Painting the Bathroom


At some point after I bought the house, not long afterwards as I recall, I noticed the paint was starting to crack in the bathroom, especially above the bathtub / shower, but also a couple other places.

I figured this was a moisture problem; most likely they’d been too cheap or lazy to use moisture-resistant gypsum board drywall.  When my realtor came over yesterday to look the place over in preparations for selling, I pointed it out to him.  He said that’s from putting latex paint over oil-based paint without primer in between.  Ah, that figures.  Net result is still: cheap and lazy.

Earlier yesterday Nate and I went to Metro Paint, where I bought a gallon of what I thought was the color they used on the walls of my house.  Not that I am particularly fond of this light beige, but since every single wall in the entire house is the same color, I didn’t want to paint just the bathroom something different.

The first step was to remove electrical plates and wall-mounted fixtures like the towel bar, toilet paper holder, etc.  I decided to leave the mirror in place because I was afraid I’d drop it, and I left the light fixture above it as well.

Then I began taping and covering with newspapers or plastic everything I didn’t want to be painted.

After that was done, I rolled a couple coats of Kilz primer.

Then I opened the can of Metro Paint and started rolling that on.  Boy… it sure seems… dark?

Naturally I just kept going instead of stopping to really assess the situation.  So I painted three walls of the bathroom before finally deciding that this was definitely not the same color they had used before.  Mud brown.  Why would anyone ever want to use this ugly color?

Well, by then it was about 10:00 on a Saturday night.  Metro Paint isn’t open on Sunday, and even if they were, would I guess the right color this time?


This morning I took a utility knife to an arbitrary spot on a closet wall and scored out a little square of the existing paint color.  I took this to Lowes and started going through their color sample cards.  In surprisingly short order, I found a color that was very nearly the same, just slightly lighter.

I had them mix up a gallon and took it home.  The Metro Paint was $8 and this was around $20.  Considering all the time and trouble putting on the wrong color, why didn’t I just go do this in the first place?

Typically bathrooms are painted with gloss or at least semi-gloss paint, because it is easier to clean.  However, the existing Metro Paint is dead flat, so I told them to match that.

I rolled on the new paint, let it dry for a while, then pulled off the tape and newspapers and put the fixtures back in place.  I probably should do some touchups on the ceiling where paint seeped under the tape.  Of course it was the darker paint that got on the ceiling.