Adding an accent wall to your bathroom can be a fun and easy way to give the space a quick makeover. An accent wall draws the eye, creates visual interest, and makes your bathroom feel fresh and updated. With just a little bit of paint or wallpaper, you can transform the look and feel of your bath. When considering an accent wall for your bathroom, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Choosing a Wall for Your Accent

When selecting a wall for your accent treatment, it’s important to choose the right one to maximize the impact. Here are some tips:

  • Focus on the wall behind the vanity – Since this is a main focal point in the bathroom, an accent wall here will really stand out.
  • Use the wall with the shower/tub -Highlighting the wall behind the tub or shower with an accent color or pattern is a great way to showcase this feature.
  • Accentuate texture – If your bathroom has a textured tile or wallpaper accent, choose that wall to really make the texture pop.
  • Go bold behind the toilet – While often overlooked, the wall behind the toilet is perfectly positioned for an unexpected pop of color or pattern.
  • Use the back wall – For a small bathroom, the back wall is likely to be the main focus so an accent treatment here can make a big statement.

Consider the size of the wall, whether it has any breaks like windows and doors, and how it relates to the rest of the space when choosing your accent area. The bolder the color or busier the pattern, the smaller the wall space should be.

Popular Paint Color Choices

Paint is one of the easiest ways to create an accent wall. Be sure to choose a high quality bathroom paint that is mold/mildew resistant. Consider one of these popular accent paint colors for your bath:

Navy – A dark navy blue accent wall adds drama and sophistication. It pairs well with white or wood vanities and chrome or silver fixtures.

Forest Green – For a spa-like feel, a rich forest or emerald green wall evokes nature. It looks great with white subway tile and bronze fixtures.

Charcoal Grey – This deeper grey has a cozy, masculine vibe. Use it behind a contemporary floating vanity with black metal hardware.

Burnt Orange – For a bold, welcoming look, burnt orange looks amazing with white beadboard wainscoting and antique bronze fixtures.

Yellow – Cheerful, energizing yellow makes a vibrant accent. Try it behind a farmhouse sink vanity with oil-rubbed bronze fixtures for rustic charm.

Red – From bright cherry red to deeper burgundy, red makes a dramatic splash. It stands out beautifully against white marble tile and chrome.

Purple – Regal purple in light lavender to deep eggplant shades brings luxury to the bath. Pair it with gleaming nickel or mercury glass light fixtures.

Teal – For coastal flair, teal blue-green is the perfect accent color. Use it with driftwood-inspired vanities and matte black or vintage brass fixtures.

No matter what color you choose, limiting it to just one wall prevents it from overpowering the space.

Creative Wallpaper Accent Wall Ideas

Wallpaper offers endless options for creating a stunning accent wall in the bathroom. From floral prints to geometric patterns, here are some wallpaper accent wall ideas to inspire:

  • Black and white graphic print – Think black and white zigzags or Moroccan tiles for an ultra-chic look.
  • Forest mural – A wallpaper mural depicting a lush forest, waterfall or mountainscape brings nature indoors.
  • Tropical leaf print – Lush palm leaf patterns in greens lend a tropical vibe and go with rattan or woven wood vanities.
  • Marble or stone – Faux marble or stone wallpaper has sophistication and visual interest.
  • Bird and botanical prints – Delicate bird and flower wallpapers bring charm and romance.
  • Subway tile – Brick, marble or ceramic tile patterns create an eye-catching focal point.
  • Damask – Elegant damask patterns in neutrals or metallics add refined detailing.
  • Stripes – Thin vertical stripes work well in small spaces and create height.
  • Scallop tiles – For beachy vibes, scallop tile patterns in blues, greens and whites are perfect.

When choosing wallpaper, make sure it is intended for high-moisture bathroom use and contains mold-fighting properties. Install it properly on all bathroom walls for maximum longevity.

Ideas for DIY Accent Walls

If you’re feeling crafty, consider making your own DIY bathroom accent wall using materials like wood, tiles or paint techniques:

  • Penny tile – Cover your wall in affordable copper penny tiles. Fill in randomly or create a pattern.
  • Wooden shiplap – The classic shiplap look adds rustic farmhouse charm and visual texture.
  • Faux bricks – Use brick veneer, removable wallpaper or paint to create the look of exposed brickwork.
  • Stenciled patterns – Choose a stencil in geometric shapes, floral designs or scallop motifs to customize your wall.
  • Two-tone paint – Paint the top and bottom portions of your wall in different colors for an artsy look.
  • Paint ombre – Ombre, or gradually shifting paint colors, can make your wall transition from light to dark beautifully.
  • Framed mirrors – Cover your wall in framed mirrors for contemporary glam. Leave space between frames for interest.
  • Peel and stick tiles – Self-adhesive decorative tiles like marble, travertine or glass types are easy to install.

Have fun getting creative with materials, textures, colors and patterns!

Choosing the Right Accent Wall Color

Choosing the right color for your bathroom accent wall is key to pulling off the look. Here are some tips for selecting an accent wall color:

  • Consider the existing palette – Choose a color that complements the tones already in your space – cabinetry, tile, fixtures, etc.
  • Factor in the size of the space – In a small bathroom, bright and light accent colors tend to work best. Deeper or darker shades can overwhelm.
  • Match the mood you want – Do you want an energizing, spa-like bath? Opt for greens, blues or grays. Prefer a cozy vibe? Try tans, taupes or browns.
  • Sample paint colors – Paint test swatches directly on the wall you want to accentuate to get a sense of how the color will look.
  • Use opposite colors – Colors opposite each other on the color wheel provide maximum contrast for an accent wall. Like blue and orange or red and green.
  • Pair warm with cool – Contrasting a warm-toned palette with a cool accent color like slate blue or sage green works well.
  • Echo shades in fixtures – Tying your metal finishes to your accent color looks cohesive. For example, bronze fixtures with a burnt orange wall.
  • Carry the color through – Complement the wall color with towels, shower curtains or accessories in the same or related shades.

Start with the basics like black or white for an accent if you want something simple but elegant. Go bold with a vibrant accent color to make a dramatic statement.

How to Choose Bathroom Accent Wall Ideas

Looking for the perfect bathroom accent wall idea that is both stylish and functional? Here are some tips to choose the right accent wall for your space:

  • Define your style – Decide if you want a modern, bohemian, rustic or minimalist accent. This will guide what colors, materials and designs work best.
  • Consider the existing elements – Factor in your current vanity, tile, flooring and hardware finishes when choosing an accent. Aim to complement these or create striking contrast.
  • Focus on moisture-resistant materials – Due to humidity, water-resistant paint, glazed tile, vinyl or laminate wallpaper work better than regular drywall.
  • Include storage – Take advantage of accent walls in the bath by incorporating floating shelves, cubbies and niches for extra storage.
  • Light it up – Use your accent wall as a place to add cool, stylish lighting like wall sconces or pendant lights.
  • Incorporate texture – Accent walls let you play with texture. Think tile, shiplap wood, concrete, vinyl or embossed wallpaper.
  • Zone it out – Use accent walls to define different functional zones like having one color behind the sink and another behind the tub.
  • Create a focal point – An accent wall behind the tub or vanity will draw the eye and create an artistic focal point.

With the right choice of color, material and placement, your new bathroom accent wall will be a stunning showpiece.

Preparing and Priming Your Accent Wall

Achieving a top-quality accent wall requires careful prep and priming for the best results. Here are some tips for getting your accent wall ready for its new look:

Clean the surface – Wipe down the wall to remove any dirt, stains, soap scum or grease that could interfere with adhesion.

Fill any holes – Inspect the wall and fill holes, cracks and imperfections with spackle for a smooth finish. Allow to dry fully.

Sand if needed – Lightly sand the wall if the surface is rough, bumpy or previously painted with glossy enamel paint to help the new paint adhere.

Remove wallpaper – If accenting over an existing wallpaper, remove it completely along with all adhesive residue so the new paint bonds correctly.

Wash with TSP – For glossy or heavily coated walls, wash down the entire surface with TSP (trisodium phosphate) to help remove grease and prep for painting.

Fix moisture issues – Deal with any moisture problems like leaks ahead of time. Accent walls require top-quality bathroom paints that resist moisture.

Apply bathroom paint primer – Use a high-quality primer designed specifically for bathrooms. Look for mold/mildew-resistant formulas made for high-moisture areas.

Prime heavily – Take care to apply a thorough, even coat of bathroom primer over the full accent wall to allow the top color coat(s) to go on smoothly.

Prepping your accent wall properly will let you achieve the flawless, beautiful finish you want!

Tips for Painting Your Accent Wall by Hand

Painting your bathroom accent wall by hand can help you make crisp edges and have more control over the finished look. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use painter’s tape – Tape off edges and trim with high-quality painter’s tape to protect surfaces from splatters and color bleed. Remove tape promptly after painting before it dries.
  • Cut in edges first – Use a trim brush to carefully “cut in” along ceilings, corners, trim and edges by hand before rolling paint onto the main wall areas.
  • Apply paint in sections – Divide the wall mentally into sections and finish cutting in and rolling each section before moving to the adjacent areas to avoid overlapping dried edges.
  • Use a mini roller – Opt for a shorter 4-inch roller that makes it easier to control coverage and avoids bumping into walls or ceilings. Load roller with paint and distribute evenly.
  • Maintain a wet edge – Work top to bottom and side to side, maintaining a wet edge where fresh paint meets recently painted areas so the transition is seamless. Work quickly to avoid lap marks.
  • Roll in different directions – Roll up and down first, then finish by smoothing the area using left to right strokes to achieve a consistent finish without roller marks.
  • Watch for drips – Periodically inspect the wall up close and touch up any drips or uneven coverage spots immediately to prevent having to redo areas.

With the right prep and painting technique, your hand-painted bathroom accent wall will look fantastic!

How to Add an Accent Wall with Minimal Mess

Painting an accent wall introduces a fun pop of color to your bathroom, but it can also mean dealing with messes like paint drips, spills and splatters. Here are some tips for creating a gorgeous accent wall with minimal mess:

  • Protect all surfaces with plastic sheeting and painter’s tape. Cover the floor, counters, tub and vanity.
  • Opt for no-drip paint formulas that are thicker, self-leveling and less prone to making a mess.
  • Pour paint into trays instead of directly from the can. Trays have built in reservoirs to catch spills and drips.
  • Attach a paint brush and roller cover to extension poles which allow you to paint while standing on the floor, avoiding climbing up and down ladders.
  • Set a small lined trash can nearby so you can promptly discard paint-coated rollers, brushes and rags after use to prevent staining.
  • Keep wet wipes or damp rags handy to quickly wipe up any minor drips or splatters on tile, trim or surfaces before they dry.
  • Work top to bottom when cutting in edges to prevent drips running down the wall. Touch up spots you may have missed at the end.
  • Check for hidden splatters under trim and edges by running a rag covered finger over them once everything is dry.
  • Remove all paint shields and floor coverings carefully to avoid pulling off chunks of wet paint.

Staying organized and attentive while you work will keep your new accent wall looking fabulously mess-free!

Tips for Getting Clean Lines When Painting

Achieving crisp, clean lines along ceilings, baseboards, trim and edges makes all the difference in your bathroom accent wall. Here are some tips:

  • Invest in quality mini angled paint brushes made for cutting in. The stiffer angled tips provide more control.
  • When cutting in corners, carefully paint the ceiling area first, then do the wall edges in one continuous line for the best results.
  • Go slowly and focus on accuracy, holding the brush at a slight angle as you brush along trim, edges and borders. Avoid big brush strokes.
  • Use painter’s tape to mask off areas where a freehand painted line would be difficult, like where walls and ceilings meet or near intricate molding. Remove tape promptly once dry.
  • Load your brush well with paint so you can paint a long steady line without stopping. Stopping mid-edge always leaves a mark.
  • Maintain a light touch – don’t press down too hard or drag the bristles along the edges. Let the brush do the work.
  • Step back frequently to check for wobbly lines or uneven coverage. Touch up any problem spots immediately while the paint is still wet.
  • Take your time when cutting in before rolling – rushing leads to messy lines and splatters. Slow and steady wins the race!

Crisp edges really make accent walls pop! Follow these tips for the cleanest lines possible.

Picking the Perfect Sheen for Your Accent Wall

Choosing what paint sheen is ideal for your bathroom accent wall impacts its look and durability. Here’s an overview of sheen options:

  • Flat – Completely matte finish, but can look dirty easily in bathrooms. Avoid for accent walls.
  • Matte – More durable than flat with a soft, subtle luster. Works for modern, vintage or rustic designs.
  • Eggshell – Low-luster with slight hint of sheen. Washable and easy to touch up. Great all-purpose accent wall finish.
  • Satin – Lightly glossy with a smooth, pearl-like sheen. Provides visual depth. Pairs well with ornate or feminine baths.
  • Semi-Gloss – Medium-high shine that’s very scrubbable. Use in kid’s bathrooms or high-moisture areas. Best for trim.
  • High-Gloss – Ultra shiny and reflective but shows imperfections. Use sparingly as an accent.

Test small paint swatches with different sheens directly on your wall to see which finish you prefer. The right sheen makes all the difference!

How to Add Bold Interest with Two-Tone Accent Walls

For a more dynamic look, consider using two colors or finishes to create a two-tone accent wall. Here are some exciting options to try:

Horizontal stripes – Classic and clean, different-colored stripes layered horizontally stimulate the eye. Wider stripes work well in small baths.

Vertical stripes – Draw the eye up and create the illusion of a higher ceiling with bold or thin stripes running vertically.

Large and small rectangles – Combine big and small rectangular fields of color for a modular, multi-dimensional look.

Diagonal stripes or zones – Angled stripes or color-blocked shapes make a strong graphic statement.

Inset panels – Painting or wallpapering rectangular panels in the accent wall creates interesting relief and depth.

Framed boxes – Use tape to create framed squares and rectangles, painting each one in a different color.

Geometric patterns – Combine triangular, circular or diamond shapes within the wall’s rectangular space.

Ombre blend – Transition from dark to light shades of a single color for a soothing ombre effect.

Textural mix – Pair flat paint with a section of tile, shiplap wood or wallpaper for visual and tactile contrast.

Get creative with how you use color, texture and shapes to design a truly one-of-a-kind two-tone bathroom accent wall.

Easy Accent Wall Ideas for Rental Bathrooms

Love the look of accent walls but hesitant to paint one as a renter? These easy, removable ideas are renter-friendly:

  • Peel-and-stick wallpaper – Self-adhesive wallpaper like chic patterns, faux tile or decorative wood comes right off when it’s time to