How To Paint A Toilet Seat

There’s no doubt that a toilet seat sees a lot of wear and tear; especially if you are limited to one bathroom in your home. Constant use, plus regular cleaning with harsh cleaning products, can lead to the paint on the toilet seat wearing off making the toilet seat look worn and dirty – which it’s not! Once you learn how to paint a toilet seat, and realize how easy it is, you won’t have to live with it any longer.

Can You Paint A Toilet Seat?

Yes! You can paint both wooden and plastic toilet seats. The key is to prep the surface properly (see below) and apply thin coats to avoid paint dripping and future chipping.

You cannot paint padded toilet seats. The vinyl fabric covering these seats will not take up the paint well, and the padded nature means the paint will crack and chip almost immediately.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Need To Paint A Toilet Seat?

Traditionally you would need both a primer and a paint in order to ensure that the paint bonded properly to the surface.


Rust-Oleum 249090 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, 12-Ounce, White

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Rust-Oleum has developed a spray paint with BOTH primer and paint in one. Like magic! This saves both time and effort as you no longer have to apply the primer, wait for it to dry, and then apply the paint layers; it’s all done in one easy step.

Plus, they have a bunch of colors. Now painting your toilet seat Berry Pink may not be in your decorating plans (this time), but it’s good to know it’s there for those other projects you’ve been avoiding also. 🙂

Should I Clean The Toilet Seat Before Painting?

Absolutely you should! One of the most important steps in painting a toilet seat is cleaning it.

If the surface is not adequately cleaned then neither paint, nor primer, will adhere correctly.

Hands down, the absolute BEST cleaner I have EVER used, is Spray Nine. Honestly, I didn’t find this myself until last year when I wanted to deep clean my kitchen. This stuff is amazing! It cleaned off dirt, and grime, and grease, and gunge-y build up with no effort at all. I now use it all over the house and simply call it ‘the miracle cleaner’.

spray nine

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What Else Will I Need To Paint a Toilet Seat?

As is the case for most projects, getting all your supplies together ahead of time will make the project go a whole lot smoother. Be sure to have these items on hand:

How To Paint A Toilet Seat

  1. Remove the toilet seat from the toilet. To do this, open up the bolt covers on the back of the toilet seat and use a large screwdriver to turn the bolt while holding onto the nut underneath. I know, it sounds way more complicated than it actually is. Check out this video from This Old House; they demonstrate it perfectly.
  2. Clean the toilet seat thoroughly. Front and back. Top and bottom. Don’t forget the hinge area too. Rinse completely and leave it to fully dry.
  3. Mask areas that should not be painted. Use the painters tape to mask off any areas that should not be painted such as the hinges and hinge covers. If you don’t want the lid to be painted you could use newspaper as a larger mask.
  4. Sand areas to be painted. Sanding provides a rougher surface to allow the paint to adhere better. Lightly sand all areas that are to be painted until they are dull and slightly roughened. Wipe with a damp rag to remove all dust and let dry thoroughly.
  5. Take it outside. You’ll need a well ventilated area to do the painting, using a drop cloth to be sure that the surface under the painting area won’t be painted also. The last thing you need is a toilet seat shaped paint ring on your driveway for eternity!
  6. Paint the toilet seat. Spray a light, even, coat of paint on the surface from 6 to 10 inches away. Spraying too close will result in paint drips and an uneven coating. Be sure to spray into all the nooks and crannies too. Allow the first coat to dry and then repeat with a second coat of paint. *Follow the directions on the Rust-Oleum can to ensure perfect results.
  7. Let dry completely and reinstall. Once the newly painted toilet seat is dry, re-install onto the toilet.

Replacing A Worn Toilet Seat

Sometimes a well worn toilet seat is just that – well worn and not worth painting or restoring. Replacing a toilet seat is very easy to do, plus a basic version doesn’t cost any more than the cost of a can of spray paint!

Check out our Toilet Seats article and find a new toilet seat to solve your problem with a fraction of the work.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What kind of paint can you use on a toilet seat?

Typically, a spray paint is used to paint a toilet seat. These are normally oil based and provide a light, continuous coating of paint. For best coverage, apply the paint in a number of this coats allowing each to dry well before applying the next.

Wooden toilet seats can be treated a little differently. If the top coat can be adequately removed, then a wood stain can be applied much like any other wood project.

Can you use acrylic paint on a toilet seat?

Acrylic paints are not recommended for painting toilet seats. The results will not last; cracking and peeling will occur before too long. An oil based spray paint is recommended for best results and durability.

How do you paint a black toilet seat?

Painting a black toilet seat is a tough project; but not impossible!!

A good primer is needed for this job – to ensure the existing black paint is well hidden. I suggest starting with a gray primer, and then using a white primer on that, before applying the final coats of paint.

What is the best paint for wooden toilet seat?

The best paint for a wooden toilet seat depends on what the final look should be.

A primer/paint combination can be used if the intention is to cover up the wood with paint. Just follow the instructions above.

If the intention is to keep the wooden look then any wood paint, or stain, can be used. The key is to ensure that the existing clear coat on top is adequately removed and the wood sanded smooth. Then a wood stain or paint can be applied. Don’t forget to add a clear coat on top once again.