Finding the best paint colors for small bathrooms without windows can feel daunting, but that’s what we’re here for. In this article, we’re going to simplify the process of choosing the perfect paint color for your small, windowless bathroom.
Spoiler alert: You actually don’t have to paint it white or a really light neutral color unless you want to!
In fact, a smaller space like this could be the perfect place to experiment with that interesting paint color you’ve always wanted to try.
Today, we’re going to find out if it’s okay to use dark paint in a small bathroom, along with a list of the best paint colors for small bathrooms with no windows and some other ways to make it look bigger.
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Can You Paint a Small Bathroom a Dark Color?
While it might seem counterintuitive, dark colors have a big impact on a small bathroom or powder room, and can even help to create depth. When done correctly, a dark color could even make a smaller space look larger.
Black and dark paint colors can actually make the walls appear to recede, creating the illusion of more space.
Of course, while you CAN paint a bathroom a dark color, you’ll want to consider whether it’s the right move for your space and whether it will help you achieve the look you’re going for.
How to Choose Paint Colors for Small Bathrooms Without Windows
Before we move on to some of the best color options for windowless bathrooms, I wanted to touch on a few key points when it comes to choosing your paint color.
1. Consider Your Artificial Lighting
Since your bathroom doesn’t have any natural light, you’ll want to take a look at the type and amount of artificial light it has. If the bathroom is really dark, you might want to add either more lighting or better lighting — or both.
Ideally, you’ll want a combination of bright overhead light that evenly illuminates the entire room AND task lighting over the vanity (source).
If replacing the lights in your bathroom, make sure to do that before choosing your paint color. Changing out your light bulbs can significantly change the way a paint color looks!
Pro Designer Tip: Wall sconces on either side of the mirror will provide plenty of light for makeup application or shaving while minimizing shadows from your overhead light.
2. Understand Color Psychology
If you’re struggling to decide on a color for your bathroom or powder room, take color psychology into consideration, along with the overall ambiance you want to achieve.
- Are you trying to create a fresh, airy feel?
- Do you want to give off a spa-like vibe?
- Or do you love color and want to make a bold statement?
Understanding the way you want to feel when you enter this part of the house can help you determine a color family as a starting point. You can read more about color psychology in Interior Design here.
3. Grab Some Samples
Finally, once you’ve narrowed it down to a few colors that would make great contenders, you’ll want to try them out in your bathroom.
You have a couple different options: Grab a sample pot from your favorite paint retailer, along with some foam brushes/rollers, OR order some peel-and-stick samples.
Once you have your samples, try out each color on the bathroom walls to see how they look and make your decision from there.
Quick note on peel-and-stick swatches:
Samplize makes color-correct 12″x12″ samples using real paint from Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, PPG, and Farrow&Ball. They’re inexpensive AND they arrive at your doorstep in 1-3 days.
For your convenience, I’ll include direct links to each of the color recommendations listed below.
Best Paint Colors for Small Bathrooms Without Windows
You could pull off any of these thirteen colors in a small, windowless bathroom, but of course you’ll want to take into consideration the other colors and materials in your space, as well.
Many homeowners go with white to “brighten up” a small space without natural light. However, you’ll want to be careful because it could end up looking dull and dingy in certain lighting.
Yes, you CAN go with white if that’s what you want — just make sure you have plenty of artificial light in there!
Worried that white will look too cold and sterile? If it’s too stark for you, there are lots of great off-white paint colors to choose from that will warm up your bathroom. Keep in mind that white and off-white can have any number of undertones, so be sure to sample them before committing.
Best Off-White: Benjamin Moore Sebring White
Cream has yellow undertones, making it a warmer paint color. For a warm, cozy ambiance, consider painting your bathroom walls in a cream color.
4. Pale Yellow
A buttery yellow could really help to brighten up your small bathroom, even if it’s just a small amount above white wainscoting or half-tiled walls. While yellow can be a bit, uh, overpowering when used in excess, a small bathroom is the perfect place to add a punch of color.
Best Pale Yellow: Benjamin Moore Jasper Opal
5. Light Blue
Blue is a cool color and the perfect choice for achieving a fresh, airy look in a small bathroom without windows. If you’re going for a spa-like atmosphere, light blue will help you achieve it.
Best Light Blue: Sherwin Williams Hinting Blue
Blue-greens like seafoam, aqua, and teal are all popular choices for the bathroom, and they even work well in a powder room or half bath.
Want to keep it neutral while creating a warmer feel? Beige is a neutral backdrop that adds depth to a small space, and can be dressed up any way you like.
Best Beige: Benjamin Moore Shaker Beige
8. Light Gray
Gray is a popular choice for bathrooms, particularly light gray. It’s a nice neutral paint color that helps to add a little bit of depth and interest while helping you achieve that fresh and airy feel.
If you’ve never heard of “greige”, it’s simply a blend of gray and beige. It has increased in popularity recently, and it’s the perfect choice if you like a neutral color yet don’t want it to feel too warm or cool.
A nice, muted purple would look beautiful in a smaller bathroom. It’s soft and soothing, and it’s feminine, but at the same time, it’s not terribly girly.
Best Purple: Sherwin Williams Veiled Violet
Leaning toward a blue paint color, yet find that it’s simply too bright for you? Blue-gray and gray-blue are more muted alternatives to a pure blue paint color, taking the edge off of the brightness factor.
Best Blue-Gray: Benjamin Moore Subway Tile
Navy sounds like such a dark paint color for a small bathroom with no windows, but as we discussed previously, this could be the perfect place to experiment with your darker side. Navy is a classic color that will give your space a sophisticated edge.
Hold up, now — why would you paint a small bathroom BLACK of all colors? Especially when there’s no natural light coming in?
The truth is that black can actually push the walls away from you, making the room feel a little larger than it is. If you’re worried about it getting too dark, consider installing white wainscoting and painting the walls (and ceiling) above it with black paint.
Best Black: Sherwin Williams Black Magic
How Do You Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger?
Before we sign off, I wanted to share a few tips with you to help make your small bathroom look bigger.
Consider these ideas:
- Improve your lighting by replacing light bulbs and fixtures (scroll back up to re-visit our recommendations).
- If you have a small mirror, replace it with a larger one.
- Replace the vanity cabinet with a pedestal sink or a cantilevered countertop.
- Use similar materials throughout and keep decorations to a minimum.
- Paint the ceiling the same color as the walls.
While you can’t actually add more space to a small bathroom (without knocking out some walls), you can make it feel larger by implementing some of these ideas.
And you don’t necessarily have to paint it white (or a lighter color) if you don’t want to. There are lots of colorful options — and even darker paint colors — that could work well in this space.
It all depends on your personal taste. So, which color will you choose for your small, windowless bathroom?
Once you’ve decided on a color, it’s time to buy the paint. But what type of paint do you need for a bathroom? Read this article on the best paint sheen for a bathroom to find out.