I want to paint my bathroom and am a total DIY newbie. Help!
March 18, 2010 8:54 PM   Subscribe

I really want to paint my bathroom. I have never done any sort of DIY or home project before. Is this going to be harder than I think it is? Where do I even start?

This is a rental apartment and the bathroom is not very big, plus half the wall is completely tiled (white tile) so actual paint-able surface is fairly small. I suspect this is giving me false confidence that this is an attainable project for me. Tips/suggestions? What to read? What to buy?

Pics here and here.
posted by JoannaC to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Totally doable! Cockeyed.com has a good step-by-step tutorial with pictures.
posted by Siobhan at 8:56 PM on March 18, 2010

I have a couple tips:
- Get semi-gloss paint. It's easier to clean.
- Ask if your landlord will pay for the paint.
- Don't freehand the edges, that's what masking tape is for.

Have fun!
posted by ODiV at 8:59 PM on March 18, 2010

Um, look down.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:17 PM on March 18, 2010

Rather, look up. Seems like this was posted 3 minutes before the next post about bathroom painting. Strange.

ODiV said what I was going to say: use masking tape! You can buy fancy painter's tape at the hardware store (it is usually blue) or regular masking tape is usually fine. My landlords freehanded the edges on the teal kitchen and red living room in my old house, and it always looked unkempt.
posted by k8lin at 9:35 PM on March 18, 2010

The hive mind is REAL. Also I suggest a mold/mildew resistant primer. I lived in an old house with a tiny bathroom and no exhaust fan in a humid summer climate. This made our paint job sprout some icky friends. Which we had to clean with ammonia and do all over again.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 10:04 PM on March 18, 2010

I just started painting my house room-by-room with no prior experience, but after plunging right in I found it to be pretty simple. The best tips I can offer:

- Use a piece of tape to get all the loose fuzz off of a brand new roller, you don't want those bits of fluff ending up in your paint job.

- Definitely use tape if you're uncertain about painting straight lines along molding, between the wall/ceiling by hand (called "cutting in").

- Spread a thin layer of paintable caulk (or a light coat of the color of paint that is already on the wall) on the edge of the tape to keep paint from seeping under and making your edges uneven.

- If you do decide to forgo the tape and cut in, the best brushes for this are smaller (2 inches or so) with bristles that have an angled edge. The angled edge will give you better control over the line you are painting.

- If you need to take a break in the middle of painting, wrap your brushes and rollers in plastic wrap or put them in a ziplock and throw them in the fridge. They'll stay wet and eliminate the need for washing out your brushes until the end of the job.
posted by illenion at 10:57 PM on March 18, 2010 [5 favorites]

Oh, hey, my girlfriend and I did this in our apartment last year over a weekend. Like you, it's a small apartment bathroom, but we did have to paint to whole wall (only tiled on the floor.) It was pretty easy.

1) Clean the walls really, really well. Any surface-to-be-painted that isn't smooth (meaning, cracking paint,) sand down.

2) Get a good-quality mold-resistant bathroom-specific primer. Two coats of that will plenty of drying time (12-18 hrs.) in between coats.

3) Get a good-quality mold- resistant bathroom-specific paint. Two coats (three if you feel the need/missed spots) of that, with plenty of drying time (12-18 hrs.) in between coats.

4) Enjoy your fresh bathroom!

Oh, and ventilation is a MUST.
posted by InsanePenguin at 5:44 AM on March 19, 2010

Prep, Prep, Prep -- the actual painting is the easiest/funnest part.

1) Remove all the electric plates and any light fixtures that are on the surface you are going to paint - don't paint around them - and then tape over the switches/outlets -- you won't electrocute yourself -- and you don't want paint on the plates (in fact - when you go to get your paint - spend a few bucks and buy new plates - less than $1 for plastic, you can get something nice for more)
2)Get some fine grit, 220 grain, sand paper and a block (or you can just buy a sanding pad that looks like a kitchen sponge) and sand the wall to remove all inperfections floor to ceiling -- get a nice smooth surface -- won't take long
3) Wash the walls - floor ceiling - use a mild detergent cleaner -- again - will make the paint go on nice and smooth--let them dry completely
4) Use the blue tape all around - doors, tile etc - works like a champ - worth the money because it comes right off and leaves a nice clean edge.
5) Use Kilz or other non-mildew primer -- and have the folks at the paint store "tint" the primer to match the color of your new paint -- this will give you a great base coat that will then only require one coat of your final paint.
6) Use Semi-gloss paint - it will hold up better with the moisture in your bathroom
7) If your vent fan isn't in great shape - this is a great time to replace it (and paint the ceiling . . . .
8) Final coat will go on like a champ for you if you do all above -- buy a good roller and a good quality brush to do the edge work--ask the paint store guy what "nap" to use.
9) Do the edges first, and then come by with roller - roll until the roller is picking up more paint than it is putting on -- don't sweat it if you take too much off, you can always put on a second coat
10) Wear a hat.

Warning -- All the other rooms in your home will start to "laugh" at you ----- and you will be hard pressed not to give them the same treatment.

Enjoy! This is a great do it yourself project - it is latex - the worst thing that happens is you have to clean up some water based paint.
posted by cactus86 at 8:31 AM on March 19, 2010

« Older It was so funny, but never went viral...   |   How can I paint my bathroom once and for all? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.