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13 Best Ideas To Make A Dark Bathroom Brighter

13 BEST ways to make a dark bathroom brighter. From QUICK & EASY to remodeling ideas to brighten up a dark bathroom. These WORK!

Ways To Make A Dark Bathroom Brighter

Do you have a dark bathroom in your house? Is it so dark that your kids won’t use it? Or, just so dark that you can’t see yourself well enough to do your hair, makeup, or shaving in there?

Well, I have good news for you! There are actually a bunch of ways to brighten up a dark bathroom. Most of them are actually pretty cheap and easy updates that anyone can do.

In fact, you can get a few of these updates done in just a weekend. That’s just 1 or 2 short days to completely improve the quality of light and brighten a dark bathroom.

Image of a dark bathroom for a post with ways to make a dark bathroom brighter. How to brighten a dark bathroom.
A few simple changes can really help a dark bathroom feel brighter.

And, if you need tips for other rooms in your house, check out 16 Ways To Make A Dark Room Feel Brighter. There are a few things you can do in other rooms that you can’t do in a bathroom!

OK, let’s get started on the best ways to brighten up a dark bathroom.

How To Brighten A Dark Bathroom

1. Are Blinds And Curtains Blocking Your Light?

This might be kind of obvious, but if you have any blinds, curtains, or other window coverings, it’s time to remove them. I know, I know. You need privacy in a bathroom.

You can get great privacy and tons of light by applying an easy to use, stick-on window film instead. I LOVE this stuff, I use window film on my front door to let light in while keeping eyes out.

Window film can complete block the view of anything happening in your bathroom, day and night. And, it comes in a bunch of pretty textures and styles too.

See The Highest-Rated, Clear Window Films On Amazon Now.

White and green home office with a lot of traditional trim and molding around the windows and on the built-in cabinets.
Keep the curtains and blinds pulled back to let as much light in as possible. That’s one thing I worked on for this Home Office Makeover.

2. Switch From Block Glass To A Real Window

This change is more expensive. But if you have an old-fashioned glass block window, switching to a frosted window will absolutely let more light in.

Getting rid of that glass block window will also improve the look of your bathroom inside and out. I always like an extra boost in curb appeal.

White marble master bathroom with blue cabinets and light walls.
This house was built when glass block Master Bathroom windows was popular. BUT, luckily we have this great frosted window instead. It let’s in SO MUCH light.

3. Clean Your Windows On Both Sides

And, one last tip about bathroom windows. Make sure that you give your window a good clean, inside and out. Built up pollen and dirt on the outside of your window can really block a lot of light!

Every Spring, when I scrub the Spring pollen and dust off of the outside of our windows, I notice a pretty good improvement in the light in every room. Go ahead and give it a try.

Every Spring, the window in this Laundry Room is covered with pollen and dust from the Sahara Desert (yep, it really blows that far). Cleaning it makes this room instantly brighter!

4. Install A Bigger Ceiling Light

One of the BIGGEST ways to increase the light in a bathroom is by switching out your light fixture!

Builders tend to install 1-bulb overhead fixtures or wall-mounted light fixtures that are too small for a bathroom.

Replace your existing light fixtures with new ones that have 1 or 2 more bulbs than you already have. So, if you have 2 – 3 bulb light fixtures, maybe you need 2 – 4 or 5 bulb fixtures instead.

I’ve replaced all of our small bathroom, closet, and hallway lights with a 3-bulb fixture. It’s been a HUGE improvement every time. Check out the 3-Bulb Drum Light I installed in our powder room on Amazon.

A 3-bulb light fixture can brighten a dark closet.
I installed this 3-bulb light fixture to brighten up a dark bathroom and dark closets in my home.

5. Pick The Right Light Bulbs

And, on top of adding extra light bulbs into your dark bathroom, don’t forget to get the RIGHT light bulb.

Today’s LED lights can be purchased in different “color levels” from old-fashioned yellow lights to bright blue “1980’s office-style” colors. I highly recommend buying DAYLIGHT light bulbs.

DAYLIGHT light bulbs emit a bright, white light that 100% feels like natural-daylight in any room.

A small bathroom with a dresser vanity painted greige, white wainscoting, and colorful wallpaper.
The main reason why this small bathroom looks so bright is the DAYLIGHT light bulbs in this room.

6. Install Wireless or Plug-In LED Lights

I LOVE that there are SO MANY great plug-in wall sconces AND wireless-battery wall sconces are available now. Most of them look just like trendy wired-in wall sconces. And, they’re pretty cheap.

So, if you can’t wire in new lights or can’t afford to hire someone to install new lights, check into plug-in or battery-operated wall sconces. They’re a great option for anyone on a budget.

See a GREAT, Budget-Friendly LED Plug-In or Wireless Wall Sconces On Amazon.

7. Use A Larger Mirror

If your bathroom has smaller than normal mirrors, or just a medicine cabinet mirror, installing a larger mirror can increase the amount of light reflected in your dark bathroom.

I also think that using larger mirrors strangely makes the bathroom feel larger too. There’s no actual science behind that, I’ve just noticed that when decorating. So, give it a try!

This DIY Napoleonic Blue Bathroom Vanity Makeover has completely transformed my bathroom. The color is beautiful and chalk paint is a great low budget diy project that anyone can do. #AbbottsAtHome #ChalkPaintMakeover #BathroomCabinets #BathroomVanity #BathroomRemodel
I went with the biggest mirror I could find for our Master Bathroom. It helps to bounce the light into darker corners of this bathroom.

8. Try White Walls

Lately, I’ve been painting every room in my house white. And, it seriously makes each room feel lighter, brighter, and more open!

I highly recommend giving white paint a try if you want to brighten a dark bathroom. It’s a cheap and easy fix that almost anyone can do in just a weekend.

Kids artwork displayed on a white wall in a boys bedroom with a space theme and blue solar system bedding!
The boys Outer Space bedroom is on the dark side of our house. BUT, painting the walls white made this room feel SO MUCH brighter and more open.

9. Switch From Flat To Eggshell Paint Sheen On The Ceiling

And, if you decide to paint your walls white, don’t forget the ceiling. I’ve switched from the standard flat ceiling paint to an Eggshell sheen on the ceilings in my house.

And, I have to say, again, that the light reflective Eggshell sheen on my ceilings has been a HUGE improvement!

White ceiling paint with an Eggshell sheen can make bathrooms brighter, the ceiling feels higher, and it gives the room a nice airy feel, somehow.

Image of a ceiling halfway painted with white eggshell sheen paint.
Halfway through painting over the flat ceiling paint with an Eggshell sheen. You can totally see how much more reflective and pretty that light sheen looks. See more examples of Eggshell Sheen on Ceilings in a previous post.

10. Lighten Up The Floors

When we bought this house 11 years ago, the floors were a dark orange and black. That flooring made the house feel dark and depressing.

So, we installed white or very light beige flooring throughout the house. And, it definitely got rid of that dark and depressing feel.

If you have the budget, installing a light flooring can brighten a dark bathroom. A lighter flooring background is also great for showing off pretty area rugs.

The white tile floors in this bathroom make the room feel larger and brighter. And, light floors are a great background for a pretty area rug.

11. Skylights and Skylight Tubes

For really dark bathrooms, you might be able to add a skylight or smaller skylight tubes in your bathroom. My Dad installed a skylight in the bathroom of my childhood home.

It was amazing how much more light we had in there with that skylight. We didn’t even need to turn the lights on in there during the day.

See Affordable Skylight Tubes on Amazon here.

Image of a kitchen with white inset cabinets, Lusso Quartz, undermount sink, with a gas grill stove.
The bushes outside our kitchen window can make this room feel dark when I don’t trim them. See more of this room in Where To Put A Kitchen Sink And Appliances

12. Trim Trees and Plants Outside The Window

If you’re lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom, make sure that the plants and trees outside of that dark bathroom are trimmed enough to let daylight through that window.

Having roof high bushes and trees to close to any window will almost completely block natural light from getting into that room.

I love this beautiful Master Bathroom Makeover with traditional style and stylish bathroom decor ideas. #BathroomDecor #BathroomDecorIdeas #BathroomDesign #MasterBathroom #BeforeAndAfter
You can see the Knock Out Rose Bushes outside this window. I keep them trimmed and the window clean to keep as much natural light as possible in this bathroom.

13. Install A Window

And, last but not least, if you have the budget and space for it, installing a window will absolutely make bathrooms brighter.

Our Master Bathroom window is GIGANTIC. It let’s in so much light that I close the bathroom doors at night to block out my neighbors porch lights.

Even a long, high window above a shower can be a HUGE improvement when it comes to getting natural light in a bathroom.

Image of a dark bathroom with text:  how to brighten a dark bathroom. How to make a dark bathroom brighter. Make bathroom brighter.
Don’t forget to save how to make bathrooms brighter.

That’s it for how to brighten a dark bathroom. Now, here’s a few more posts that will help you IMPROVE your home.

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Image of a Roku remote in front of a TV for a post with the 11 Best Reasons to cut the cord with cable tv. With tips for how to ditch cable and why you should.

Feeling inspired? Now you’ve seen this list of ways to make a dark bathroom brighter, get to work. And, good luck!