It's no secret that paint can transform a space. Whether you're looking to refresh your small powder room or revamp your primary bathroom, a fresh coat can quickly take a bathroom of any size from drab and dreary to open and bright or moody and sophisticated. But, as anyone who's wandered down the paint aisle at their local hardware store can attest, choosing a paint color is easier said than done.
The term “Primary Bathroom” is now widely used to describe the largest bathroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
When it comes to selecting the right bathroom paint color, there are a number of factors to consider, particularly if you're freshening up an especially small bathroom. Will a dark hue make the room feel sophisticated and modern or cramped and cave-like? Will a crisp shade of white look too cold and stark in a room without windows? Because paint colors can be so hard to envision, naturally, we turned to the pros to narrow down our swatch selection. Read on for the best paint colors for bathrooms.
Benjamin Moore White Dove
When we asked interior designer Jordan Shields to reveal her go-to bathroom paint color, she immediately replied with Benjamin Moore White Dove. "It's a nice warm white that has a subtle pop when mixed with whites and contrasting colors," she says. "I love combining it with a white trim for a really fresh and clean-feeling finished space."
Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue
"I recently painted the wainscoting in my primary bathroom this color, and I love the deep, moody yet sophisticated hue that it brought to the room," says Emily Henderson of Farrow & Ball's Stiffkey Blue, her pick for the best bathroom paint color. "A dark blue bathroom might not be for everyone, but I love how much drama and color it brought to the room."
Farrow & Ball Wimborne White
White is a failsafe option for a small bathroom, but it can often look too cold and stark. The solution? Farrow & Ball Wimborne White. "In my vintage bathroom, I knew I needed something that wasn't going to make the space feel smaller (like a bold color) yet something that still would keep it feeling open and bright, which is why this color was perfect for the space," explains Brady Tolbert. "It's a slightly off-white tone that still feels clean enough to read as white but not so stark that it goes cold and modern."
Portola Paints & Glazes Fade to Black
Don't be afraid of the dark. "Fade to Black is a soft black that is simultaneously modern and classic," divulges interior designer Stefani Stein. "It lends a dramatic touch to a powder room while still working well with an overall neutral palette. It was the perfect addition to this Venice beach home."
Benjamin Moore Simply White
"This is my go-to white paint color when designing. It's clean and fresh but also has a subtle warm undertone," reveals Nicole Newkirk. "I like that I can use it in traditional and contemporary spaces, and it still looks amazing." And Newkirk isn't the only one who's a fan. Homepolish designer Mandy Cheng agrees that Simply White is a winner in a bathroom. "One of my go-to white paint colors for bathrooms is Benjamin Moore's Simply White," says Cheng. "It's such a cheerful, bright white with the tiniest bit of warmth. Whether you have a lot of natural or artificial light, it keeps your bathroom feeling light and airy and doesn't lean yellow or gray."
Benjamin Moore Polaris Blue
"Polaris Blue by Benjamin Moore is one of my favorite paints," says Shea McGee of Studio McGee. "It reminds me of a perfect French blue. It's vibrant with a subtle gray undertone that keeps it understated and relaxing—just what you want your bathroom to feel like."
Farrow & Ball Off-Black
Go bold or go home with a matte black. "My favorite bathroom color is matte black," notes Tali Roth. "I love a dramatic black bathroom with a penny round mirror. I think black or a dark, moody color is great—particularly when you can't update the finishes, as it adds drama."
Benjamin Moore Moonshine
If you need a neutral shade that doesn't look too bland or boring, look no further. "We love Benjamin Moore Moonshine for bathrooms because it is soft and muted but bright and luminous at the same time," says Jessica Helgerson of JHID. "Any little bit of natural light is bounced around and reflected in the prettiest way, almost like candlelight."
Farrow & Ball All White
"Crisp and fresh yet subtly warm, Farrow & Ball's All White is one of my favorite white paint colors to use in a bathroom," says Katie Hodges. "Because it lacks the colder, blue undertones of many whites, it beautifully reflects light without feeling stark. It's also brilliant at picking up undertones and hues from the surrounding environment, rather than clashing."
When choosing a white paint, make sure to pay attention to undertones. Some paints can look warm or cool depending on the shades within it.