Find out the best paint colors for small bathrooms without windows to help you make an informed choice for you small, windowless bathroom.
I love how painting a room can upgrade any room relatively cheaply and easily. If you have a small, windowless bathroom (like my powder room under the stairs), you’ll want to choose a paint color that will give the illusion of space, light, and airiness.
What are the best paint colors for a small bathroom without windows?
The best paint colors for a small bathroom without windows are light, bright colors that reflect light. White, neutrals, soft gray or blue, yellow, and blush pink create tranquillity and the illusion of space. Combine glossy dark colors with lighter shades for an intimate, sophisticated look.
It can be frustrating to decorate a small, windowless bathroom with no natural light streaming into the room. However, I’ve been pleasantly overwhelmed by the gorgeous paint options available that can transform even the darkest, pokiest bathroom into a light-filled, attractive space.
Let’s look at the best color for your small bathroom and the latest paint options.
Choosing Paint Colors for a Small, Windowless Bathroom
If you’re feeling stressed by decorating a small, windowless bathroom, there are some criteria to guide you to the best paint colors. These are the questions you should ask yourself:
What are the Lighting Options in the Bathroom?
Bathrooms need to be well-lit because of the personal grooming that takes place there. Your choice of paint will be influenced by how much light is available to be reflected and enhanced.
Because there is very little natural light in a windowless room apart from the light filtering through the open door, you need to look at the artificial light sources:
- Do you have abundant overhead light?
- Are there bright accent lights?
- Is the lighting warm or cool?
- Are there lots of mirrors that reflect light?
- Can you add lighting to the room?
What Mood Do You Want to Create?
Your choice of paint color will help to create a vibe or mood in the bathroom. For example:
- Do you want a spa-like retreat, serene and meditative?
- Are you going to spend hours in the bath by candlelight?
- Does the whole family need a functional, friendly space?
- Can you let your artistic side free and have fun with patterns and bolder hues?
- Should the bathroom’s design match an existing color palette?
How Does the Paint Look in the Room?
You can’t choose a paint color without trying it in the room you’re painting and with the light sources available. The color may not look the same in the well-lit hardware store as in your poorly lit bathroom.
The Best Paint Colors for Small Bathrooms With No Windows?
Once you’ve decided how much light your bathroom has and what mood you want to create, you can go ahead and have fun with color swatches.
If you’re still unsure, here are the colors most recommended for small, windowless bathrooms by interior designers.
White remains a favorite paint color for bathrooms, as it is bright, clean, and fresh. Experts agree that lighter colors make a space look larger and airier because they reflect light.
Choosing a shade of white can be tricky, as there are thousands of slightly different shades. Decide whether you want a pure, warm, or cool white.
- Pure Whites: Crisp, pure whites like alabaster are clean but tend to be sterile. Sherwin-Williams’ Extra White is intended for bathrooms with limited light.
- Warm Whites: With a warm yellow or red undertone, these shades are welcoming. Try Sherwin-Williams’ rich Eider White.
- Cool Whites: These whites have a blue undertone and combine well with blues and greens. These shades help to compensate for rooms with artificial light. Benjamin Moore’s White Dove is clean without being stark.
However, without perfect lighting, white can look either a little dingy or hospital-like. Instead, try a range of neutrals.
Off-whites, cream, and beige are neutrals that work as well as white to open up a small room and amplify the light in a windowless room. Choose a single neutral shade, or layer them for additional warmth and interest.
These are my current favorites when choosing neutral paint colors:
- Off-White: There are many shades of off-white, whether you want to tend to browns, blues, or greys. Off-white creates the illusion of texture, so the paint doesn’t look as flat or dull as plain white. For 2023, Behr’s Color of the Year is Blank Canvas, a creamy shade of white that harmonizes with darks, brights, and pastels.
- Beige: This warm neutral shade can range from lighter to darker hues. Valspar has chosen Ivory Brown as their color of the year for 2023, a soft, cheerful shade.
- Greige: A glorious combination of gray and beige, greige is ideal for Shaker or farmhouse-style bathrooms. It’s on the darker side of light neutrals but still reflects light. I love Sherwin Williams’ Worldy Grey, warmed by a beige undertone, but Dutch Boy’s Rustic Greige is my favorite for its lush, clay-like earth tone.
Gray has been the most-chosen bathroom color over the past few years and is only now being edged out by other neutrals.
A pale, soothing gray is a beautiful choice for a small, dark bathroom, especially a pearly color that reflects cool light. If you love cool grays, Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl radiates artificial light and is gorgeous with trending greens.
Gray is also one of the most calming bedroom colors.
#4. Light Blue
Blue is a perennial favorite for bathrooms, especially serene, peaceful spaces. Keep to softer, lighter blues so that they reflect light.
Cool blues are best for small, dark bathrooms, as they add a sky-like element, particularly if you paint walls and ceiling the same color.
It’s worth investigating Benjamin Moore’s Gray Cashmere, a warm blue-gray that illuminates a windowless space. If you prefer a stronger blue, look at Benjamin Moore’s Mt Rainier Gray, the color of hills fading into the distance.
Light colors are not the only choice for a small bathroom. My sister painted her tiny powder room a gorgeous citrus yellow to bring vibrancy and cheer into the dark space. Yellow gives the illusion of light and reflects artificial light with warmth.
Yellow is the color of sunshine, ranging from vivid chartreuse to butter and pastels. Choose the shade that suits your personality and style, especially if you’re designing a family bathroom. These are on-trend shades for 2023:
- For an earthy, saturated yellow, go for York Wallcoverings’ Amber, the natural resin color.
- Dulux has chosen Wild Wonder for 2023’s Color of the Year, the natural, pale yellow of wildflowers.
#6. Blush Pink
Pink continues to be a favorite color for interiors, and that trend has now reached bathrooms. Gentle blush pinks, warm enough to be pink rather than neutral, have a lovely muted quality reflecting light.
Sherwin-Williams have gone with the blush trend as their Color of the Year for 2023, known as Redend Point. This deliciously edible shade has a warm earthiness, rather than the popular floral pinks. Nature-inspired shades create a harmonious, grounded feel in a small windowless space.
For a more vibrant plush pink, choose Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year: Raspberry Blush is a rich, warm blush pink that will warm up a tiny space like a sunset. This shade shows the shift to warmer colors that designers are leaning towards.
Can You Use Dark Colors in a Small Bathroom Without Windows?
Design experts disagree about using dark colors in small, windowless bathrooms.
On the one hand, a dark color palette can make a small room even more cramped and poky, as there is no natural light to reflect. On the other hand, interior designers have devised innovative ways of using darker shades to enhance a smaller bathroom and create the illusion of spaciousness.
I believe that if you love the moodier end of the color spectrum, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy them in your restroom. Here are some ideas for using dark colors in smaller bathrooms.
#7. Deep, Bold Colors
Painting a bathroom a deep, bold shade can trick the eye into thinking it is larger because of the added depth. Dark shades also evoke a sense of luxury and sophistication. For example:
- Deep blues and teals create a sea-like impression as if your bathroom is underwater. Whether you choose a muted or jewel tone, accessorize with brass hardware and fixtures that will shine and reflect accent lighting. Glidden’s Color of the Year for 2023 is Vining Ivy. This refined, traditional shade reflects a tranquil blue or green, depending on the light.
- Earthy greens like moss and pine are becoming popular with the trend toward eco-chic and sustainable interior design. Painting a small bathroom with a rich green works if you use high-gloss paint. Krylon’s Spanish Moss is their 2023 color of choice, a midnight green that gives a forest-like effect.
Another way to include darker colors in small bathrooms is to use them on one accent wall and paint the other walls white, a neutral shade, or a lighter version of the dark color.
Dark colors also add interest to a small bathroom when used with contrasting accents or trim colors. The darker colors add intimacy to the space, while the lighter colors add brightness and light. Black and white bathrooms are a classic of interior design.
Another option is to paint shiplap or wainscoting a contrasting shade to the wall above, creating height in the ceiling.
Final Thoughts on the Best Paint Colors for a Small, Windowless Bathroom
A small, windowless bathroom can become an airy, light space if you use soft, light-reflecting paint colors like white, neutrals, gray, yellow, blue, and blush pink. You can include darker colors if you use high-gloss paint and combine them with lighter shades for contrast.