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," Emily Henderson says 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."
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," interior designer Stefani Stein divulges. "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," Nicole Newkirk reveals. "I like that I can use it in traditional and contemporary spaces, and it still looks amazing."
"One of my go-to white paint colors for bathrooms is Benjamin Moore's Simply White," Cheng says. "It's such a cheerful, bright white with the tiniest bit of warmth."
"When it comes to bathrooms, I prefer to keep things light and bright, especially if there is no window to provide ample natural lighting," Plotz shares. "Benjamin Moore Simply White is definitely one of my favorites. It works equally well with a painted vanity or wood, such as white oak."
Benjamin Moore Polaris Blue
"Polaris Blue by Benjamin Moore is one of my favorite paints," Shea McGee of Studio McGee says. "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."
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," Jessica Helgerson of JHID says. "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," Katie Hodges says. "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.
Farrow & Ball Off-Black
If you want to feature a standout shade in a bathroom but are afraid of slathering it on the walls, why not try it on your vanity, instead? Designer Mindy Gayer loves this bold shade of black by Farrow & Ball for the perfect pop in this classic bathroom.
Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray
"Benjamin Moore's Wickham Gray is one of my favorites because its blue-green undertones look amazing with natural stone," Christina Kim of Christina Kim Interior Design shares with us. "Pair it with pale elements like concrete and you get a nice airiness or pair it with glossy black subway tile for a chic, high-contrast look."
Farrow & Ball Worsted
"We recently used a fabulous gray paint color, Worsted by Farrow and Ball, in a masculine powder room and the effect was perfect, like a light wool suit," Kim shares, and we couldn't agree more. If you're looking for an effortless gray sure to suit your space, look no further.
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist
A part of Benjamin Moore's Off-White color collection, Balboa Mist is the perfect white with a gray edge—a clean and fresh color that's perfect for a bathroom. Gayer utilized this shade on the walls and vanity of this vast primary bathroom, and the look is sure to be classic and cool for years to come.
Benjamin Moore Dark Olive
Green is having a serious moment in the color spotlight, so why not incorporate the shade into your bathroom? This olive color is a serious favorite of Gayer, and we think it's a timeless shade sure to add depth and dimension to your bathroom. Plus, it's versatile across design styles, so you can be sure that your traditional, modern, or boho bathroom could benefit from Dark Olive.
Benjamin Moore Just Peachy
Looking to add a bit of retro flare to your bathroom? Look no further. Pink can thrive in the bathroom—just look at this sweet space by Mindy Gayer. She lists this shade as one of her favorites to utilize in a small space like a bathroom where it can really pop.
Benjamin Moore Frostine
Designer Iman Stewart shouts out this gorgeous, icy white by Benjamin Moore as a personal favorite for the bathroom. The blue-green undertone makes the shade a perfect match for a cool-toned bathroom scheme. Above, it plays especially well with the pop of green in the window shade and contrasts nicely with the hot pink accents.
Benjamin Moore Rose Dust
"We love Benjamin Moore Rose Dust for any space, but particularly in a bathroom," designer Amy Courtney shares. "The soft pink tone of this paint color is highlighted so beautifully once natural light shines through. It brings warmth into the space while also adding a subtle pop of color.”
Benjamin Moore Soot
The bathroom is a space where you can get a bit dramatic—so try adding this charcoal black by Benjamin Moore.
“We loved adding this dramatic black to the bathroom ceiling" Courtney shares. "The moodiness of this color pallet, mixed with a dark wood vanity and gold accent finishes added quite a bit of drama to the space.”
Benjamin Moore Hale Navy
Another classic yet impactful color that will never go out of style, navy blue is a failsafe option for a bathroom. Courtney used this one on the double vanity, and it adds the perfect pop against the marble accents.
“Hale Navy is one of my forever favorite blues by Benjamin Moore," Courtney says. "It is a perfect true navy. It can give your space that clean and classic feel while adding the right amount of contrast to create a bold look.”
Asian Paints Wildebeest Run
Vinithra from Weespaces Interiors used this earthy brown to create this gorgeous bathroom, and we think it's the perfect complement to copper accents and patterned wallpaper.
"We loved the burnished brown tone against the earthy cement tile in tones of beige and terracotta to create a warm yet striking space," she says. "The deep brown tones have a rich yet earthy feel, and the texture from the plaster adds dimension. The burnished bronze and copper tones from the fittings, and pendant light pull this space together."
Go bold in your bathroom with touches of green. "I love playing with pops of color, and this green is just perfect," Sallie Lord of GreyHunt Interiors shares. "It gives this small space such a pop of life and interest. It was the perfect shade for this stencil."
Sherwin-Williams Talipot Palm
There's more to this bathroom that meets the eye—take a peek in the mirror, and you'll find a pop of bright palm tree green gracing the ceiling of this powder room. A bold accent color like Sherwin-Williams Talipot Palm greatly pays off in a small bathroom like this.
"This peek-a-boo ceiling in Talipot Palm is the perfect little surprise to the room," Lord says. "It offers a calmness with a rich depth of color.
Sherwin-Williams Extra White & Tricorn Black
A black and white bathroom is unbeatable: it's classic, chic, and timeless. Lord shares her two favorite black and white hues that are absolute go-to's.
"My go-to must-haves in my palette are Extra White with high contrast against Tricorn Black," Lord shares. "Talk about chic and drama when put together."
Sherwin-Williams Accessible Beige
"Sometimes, you need a calm neutral to make the space cozy and make it about the room instead of the walls stealing the show," Lord notes. "Accessible Beige is the best supporting actor of rooms allowing it to be about the feeling and vibe of the space versus the color."
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
Rutnaish Prihar, principal designer at RP Design, notes that "Hands down, my favorite color for a bathroom is Chantilly Lace. It’s not too warm and not too cool—it’s just the perfect shade of white. White not only gives the bathroom a spa-like feel, but white also enables us to showcase other design features that we create in the space."
Chantilly Lace is a classic, and we had lots of other designers select this creamy white as well.
"Some people may think white is boring, but I love the simplicity of white," Prihar says. "It can sit quietly in the background and will allow everything else to pop, or it can stand out and shine on its own like a diamond."
Benjamin Moore Steam
"In my opinion, this the perfect white for a bathroom," Sascha LaFleur, designer at West of Main, says of Benjamin Moore Steam. "It’s buttery without looking yellow, yet it’s warm and soft as opposed to other bright whites that can end up looking austere."
Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
Along with Benjamin Moore White Dove, designer Kate Davidson of Kate + Co Design Inc. shares that she loves Classic Gray as a perfect accent color in a bathroom
"One of my personal favorite colors I like to introduce in bathrooms, especially for custom cabinetry, is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray," designer Kate Davidson of Kate + Co Design Inc. shares. "I like it for the subtle warmth it can provide to the overall space."
Benjamin Moore October Mist
One designer chose an ever-trending sage green—which happens to be Benjamin Moore's Color of the Year for 2022.
"One of my top colors to use in bathrooms is October Mist in a matte finish," Trisha Isabey, the principal of Isabey Interiors shares. "It's a classic shade that complements many styles of bathroom interiors. It has a crisp overall tone and leans towards a bright interior."
Farrow & Ball Wimborne White
What we've learned is that designers absolutely adore white for a bathroom. It's a clean, sleek choice that withstands the test of time, and designer Emily Staunton of Hatfield Design Studio shared this Farrow & Ball option to try.
"This is a lovely, timeless, warm-toned white that I believe complements many styles of interiors," she shares.
Benjamin Moore Englewood Cliffs
A monochromatic color scheme looks stunning in a bathroom of any size.
"I tend toward grays, and my current favorite is Benjamin Moore's Englewood Cliffs," says interior designer Greg Natale. "I find it to be a softer option, and it allows you to bring in a bit of glamour and pops of metal in your fittings and fixtures."