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What if Your Toilet Is a Strange Color?

Sandra Rousseau

Colors go in and out of vogue in the decorating and design world. What looked pretty 30 or 40 years ago may now, unfortunately, be considered an eyesore, which is a real shame as far as plumbing fixtures are concerned as they are permanently installed and can last for generations.

You may not appreciate your pink toilet as much as its original owners did.

If your toilet is yesterday's fashion statement in salmon pink or sea-foam green, don't worry. You have options.

Refinish It

Locate a porcelain refinisher in your area who can change the color of your toilet without removing it. The refinisher, sometimes called a bathtub refinisher or a porcelain reglazer, will apply a coating over your toilet to transform your toilet to the color of your choice. If additional fixtures in your bathroom are also in a color you do not prefer, the refinisher can change these items for you as well.

Paint It

Although painting a toilet might not be your first instinct, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist Tim Carter of "Ask the Builder" recommends painting a porcelain toilet with high-gloss oil paint. However, he cautions do-it-yourselfers not to paint portions of your toilet that get wet, such as the inner bowl, inner tank or top edge of the bowl.

Replace It

In most cases, replacing your toilet is more expensive than painting it or refinishing it. If cost is a concern, check surplus stores and online sales for bargains or secondhand toilets. Another option is to put the word out to plumbers in your area. They may be willing to contact you when asked by a customer to remove a toilet. Or you can purchase a new toilet; newer models use less water and may eventually pay for themselves in savings on your water bill. You might want to save and sell your colored toilet rather than place it in a landfill. Enthusiasts of the mid-century modern style of decorating are often looking for colored plumbing fixtures for their vintage homes.

Live With It

Another option is simply to learn to love your colored toilet. Because they were once in vogue but are being used less and less, colored toilets are actually becoming sought after in some circles. Reconsider your negative attitude, and incorporate it into your decor. Find a pretty print fabric that includes the color, and use that fabric for curtains or a shower curtain in your bathroom. Paint the wall a coordinating color, and add fluffy new towels and rugs to fit the color scheme as well.