What to Know About Choosing a Paint Color for a Bathroom

Are you planning for a bathroom color makeover? You may want to change the paint color or update the space’s vibe. The bathroom’s color is the first thing that draws attention, so it matters greatly to the whole atmosphere and mood of the area. It can make or break the aesthetic, too, so here’s a quick checklist of the things to consider for picking the right paint color for your bathroom renovation.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Diego Counties with reliable remodeling contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about how to achieve their dream bathroom remodel. Keep reading for our best advice on how to find the perfect color!

1. Style and Mood

paint color on bathrrom wallpaper

An important factor in choosing the right paint color is the style and mood you want the room to have. There’s a reason why McDonalds, Burger King, and most fast food chains use red in their branding and dine-in area. Red triggers appetite and stimulation and catches attention.

The same concept applies to the bathroom’s shade. Most traditional bathrooms have a classic white-on-white tone. Neutral colors like cream, beige, taupe, gray, brown, white and black create a calming effect and timeless look. They’re perfect if you want a muted, clean background that’s easy on the eyes yet doesn’t fall short on aesthetics.

Meanwhile, you can go for bold colors like banana yellow, blue-green, and cotton candy pink if you want to make a statement. These vibrant paint colors are loud and evoke confidence and energy, making them ideal to look at during your morning shower.

2. Lighting and Size

white paint color modern bathroom

You’ll also want to assess the lighting and size of the bathroom. Lighter and cooler colors create the illusion of more space — a better option for a limited square footage bathroom. If you live in a tiny apartment or condo, opt for these tones. In contrast, darker color schemes make it look closed and optically smaller. So, if you have a massive-sized home but want the bathroom to appear cozy and intimate, a darker palette works best.

The amount of natural light entering the area determines how dry or moist it is throughout the day, impacting the appropriate finish you should pick. The right sheen can affect how the naked eye perceives the color, the ability to conceal imperfections, and even the paint’s durability.

For instance, a glossy finish can reflect more light, increasing the saturation and vibrancy of the bathroom’s paint color. It can make a cream color appear white or light brown. Therefore, consider the area’s lighting and size before buying the materials.

3. Fixtures and Accessories

paint color gold faucet marble counter

The next thing to consider is the existing fixtures and accessories. What’s the color of the sink, faucet, tub, storage, and so on? These things are probably multi-hued, so you must pick a paint color that provides an ideal backdrop for these kaleidoscopic bathroom accents. You must be able to tie all the contrasting or complementing tones and elements in the bathroom together.

It’s standard to pair elegant gold fixtures and accessories with warm, deep-tone neutrals like slate, charcoal gray, rich olive green, chocolate brown, and dark tan or beige. On the other hand, rose gold fixtures go well with different shades of pink — like dusty rose, pale blush, and maroon — creating a monochromatic dynamic. Combining it with neutrals like white, gray, and wood tones will balance the color’s brilliance visually. By learning how to coordinate various color schemes, you can highlight or mute the features of specific shades.

4. Tile Color and Size

white bathroom paint color

The bath tile design on the floor and wall also matters in deciding the final color. White walls on the white floor is a classic, which works on almost all shades of focal points. Whether you have gold or silver fixtures, a cream countertop, or blue-green drawers, white-on-white will likely work.

However, if you’re only repainting the wall, find a hue that complements the flooring’s shade and design. For instance, a neutral white wall will match a trendy starburst tile pattern, creating a balance of visual interest. The same neutral tone will look great on a pebble tile, making the added texture look classy and minimal.

Take the size of the tiles into account as well. With fewer grout tiles, large rectangular tiles create the illusion of a spacious area in a tight bathroom — opposite of small square tiles and their many grout lines. Jumble various bathroom elements to get the outcome you want. For instance, if you want the bathroom to look sizable, install large tiles and paint the wall with lighter shades.

5. Test Paint Colors

paint color rustic bathroom remodel

You can hire a professional to design your bathroom or test the paint colors to see which ones are best for you. At the end of the day, it’s your home—and bathroom—so you decide what looks good. Sometimes, the best color combinations involve a fair amount of trial and error. Paint color swatches on the wall with your favorite shades and see how the meld turns out. If it’s great, keep it.

Alternatively, you can use color visualization apps. They’re mostly free. Download one to run a virtual test on hue combinations before you buy the materials.

You can also experiment with color effects by referencing their meanings. As psychology shows, colors affect people’s behavior and emotions. Blue represents peace, evoking feelings of relaxation and calmness, which you can feel once you enter a space with lots of these hues. Green is a symbol of nature, so choosing it will create a vibe of freshness and growth in any space. Reference the color meanings if you want to draw out a specific emotional response.

6. Find the Right Shade for Your Bathroom

Choosing the right paint color is the first hurdle when tackling a room upgrade. If you want the most straightforward method, search for bathroom color ideas online or on our Pinterest page and copy the look. Feel free to get inspiration from social media or magazines to achieve the best look for your bathroom. 

To help you out, GreatBuildz offers a service personally matching you with contractors in your area. Each professional is thoroughly pre-vetted through our rigorous process, meaning you can trust them to get the job done safely and successfully. To be matched with a bathroom remodeling contractor in the Los Angeles and Southern California areas, contact GreatBuildz today at 818.317.3567 or visit our website for more information.



Rose Morrison is a home & construction writer from Pittsburgh, PA. She’s the managing editor of Renovated, a web magazine for the real estate industry. She’s most interested in sharing home projects and inspiration for the most novice of DIY-ers, values she developed growing up in a family of contractors.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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