Paint, vinyl wall coverings and ceramic or mirrored tiles are some of the options for redoing the walls. If you have wallpaper on the walls already and want to change the look, you can sometimes paint right over it if the paper isn’t peeling or buckling and has been on for a long time. To rewallpaper you should first remove the old paper. There are liquid wallpaper solvents on the market that will remove the paper and hardened glue. If the wallpaper won’t come off any other way, you may have to rent a steam machine specifically for this purpose.
The Power of Paint
Paint is the quickest, cheapest and easiest technique. Consider painting the entire room, including the ceiling, the same color. Or paint the trim in a contrasting color. If you choose a color for the walls, use bright white for the wood trim and ceiling. If the walls are tiled and unattractive, you can paint over them with epoxy paint. Always use semigloss or glossy paint in the bathroom because it’s durable and scrubbable. Some profession¬als suggest oil-base paint. However, I always use latex because it’s easy to clean up with water and the smell is not as strong or noxious. Paint in a well-ventilated space and wear a paint mask.
Vinyl wallpaper is the most practical for the bathroom. You want to be sure it’s moisture and mildew resistant as well as washable. Don’t think because the room is small your choices of patterns are limited to small overall designs, or even light and airy ones. My favorite bathroom was the powder room in my very first house. It was a tiny, windowless room with a ventilating fan. I turned it into an elegant cocoon by laying down deep green, wall-to-wall carpeting (a sample piece was plenty) and wallpapering the walls and ceiling with a large cabbage rose print that also had large green leaves. It was sensational. I added rose-colored towels and accessories. When I had guests it was hard to drag them out of the room. It doesn’t take much to make a small room look and feel luxurious.
If, however, you have a small, cramped bathroom that you want to brighten up, you can do this easily with colors that are warm and bright, such as peach, light blue, aqua or pale yellow. White always makes the room look fresh and bright and contemporary.
Tiling walls and floors is a job that you can do yourself, but I usually recommend calling in a professional. It’s worth getting an estimate and then figuring out what it will cost in materials and time to do it yourself. You may find that, because professionals buy the materials wholesale, in the long run you won’t save that much by doing it yourself.
Mirrored tiles are available in self-sticking squares, and you can apply them to an entire wall or a small area.