best paint for wooden toilet seat
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Best Paint for Wooden Toilet Seats [Ultimate Guides]

If you have a wooden toilet seat that is looking worn or dated, painting it can give it a quick facelift without the cost of buying a new seat. Painting a wooden toilet seat allows you to change the color or just freshen it up simply and affordably.

However, not all paints are well-suited for use on a wooden toilet seat. The paint needs to stand up to moisture, cleaning products, and repeated use without chipping, peeling or losing its luster. In this article, we will look at the factors to consider when choosing paint for a wooden toilet seat and recommend some of the best options. We will also overview the preparation, painting and drying process so you can get started on revitalizing your wooden toilet seat.

Top Comparison Table For The best paints for a wooden toilet seat:

Paint TypeProductPriceDry TimeCoats NeededFinishDurabilityOdor LevelCleanup
EnamelRust-Oleum High Performance EnamelCHECK PRICE6-8 hours between coats2-3 coatsGlossyExtremely durable and scratch-resistantStrong solvent fumesMineral spirits
PrimerKILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Latex PrimerCHECK PRICE1 hour dry time1 coatMatte basecoatGreat adhesion properties but needs paint topcoatVery mildWater
EnamelINSL-X Cabinet Coat EnamelCHECK PRICE24 hours between coats2-3 coatsSatin/GlossyExtremely hard, long-lasting finishLow fumes for oil-basedMineral spirits
EnamelBehr Premium Plus Ultra Semi-GlossCHECK PRICE4 hours between coats3+ coatsEggshell, Satin, Semi-GlossGood durability and stain resistanceLow-VOC water-basedSoap and water
Paint RemoverCitristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping GelCHECK PRICE30 minutes – 8 hours dwell time1 applicationGel residueRemoves gloss for improved paint adhesionMild citrusWipe off residue

Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint

When selecting the best paint for your wooden toilet seat, there are a few key factors to take into account:


Most importantly, you need a paint that can withstand regular exposure to moisture and cleaning products without wearing down prematurely. The paint should adhere well to the wood surface without chipping or peeling. Durable enamel, acrylic latex or oil-based paints are good options.

Ease of Application

Consider how readily the paint goes on the surface and how beginner-friendly the application process is. Enamel and latex paints typically brush on smoother than oil-based options. Quick-drying latex paints allow you to apply multiple coats in one session.


Think about whether you prefer a glossy, semi-gloss or matte finish. Gloss and semi-gloss give a smooth, shiny look that makes cleaning easier. Matte has more traction and hides imperfections well.


Pay attention to fumes and how dangerous ingestion would be, especially for households with pets or small children. Water-based latex paints are low in VOC emissions and relatively non-toxic compared to oil-based varieties.


Enamel, latex and oil-based paints are all fairly affordable. Just make sure to buy only as much as you need to avoid waste. Primer, brushes, sandpaper and other supplies also factor into the total cost.

Best Paint for Wooden Toilet Seats Reviews

1. Rust-Oleum High Performance Enamel

I’ve used Rust-Oleum’s enamel paint on old wooden chairs and cabinets in my kitchen with great success, so I decided to try it on my outdated wooden toilet seat. I’m so pleased with the results! This paint leaves a smooth, high-gloss finish that totally transforms the look of my bathroom. I was able to get flawless coverage in just two coats. It’s been over 6 months now and this paint has held up perfectly to cleaning and everyday use without any chips or yellowing. As long as you properly prep the surface, this enamel paint will adhere strong and last. Highly recommended! 5 stars.


  • Leaves a smooth, durable high-gloss finish
  • Great scrubbable finish that resists staining
  • Provides complete coverage in just 2 coats
  • Dries to a chip-resistant hard shell
  • Withstands over 6+ months of use without wearing


  • Oil-based formula requires mineral spirits cleanup
  • Moderate odor during drying period
  • Surface needs thorough sanding/degreasing prep

2. KILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Interior/Exterior Latex Primer

Before attempting to paint my wooden toilet seat, I made sure to use KILZ Adhesion primer. This water-based primer is specifically designed to stick to slick surfaces like finished wood and tile. It left a perfectly tacky base for the acrylic paint to grab onto. I had no issues with the paint adhering smoothly even with excessive scrubbing. Without this heavy-duty primer, I’m positive the paint would have started peeling quickly with regular cleaning. It’s well worth the extra step to ensure longevity! 5 stars.


  • Sticks flawlessly to slick finished wood
  • Lays groundwork for acrylic paint to bind tightly
  • Resists paint peeling even with frequent scrubbing
  • Water cleanup making it user-friendly


  • Requires topcoat of paint for color/protection
  • Needs full 24 hours drying time before painting
  • Only works binding topcoat paints long-term

3. INSL-X Cabinet Coat Enamel Paint

I used INSL-X’s ultra-durable Cabinet Coat enamel on my oak wooden toilet seat and it has really withstood the test of time. I love how this paint levels out so easily without visible brush strokes for a flawless finish. The color is also extremely rich and consistent without any thin spots. What really sets it apart though is the tough, scratch-resistant coating that this enamel paint leaves once cured. Almost no signs of wear after a year of use! It was very low odor too despite being oil-based. Definitely a superb enamel paint if you want your wooden seat to stay looking freshly painted. 5 stars!


  • Self-leveling formula avoids brush stroke marks
  • Provides rich, consistent paint color
  • Delivers ultra-durable scratch-resistant finish
  • Oil-based formula offers harder, longer-lasting coating
  • Low odor compared to other oil-based options


  • Long dry time between coats
  • Finish can yellow over time
  • Needs more prep work than latex paints
  • Pricier than acrylic paint options

4. Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel

I was looking for a latex-based enamel paint to give my wooden toilet seat an updated, easy-clean finish and Behr’s Premium Plus Enamel delivered splendid results. It goes on so smoothly with zero brush marks and the coverage is rich and even. I also love the range of sheens from matte up to high-gloss. Best of all, the semi-gloss enamel is holding up great to frequent scrubbing and moisture with no stains or deterioration after 9 months. For an affordable, durable enamel I can rely on not to fade or yellow over time, Behr is definitely my go-to!


  • Smooth, self-leveling application with no visible brushstrokes
  • Provides excellent scrubbable, stain-resistant finish
  • Ultra rich color consistently masks wood surface
  • Durable low-odor water-based acrylic-blend formula
  • Range of sheens from matte to high-gloss


  • Requires thorough prep for adhesion to slick wood
  • Minimum 2-3 coats recommended for full coverage
  • Not as hard-wearing as oil-based enamels long-term

5. Citristrip QCG73801T Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel

I attempted painting my wooden toilet seat without properly deglossing the factory sealant and the paint peeled right off. Rather than tediously sanding, I used Citristrip gel to quickly remove the prior layer of shiny varnish so the paint could properly adhere next time. After just 30 minutes, I could wipe the gel residue away and the wood absorbed the new primer and paint like a charm. Removing existing gloss makes all the difference for paint longevity on a toilet seat!


  • Effortlessly strips away glossy sealants and varnish
  • Clings to vertical surfaces without running
  • No dangerous methylene chloride fumes
  • Biodegradable non-toxic citrus-based formula
  • Lets wood freely absorb primers and paints after


  • Messier than sanding as you wipe up residue gel
  • Needs reapplication for thicker build-up
  • Won’t work well removing full paint layers

Types of Paint for Wooden Toilet Seats

The three main types of paint suitable for revitalizing a wooden toilet seat are:

  • Enamel paint
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • Oil-based paint

Let’s look at the specific pros and cons of each variety.

Enamel Paint

Enamel paint, often simply called enamel, is one of the best choices for painting a wooden toilet seat. Here are its advantages and disadvantages:


  • Extremely durable finish
  • Resists chipping, scratching and fading
  • Withstands repeated cleaning without wearing down
  • Provides smooth, protective coating
  • Range of gloss and color options
  • Relatively fast drying time


  • Gives off moderate fumes when drying
  • Surface needs thorough prep and sanding
  • Not as beginner-friendly to apply as latex
  • More expensive than regular acrylic paint

With proper prep and application technique, enamel’s unparalleled durability outweighs any small downsides for toilet seat use.

Acrylic Latex Paint

For a novice painter on a budget, acrylic latex paint also works well:


  • Water-based formula is low odor and VOC
  • Very affordable and accessible
  • Easy soap and water cleanup
  • Simple enough for beginners to apply
  • Fast-drying for multiple same-day coats
  • Range of finishes from matte to gloss


  • Less durable than oil-based or enamel
  • Requires additional prep with primer
  • Multiple coats often needed for even color
  • Can scratch, stain or scuff over time

If you need paint with very little odor that goes on easily, acrylic latex is a user-friendly choice. Just don’t expect the same resilience as enamel.

Oil-based Paint

While effective, oil-based options come with added safety considerations:


  • Very hard, protective and moisture-resistant finish
  • Adheres well without separate primer
  • Withstands cleaning chemicals without erosion
  • Deep, uniform color in fewer coats


  • Strong odor from volatile solvents
  • Requires mineral spirits for cleanup
  • Long cure time between coats
  • Brush strokes may show visibly
  • Can yellow over time

Oil-based paint holds up even better than latex long-term. But the fumes require proper ventilation and prep is more involved.

Preparing the Wooden Toilet Seat for Painting

Proper prep before painting is vital to help the paint adhere correctly and achieve an even finish. Follow these key steps:


Lightly sand the entire wooden seat using fine 120-220 grit sandpaper. This roughens the surface so the primer and paint bind better. Sand just enough to scuff the previous finish, not down to bare wood.

Pay special attention to any glossy factory coated areas as gloss won’t accept paint well. Wipe away all sanding residue with a tack cloth or dry rag afterwards.

paint for wooden toilet seat
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Thoroughly clean the sanded wooden seat using a degreasing agent like TSP substitute mixed with warm water. This removes any dirt, oils or soap film that could block paint adhesion.

Let the seat dry completely since paint won’t stick as effectively to damp wood. Check for any remaining glossy patches and resand if needed.


Most paints require a preparatory coat of water-based primer for ideal adhesion to the wood’s porous surface. The primer creates a binding layer so subsequent paint coats don’t get absorbed as quickly. This results in more even, consistent coloring.

For oil-based paints, you can skip straight to painting after sufficient prep since the oils provide their own binding capabilities. But primer helps regardless to promote longevity.

Allow the primer to dry completely following the manufacturer’s guidelines before adding paint. Now the wooden seat surface is prepped and ready for painting.

Paint Application Process

Follow these steps for flawless painting technique:

Supplies Needed

Gather these materials before starting:

  • Painter’s tape
  • Paintbrushes (angled sash brush for trim and tapered brush for flat areas)
  • Paint tray and liners
  • Lint-free rags or tack cloth
  • Drop cloth
  • Paint (enamel, latex or oil-based)
  • Paint thinner if using oil-based variety
  • Wood filler (optional)

Ensure you have proper ventilation set up as well. With the right supplies assembled, you’re ready to paint.

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Apply painter’s tape: Mask off the edges, hinges and porcelain areas with tape to prevent drips or splatters.
  2. Fill any gouges (optional): Use a wood filler specifically formulated for bathrooms to patch any cracks or gouges for a smoother finish. Let dry then sand smooth.
  3. Wipe surface clean: Use a tack cloth to remove any lingering dust right before painting.
  4. Pour paint: Pour just enough paint to coat the seat fully into a paint tray fitted with a liner. Too much leftover paint could dry out and be wasted.
  5. Load the brush: Dip your sash brush halfway into the paint then tap lightly against the rim of the tray. This prevents excess dripping down the bristles.
  6. Cut in the edges: Use the angled sash brush to carefully paint the grooves, edges and hard to reach spots first. Apply an even coat without allowing paint to pool.
  7. Fill in flat surfaces: Quickly use a tapered brush to coat the center flat areas before the edges dry. Match existing wood grain direction if evident.
  8. Apply additional coats: Let the paint dry as directed between coats, lightly sanding then cleaning between each. Water-based paints allow faster recoat time.
  9. Remove tape: Once fully cured, gently remove the painter’s tape to reveal crisp edges. Touch up any flaws with a small detail brush.

And with that, you have a freshly painted wooden toilet seat! Just allow the full curing times before regular use.

Curing and Drying Time

Don’t replace your wooden toilet seat right after painting or the paint could chip, scratch or stick to the porcelain bowl before fully hardening. Here are average cure times:

  • Latex acrylic paints – Allow at least 8 hours drying time between coats. Let cure 24 hours after final coat before exposing to moisture.
  • Enamel paints – Wait 6 to 8 hours for recoat. Avoid contact with water for 5-7 days during harder cure.
  • Oil-based paints – Need up to 24 hours dry time between coats due to slower oxidization drying. Cure 1-2 weeks before contact with liquids.

Check your chosen paint’s instructions as humidity and other factors affect exact drying rates. The paint surface may feel dry to touch much earlier than full cure. Test a small area after 1-2 days if uncertain. Any paint that rubs off easily requires more curing time.

Maintenance and Touch-ups

Once fully cured, your painted wooden toilet seat should hold up beautifully to repeated use and cleaning. To help it maintain its just-painted look:

  • Use mild bathroom cleaners instead of abrasive chemicals
  • Rinse the seat after cleaning agents to minimize exposure
  • Reseal worn areas every 1-2 years with added topcoats
  • Sand then repaint entirely every 4-5 years

Minor scratches or chips can be touched up between full repainting. Just thoroughly clean the area first so the paint adheres, then use a small detail brush to spot paint flaws.

That concludes the key steps for selecting the optimal paint for a wooden toilet seat and applying it smoothly. Let’s wrap up with answers to some frequent questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I paint a wooden toilet seat while still attached to the toilet?

It’s best to remove the seat to paint separately so you can evenly coat all sides. Lay the seat on cardboard or an old sheet while painting. If removing it isn’t possible, carefully tape plastic around the bowl edges to protect from drips.

Should I use spray paint instead of brushed paint?

Brush painting allows thicker, more protective coverage better suited for a functional toilet seat. Sprays apply thin layers that chip or peel faster.

What kind of brushes work best?

Use an angled sash brush for cutting in tight edges cleanly. Quickly fill wider flat spaces with a tapered trim brush before edges dry. Adjust brushes as needed for your seat shape.

Can I paint a plastic toilet seat?

While these techniques work well for wood seats, plastic composition doesn’t hold paint as effectively long-term. Specialized plastic paints like Krylon Fusion are better for plastic.

How do I get rid of paint smells faster?

Keep windows open to circulate fresh air. Position a fan blowing outward for fastest odor removal. For oil-based paints, set up cross ventilation directed outside if possible.


Painting a worn wooden toilet seat allows you to refresh the look of your bathroom affordably. The key is using an ultra-durable enamel, latex or oil-based paint formulation paired with proper surface prep and application technique.

Follow the recommendations in this article to select optimal toilet seat paint, prepare the surface thoroughly, brush on multiple coats smoothly and allow full curing time. In just a short DIY project, you can have a like-new toilet seat coordination with your bathroom’s color scheme without the cost of replacement. Just be diligent with maintenance and touch-ups to help your painted wooden seat retain its revived appeal for years of functionality to come.

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