How (not) To Paint a Bathroom

“What I think your blog is missing,” said a best friend of mine, A, recently “is a ‘How To’. So for example…..How To Paint a Bathroom…”

I looked at her over the top of my wine glass. She had spent the day hanging out with me and the (little) boys and during Baby A’s nap had painted up some lining paper with samples of Earthborn paint….Marbles, Muddy Boots and Donkey Ride to be exact. Then she had watched me procrastinate about which I liked best. (Marbles I think….though as it was cream it was hardly earth-shattering). Or least (Donkey Ride. Had a whiff of lilac about it which wouldn’t work, I’d thought.) Or not at all. (Muddy boots. Brown and bleurgh.) 

Right: Donkey Ride. Left: Marbles. Bin: Muddy Boots. 

“But A” I said “I don’t know how to choose a colour for my bathroom. I wish I did.” And I took a gulp of wine, as I do find that quite often the answer is at the bottom of the glass. 

The decision to repaint the bathroom had come about not just because I appear to be working my way systematically around the house repainting each room as the fancy takes me. But because we have a patch of damp-damage in one corner due to an issue with the roof. We are not convinced the problem has been solved, despite several visits from people claiming to be experts in all things roof-related, but the damp has recently been kept at bay and so I reckon it’s worth slapping a bit of paint on it and watching what happens. And if I’m going to slap paint about, I may as well address the fact that, to my mind, the current white walls don’t really go with the clotted cream of the metro tiles.  Couple that with the fact that S is due to go away so I’m gleefully rubbing my hands together thinking about all of the things I can get up to in his absence. Not affairs, mind. Nor partying. Not even binge-watching The Good Wife. But painting….. 

Well, I did say it once before. When the cats away, the mouse paints. 

Re the bathroom, I had started my process of decision making regarding its colour by emailing a friend who had mentioned that she’d recently painted their bathroom in Railings, Farrow and Ball’s nearly-black

“Can you send me a pic of your bathroom?” I’d asked cheekily. “It sounds amazing.”

She had obliged. Sure enough, it looked amazing. Plus….her tiles were so similar to ours I just knew what worked in her room was likely to work in ours. 

 “Really pleased with the Railings and doesn’t feel too dark but we only have two walls painted, the rest are tiled, and theres a lime green bath!” she said.

I loved it. But I knew I was simply indulging a whimsy. Finding a black bathroom upon his return would be pushing a tolerant husband a few steps too far. 

Then I saw, when flicking through an old copy of Living Etc, a teal bathroom. That might work, I thought. But then I got cold feet. Was teal a colour we could live with long term? I wasn’t so sure.

Another consideration when making colour choices for a bathroom is the suitability of the paint. Our bathroom is one of the rooms in our house that is wearing the troublesome-to-apply Earthborn claypaint but it’s claim of being naturally breathable seems to be authenticated. Our shower is of the walk-in variety and has only a very small extractor fan sucking the steam from within it. Added to that there is only a small section of the sizeable bathroom window that is open-able…..and yet still, after three years of morning and evening showers for S and I and the nightly kid-dunk, there is not a speck of mould on the ceiling. So I’m loathe to change it……if it ain’t broke and all that. Therefore my colour choices are going to be narrowed down from the mind-boggling infinite number of available hues to the limited palette offered by Earthborn. Which could possibly work in my favour. Possibly.

Coming to the end of my wine (the answer wasn’t there so I ordered another) I made my way to the ladies water closet. Upon my return I duly sent my friend.

“You have to go.” I insisted. “Look at the tiles. And then the paint.”

The tiles were a stunning turquoise…metro style like our own. The grout was dark grey…also like our own. And the walls above were painted in deep grey. That’s it, I thought. It would look gorgeous. I’d order the Earthborn Trilby and go for it.

A few days later, relaxing on a long weekend (with more wine), I joked heartily about how our house was slowly turning greyer and greyer.

“Darling” said S, damping down my joviality with a deadly serious tone I very rarely hear. “We need to talk about it. There’s far too much grey in our house.”

So. ‘how to’? 

I think not. 

Perhaps though I could  start a series of ‘how not to.’ Because I’m right back at square one. 

Where’s that wine? 


One thought on “How (not) To Paint a Bathroom

  1. As a follow-up to my previous comment about my Elephant’s Breath bathroom, I went for that rather than a darker colour as I really didn’t like the cream tiles with a colour on the wall and a ceiling in white. Even though the bathroom suite is white having three colours on the walls/ceiling just looked a bit messy to me. Worth considering.

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