This bathroom may look swathed in pricey wallpaper and custom touches, but the fanciful florals, enchanting mirror and freshened knobs are surprisingly achievable with—get this!—a pile of permanent markers. (Plus some paint and a little patience.)

Painted bathroom overall

This project works particularly well in a small bath or guest room or as an accent wall in a larger space. Here’s how to create this wild and wonderful wall.

What You’ll Need

  • Latex interior paint in several colors (we used Olympic Crumb Cookie for the base; Sherwin-Williams Synergy, Jonquil and Childlike for the patchwork)
  • Standard-size paint roller and roller cover
  • 4 (6-inch-wide) foam paint rollers
  • Chalk pencil in dark pink
  • Black Sharpie marker (chisel tip on one end and pointed tip on the other)
Painted wall

Base-coat the wall with white or off-white paint using standard-size roller; let dry.  Using smaller paint rollers (one for each color), paint irregularly shaped patches on the wall; let dry.

Use chalk pencil to draw flower shapes on the wall. For balance in your composition, draw two or three large flowers, then fill in some of the spaces with leaves and small flowers. If you draw something that you don’t like, simply wipe off the chalk lines with a damp cloth and redraw.

Painted flower

When you are satisfied with your design, use marker to outline each element and add details. Use the chisel tip to outline large flowers and leaves. Use the pointed tip to add details.

Shaded flower

Shading on the large flowers adds depth and interest. Mark in stippling or crosshatches as desired.

Stencilled mirror on wall

It’s a cinch to add some glamour to a plain mirror with markers, a stencil and some painter’s tape.

What You’ll Need

  • 24 x 30–inch mirror
  • Damask design stencil
  • Painter’s tape
  • Markers in metallic gold and silver
  • Plastic mirror clips
Stencil on mirror

Lay the mirror faceup on a flat surface. Place stencil in the upper corner of the mirror about 1½ inches from the edge. Secure with painter’s tape and mask any parts of the stencil you don’t wish to use.

Stencilled mirror

With gold marker, trace and fill in the design. Let dry. Move stencil to each corner of the mirror and repeat the design.

Mirror detail

When the corners are dry, mask a ¼-inch line with tape about 3 inches from edge of each corner design to the next. Fill in the masked line with silver marker. Remove tape and let dry. Hang mirror on the wall with clips.

White cabinet

White knobs on a white cabinet look fine but we wanted something to tie the storage piece to the colorful wall. These porcelain knobs brighten up beautifully and quickly with a teal marker.

Painted porcelain knobs

Start with the marker in the knob’s center and stroke outward to the edges. The visible strokes bring depth and a sense of texture to the slick surface.

Painted knob detail

Set the color in the oven: When your knobs are painted, place them in a cool oven, close the door, and turn the oven on to 375°. When the oven has heated up completely, start the timer for 40 minutes. After that time, turn off the oven and allow the knobs to cool completely inside before removing them from the oven. Screw the knobs to the drawers using the original hardware. A whole new and livelier look in an afternoon!

Paint marker bathroom

This project is ideal if you have lots of leftover paints from previous projects. Jot down your ideas on paper before you start. Ours are freehand drawings, but you can look for inspiration online at graphics sources like or opt for a stencil to guide your initial design. There’s no wrong way to do it and the end result will be a room that’s uniquely yours.

© Caruth Studio