Choosing The Perfect Black Paint for the Bathroom

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. All opinions and photography are our own and are not influenced by Lowe’s Home Improvement.

First, our mini bathroom had tile, then it had a wood wall treatment, and now it has PAINT! And not just any paint, today’s paint makeover is the boldest choice in a paint color that I’ve ever tackled, and I’m SO excited about the results.

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would ever use black paint in a room in my house, I would have thought you were crazy. But the truth is, you would have been right all along! I love decor that is light and airy, which is why I usually default to a light, bright paint color, but I’m digging the bold contrast that this black paint brings to our half bath.

Why Black Paint?deciding on the perfect black paint

This bathroom is tiny, coming in at a whopping 20 square feet. Because the bathroom is so small, I thought it was the perfect place to step outside my comfort zone and go bold! Why not, right?! I originally kicked around the idea of adding wallpaper, but decided against it because of the imperfect plaster walls.

So after wallpaper was out of the question, I narrowed my focus to bold paint colors. Did I want a dark navy? A moody green? Or even a rich black to accent our black and white kitchen? They all sounded gorgeous, but something about the bold black was the most intriguing to me, especially since this bathroom is directly off our kitchen. I decided to go black and started game planning from there.

The Problemchoosing black paintblack paint easy tips

I was hesitant to paint the entire bathroom black because there’s limited natural light in this space. Yes, we did change out the cinder block window, which lets in a heck of a lot more light BUT that still didn’t seem like enough light to off-set such a dark color in a such a small space.

I wanted the bathroom to be bold, but there’s a difference between bold and a black hole.

The Solutionwhite paint and primer from valspar

That’s when I decided to add the wood wall treatment and paint it white. The white wall would bring in a little more light and would provide the perfect contrast next to the bold black paint.  I visited Lowe’s and decided to go with Valspar’s Perfect White on the wood wall.
white board and batten in the bathroom

If you are looking for a true, bright white, I highly recommend this white. I also opted for a semi-gloss for the white, because I wanted it to match the semi-gloss on our trim. When painting wood like this, semi-gloss is a good bet in terms of sheen.

Then it was time to decide which black would be best here.

Choosing the Perfect Black Paintblack paint swatches

I headed to Lowe’s and recruited one of their paint specialists to help me narrow down my search. His name was Ben and immediately I knew this was meant to be! We picked out several paint swatches and although they were all beautiful, we ditched the black swatches that read more like dark greens or dark grays. That narrowed it down to three colors that seemed to be a true black…

  • Valspar’s New Black
  • Valspar’s Cracked Pepper
  • Valspar’s Dark Kettle Black

Ben mixed me a sample of each, and I headed home to see what they looked like in the bathroom.

The Winning Black Paint Colorblack paint colors

I always paint the contending sample colors on the wall in the space. Paint is tricky because it often reads a little different in everyone’s home, depending on so many variables (amount of natural light, amount of other light, type of light, colors around the room, etc). For more tips on choosing the perfect color, read our comprehensive paint guide.

black paint on the wallI looked at the black samples at all different times of the day, just to get a feel for how it would look at night, during the day, with the lights on, and with the lights off.

I also made sure to look at the paint with something white next to it (like a napkin or piece of computer paper). Since the winning color would be right next to the white board and batten, I wanted to consider all factors before choosing! (From left to right: Dark Kettle Black, New Black, Cracked Pepper)

valspar signature paintMatt and I agreed that Valspar’s Dark Kettle Black was the winner (in eggshell), although all three looked great (and very similar)!

Painting Supplies

Once we decided on Valspar’s Dark Kettle Black, here are the supplies we picked up to finish this paint project:

The Painting Details

Using these steps for painting a bathroom, we knocked this project out in a weekend and have been loving the bold transformation ever since.
black paint white board and battenblack and white paintblack and white paint around windowwhite window with black paint

I just love how the white board and batten contrasts so boldly next to the black paint. I can’t wait to see how this space will continue to transform over the next few weeks! My hope is to have an update next week and the full reveal soon after that!

Rookie Tip: If you did try to go bold  (or any color actually) and weren’t loving the look, did you know that Lowe’s offers a “Love Your Paint Guarantee“? If you’re not satisfied with the color, you can always bring back the extra paint in its original container (within 30 days of purchase) for a replacement color that you will love! That makes it a little less scary going bold with a paint color. If you don’t like it, bring it right on back to Lowe’s. Love that!

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from others who are loving the black paint trend lately. This bathroom ceiling, this bedroom, and this pantry have me wanting this black paint trend to stay awhile! What do you guys think?!black paint in the bathroom


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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