From peeling paint to mildew stains, there are myriad reasons your bathroom may need a paint refresher. You don’t have to call in the pros for this task. A long weekend and some patience is all you need to get a professional finish on a budget.
Pick Your Products
Not all paint is created equal, and choosing the right paint for your bathroom is important to longevity and look. Bathroom’s are subject to constant temperature fluctuations, you’ll want to pick a product that can stand up to the heat, and excess moisture. Paints that provide mould and mildew resistance are also ideal for high-humidity spaces, like bathrooms.
The paint sheen is also important, as bathroom walls are susceptible to grim and muck build up (soap scum, errant beauty products, etc.). Opt for a durable hi-gloss or semi-gloss paint sheen that can stand up to use, abuse, and the occasional scrubbing.
Prep The Space
As with any other room in your home, your first step is to remove anything that isn’t nailed down, and cover those things that are. Use a drop cloth on the floor to protect tile, cover the sink, toilet, tub, etc., in plastic and tape off the edges. You can tape off tile edges for easy cutting as well.
Pro Tip: Though it’s not necessary, you may wish to consider fully removing your toilet to get to the relatively hard-to-reach wall area behind the toilet tank.
Use a scraper to remove any flaking paint, and clear away debris from holes or cracks. If you’re working with a drywall or plaster surface, fill any cracks or holes with a suitable product to ensure you have a smooth surface to paint.
With a damp cloth, remove any dirt or dust from the walls and baseboards (if applicable). You can also use a mild detergent to remove any bathroom contaminants.
Start by painting your ceiling first, if necessary, and allow for the required drying time before starting the rest of the room.
Using a brush or sponge tool, cut around window and door frames, in corners, around outlets and wall switch openings, along the ceiling (carefully if you’ve already painted it), and baseboards with a brush. Take your time! Start in one corner and work in one direction around the entire room.
Pro Tip: If are applying a coat of latex paint over a coat of oil-based paint, it’s important to lightly sand the surface with fine sandpaper first to remove the gloss or the latex paint will peel off. Clean the surface with a sponge dipped in a solution of trisodium phostphae mixed with water, and remove the cleaner with a sponge and clean water, then allow the surface to dry.
For best results, apply a coat of primer before you apply your final paint shade, especially on new or bare surfaces and problem areas. If you’ve chosen a colour that is lighter than that which you’re painting over, applying a coat of primer will mean less coats of the final colour to achieve the desired look.
Load your roller with paint by dipping it into the pan and rolling it against the screen five or six times.
Lay the paint on the wall with a sweeping stroke, starting from the bottom and continuing upward, applying light, even pressure. Stop a few inches from the ceiling. Now roll up and down back toward the corner to quickly spread the paint. Add more paint to your roller and continue in the adjacent space. Using very light pressure, roll back over the entire area you’ve covered to smooth and blend the paint, taking care to remove excess paint and roller lines.
Pro Tip: Can’t get the job done all in one day? Save those paint-laden brushes and rollers for tomorrow by wrapping them in sealed plastic. The plastic wrap will keep the brush moist. If paint hardens on the handle or along the edge of the bristles, soften it with warm water so you can remove it before you get to work, but be sure to dry the brush before you dip it in your paint.
Without proper ventilation, you’ll find yourself doing spot touch ups or fully repainting your bathroom on a regular basis, as the high levels of humidity the room is subject too can cause damage to the paint job. Leave a window open or an exhaust fan running for the duration of your shower, and at least a half hour, to remove all moisture and ensure walls are dry.