While hardwood and thermoplastic are the most common, acrylic, polycarbonate, ceramic, porcelain, and clay are also used to make modern-day toilet seats. These all can be refinished if you correctly use the right paint type.
The only toilet seat that cannot be easily painted is the padded one because the paint will not stick to the vinyl padding. This means if you coat a padded toilet seat, the paint may start chipping within a few days and develop cracks. To clean and maintain these seats, use mild soap with a damp sponge, followed by thoroughly drying it with a cloth.
What Paint to Use for Wooden Toilet Seats?
Although latex paint is commonly recommended for wooden toilet seats, disinfectants and harsh toilet cleaners may wear off the coating quickly. Many people, therefore, consider using oil-based paints to refinish their toilet seats.
If using latex paint, you may apply it directly to the wood with a brush or roller. However, if you’re using oil-based paint, you must prime the seat with a suitable wood primer before painting.
It’s not essential to remove the back of the toilet to paint. However, I recommend removing any hardware (screws, nuts, bolts, etc.) attached to the toilet seat so you don’t accidentally paint over it. Once the hardware is removed, you can prepare and paint the toilet seat.
Step 1- Sanding
Toilet seats made of raw wood (that hasn’t been finished or sealed in any way) must be sanded before painting. Use sandpaper with 120 grit and sand in the same direction as the wood grain. After sanding, wipe off dust with a damp cloth to help the paint stick better and achieve a smoother finish.
Step 2- Cleaning
If your wooden toilet seat is old, ensure it’s free of dirt or grime. For cleaning, you can use a mild soap and water solution with a sponge and do not forget to dry it thoroughly.
Step 3- Priming
Priming the wooden toilet seat is also crucial for better paint adhesion to its surface. Use a brush or roller to apply a thin layer of primer, and ensure it dries entirely before proceeding to the next step.
Step 4- Painting the toilet seat
No matter whether you use latex or oil-based paint on your wooded toilet seat, be sure to use even strokes and allow the first coat of paint to dry completely before adding a second coat. Adding a second or even third coat will give your seat a more finished look that lasts for a long.
Step 5- Let the paint dry and add a clear coat
Once you’re finished with the job, it’s essential to leave your painted toilet seat overnight to let the paint dry completely before using the toilet seat. If you want your paint job to last and make the coating more durable, consider adding a clear coat of polyurethane the next day. This step is, however, optional and can be skipped if desired.
Can You Paint the Inside of a Toilet Bowl – What to Use?
In general, wooden toilet seats are more absorbent than plastic ones. And because porous materials soak up liquid better than non-porous materials, a wood seat will be less sanitary than a plastic one. Due to this reason, the inside of the toilets (or toilet bowls) is generally made of porcelain, plastic, acrylic, etc., because of its durability, low porosity, and density.
You can refinish these toilet bowls from the inside as long as you do not use regular paint (latex or oil-based) for the project, as these will likely chip and peel fast.
A special epoxy paint designed to paint the toilet bowl’s inside is recommended because it is more durable and resistant to chipping and peeling.
Epoxy paint for toilet bowls and seats is also typically a good choice if your bathroom tends to be extremely busy and requires daily cleaning. These paints are available in two-part kits where the components can be mixed before you use them. For the application, you can spray it with a compressor-style paint sprayer or use a fine-bristle brush.
Can You Use Spray Paint for a Wooden Toilet Seat and Bowl?
You can use spray paint, but I will not recommend it because getting an even coat with spray paint is challenging, and you’re more likely to end up with drips and streaks.
If you’re still determined to use spray paint, I recommend using Rust-Oleum Primer-and-Paint in One, which will save you time and effort because you won’t have to apply the primer and wait for it to dry before painting.
They also have exciting colors like “Ocean Blue” and “Sunset Glow” to make your toilet seat stand out. And with these spray paints, you can add decorative designs with stencils if you desire.
Here are a few tips to follow when using spray paint:
- Use a primer to help the paint adhere better to the surface and give you a more even finish.
- Use multiple light coats when spraying rather than one heavy coat. This will help prevent drips and streaks.
- Let the paint dry completely, and add a clear coat of polyurethane spray to help protect the paint and make it more durable.
With spray paints, it is easy to change the color or style more often. But it’s generally a good idea to repaint your toilet seat every few years to keep it looking its best. If you notice the paint starting to chip or peel, that’s a good indication that it’s time for a new coat of paint.
Why My Toilet Seat Started Peeling – How Do I Remove the Paint?
If your toilet seat is peeling, it’s likely because the paint wasn’t adequately adhered to the surface or because you didn’t use a primer.
To avoid this problem, use a primer and let the paint dry completely before using the toilet seat. Also, keep the toilet seat clean and debris-free to prevent the paint from peeling.
If you need to remove paint from a toilet seat, use a paint stripper or sandpaper.
For paint strippers, simply apply the stripping agent to the surface of the seat and let it sit for a few minutes, then scrape off the paint with a putty knife.
If you’re using sandpaper, start with coarse grit and then move to a finer grit until the paint is completely removed. Be sure to sand in the same direction as the wood grain to avoid finish damage.
The Bottom Line
By choosing the correct paint, following the steps above, and being careful to follow the instructions, painting your enameled wood toilet seat should be a breeze. So, if you want to give your bathroom a new look without spending much money, there’s no reason not to try it out.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.