Can You Paint your Toilet – How-To

A toilet is a hallmark and staple of every bathroom, half-bath, full bath, any and every type of restroom have them. It’s usually a classic porcelain white, but whether by remodeling or just a change of scenery, painting a toilet can be finicky if you’re not using the proper tools and supplies. 

Can You Paint Your Toilet? You can paint your toilet, but you will need some Industrial Grade Epoxy Paint; the latex acrylic product provides a durable coat of paint that if applied properly, is extremely easy to maintain. Having the paint is just the first step in a somewhat rigorous process in order to paint your toilet. 

There are three extremely common toilet types, and this guide is specifically made for a toilet that is close-coupled, though you can definitely reverse engineer these steps that apply to the toilet you own. 

Most Common Types of ToiletsPlacement
Back To WallFixed to the floor, the cistern and pipes being concealed behind a wall. Allow you to save space in half-bath bathrooms. 
Close CoupledThe most popular type of toilet today, according to BathStop321, this compact unit is set against the wall. The cistern and pans (and pipes) are connected to a singular unit. Most Modern Toilets look like this.
Wall HungSelf-explanatory, they are securely mounted on the wall with no pedestal beneath them. Incredibly sturdy frames allow for the minimalist design to be added to your bathroom. 

Though changing the color of your toilet can be considered nonsensical to some, sometimes you just want to apply a new coat of paint to shine out the dull thing, or maybe just need a new color altogether. We’ve all seen toilets that are painted preposterous colors (Blue, Red, Yellow) and if you want to, that can be your toilet as well. 

Epoxy paint is designed for industrial use, it’s usually a latex acrylic based product that has a small amount of epoxy in it and is most commonly used for flooring applications. It gives that shine that a gloss-based paint would give you. When you paint the walls or trim of your house, the type of paint matters, but its specific luster is more specific than the type of paint needed. Painting a toilet on the other hand can be tricky, as multiple pieces of the toilet are touched day by day. Whether that be the lid, the seat, or the flusher. 

Painting your toilet with an epoxy based paint will stop the paint from chipping after it dries, a simple house paint can wear away and if you ever notice chipping on your walls, it’s due to the fragility of paint (or a multitude of other reasons. The type of paint used could not be water resistant and can cause the walls to chip the second they get wet.

Since your toilet will naturally come into contact with more water (leaking flapper, loose spraying, or the wax seal breaking), it’s best to use a type of paint that is water resistant and durable. 

The porcelain throne is no easy task to paint, in terms of prep-work as well as making sure everything is smooth sailing without having to make a call to your plumber afterwards. 

What Kind of Paint do I Use For My Toilet?

An epoxy paint as well as acrylic latex primer is your best bet to use for your toilet. You may also use spray paint, but will need to use a sealer (if you use spray paint).

According to FamilyHandyman, Epoxy paint is the best paint to use for garage floors, toilets, as well as miscellaneous things throughout your home. Epoxy Paint resists smudging and if applied correctly, will not need to be recoated for years. Epoxy paint is a latex acrylic product that has a small amount of epoxy mixed in, this allows it to be durable and easier to maintain than regular paint. 

The specific type of epoxy paint used to paint your toilet will matter, but what matters more is the Acrylic Latex Primer. Latex primer is used to prepare the surface to have better adhesion of the epoxy paint, or any paint that is going to be used. Due to both Epoxy Paint and the Latex Primer having a water base in their mix, this allows for faster drying time as well as easier cleanup with just soap and water. 

Types of Paint for BathroomColors
Spray PaintVarious Colors ranging from red to white, blue to yellow, black and gray.
Epoxy PaintLow availability in terms of color options: black, white and gray. 
Epoxy SealerSealant used in order to maintain paint’s authenticity. Not needed if using Epoxy Paint.

How Do You Paint Your Toilet?

Painting your toilet is a possible DIY project with only a dozen or so steps. Make sure your water is turned off as well as the toilet pump unlatched, apply the right coat of desired paint (Epoxy-based for most efficiency), and be weary to tarp up your surroundings. 

This is an entirely DIY type project according to a New England based company, though you will need appropriate guides and instructions in order to not make a mess of yourself or your bathroom. Do know it is not too different from painting your own interior walls, trimming, or other fixtures you’ve painted around your house. 

You Will Need:

  • Tarp (One that you’re able to cut a toilet sized hole out of and place it around the porcelain.)
    • If you cannot acquire a tarp, old newspapers as well as normal plastic sheeting will get the job done.
  • Latex Primer (This will be your base coat paint) I recommend INSL-X Multi-Surface Primer, an extremely affordable quart of paint goes a long way. Click To Get On Amazon.
  • Spray-paint or Epoxy-Based paint.
    • Note: Spray paint offers a wider variety of colors to choose from, but if you go the spray-paint route, you will need to buy an epoxy-based sealer which will allow the paint to set and dry properly. If you just choose an epoxy-based paint, your color options will be more limited, but you will only have to use the paint itself. 
  • Protective goggles and Face Mask. Getting them separately is also applicable. Multi-purposed as well as light weight, gas masks can be used across a wide variety of DIY projects, it’s always nice to have one on hand. Click here to get yours on Amazon.
  • Sandpaper
    • Make sure the sandpaper is large enough for you to get a good grip on it, a small piece will be fine, but you will need to use it multiple times so make sure you have enough.
  • Paintbrush(es)
    • Even if you are using epoxy spray paint (or regular spray paint) you will still need to paint on the initial primer.
  • Masking Tape
  • Gloves
    • Not technically necessary, but gloves can help when dealing with epoxy as well as regular spray paint. A singular drop can stain your hands and scrubbing can only do so much. 
  • Clothes you’re okay with getting stained/painted on. 

Note: As mentioned, choosing epoxy-based paint or epoxy spray paint is going to be a very big decision. Epoxy paint only comes in three colors (white, gray and black) so know you will be extremely limited in your color selection if you go down that route. 

How To Paint Your Toilet

  1. Toilet seat tops are plastic and moveable; Take your toilet seat top off. You can usually use your hands to unscrew the toilet seat, but if that proves impossible, you may get a pair of pliers or something you’re able to take it off with. Do Not Break the seat unless you are wanting to buy a new one, though that can be tedious in its own right. 
  2. Thoroughly clean your toilet, every nook and cranny as well as every stain you can get out, now is the time. You can use bleach, water, paper towels, any and everything you have on hand to clean your toilet. The most important thing is to get rid of any grime or malignant growth your toilet may have acquired. If you do not remove these stains, the primer as well as initial paint coating will be unable to dry.
    • Flush your toilet after you’ve cleaned it and make sure it drains properly. 
  3. Turn off your water Valve; It is usually behind the toilet, near the midsection. Allow your toilet to drain. Give it a flush and remove the lid to see if water is still filling up.
    • If water is still filling up, your valve has not been turned off completely. Make Sure the valve is turned off.
  4. Dry your toilet. Use a towel, paper towels, whatever you have around you to properly dry your toilet.  Flush your toilet again if there is still water in the tank. Make sure the entire toilet bowl section is as dry as possible. 
  5. Sand down your toilet. Smooth, light strokes to make sure you aren’t chipping away at the porcelain. Do Not rub too hard as you can cause chipping on older models, but do enough so that afterward, every part of your toilet is smooth.
    • You do not have to sand out the inside of the tank. 
  6. After making sure the toilet is dry again, you will want to quarter off your toilet from the wall, as well as anything else near it. Lay your newspapers down or plastic sheeting against the wall. Use some of that tape to hold it together.
    • Ensure that the entire area surrounding the toilet is clean, from trash cans to plunges; don’t leave anything around the toilet that paint could spill on. 
  7. Now, using your paint brush and primer (Acrylic Latex), paint an even coat of primer across every area you intend to on your toilet. Make Sure it is an even coat because once it dries, the uneven parts are easy to spot.
    • Note: You will need to give this some time to dry. Around 30-40 minutes to be on the safe side.
      • Note: Paint your toilet seat and lid at this point. 
  8. After the primer has dried. It is now time to apply your chosen paint (epoxy paint or spray paint). Make sure you are wearing your face mask and goggles.
    • You will need to apply multiple coats of paint, allowing each previous coat to dry before continuing spraying. Try to spread your paint as evenly as possible in order to prevent a dripping trail.
      • Be attentive of your surroundings, allow proper ventilation, crack open a window if your bathroom has one, or turn on the A/C to not allow the paint to stagnant and poison the air.
    • Continue coating the toilet until you are happy with the finish. It’s all preference but it’s best to have a baseline of around two-three initial coats. This will need a decent amount of time to try. 
    • If you used Spray-Paint continue to Step 9, if you used an epoxy paint, skip to Step 10
  9. You will need an epoxy sealer for this step. The EPOXY RESIN CRYSTAL CLEAR is great for super gloss coating, and with a 16 ounce, you may be able to get more than a couple uses out of it. Click here to buy on Amazon.
    • If your initial paint has dried, with a different brush than the one you used to apply the primer. Apply the sealer in short concise strokes evenly across the porcelain. Paint every place that you have painted with the sealer, double check. 
  10. Reattach your toilet seat to the now newly dried painted toilet. Turn on your water valve and let it refill back up with water. 

In case written instructions aren’t your strong suit, I’ve also included a step by step video that goes through each process in heavy detail.

And there you have it, your toilet should now be functioning, painted, and be ready for you to sit back on your porcelain throne. 

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Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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