Bathrooms that Shine Sell a Home


“The kitchen and bathroom sell a house,” says Ken Perrin, president of Artistic Renovations in Cleveland, Ohio. If you are looking to make your bathroom appealing without the expense of extensive remodeling, use some time and energy and make that bathroom shine.

Paint as an Inexpensive Solution

The least expensive way to spruce up a bathroom is with paint. While many may suggest neutral colors in other parts of the house, the bathroom may be the exception. Think of it as a jewel box. Choose your favorite jewel tone — emerald, eggplant, sapphire — and take it to the paint store to match. The more layers you apply, the deeper and more reflective the color will be. As many as five or six layers would not be too much. Even eight or ten layers may be necessary to achieve the richness of the jewel. Don’t forget about the ceiling. Put as many layers on the ceiling as you do on the walls. The effect will be breathtaking! Contrast the back of the door, baseboards and crown – moldings with a cream or off – white paint and layer enough colors to achieve the same richness.

Cleaning and Freshening

While prospective buyers are sure to be impressed with the rich, luxurious effect, you must follow up with a clean, fresh room. Fixtures should gleam. Take care to remove any mineral deposits around fixtures in the sink and bath tub. Use a mineral dissolver and an old toothbrush to assure every trace of the scaly deposit is eradicated. Then polish and shine the fixtures until you can see yourself in them. If there are chips or dents in the tub or sink, smooth them out with a filler. If you have a tub/shower combination, remove old shower curtains. The more pop and shine in the bathroom, the better. If you use the shower daily, put a shower curtain on a tension rod that you can remove before showing your home. You may have a shower door instead of a curtain. If that is the case, clean and remove any lime deposits and use a squeegee each day after a shower.

Focus major attention on the toilet. Not only scrub the bowl, but also scrub under the rim to remove any stains. Clean under the seat and around the hinges and floor attachments. Scrub the crevices around the toilet on the floor and pay attention to the area behind the toilet. It is close to the wall and often neglected. You want it to smell fresh, not disinfected. If the floor is tile, steam clean it and scrub out any grout stains. If it is carpet, shampoo it. Fix a continually, running toilet.

Make it Sparkle

Shine mirrors and light fixtures. Replace any low wattage light bulbs with a higher wattage to add more oomph in the room. Clean, straighten and declutter items in the tub, shower, medicine cabinet, drawers and underneath the sink. Scour and shine the stopper in the sink. If water drains out slowly, fix it. It may simply be clogged with hair or other debris, but buyers like to see everything in top working order. Some prospective buyers peek in everything and test mechanisms by flushing the toilet and turning on the tap to see if water drains out. Re-stain or re-paint cabinets if they are dull or worn, and, if there is no hardware, add ones that complement other fixtures in the bathroom. If you already have hardware on cabinets, polish it to bring out its brilliance.


Stage the bathroom with fresh towels and hang a couple of small art pieces on the wall. Remove any scatter rugs, especially in a small bathroom. Get rid of clutter from the counter top and replace with fresh flowers or a fragrant candle. Whether the counter is tile or a solid surface, be certain it is spic and span. If the waste basket looks old or tired, and cannot be refreshed, replace it. While this may seem insignificant, but prospective buyers notice the smallest things and may be impressed with your attention to detail. If there have been previous toilet over-flows, look for any water marks or mold, and take care of it.

When prospective buyers can visualize themselves in your home, the appeal is heightened. Creating a delightful bathroom will help buyers do that. Take your time and do a good job, and you may find yourself moving more quickly than you planned.