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How to Choose Paint Colors for a Small Bathroom With No Windows

Choosing paint colors for a small bathroom with no windows can be challenging, but it can also be a really fun process once you understand the basics of your space! Here’s what I learned when doing it for my own homes.

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I painted one of my small bathrooms with no windows a deep green called Palm Leaf.

I was faced with choosing a paint color for a windowless bathroom recently, when we renovated the first floor of our home. We rearranged the layout of our first floor so that the one large, full bathroom that existed on that level was split into two rooms: a small laundry room with a window, and a small, windowless bathroom.

I also have a bathroom with no windows on our second floor … and I chose totally different paint colors for each one. One is a very deep shade of green, and the other is a bright white. However, each choice was very deliberate and based on the function of the space,

Here, I’ll explain my color decisions, and share how to decide what direction to go in with your small bathroom paint color, plus a list of my favorite paint color ideas for a small bathroom with no windows.

How to Choose a Paint Color for a Bathroom with No Windows

Image via Ellis And Hale

The most important thing to consider when choosing a paint color for a windowless bathroom is the function of the room. Obviously, we’re all aware of the function of a bathroom, but your small bathroom either falls in one of two categories: A powder room, or a full-bathroom you or your guests use to get ready for the day (to shower, put on makeup, etc).

The colors that work best for each type of room will vary.

For example, in our downstairs powder room, which is tiny and has zero windows, I chose a really dark olive green paint color, Sherwin Williams Palm Leaf. I had the color painted on the walls, trim and ceiling for a color-washed, dramatic look. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a little hard to see in there, even with an overhead light and two sconces along the mirror. Dark paint colors absorb light, and generally create a darker room. In a powder room, though, a darker space is totally fine.

That’s because you aren’t typically putting on makeup, doing your hair, or shaving in a powder room. You’re in and you’re out. If you can see the sink, the toilet, and whether or not your have something in your teeth, that’s really all you need.

On the other hand, if your small bathroom with no windows is the place where you’ll be showering, putting on makeup, shaving your upper lip, etc. every day, (AKA a place where you really need to see what you’re doing very well), you’ll want to choose a lighter color that reflects what light you do have. This will make the room brighter, and therefore, more functional.

The windowless bathroom in the upstairs of my home is my kids’ main bathroom. It’s where they shower, brush their teeth at night, and generally do all the personal hygiene bathroom-y things. When we moved into our home, the bathroom was painted a medium-toned blue, and it felt too dark to see adequately. So, I painted it an off white color, Benjamin Moore Simply White, instead. Because white paint reflects light, the color makes the room much brighter, and much more functional.

So, the general idea is: If you’re painting a small powder room with no windows, have fun. A small powder room is the perfect place to try out dark or bold colors that would make it harder to see or would overwhelm a bigger, more frequently used room. Of course, you can also go for a neutral or shade of white if you prefer, too, but I always think it’s fun to treat powder rooms like a little surprise in your home, if you’re up for wallpaper, bold color, a contrasting ceiling, etc.

If you’re painting a windowless full bathroom that you’ll use for getting ready for the day or bedtime at night, then go for a lighter color that will reflect light and make it easier to see in the bathroom. Colors like white, off white, cream, pale beige, or even a very light color like a pale sage green work great in small bathrooms with no windows.

Best Paint Colors for A Bathroom With No Windows

Because there are two different types of windowless bathroom, at least in my mind, I’ve rounded up paint colors for a bathroom with no windows in two categories. First, I’ve included colors choices for powder rooms where you won’t spend a lot of time. And then I’ve also included bright, airy neutrals for full-size or oft-used bathrooms where you’ll be tasked with taking showers, putting on makeup, etc.

Bold paint colors for small bathrooms

When it comes to choosing a bold paint color for a small bathroom, my motto is that anything goes. Like I mentioned, the powder room is usually a small space, which means it can handle bold colors and patterns that would overwhelm a larger room. Plus, if you ever wanted to change the color in the room, it’s a small space, so it won’t be hard.

One thing to note about paint colors in a windowless space is that they typically look darker than they would in a room with windows. We originally wanted to use Benjamin Moore Southern Vine (a dark mossy green) for our downstairs bathroom, but it looked almost black when I sampled it on the walls. Keeping that in mind, I suggest going for more mid-tone paint colors, unless you want a nearly-black look.

Moss Green, like Sherwin Williams Palm Leaf or Benjamin Moore River Rock

We chose Palm Leaf for our bathroom, and I love how it looks like a true mossy green in our space. I also love Benjamin Moore River Rock, which is slightly more neutral and less-yellow than Palm Leaf.

A rich sage, like Sherwin Williams Sage or Benjamin Moore October Mist

Image via The Misfit House

If you couldn’t tell, I have a thing for green paint colors. If you want something a little less intense than moss green, a deep shade of sage is an inviting and enveloping color for a windowless powder room.

Burgundy or plum, like Benjamin Moore Fading Twilight

Image via SB ID

Burgundy is a big home color trend for 2024, and the powder room is the perfect place to test it out! Paint the ceiling, walls and trim all in the hue for a chic, contemporary look, or go for a painted beadboard or moulding, with a more neutral shade on top.

Neutral Paint Colors For Small Bathrooms with No Windows

In a small bathroom without a window, sticking to a color with an LRV (light reflectance value) above 60 will ensure you create a well-illuminated and functional space. (You can find the LRV of a paint on paint brand websites, via a Google search or by asking your local paint store. For reference, LRV is measured on a scale of 0-100, and white paint generally has an LRV in the 80-94 range).

Off Whites like Benjamin Moore Simply White or White Dove, or Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White

Image via Gray Blue Home

Off white shades are my favorite for a windowless bathroom. I painted my sons’ windowless bathroom Benjamin Moore Simply White, and it brightened up the space big time.

If you want something unique or moody, try painting the ceiling in a contrasting hue, like the blogger behind Gray Blue Home did, above.

A light green like Benjamin Moore Morning Dew or Sweet Spring

Image via Pinterest, original source unknown

If you want to go for a color, soft greens are my favorite choice (again, I’m a green gal). They feel relaxing and spalike, and still create a bright and airy vibe that’ll help maximize the amount of light in the room.

Pinky Beige like Farrow & Ball Dead Salmon

Image via Pretty Real Blog

Pink-toned neutrals are light and versatile but still unexpected and fun. The blogger behind Pretty Real Blog had F&B’s Dead Salmon color matched to Behr paint at Home Depot at 75% strength. Love it.

Mushroom Colors with Wallpapered Accents

Image via Hendel Homes

Embrace the coziness of a small bathroom with no windows with a taupe or mushroom paint color. These colors are on trend this year, and a modern alternative to gray tones. Personally, I tend to like the deeper versions of these hues, which can feel a lot darker in a room with no windows. If you’re the same, one great option is to use the colors on your bathroom trim and cabinetry, and opt for a light-hued wallpaper on the walls.

Go for white on top and a color on the bottom

Image via Studio Mcgee

Another choice for adding color to a small bathroom without windows is to choose a color you love for the bottom half of the wall, and to do a white on the top half. This keeps the bright feeling of the white paint, but makes it a little more interesting. The look works especially well if you pair it with board and batten, moulding, or beadboard paneling on the bottom.