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Top Accent Colors for the Bathroom

brown bathroom

Bathroom with Chocolate Colored Accent Wall

The bathroom is one of the easiest places to incorporate color in the home  If it’s time to give your bathroom a makeover, one of the simplest ways to brighten it up is to give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Since many bathrooms are fairly small, you likely won’t have to spend more than one day of your weekend bathroom painting. The good thing is that if you don’t like the color you did the first day of the week-end, you can change it the next day and complete the project. If you are doing your own house painting and want to experiment with color, the bathroom is a good place to start. 

Picking Colors

Take into consider the mood of the room you are painting.  Soft colors and neutrals create a quiet feeling.  If you don’t plan on changing the accessories and decorative art, you should pick a version of the color family you decorated in. This is where an accent wall can give a new look at the cheapest price.  Consider how the color will flow when coming into the bathroom from the hall or a bedroom.  Drastic contrasts should be avoided.  A strong color (red) may be overpowering for the whole room or walls next to a window but great for an accent wall.

Hot colors for 2013:

  • Oxblood– accents a wall in oxblood and compliment it with grey
  • Chocolate Brown– It’s popular because it mixes well with “hard to replace tile colors”.  Bright oranges and reds will accent these dark walls.
  •  Neutrals– An age old classic color that will never go out of style because it’s also easy to change everything around it without much hassle. Neutral paints are cheap to buy and easy to pick.  That being said, neutrals are the most used bathroom colors

The paint finish effects the way colors look on walls.  For bathrooms, its best to use a semi-gloss that is mold and mildew resistant because of the humidity.  A semi-gloss can also be wiped down.

You may have old wall paper on the walls in your bathroom.  To update a wallpapered wall with paint you will have to properly remove the wall paper and make sure the wall is completely clean of any adhesives.


The reason paint stores have light boxes is to give you an idea of what the color will look like in the light.  They don’t offer variations of the type of light that will be in any room let alone a bathroom. Below is an analysis of the type of lighting and its visual effects.  This is especially important to pay attention to if there is a window in the bathroom in addition to additional lighting. The sun pouring through the windows in New Jersey will be stronger since it is closer to the shore than the surrounding states to the west.

  • Natural daylight will show the trues color
  • Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones.  Especially in yellows.
  • Fluorescent lighting casts a blue tone.

 Other Changes With Paint

Accent colors aren’t limited to the walls only.  Look at your vanity or the hardware on it.  If your vanity is wooden and in good shape, a good coat of paint will make it look new.  If you want to opt for an easier solution, you should consider painting the hardware.  You can add color to the hardware but the most popular color right now is black.


Most of the time, you’ll want to apply a primer before you paint. Primer is a must if you’re painting a light color over a dark color, or want to cover up a semi-gloss or gloss finish. Primer helps smooth out the surface to be painted and also helps the paint adhere. The only time you may not need to prime is if you’re painting a darker color over a matte white wall.


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