Toilet Seat Makeover

Painting a wood toilet seat

Before I lose my nerve, I’m going to blog about my toilet seat makeover. Sigh. It’s a good thing there’s no real authority over bloggers, because I would surely lose my bloggy license over this one.

But there’s one thing that I’ve learned in life…never assume that basic information is all that basic. So if you are reading this, I hope it helps you…or maybe someone you love.

So here’s my bathroom. One hundred years old, and still sparkling. The six year old toilet seat? Not so much.

painted wood toilet seat makeover

I promise you, this is not dirt, mold, or anything gross. It’s just the paint wearing off of my wooden toilet seat. I love this seat. If you have a slow-close toilet seat, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t have a slow-close seat, come have coffee at my place someday, and you’ll get it.

When we were first introduced to these seats by a bath showroom rep, she offered to spec in a standard version, or the Slow-Close Molded Wood Toilet Seat (affiliate link), but she warned the slow-close was horribly expensive. At three times the cost of a standard seat, we were worried, But then we found out the cost is about $12 versus about $30.

Um, we’ll take the nifty slow-close seat, please.

Fast forward a couple of houses to our current seat. We treat ourselves to brand-spanking new toilet seats whenever we buy a house. Because I could not live there otherwise. That’s how I know this particular model is six years old.

Hubby has the plastic slow-close seat in his bath room, but the wooden ones are more stable, and so that’s what I have in my bathroom, because when closed, it doubles as a seat to finish my pedicure on. The plastic seats don’t need this makeover, but the wooden ones do.

Anyway, back to the makeover and the (I swear) worn paint. And the fact that I am a lazy painter. And the fact that I want to be a good steward of my home, and not add to landfills needlessly by throwing this out prematurely. And my deeply held belief that spray paint has miracle transformative properties.

Now, I know this throne is all clean because just this morning I cleaned it. Up and down. Inside and out. Twice.

Do you really think I’d be showing this to you otherwise???

After draining the tank and bowl (which you accomplish by shutting off the valve by the wall and flushing one more time), I threw a drop cloth across the bowl, and hit it with my new favorite spray paint. Rustoleum 2X is an awesome product that I’ve been using a lot this summer. It covers wonderfully.

painted toilet seat makeover

As with any spray paint job, light coats are key to no-drip success. I mean it…go lighter than you think. Really. You’re gonna growl at yourself if you see those telltale drippy wave marks.

Painting a wood toilet seat

So about six very light coats later, three on the topside and three on the underside, we’re good to go. As it were.

Just a note, you don’t want to paint more coats than you need, or paint while the coats are not dry, or you’ll get a weird crackle effect. Trust me on this.

Just for fun, you know if I had any photographic skills at all, my toilet would be beautiful and sparkly in blogland. I need my graphic designer friends to help me out with this, but I gave it my best shot. How do you think it came out, all soft-focus and all?

painted toilet seat makeover

What about you? Does your bathroom need a toilet seat makeover? Have you ever thought of painting it?

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Barb @ A Life in Balance

    I love it!

  2. Heather

    We just bought new toilets seats this past weekend. I never would have thought to spruce up our old seats, but it’s a good idea – budget and earth friendly!

    1. Darla

      I have to ask…did you get the regular or the fancy slow-close seats?

  3. Diana

    Hi! I want to try this on my toilet seats. Everytime I clean them, more paint comes off.
    1. Why didn’t you take the seat off the bowl to paint it?
    2. What color of Rustoleum did you use to keep the
    original seat color?
    3. How long did it take each coat to dry?
    4. Did you buff/pick at any paint chipped areas to remove
    any more paint that might be still be lifting?
    Thanks, Diana

    1. Darla

      I have taken the seat off before to do this, but we were having bad weather when I did it this time, so I took a shortcut and just left it in place. The paint was just white. You don’t get too many color choices in spray paint. I don’t remember how long each coat took to dry, but you want to do VERY VERY VERY light coats and let them dry, or you’ll end up with bubbling/crackling. (Most people go too heavy with spray paint.) I had this problem, and used sandpaper to knock down the paint before the next pass with spray paint. My paint was not chipped or cracked when I started. If it had been, honestly I would have probably thrown this out and bought new. But for paint that is simply worn, this works well. Hope you have good luck with your project. Let me know how it goes.

  4. Shannon

    Trying this today! I just knew there was a way to save our worn toilet seats! Thanks for the tips! I’ll let you know how it goes.

    1. Darla

      Please do! I’d love to hear.

  5. sam

    Hmmmm ??? in my bath room, BUT in my hubbys bath room ??? How about that, need a his and her’s ?? My room, his room, my bed his bed.. I’m not that rich..

  6. Rachel

    Any update on how this cleans? I’ve spray painted bathroom accessories before and couldn’t clean them because the paint immediately rubbed off?

    1. Darla

      Oh, this cleans, no problem. The issue with paint rubbing off is always preparation and using the right paint. Just follow the directions here, and you’ll be fine. Remember, this is done on a wooden seat. You don’t want to paint a plastic seat, which would, indeed, lead to paint coming off.

  7. Katie

    So excited to try this! I scrubbed and scrubbed to get the ‘mildew’ off my toilet seat when we moved in, and only succeeded in wearing the paint off the WOODEN seat. (So embarrassed I didn’t know it was wood.) What do you use to clean yours to prevent the paint from wearing off in the first place? Or is it just something that happens over time with wood?
    Also, estimated dry time? We only have one bathroom…

    1. Darla

      Go for it! Yes, the paint will wear off all wood seats at some point. I’m glad that people are willing to paint them, since you can paint almost anything. How long it takes probably will depend on how often you use it. Primer takes almost no time to dry. The paint coats are usually 4 hours between coats. If this is the only commode in your house, I’d tackle this on a day when the family is off at grandma’s or somewhere else for the day. You could buy a new seat, but you can also refurbish this one. It’s a great project to start with.

  8. Dana Sumter

    I did mine today. My toilet has an elongated rectangular seat that I can’t find a replacement for… not for less than $100. So, I sanded mine down to NOTHING! I removed the hinges, the plastic seat feet and even the plastic lid nubs that keep everything from crashing together. I used a 80 grit and my mouse sander to remove chipped paint, 220 grit on the mouse sander to smooth and prep the surface for paint. I wiped it down and made sure it was dry. I used a brute white appliance epoxy to repaint it with many light coats. I plan to give it a full 24 hours to cure before I reinstalled the seat and lid.

    1. Darla

      I hope it works out for you. The longer you can let it dry, the better. If you have another powder room you can use, you might even want to wait a few days before reinstalling. I hope you love it!

    2. Brenda

      I’m so glad I just found this. I was about to $70 on a PLASTIC replacement for my elongated rectangular wood seat. I will definitely try this first. Now I’m still not sure what kind of paint to use.

  9. Ange

    I trust your seat was previously white? have a wooden coloured loo seat, bit badly stained underneath!! I want to paint it white to go with our bathroom make over.. is it possible? It’s a very good & expensive seat to replace so I hope I can?? I guess I’ll have to sand it down thoroughly to be rid of the varnish etc.. Any advise gratefully received pleeease?

    1. Darla

      Yes, our seat was previously white, but I don’t see why you couldn’t spray paint an old colorful seat. Just be sure to head my advice about using very light strokes of primer and spray paint, to avoid crackling. The worst that happens is that you have to buy a new seat in the end. You’ve got nothing to lose.

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