It’s A Party In The Bathroom

Note un-sweaty hair and relative non-dishevelment. (This is the “before” photo.)

Our bathroom – the one off of the master bedroom – is easily the most unattractive spot in our house. It is tiny-tiny-tiny (you can barely open the door if you’re standing inside), and is accessorized with nothing more than a dark-brown, 2-inch-deep cupboard that holds literally nothing – even miniature medicine bottles come tumbling out when the door opens. My least-favorite part of the bathroom, though, has to be the color: a vaguely nauseating combo of olive green and beige. Not “forest green” and “ecru”…olive green and beige.

Olive green and beige are not my happy colors.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it ever since we moved in. My plans have ranged from grand and prohibitively expensive redos (tear down walls! Install glass panels! CHANDELIERS!) to embracing the cavelikeness of the space by just going ahead and painting the whole thing dark blue with, like, gold stars on the ceiling or something. Maybe it’d be…romantic? Sort of?

Paint color options for a small bathroom

Chic navy? Happy yellow? Clean-looking white? TOO MANY CHOICES.

Above are some of the many, many shades that I considered before making my final selection. All of the colors shown are from Dutch Boy® Paints. We selected Dutch Boy’s Refresh® Paint in Coral Clay (A8-2). Refresh Paint + Primer because it eliminates the need for a separate primer, resists mildew, and has Arm & Hammer® Odor Eliminating Technology (making it perfect for bathrooms).

What I decided on:

…ba da daaaa…


Jordan Reid painting a small bathroom

(I poured the paint into a plastic-lined box, because did I remember to buy a tray? I did not.)

But not Easter-bunny pink or hot pink: I was looking for a dusty rose shade that would make the room feel dramatic and retro, kind of Marilyn-Monroe’s-boudoir-esque.

Supplies for painting a small bathroomAll ready to go!

My friend Elise came over to help me with the painting process. Our children shouted encouragement from my bed, where they were being held hostage by episode after episode of Paw Patrol, we poured ourselves Solo cups of wine and squeezed ourselves + paintbrushes + paint into the four-foot-square space…and two hours later we had created what I would officially like to declare THE COOLEST TINY BATHROOM OF ALL TIME.

(I love it, in any case.)

(Before and afters are down there if you’re feeling impatient 🙂 ).

How to throw a painting party

Painting is more fun when it’s a party.

The color – Dutch Boy Paint’s Coral Clay (A8-2) (which comes in an easy-to-open twist-and-pour container that vastly reduced the chances that I would spill it all over my floor) is exactly what I was looking for. It is rare for me to choose a color from a swatch that ends up being precisely the shade I’d hoped for once it’s on my walls, but Coral Clay is dead-on: it reminds me of the pinkest part of a ripe peach, and has a vibe that’s more Southwestern than bubblegum.

In keeping with the retro vibe, I decided to paint all the hardware with gold leaf. This went smoothly up until the point when I was painting the radiator grate above the bathroom door and the toilet seat that I was standing on decided to pop on over to the right for a minute, resulting in a cascade of gold leaf paint down the exterior of the door and onto my bathroom floor.

In case you’re not familiar with gold leaf paint: it does not come off of ANYTHING, EVER.


how to fix spilled gold leaf

So? Pink door it is. I hadn’t been planning to paint the door on the exterior of the bathroom so I had to run out and snag some extra paint – Dutch Boy Cabinet & Trim Paint in Coral Clay – but I’m so glad I did: now, when we turn off our lights at night and leave the bathroom light on, the entire bedroom glows rose. It’s pretty, and it’s feminine without being too girly, and it’s dramatic without being overwhelming…but most importantly, the paint job transformed a room that I tried to keep hidden away from guests into a statement spot that I’m excited to show off.transform a small bathroom using a single bright colorcoral clay paint perfect for a small bathroom painting a small bathroom transform a small bathroom using a single bright color gold leaf paint on bathroom hardware transform a small bathroom using a single bright color retro pink bathroom with gold accents retro pink bathroom with gold accentstransform a small bathroom using a single bright color

This post was created in collaboration with Dutch Boy® Paint. Top photo by Sue Hudelson. 

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