Bathroom Surfaces – Final bathroom finishes

Once you’re done with putting your layout into plan, fixtures, floorings and all in improving your bathroom, cap it off with a really good decorating job. If you don\’t want to pay out for a professional to do it for you, take the time and care to do a first class job yourself.

Painting and Decorating

Use oil-based paints like gloss and eggshell for bathrooms, as they seal the walls and ceiling from moisture. Paint manufacturers have produced paints with anti-fungal and anti-condensation properties specifically for use in bathrooms. Though it has the same appearance, unlike matt emulsion bathroom paint is a tough finish and does allow for some cleaning of marks from the surface. It is available in a range of colours.

Cover the bathroom with dust sheets, then prepare the ceilings and walls. Remove any flaking and loose paint with a scraper, and fill any screw holes or small undulations with a proprietary filler. Any major plaster damage will have to be re-plastered. Sand down the walls with medium then fine sandpaper, either by hand.

Once the surface is perfectly smooth, apply a coat of diluted PVA adhesive to seal the surface. Thoroughly clean the bathroom of all dust: remove the dust sheets and shake them outside, mop over the floor, and sponge down any surfaces to remove all traces of dust. 

Replace the dust sheets, open the windows and door to keep the room well ventilated whilst you are painting. Start with the ceiling first, applying two coats for a professional finish, then coat the walls. The walls should always be cut into the ceiling, rather than the other way round 3. Apply at least two coats for the best finish.

Any woodwork in the bathroom should be painted as much the same as anywhere else in the home, with the exception that it should be treated on the back as well as the front with either primer or preservative. Woodwork should be thoroughly sanded down, using a medium-grade sandpaper followed by a fine-grade one to achieve a smooth, professional finish. If you have filled any wood, leave this for 24 hours before sanding.

Seal any visible knots with knotting fluid and leave to dry. Start painting once it is dry and apply decorating mastic to gaps or around any joists, removing any excess with a damp sponge. Apply coat of primer, and leave to dry. Lightly rub it over with flour paper (very fine sandpaper) to remove any stuck on brush hairs, dust or dirt. Then apply two coats of undercoat followed by one topcoat, lightly rubbing over each undercoat once it has dried with flour paper. Brush along the grain, rather than across it.

Window Treatments 

A bathroom window needs to address the problem of privacy. Either choose to replace a clear pane with frosted glass or stick frosted plastic film over an existing glass plane, which would save the effort and money involved in replacing the glass. Another option is to put up a blind. Easier to install and tend to be made from humidity-tolerant materials. Venetian blinds however are notorious as dust traps. For a bathroom, a plasticized type would be preferable to a wooden one.


The lighting in a bathroom plays an important role, and the wrong type can make it stark and soulless. Choose fittings to complement your bathroom\’s overall style. Steam in a bathroom can cause bulbs to shatter, so all bulbs must be housed in moisture-proof, enclosed light fittings. Many bathroom cabinets now have an integral light and shaver socket. Light switches within the bathroom must be ceiling-mounted pull-cords; a wall-mounted switch may only be positioned outside the bathroom.


Safety regulations severely restrict the choice of bathroom light fittings to basically three types:


• A self-contained central light fitting. Like the traditional glass or plastic globe which screws into a base plate, this protects the bulb and holder.


• Mains-voltage recessed spotlight. These work off the existing lighting circuit.


• Recessed spotlights (down lighters are the common name). These low-voltage lights are great for general lighting. They are powered from a 12-volt transformer that may be linked to the main power circuit by a spur with a 5-amp fused connection unit. Alternatively, and preferably, the lights and transformer can both be powered from the existing lighting circuit.