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Painting a Toilet

Painting a Toilet - Color Photos and Tips

You can paint toilets! But I don't want you to paint the inside of the bowl! In fact, just two days ago I was at a delightful plumbing supply house in my city - Keidel Supply - and saw a new painted toilet by Kohler. It had a humming bird on the tank front and tank lid. It was gorgeous. You could feel the paint or decal or whatever as you rubbed your hand over the surface.

Oil Paint

High gloss oil paint sticks very well to glazed china surfaces. You don't have to do any preparation work other than cleaning the surface and making sure it is dry.

Painting a scene is only to be done by a person who has talent. If you want stick people on your toilet, give me a call! I have zero artistic talent with respect to scenes, forms, etc. I can do two dimensional drawings, but not proportioned 3D paintings.


If you decide to paint your toilet or some other china object, use scenes from wallpaper or a magazine to inspire you. Yes, you can give the artist some latitude, but you want the final painted product to blend with the surroundings. Keep in mind that you can strip off the paint down the road if you grow to dislike the look. Regular paint strippers will readily remove the paint without harming the china.

Always have the artist do a quick sketch before you proceed to the final project. Be sure the proportions are right and the look is what you want.

Painting Photos

This photo should help you get a feel for what is possible when you decide to paint a toilet or any other piece of glazed china. Look at the detail on the canisters! The artist who painted them used a fine brush and a steady hand to create the random look of the ferns. The black lettering was also done free hand with black paint. The paint job is over 20 years old and looks as good as the day it was completed.

The seaside border is in the bathroom where I have a plain white toilet. My oldest daughter is going to take elements from the border and paint them on the tank face and the tank lid. She has not yet decided what she is going to do. But I can assure you it will be spectacular. Keep in mind that if you have to hire an artist, they can take the toilet tank off and keep it in their studio. They don't have to paint it in place!

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