The 10 best paint colors for small bathrooms, according to design experts

It's official: our interior designers say these are best paint colors for small bathrooms

The best paint colors for small bathrooms are all useful to know. Three bathroom images collated together - one with a yellow ceiling and white bath tub, one with a wavy purple wall design and solid lavender colored sink unit, and one with a dusky pink tiled wall, white sink and round bobble-framed mirror
(Image credit: Future / Sorbet Dreams / Original Style)

Finding out the best paint colors for small bathrooms is a wise move if you're thinking of transforming your space any time soon. 

Different shades can enhance a smaller room, which is why it's important to have certain ones on your radar. Our designers reveal the 10 best paint colors for small bathrooms, and why they work so well. From breezy neutrals to nautical shades, you'll be spoilt for choice.

If you're on the lookout for small bathroom ideas, knowing what paint colors to dip  into will come in extra handy and make the most of your compact space.

Best paint colors for small bathrooms

When choosing the best colors for small bathrooms, having an idea of the right paint colors will come in useful when painting walls or even DIYing tiles.

For each color, we've also found a matching sample, so you can start on finding your favorite shade as soon as possible.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Light blue

Small bathroom with white tiles on bottom third of walls and light blue pain above, with a white bath, toilet, shower suite, and ornate, tall drawer cabinet for storage

(Image credit: Future)

If lying in the bath and imagining your bubbles are fluffy clouds sounds like your sort of vibe, light sky blue could be the perfect paint color for your small bathroom.

“This color has a calming effect and can make a small bathroom appear bigger,” says Ricky Allen, interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper.

We also think this is perfect for coastal small bathroom ideas and for blue small bathrooms in general.

A picture of Ricky Allen in a suit
Ricky Allen

Ricky Allen is the interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper, experts in high-quality wallpapers and murals, using non-toxic, odorless, and environmentally friendly materials. He's an expert at using wallpaper and paint to make rooms look beautiful.

For the dreamiest, expert-approved shade of light blue, we’ve got you covered.

“A light blue shade like Borrowed Light by Farrow & Ball is perfect for a small bathroom with little natural light and is very versatile,” says Ivo Iv, design expert and founder of Decor Home Ideas.

A black and white picture of Ivo Iv, a man wearing a black shirt against a black background
Ivo Iv

Ivo Iv is a design expert and founder of Decor Home Ideas. He loves inspiring people with interior design and color ideas and showing them the practical steps to make these happen. 

He says this shade is ideal paired with marble-white subway tiles or any gray-blue design. 

2. Light pink

Dusky pink subway wall tiles in a small bathroom with classic looking wall sconces, a round bobbled edge white mirror, white ink with brushed gold hardware, and flowers

(Image credit: Original Style)

Even if you don’t want to go full-on Barbiecore, adding a pretty touch of pale pink can still add playfulness whether you're designing pink small bathrooms or not.

Ricky says, “Another soothing color, pink can add a touch of femininity to a small bathroom without being overwhelming.”

If you want to make your small bathroom look luxe, pair it with gold accents (we like these gorgeous Eudele Shower Caddies on Amazon which are easy to install with adhesive pads).

3. Dark green

A dark green bathroom with cabinet shelves, wall art, and a blue and white sideboard with decor on it

(Image credit: Future)

Give your small bathroom a refined, art deco look by splashing it with green small bathroom ideas.

Ricky says, “Green is both refreshing and serene, and can add a pop of color without being too bold.” They're also perfect for retro small bathroom ideas.

If you’re into the shade but are worried about it looking too over the top, try just adding it as an accent wall for a dramatic statement.

4. White

A white bathroom with shelves set into the wall, a door with gold hardware, and a bath with marble border

(Image credit: Future)

You can’t go wrong with a classic color, and this one is not only timeless but will also make your small bathroom look bright and airy. This is ideal if you're decorating a small bathroom without windows.

Ivo explains, “Whites are a popular choice for many bathrooms, and their ability to make a space feel spacious makes them an excellent fit for small bathrooms. You can go for a true white color with no undertones, like Sherwin-Williams Extra White Paint, and match it with cool white marble to get a crisp, clean look,” he adds.

This combination would give your small bathroom spa vibes, making it a truly relaxing place to scrub up in. 

5. Dark blue

A dark blue bathroom with a glass shower cubicle, white sink with metal towel rail build in, tall wall mounted mirror, and the corner of a freestanding bath with ornate feet

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Moodier shades can still look beautiful as dark small bathroom ideas, which is why dark blue is also a brilliant option.

Ivo says, “You shouldn’t shy away from saturated colors even when you have limited space, and blues are probably the best choice you can make for your small bathroom.”

You could even combine this with a green for a powerful statement. Both of these are the best colors for south-facing rooms, FYI.

“Try using dark blues and greens together for a rich, sumptuous finish,” adds Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York. He's designed plenty of different rooms over the last decade, including small bathrooms in NYC with serious style.

Be sure to get different color samples and line them up together in your bathroom, as you may find a combo you really love.

6. Yellow

A bathroom with a yellow ceiling and shower screen, a shower bath, white robes on the wall, and a toilet

(Image credit: Future)

If you love having a reason to smile when heading into a room, going for a cheery shade can work especially well in spaces such as small bathrooms.

“Yellow can add a sunny feel to a small bathroom, and it also reflects light well, making it a great option if you want to brighten it up,” Ricky adds.

If you’re renting and can’t paint your whole bathroom, you could always add this color with one of the best bath mats, such as this bright UpHome Boho Bathroom Mat, which is Amazon’s Choice.

7. Gray

A bathroom with low level gray wall paneling, gray toilet lid, sink unit, two arched mirrors on the wall, a tall fiddle leaf fig plant, a freestanding bath with silver ornate feet and geometric gray floor tiling

(Image credit: Burlington)

Neutral paints such as gray add more definition to a small bathroom and bring a classic and balanced feel to the space. 

Ivo says, “One neutral color I love seeing in small bathrooms is Sherwin-Williams Reflection Paint, as this hue is a gray with blue and green undertones, making it ideal to use with cooler or warmer tones.” 

He adds, “It’s also a very light color, making it perfect for a small bathroom without natural light, and it will work with numerous color schemes.”

Gray is always an elegant choice when it comes to choosing an elegant color you won’t regret.

8. Off-white

An off-white bathroom with a towel ladder, a white sink unit with decor on it, and a mirror on the wall

(Image credit: Future)

If plain old white walls aren’t your thing but you still want a clean look, off-white could be a better alternative.

“Off-whites are great for small bathrooms, lending the space a softer look than true whites,” says Ivo.

He continues, “A good example is Sherwin-Williams Greek Villa Paint, as this hue has greige undertones that soften it, making it look like a neutral color without being too washed out.”

Ivo adds neutral hues can be tricky to make work in a small bathroom, but the trick is to ensure the undertones in your small bathroom tile ideas, countertops, or cabinets match your wall’s neutral paint color undertones. This also will work incredibly well for farmhouse small bathrooms.

9. Light gray

A light gray bathroom with marble tiles, a sink, a gold tray, a gold mirror, and a plant

(Image credit: Walls and Floors)

For anyone who has a narrow bathroom, going for a lighter gray over a regular gray may make the space feel wider and more expansive.

Ricky says, “Soft gray is versatile and can work well in both traditional and modern bathrooms. It adds a touch of sophistication while still making the room feel larger,” he adds.

If you choose this color, go for minimalist small bathroom ideas to complement it and keep the room feeling sleek and stylish.

10. Lavender

A purple bathroom with white and purple wavy walls, a purple sink unit, and a gold mirror with wall sconces either side

(Image credit: Sorbet Dreams)

Looking for cute and colorful small bathroom ideas? You could add a playful purple paint, such as lavender.

“This color evokes a feeling of calmness, while at the same time will help you add personality to your bathroom,” says Artem.

As well as paint, you could always add in a bunch of dried lavender, such as these Timoo Dried Lavender Bundles on Amazon, for a natural finish.

By being mindful when choosing paint colors for your small bathroom, you’re bound to create a place where you can fully unwind.

“A good bathroom color scheme should make your bathroom feel relaxed, calm, and airy,” Ivo finishes by saying.

If you can't paint your walls, you can always learn how to upcycle a furniture piece for your bathroom and add color in this way, or add removable, brilliant peel-and-stick wallpaper.

Now you’ve got this room sorted, you can move on to the best paint colors for small entryways, which are useful to know as this is the room you make a first impression in.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.