat on.

4. The ceiling – When the walls have dried you can paint the ceiling. You may want to mask off a portion of the walls so drips will not get on them. Use a ladder or an extension for a roller if you cannot reach the ceiling. It is a good idea to wear some sort of eye protection, as small drops will fall down from the roller and ceiling.

5. Touch up – once the ceiling and walls are completely dry you can take off all the masking and use a small brush to touch up any spots you may have missed. Now you are done and have a great new looking bathroom.

NOTE – depending on how dark the color was of the paint beforehand you may want to either use two coats of paint or use a primer. A primer is a good idea if the paint was originally very dark but generally bathrooms use light colors.

Author: Jason Green