Paint won't bond to greasy or filthy surfaces, like kitchen walls above a stove, mudrooms where kids kick off their muddy boots and scuff the walls, or the areas around light switches that get swatted at with dirty hands. "I always use a degreaser to clean grimy or greasy surfaces," a pro tells PM. "It cuts through almost anything you have on walls for better paint adhesion."
Look at your countertops next. “Limited counter space is always problematic in tiny bathrooms,” Maykut says. Often, you're left with nowhere to set a cup of tea or lay down your curling iron. One creative solution for gaining space is choosing a custom countertop. While most bathroom configurations place the vanity next to the commode, Maykut suggests “extending a narrow ledge of countertop along the wall behind the toilet.” This otherwise wasted space is just right for a supply of tissues or an assortment of toiletries.
Use what the pros use—canvas drop cloths. They're not slippery and they absorb splatters (but still wipe up large spills or they can bleed through). "Unless you're painting a ceiling, you don't need a jumbo-size cloth that fills the entire room," a pro says. "A canvas cloth that's just a few feet wide and runs the length of the wall is ideal for protecting your floor, and it's easy to move."
Custom framing, sewing, upholstering and other skilled labor can add a bundle to the bottom line. Instead, stick with stock items whenever you can: Buy off-the-shelf frames and mats, and trim non-valuable art prints to fit them. Buy standard blinds that are a bit larger than your windows and mount them outside the frames. Snap up stock cabinets and finish them with moldings for a custom look. Order that sofa in a neutral, ready-to-ship fabric and use the money you save to splurge on colorful throw pillows.
Before the pros paint walls, they fill holes and patch cracks with joint compound. But if you paint directly over it, the compound will suck the moisture out of the paint, giving it a flat, dull look (a problem called "flashing"). Those spots will look noticeably different than the rest of the wall. To avoid that, pros prime the walls before painting.
From wall paint to furnishings, it’s best to avoid dark colors and contrasting hues in a small space. “Stay with light colors—a monochromatic color scheme is best—so you don’t feel like you’re in a cave,” Maykut advises. Soft gray walls, for example, are very popular right now. If you’d prefer a bit more color, consider other trendy options, such as icy blue, seafoam green, warm white, and butter yellow. All of these colors work well, paired with white trim and cabinetry, for opening up a tiny bathroom. You’re sure to find some appealing options in light-colored cabinetry among the selection of more than eight colors that Sears Home Services offers.

Paint won't bond to greasy or filthy surfaces, like kitchen walls above a stove, mudrooms where kids kick off their muddy boots and scuff the walls, or the areas around light switches that get swatted at with dirty hands. "I always use a degreaser to clean grimy or greasy surfaces," a pro tells PM. "It cuts through almost anything you have on walls for better paint adhesion."
Instead of using white primer, pros usually have it tinted gray or a color that's similar to the finish paint. Tinted primer does a better job of covering the existing paint color than plain primer, so your finish coat will be more vibrant and may require fewer coats. This is especially true with colors like red or orange, which could require three or more coats without a primer.
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