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Painting Behind Toilets: Your In-Depth Guide

Picture of bathroom

Ah, the pain of painting behind a toilet… You decide to paint your bathroom, meticulously covering all the walls, only to discover that behind the toilet has been left untouched. It’s a hard-to-reach area that people struggle with. This article delves into how to navigate this tricky task.

Essential Tools for the Job

Before embarking on your painting adventure, you need to arm yourself with the right tools. A common paint roller is often too large to maneuver behind a toilet, leading to many a paint-dripped disaster. Instead, look for the following tools:

  • Mini Paint Roller: These compact rollers are just the right size to reach those tight spaces and give a smooth finish, similar to a larger roller.
  • Paintbrush: A small angled paintbrush will be your best friend for this task. It can navigate the crevices and corners a roller can’t.
  • Paint Edger: This tool allows for precise application along the edges of the toilet.

Remember, good preparation is the key to a successful painting job.

Choosing the Right Paint for Your Bathroom

When painting your bathroom, choosing the right type of paint is crucial. Because bathrooms are high-moisture environments, you need to opt for paints that are resistant to mildew and humidity.

  • Semi-gloss and Gloss Paint: These types of paint are great choices due to their high durability and resistance to moisture. Their sheen also makes wiping off dirt and stains easy, ensuring your walls stay clean and fresh.
  • Satin Paint: This type of paint has a slightly glossy finish and is also a good choice for bathrooms. It is durable and can withstand cleaning.
  • Special Bathroom Paint: Some manufacturers produce paints specially formulated for bathrooms. These paints have anti-microbial additives that help resist mold and mildew growth.

Remember to consider the color as well. Lighter shades can help make a small bathroom appear more spacious, while deeper tones can add a touch of elegance and sophistication.

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Removing the Toilet for a Thorough Paint Job

If you’re not afraid of a bit more work and want to ensure every inch behind the toilet is painted, you can opt to temporarily remove the toilet.

  1. Shut Off Water Supply: The first step is to shut off the water supply to the toilet. This is usually a knob behind the toilet near the floor.
  2. Flush and Empty the Tank: Flush the toilet to empty the water from the tank. You can use a sponge to remove any remaining water.
  3. Disconnect the Water Line and Remove Bolts: Use a wrench to disconnect the water line from the toilet. Then, remove the bolts holding the toilet to the floor.
  4. Lift the Toilet: With the help of a friend, lift the toilet off the floor and move it out of the way.
  5. Paint the Wall: Now, you can easily paint the entire wall without any obstructions.
  6. Reinstall the Toilet: Once the paint is completely dry, reinstall the toilet by reversing the removal process.

Remember, removing the toilet involves plumbing tasks that might require a certain level of expertise. If you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, consider hiring a professional.

How to Paint Behind the Toilet

  1. Clean and Prep the Area: The first step is to clean the area around and behind the toilet. Remove any dust, grime, or mildew from the wall. Use painter’s tape around the toilet to protect it from stray paint splatters.
  2. Prime the Wall: Depending on the condition and color of the existing paint, you might need to apply a primer. It will help the new paint adhere better and ensure even color distribution.
  3. Paint with the Mini Roller: Dip your mini roller in the paint, evenly distributing the paint on the roller. Then, carefully roll it on the wall behind the toilet, starting from the top and working your way down. It’s easier to control your movements and prevent drips this way.
  4. Use the Angled Paintbrush: For the edges, corners, and other hard-to-reach areas, switch to your angled paintbrush. Don’t overload the brush with paint to avoid drips and splatters.
  5. Repeat the Process: Most paint jobs will require at least two coats for full coverage and color richness. Always let the first coat dry completely before adding the second coat.
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Challenges and Solutions

There are a few challenges you might face when painting behind toilets, but we’ve got solutions:

  • Space Limitations: The limited space makes the task challenging, but by using the right tools, such as a mini roller or an angled brush, you can navigate the space effectively.
  • Ensuring Evenness: Keeping an even coat can be tricky, especially around the edges. Using a paint edger and taking your time to carefully apply the paint will help with this.
  • Avoiding Messes: To avoid messes, lay down a drop cloth and use painter’s tape to protect your toilet and flooring.

Tips for A Professional Finish

Here are some extra tips that can help you achieve a professional look when painting behind your toilet:

  • Maintain a Wet Edge: Always try to maintain a wet edge as you paint. This means you should apply the new paint onto the existing wet paint to prevent brush marks and roller lines.
  • Don’t Rush the Process: Let each layer of paint dry completely before applying the next one. This ensures better adhesion of the paint and a smoother finish.
  • Lighting Matters: Proper lighting is crucial when painting. It allows you to see any areas you may have missed or where the paint isn’t even.

Wrap Up

And there you have it! Armed with these techniques, you should be able to tackle painting behind your toilet with confidence. Yes, it’s a challenging and often overlooked task, but with a little patience and the right tools, you can make your bathroom walls look uniformly beautiful.

Remember, the key to a professional finish is preparation and patience. So take your time, use the correct tools and techniques, and you’ll have a bathroom that looks fresh and new from every angle.