10 bathroom paint ideas for 2018

Thought the only paint colour choice for a bathroom was white or blue? Take a look at the latest bathroom paint colour trends and think again...

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Our enduring – and practical – love of white sanitaryware means that bathroom colour schemes can be somewhat unadventurous. Plus, if you're creating a stylish bathroom on a budget, you might not want to spend too much on new wall or floor tiles. So, why not transform the look of your bathroom new paint colour ideas? 

Which paint colours to consider for bathrooms?

Which paint shade to choose for a bathroom? Light colours will of course make the room feel bright and more spacious, but if you get lots of natural daylight in the room, there's no reason not to go for an inky or bold shade, provided you ensure artificial lighting is good enough to keep the room well-lit at night. The light cast by the wall colour is important, too.  

Which paint finish for bathrooms?

As for the finish, it goes without saying that the paint needs to be able to stand up to moisture, if not to splashes and the occasional drenching, so always check when you're buying bathroom paints. That doesn't completely discount an emulsion paint, especially if the room is well ventilated, but if you do opt for this finish, be prepared to redecorate more often. Ideally, bathroom paint should be wipeable, mould-resistant and appropriate for the surface you're using it on, whether the walls, woodwork, furniture or even the floor.

1. Go for a dramatic blue black scheme

In a bathroom with a high ceiling and good natural lighting, a deep, inky wall colour will look elegant. Use colour blocking to make the room feel loftier still, with the lighter colours from picture (or dado) rail upwards, and pick a pale, reflective material, such as marble tiles, for the flooring. Want a really contemporary feel? Paint the ceiling in a colour, too. 

Bathroom painted in blue black

To re-create this moody look try combining Dulux's Rich Black and Vast Lake

(Image: © Dulux)

2. Create an inviting space with warm naturals

If your bathroom faces north or has a small window, it's likely to suffer from poor natural daylight, and may feel cold and unwelcoming as a result. You can fix this with a good paint colour choice: deep spicy shades calmed by muted naturals will make the room feel instantly welcoming. Ensure the bolder shades have earthy rather than citrus tones, and match them with flooring in a natural material and furniture in dark, richly grained wood for a look that oozes character.  

Orange painted bathroom

A deep orange like Dulux's Toasted Terracotta would warm up the coldest of rooms.

(Image: © Dulux)

3. Love trad blue? Add a contemporary twist

Love the trend for ombre paint effects (where one colour gradually fades into another)? It's the perfect way to give your bathroom a hint of subtle colour - and if you have panelling on your bathroom walls, it's a breeze to achieve, either with a whole selection of tester pots, or by carefully diluting your paint colour with white as you go along).

Ombre effect blue bathroom

Try Farrow & Ball's Pitch and St Giles Blues, and All White in Estate Emulsion to create this effect. All accessories from Sainsbury's Home

(Image: © Sainsbury's Home)

4. Mix coral with grey for a vintage feel

Pink continues its surge in popularity, making its way from traditional bedrooms for girls to living spaces in the last few years, and now to bathrooms. How to get the right shade of pink? For vintage style bathrooms like this one, picking a strong coral tone and matching it with a muddy green-grey creates a look that's both bold and easy to live with. Want to see more pink bathrooms? Keep reading down...

Coral painted bathroom

To re-create this look try painting a wall in Sanderson's Bastille and add accents in Coral Shadow

(Image: © Sanderson)

5. Choose a grey white for a warm finish

Whether your bathroom lacks natural daylight, is tiny and needs a space-enhancing paint colour – or you just love white walls – an all-white scheme is an easy win. You can buy a bathroom paint that's practical, without worry about your colour choice, and be safe in the knowledge that it'll last for years. Then, all you need to do is invest in gorgeous-looking bathroom storage and accessories to brighten your space.

White painted bathroom

(Image: © George Home)

6. Create a feature wall with citrus yellow

If yours is a contemporary bathroom and you're a big fan of bright, bold feature walls, why not embrace the trend for a bright yellow bathroom paint? Keep it to just one wall and match it with white tiles, white paintwork, and the odd splash of grey, whether as an accent paint shade or in accessories, to tone the yellow down, just a little.

sunflower yellow and Plumpfled paint from Lakeland in a modern bathroom

Here Sunflower from Lakeland Paints has been combined with a dark grey shade in Plumpfled

(Image: © Lakeland Paints)

7. Paint woodwork in an inky shade

Dark, dramatic wall colours are migrating out of living rooms and bedrooms and into bathrooms, too – and with good reason: they look elegant and are the perfect backdrop for showing off shapely sanitaryware and pretty accessories. For plastered walls, pick a matt finish for a contemporary appeal; for a woodwork or panelling, go for a mid-sheen paint finish, which will help bounce light around the room. Invest in good bathroom lighting, too.

Blue painted bathroom

Try Crown's Non Drip Gloss Paint in Oxford Blue if you are working with wooden surfaces. Accessories, all Graham & Green

(Image: © Graham & Green)

8. Paint shutters to match walls

Loved the pink in the bathroom above? Here's another way to include it in your bathroom paint colour scheme – but with a more traditional finish. The palest of pinks on the walls could look somewhat wan, but with the shade on the shutters, chosen to be a few tones darker, the room looks layered and interesting. 

pink plantation shutters over a bath

For a similar look try combining a pale pink like Sorbet with a deeper peachy pink like Apricot Crush in Satinwood both from Dulux.Colour-matched shutters by California Shutters

(Image: © Shutterstore)

9. Try green – with caution

We love, love, love this bathroom, but if you're considering venturing a green paint colour like this on to your walls (and even ceiling), do it with these tips in mind: your reflection will look a little green unless your mirror is very close to a window; if the room is light-starved, a while ceiling and white woodwork, matched with a pale-coloured floor, will make the room feel brighter; despite being a vintage-feel shade, this green looks great matched with more contemporary fittings; choose linens and fuss-free accessories to best complement the colour; and, last but not least, make sure your artificial lighting mimics daylight as much as possible so that the room doesn't look murky at night.

Neutral painted bathroom

Try Farrow and Ball's Mouse's Back - a more subtle green with sage undertones

(Image: © Farrow & Ball)

10. Paint a roll top bath 

Not quite brave enough to paint your walls in your favourite bold shade? If you've installed a paintable roll top bath, you can get the best of both worlds by changing the colour of its underside as often as you buy a new set of towels to match. Keep the walls in a neutral shade and you'll never run out of complementing shades...

Purple tubby bath from Albion

Lakeland Paints make an amazing shade called Ultra Violet in a gloss paint that's suitable for wood and metal. Bath by The Albion Bath Company

(Image: © Albion Bath Company)

Want more paint ideas?