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How to Paint a Toilet

By Edited Jul 5, 2015 2 6

A toilet is an integral part of a home. Unlike our ancestors, we are used to walking from a room into the bathroom to relieve ourselves. Long gone are the days, trudging through snow, rain and dead of night to use the outhouse. Through design evolution and convenience, the bathroom has become yet another room to decorate. Beautiful ceramic or porcelain tiles adorn walls and floors, bathtubs and sinks flow with other design elements in the bathroom – and so should the loo. A toilet can fit the mold of both form and function.Many homeowners soon regret the trendy colors they originally fell in love with and picked for the bathroom. A few years of living with avocado green or pink punch – leaves many regretting their choice. The problem with some toilets isn’t necessarily the color, but more the wear. Cleaning the toilet with harsh scouring powders or acid based cleaners removes the shiny finish, leaves scratches and gives dirt and debris a place to hold on to and collect. After the shiny surface wear away, cleaning does nothing to remove stains – the surface will never be bright and shiny again. It will look old and worn.

If the loo is in otherwise good condition – consider painting rather than removing and replacing it. Removing and replacing a toilet can be costly and difficult for novice do it yourself type homeowners.  Painting a toilet also offers a more affordable option than replacement.

Preparing a Toilet for Paint

Shut off the water valve that feeds the loo. The valve is typically located behind it

Flush the loo to remove all of the water. Use an old towel or large rag to remove any remaining water from the bowl.

Remove the top from the tank and set it on a thick layer of newspaper or a tarp.

Remove the flush handle.

Remove the loo seat.

Remove the caps that hide the bolts that hold to the floor and set them aside.

Remove the caulk from around the base of the loo where it meets the floor. Grip the caulk with needle nose pliers and pull it out of the gap. If the caulk is difficult to remove, apply a layer of caulk remover to the caulk bead. Scrape the softened caulk away with a flexible scraper. Use a razor blade to shave off any remains bits of caulk.

Lay sheet plastic on the floor as close to the base possible without covering any part of the toilet. Tape the plastic in place with low tack painter’s masking tape. Hang the plastic sheeting behind the toilet and tape it in place.

Lay tarps or sheet plastic over all surfaces that you do not want to paint.

Load a palm sander with 100 grit sandpaper and sand the shiny surface off the tank cover along with the inside and outside of the toilet. Sand any hard to reach areas by hand with 100-grit sandpaper. Make sure use sand the shiny coating off the area where the water enters the sewer pipe. Reach behind the outside of the toilet and sand all surfaces.

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Vacuum the sanding dust off the toilet surfaces with a shop vacuum.

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Wipe the toilet’s surfaces with a tack rag to pick up any remaining sanding dust.

Clean the entire toilet with a grease fighting detergent, rinse the toilet thoroughly and dry it completely.

Painting the Toilet

Dip a clean, lint free rag into an epoxy bonding agent.

Apply the bonding agent to the toilet – inside, outside, back, front and tank lid.

Allow the bonding agent to remain on the surface for five to 10 minutes or as long as the bonding agent’s instructions recommend.

Open windows to ventilate the room. Put on a pair of safety glasses and a respirator.

Choose an epoxy primer, paint and clear sealer made expressly for porcelain.

Add an epoxy primer to the tank of a paint sprayer. Spray the primer over all of the toilet surfaces evenly to cover the surface of the toilet and tank lid.

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Let the primer dry for one to three hours.

Spray all surfaces with a second even coat.

Let the primer dry for one to three hours.

Empty the remaining primer from the paint sprayer and clean the tank.

Fill the paint sprayer with an epoxy paint in the color of your choice.

Spray an even coat of paint over the outside, inside, front, back and tank lid.

Allow the epoxy paint to dry for two to four hours.

Spray  – all surfaces – with a second coat of paint and let it dry for two to four hours.

Check all toilet surfaces for drips or globs of paint. If you have any drips or globs of paint, wet a sheet of 600 grit sandpaper with plain water and lightly sand away the painting imperfections.

Wipe the toilet with a tack rag to remove any sanding dust.

Examine the second coat look for areas that have not been covered completely. If you have any areas where the paint looks too light or streaky, apply a third coat of paint. You can also apply a third coat of paint if the color has not deepen to a satisfactory color.

Remove the epoxy paint from the sprayer and wash the sprayer thoroughly.

Add a clear epoxy sealer to the paint sprayer.

Spray all surfaces of the toilet – front, back, inside, outside and the tank cover with an even coat.

Let the sealer dry for two to three hours.

Spray a second coat of sealer over all areas of the toilet and let it dry for two to three hours.

Examine the toilet looking for drips or globs of sealer. If you find any sealer drips, wet a piece of 600 grit sandpaper with water and lightly sand the drips.

Wipe the surface with a tack rag.

Spray all toilet surfaces with a third and final coat of sealer. Let the sealer dry for six to eight hours.

Remove the tape and plastic.

Run a new bead of caulk around the base of the toilet.

Install a new matching toilet seat and bolt covers.

Replace the flush handle.

Put the tank lid back in place.

Turn the water supply valve back on.

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Comments

Jun 15, 2012 4:18pm
Deborah-Diane
Fascinating article. I had no idea you could paint a toilet ... but it opens up some fun decorating ideas!
Jun 16, 2012 5:08am
Jack_Luca
Thanks for the comment. If you have some artistic ability you can paint a design after the paint coats. Create the design with an epoxy paint and then seal it.
Jun 15, 2012 8:17pm
Derby
Great article. Like Deborah-Diane I did not know you could paint a toilet. It's definitely a job to follow your instructions to the letter.
Jun 16, 2012 5:08am
Jack_Luca
Thanks! Yes, painting a toilet is much like repainting or resurfacing a bathtub.
Jun 15, 2012 8:31pm
Etcetera
Good and practicable idea which encourages reuse rather then wastage.
Jun 16, 2012 5:09am
Jack_Luca
Absolutely -- renovate and reuse!
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