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10 Painting Tips To Make Your Small Bathroom Seem Larger

Bathroom, Interior Design & Decorating
By on Aug 4, 2016
10 Painting Tips To Make Your Small Bathroom Seem Larger

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Small bathrooms are a burden to us all. We could always use more space, but physical limitations prevent many from expanding their current bathroom. A terrific, easy and cheap way to make your bathroom seem larger is with paint.

If you think your bathroom is small, but want that real master feel, be sure to check out our painting tips and small bathroom colors that will make your small bathroom seem larger.

Looking to upgrade your small bathroom? Use ImproveNet to find reliable interior painters near you.

1. Small Bathroom Paint Colors

The best way to make your bathroom or any room seem larger is to use bright paint colors. Some say that more white makes for a larger appearance, but that debate will go on for years to come.

This entire article is about optical illusion. Light and brightly colored walls are more reflective, making any space feel open and airy. Additionally, light colors help augment the effect of natural light (which we all love). As such, the following small bathroom paint colors will surely make your bathroom feel larger.

Best Paint Color for Small Bathrooms with No Windows

  1. Icy Blue
  2. Cream
  3. Soft Green
  4. White
  5. Pearl Gray
  6. Pink
  7. Yellow
  8. Aqua

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Same Tone

2. Keep All Same Tone

As I will get into later, just because light colors are smart small bathroom wall colors, the entire room does not have to be the same color. However, if you really want your small bathroom to feel like the master that you deserve, keep all colors within the same tone.

Light bathroom colors are great, but if you installed dark tile on the floor or in the shower, the light colors will not stand out. The large contrast will clog up the space and showcase how small your bathroom really is. We don’t want that.

Looking for DIY bathroom hacks besides paint? See 10 Affordable Ideas That Will Turn Your Small Bathroom Into A Spa.

3. Blend Tile Color & Wall Color

This tip jumps off the previous hack, but many don’t want the same tone all over the bathroom. Fear not, for as long as you blend the shower tile and wall color, you are golden.

Blending your wall color and shower tile makes the entire room feel like one continuous space. By blending the color of the shower tile with the wall, it will show as one larger room. Luckily, if have you ceramic tile, you don't have to replace it. You could paint your ceramic tile to have it all blend in.

Blend Wall Colors

4. Paint Ceiling & Wall Same Colors

As you have probably noticed, a trend of similar, bright colors is emerging. Well, the same holds true for the ceiling and walls.

One problem with small bathrooms is short ceilings. As you might expect, using dark colors for your ceilings will make it seem low. Avoid white (unless your walls are also white), which will stop one’s eyes right at the ceiling line. Using the same color for the wall and ceiling will help the eye travel effortlessly throughout the space, giving once again, the appearance of a larger bathroom.

5. Paint Vertical Stripes to Make It Seem Taller

Some bathrooms are taller and some are wider. Oftentimes, we can’t have both and are left with a wide bathroom feeling cramped or a tall bathroom feeling cluttered.

If you have short ceilings and want to make your small bathroom seem taller, paint vertical stripes on the small bathroom walls. As we just went over, paint colors help guide the eye throughout small bath. With vertical stripes, the human eye is guided up and around the room. This, in turn, makes it feel larger than it really is.

When painting vertical stripes, stick to the same color palette as the rest of the bathroom. Simply make one shade slightly lighter than the other. Be careful, as too much contrast won’t go over well.

Bathroom With Stripes

6. Paint Horizontal Stripes to Make It Seem Wider

There are other bathrooms with really tall ceilings, but not a lot of space around. Never fear, as the same eye principle applies.

By painting horizontal stripes, which are very common I might add, you are guiding the eye around the bathroom, giving it a larger appearance.

7. Use Light Colors on Doors, Windows & Molding

Light colors do not only apply to the walls and ceilings. There are many fixtures and elements of a bathroom you can paint or augment. Do not forget about the doors, windows and moldings.

Paint your wall trim, window covers and moldings in a lighter color than your walls. When you paint your moldings light, the wall appears farther back, making your small bathroom appear bigger.

8. Color Unexpected Accents

Let’s jump out of this repetitive color mindset and add some bold splashes to the room.

As luck would have it, there are ways to bring color into a small bathroom. Try painting your radiator, adding a colorful bathmat or using a vibrant shower curtain. In fact, if the hallway leading into your bathroom uses a darker color, ease a lighter tone of that color into the bathroom. It will once again fool the eye into thinking it is one big room.

Bathroom Accent Wall

9. Paint A Bathroom Accent Wall

Let’s keep the bold theme going by painting a statement or bathroom accent wall.

Before you do so, make sure you choose a color you absolutely love. If you followed our advice and went with light colors all around, this accent wall will stand out like no other.

Don’t veer off the road too much and go with straight black. Even though it’s a statement wall, you want to make sure it still blends in with your overall theme.

10. Other Tricks

Finally, there are always subtle tricks to dupe the eye.

  • Paint the shorter end walls a shade slightly lighter than the longer walls.
  • Paint the ceiling a certain color and extend the same color down the wall about 14 inches.
  • Paint with an arched design to make the ceilings feel taller.
  • Use murals as your accent wall.

Final Bathroom Tricks

Small Bathroom Painting FAQs

What Kind of Paint to Use in the Bathroom?

Use satins paints or paints that that resist mold and mildew. Look for moisture-resistant primers and paints.

Do You Paint the Ceiling the Same Color as the Walls?

Using the same color for the wall and ceiling will help the eye travel effortlessly throughout the space, giving once again, the appearance of a larger bathroom.

Why Do Ceilings have to be White?

Avoid white (unless your walls are also white), which will stop one’s eyes right at the ceiling line. Using the same color for the wall and ceiling will help the eye travel effortlessly throughout the space.

What Colors to Paint a Small Bathroom?

  • Icy Blue
  • Cream
  • Soft Green
  • White
  • Pearl Gray
  • Pink
  • Yellow
  • Aqua


Space or money should never deter you from having the appearance of a large bathroom. Using the tips discussed, any small bathroom can feel and look like the master bathroom of your dream.

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