How To Choose the Best Paint For Your Bathroom
By Olivia Mungal
A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your bathroom. But, choosing a color is only one ingredient that is required for long lasting results. Once you choose your color scheme you’ll need to know which paint sheens or finishes will work the best in a bathroom. Bathrooms are extremely wet and collect a lot of moisture daily. Luckily, there are many types of bathroom paints that will resist both moisture and mold:
5 Types of Paint Sheen Finishes
The glossier the finish, the more the paint will resist moisture in your bathroom. Here is a list of 5 common paint finishes offered by most major brands:
A Flat Finish applies as a nice matte coating, but it works best in low-traffic areas where it is never or rarely touched. Flat paint absorbs moisture, dirt, and skin oils, so it is bad for bathrooms and busy areas. Scrubbing flat paint while damp will cause it to thin and come off on your sponge.
Like the name implies, an Eggshell Finish has a slight sheen and tends to be a bit more durable than flat paint. Paints with an eggshell finish are more washable and scrubbable than flat. Like a flat paint, eggshell is good for places without moisture. This is a very popular choice for most interior walls in the home, but its not quite robust enough for a bathroom.
A Satin Finish has a bit of a gloss, and can be used in low-moisture bathrooms, such as a half-bathroom, powder room, or a guest bathroom that doesn’t get much use.
A Semi-Gloss Finish is a solid sheen finish for any kind of bathroom. The semi-gloss finish repels moisture well, making it a suitable and versatile choice for painting bathroom walls and bathroom ceilings alike.
A High-Gloss Finish is the most effective finish for repelling moisture and would be an excellent choice in a high-moisture bathroom. However, a high-gloss finish reflects light more than any other finish and magnifies any surface imperfections. This type of finish is primarily used for wood surfaces like trim and cabinetry. If the aesthetics of a high-gloss paint don’t work for your bathroom, you may benefit from another attractive alternative like wainscoting, which can cover the bottom of your walls and provide water-proof protection.
Painting Your Bathroom Ceiling
Especially in high-moisture bathrooms without a full shower surround, hot steam from daily showers can do a lot of damage to your ceiling. The area directly above your shower is most at risk for mold or water damage. Giving your ceiling several coats of a glossy or high-gloss bathroom paint can help you protect the plaster and sheet rock from future damage.
Mold and Mildew Resistant Bathroom Paint
You can also find specialty bathroom paint that is mold and moisture resistant. You can even find matte finishes that are specially designed for high moisture areas. They come in a variety of finishes.
Benjamin Moore’s Aura® Bath And Spa Matte Finish is one of the few flat bathroom paints that are both water and mold resistant. If you love the texture and aesthetics of a matte paint, you don’t have to sacrifice the longevity of your bathroom for looks.
Zinsser’s Perma-White claims to be guaranteed to prevent the growth of mold and mildew for a minimum of five years.In case you don’t want white in your bathroom, Perma-White can be tinted to off-white, pastel and medium colors, which are great if you want to make your bathroom look more spacious. Zinsser’s comes in eggshell, satin and semi-gloss sheens.
Sherwin Williams carries a bath paint called “Simply Enough.” It also comes with 5-year guarantee, inhibits mold and mildew just as well, and comes in a greater variety of colors.
These specialty paints work well in exceptionally moist or poorly-ventilated bathrooms.
Painting Your Bathroom
Before you start painting, make sure you take the time to let your bathroom dry out completely. Catching beadlets of moisture under a fresh coat of paint will create bubbles. Make sure to use painter’s tape and drop cloths to protect your vanity, bathroom mirror, light fixtures, your floor, and your tub or shower from drips.
Remove light switch and receptacle covers, and keep your workspace well ventilated. Paint adheres to tile, so make sure any exposed tile is properly covered.
If you are painting over a darker color or a very glossy paint, using a coat of primer will help your new paint cover the walls more effectively.
If you choose to paint your ceiling, paint it first, let it dry, and then mask your ceiling with painter’s tape at least 4 inches from the wall. A clumsy roller can ruin a white ceiling very easily. Crown molding should also be taped and painted separately from the wall. Finish up corners with a paint brush and even out the paint with several coats.
Selecting a color that reflects your personality and choosing the right type of paint will add beauty to your bathroom and protect your wall and ceiling surfaces for years to come.