Does paint color appear darker or lighter in windowless bathroom

sis2twoJanuary 21, 2014

Have been looking at color swatches for a jack and Jill bathroom. There are no windows, and I am wondering generally speaking, if colors tend to intensify or wash out in this kind of setting. Thank you.

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I think paint always appears darker on the wall than in the can, so I would assume that it only appears darker in rooms without adequate lighting, but artificial lighting could absorb that darkness.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:36PM
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I think darker. As a matter of fact, I just painted a bathroom with one north window but not much light (dark woven window shades 3/4 covered always) in BM Affinity Kangaroo. It came out just as I visualized. Awesome deep beige rich contrast with China White woodwork. I used the leftover half-gallon to paint an accent wall in the living room where it is fairly bright with 3 large windows. The paint appears too light and does not work as an accent at all against the off-white other walls.

This experience may be different with different colors, but that's what I found with this color.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:47PM
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I also think the little paint chips are very deceiving. A small 1-2" chip tends to look darker than IRL on any wall.

I never paint a wall without trying a sample on the wall first -- and even then I don't always get it right. That's why my basement is loaded with trial paint samples from many years of painting many rooms.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:50PM
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I had to go to the lightest colors on the strip and it's plenty of color. I painted BM Silver Mist.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:10PM
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I'm trying to determine whether I am going to use Quiet Moments or Healing Aloe in the bathroom. I'm using Quiet Moments in the bedroom adjoining the bathroom.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:48PM
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Do you like the QM in the bedroom? I think the cohesiveness of the same color will be good. QM is still a light color even if it reads slightly darker in the windowless room.

The artificial lighting in the bathroom will have a bearing too. CFLs or soft whites or reveal lights all will create slight variances.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 8:55PM
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wendyb- we haven't painted the bedroom yet. Quiet Moments is the color that I have picked and I was thinking going a little lighter in the bathroom but not sure at this point.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 10:11AM
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I think darker colors tend to intensify rather than wash out in a windowless room - and that they make a small, windowless room look better than a lighter color. With an intense dark color, the walls tend to recede. We have a very small, windowless bathroom that I painted BM Whitall Brown and it looks amazing. The bathroom used to have light walls and felt colder and smaller. Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:16AM
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We have two bathrooms painted the same color. One has windows, the other is windowless. The walls in the windowless room appear marginally darker than those in the room with windows, but not so that you would notice. I had to look twice to make sure.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:57AM
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Some of this is going to depend on how many light bulbs you have in the room, their wattage and the color of light they emit.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 12:37PM
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In another thread I was introduced to "LRV" concept - Light Reflecting Value - 1-100% scale black to white. Higher numbers are lighter. On the BM site, Healing Aloe is 68.95. Quiet Moments is 60.79. I think that difference is going to be noticeable and wonder how you will feel moving from room to room with a different color. Or, if both colors be seen in the same eyeful, that can be troublesome too with some colors.

Quiet Moments

Healing Aloe

As a reference point, I have Woodlawn Blue in my bedroom and it is 60.38 LRV and it definitely comes across as light. I normally do deeper richer colors, but felt in the mood for a pale color there and it is.

I think you will be best served to get a sample of each and try them both in both rooms. They read a little differently in grey-ness and green-ness too. That will affect your decision too. Also, at some BM paint stores they can show (or sell/ rent) you a large sheet of the colors. That may help you too. A nearby BM store has 16" square pieces of many colors and 7"ish squares of every color.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 12:46PM
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We have two windowless bathrooms and painted many a sample on the walls. We were about to go with Soulful Blue (I think Valspar) but it was so dark on the walls that we opted for a lighter silver-blue color which we love (counters being installed tomorrow - yippee!!)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:03PM
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That reminds me of a blue windowless bathroom I once did many years ago. I put up many samples first and was sure I knew which one was right. I wanted blue and not too pale, but I didn't want it to look like a nursery baby blue. So I finally settled on one and bought a gallon. I did one wall and Yikes! It was all wrong! So I ended up mixing in some of my samples to make a correction. It came out fine and used up some samples which I guess was a win-win.

I had a similar issue with a yellow room with too much of a brightness-sunny factor. Thought I had the right tone, but did not. I ended up faux painting layers of off-yellows and glaze to correct it. It actually came out awesome, but faux is out, so that's not a good fix anymore.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 4:33PM
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wendyb- it's funny actually because the bathroom that we are painting has a faux finish from 13 yrs. ago. Can't wait to have it painted over!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:07PM
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I have a rather small, windowless bathroom which I painted in a medium blue which looked a light blue on the sample card, and I decided, after all was said and done, I wanted a dark, richer color and so changed it in order to make the room appear richer and grander.

That bathroom has blue slate flooring, pearl blue granite and white fixtures, with same slate walls in the shower/bathtub combination and the frameless shower doors and all handles/pulls are chrome.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:19PM
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