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How to paint a bathroom

Posted by Adrian
February 12th, 2014

How to paint a bathroom

Bathrooms can be a retreat, a place where you can have a long bath a relax from the day to day stresses, so a beautiful tranquil bathroom is what you need with relaxing colours, candles, soft fluffy towels, but if however you do not spend too much time in the bathroom, you just have a quick shower and use the loo then a more practical ‘clinical’ type bathroom may suit your needs.

Bathroom paints

When you paint a bathroom there are a few things to consider, such as the type of paint to buy. Do you go for a special bathroom paint that inhibits mould growth and is moisture resistant, or do you save yourself a few pound and go for standard emulsions?

Well, the choice is yours really, circumstance will dictate a little as which one to choose. If you suffer from mould and dampness, such as you have teenages that spend half an hour in the shower or leave the bath running hot water until it’s nearly overflowing, then you may consider the bathroom paint. Ideally having an extractor fan fitted will also reduce condensation.

If you have a good extractor fan, or open the window to let the steam out so you don’t have a bathroom that looks like a fog from yesteryear you could simply go for a standard emulsion.

Preparing for painting

Before you jump straight in with the paint there are a few things you should do first, such as remove anything on the walls, such as toilet roll holder, towel rail, medicine cabinet, mirror etc, unless you want to either mask them up or paint around them. If you wish to remove them they are simple enough to do. Most toilet roll holders and towel rails have a small grub screw holding them on, these are typically an allen key or small screw, loosen these off to remove the item. You can then remove the fixing, or cut in around it.

If you are removing heavier items such as a mirror or medicine cabinet it is always a good idea to have an extra person give you a hand, you don’t want to be dropping a mirror on the floor!

You can then cover up with dust sheets, cover the toilet including the cistern, the bath or shower cubicle and the hand basin and anything else that isn’t removable, and don’t forget the floor.

Once everything has been removed and covered it is time to prepare the ceiling and walls, fill any holes and cracks with filler, sand level and smooth when dry. You should also wash down any splashes from walls and ceiling and make sure that any mould is washed down and removed, for this you can use a mould and mildew remover, or a little bleach. You should always follow the safety advice on these products to avoid accidents.

Painting the bathroom

Start off with the ceiling and coving, if you have any. Give this at least two coats allowing each coat to dry fully between each coat, once the ceiling is done you can paint the walls, cut into the ceiling and around the fixtures and fittings such as toilet, basin etc and fill in with a roller, you can use a small four inch roller to get into those hard to reach places, such as behind the toilet. Give the walls a minimum of two coats to get a good coverage.

Once the walls are done you can paint any woodwork, such as doors, doorframes, windows, skirting boards, and the floor if it is painted or varnished. Rub them down and if you are painting them give them an undercoat before a topcoat. If you are varnishing, rub down and give two coats, if the floor is varnished it may be advisable to give three or more coats to help protect the wood against the water.

A recent completed bathroom

Below is a picture of a recent completed bathroom I painted, I painted this bathroom in 1999 after it had a complete overhaul and modernisation. I recently painted it using Dulux Soft Sheen Violet White on the walls, Vinyl matt brilliant white on the ceiling down to the picture rail and White satinwood on the woodwork and finished off by re-varnishing the floor with six coats of Ronseal Diamond Hard clear satin floor varnish.


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