The bathroom is more than just a functional space in our homes. It has the potential to be a sanctuary of relaxation and rejuvenation. One important component that can make or break the ambiance of this space is the type of paint you select. With the bathroom’s unique conditions, such as consistent moisture, the threat of mold and mildew, and frequent temperature fluctuations, it’s crucial to make an informed decision about paint and what sheen or finish to use on the bathroom walls.
Understanding Bathroom Conditions
Henry and I love the look of a flat finish on walls, but bathrooms present a unique set of challenges when it comes to painting. Although we love this look, this finish is not recommended for bathrooms. Bathroom walls are constantly exposed to moisture, thanks to the showers, baths, and sinks. Not to mention that the steam from hot showers can significantly increase both room temperature and humidity levels, only to drop once the steam dissipates. Whether remodeling a current bathroom or building a new one make sure and factor in the regular wear and tear, frequent cleaning, and the sporadic splash of water, and it’s clear why this room demands a paint suited to its unique needs.
Key Characteristics of Bathroom Paint
The paint you select for your bathroom should ideally be moisture-resistant to handle the high humidity and prevent peeling or blistering. Because this is such a wet environment, the paint should resist the growth of mold and mildew. Some paints even come with added ingredients that specifically inhibit these growths. Considering the spills and splashes, the paint should also be easy to clean and capable of handling an occasional scrub. If you are like me, especially with teenage boys, I have to scrub down those walls at least a couple of times a year.
Best Type of Paint for a Bathroom
Semi-Gloss Paint: Some say the way to go is semi-gloss, but this is not our preference for walls, but we do prefer this for trim and mouldings. It has a subtle shine and is also functional, repelling moisture with ease. Its surface is smooth and easy to clean, making it ideal for the inevitable water splashes.
Satin Paint: For those who prefer a compromise between matte and glossy as we do, satin finishes are perfect. They might have a toned-down shine compared to semi-gloss paints, but they offer decent moisture resistance and are relatively easy to clean.
High-Gloss Paint: This is the pinnacle of shine when it comes to paint finishes. Extremely resistant to moisture, it’s perfect for touch-prone areas like door frames and window sills. Its hard, reflective finish ensures durability.
Specialized Bathroom Paints: Some paint brands offer formulations specifically tailored for bathroom conditions. These products are an all-in-one solution, providing resistance to moisture, mold, and mildew, all in a finish that’s a breeze to clean.
If you have a particular paint preference that isn’t really suited for bathrooms, paint additives might be the answer. These can be mixed with your chosen paint to give it mold and mildew-resisting properties. Don’t forget, it’s essential to choose quality additives and adhere to the mixing guidelines.
Prepping and Painting
With your paint type selected, the next step is ensuring that your bathroom walls are primed for the job. A thorough cleaning and appropriate priming will set the stage for a paint job that not only looks great but also lasts. Keep in mind that the bathroom ceilings and trim will also need to be painted using the same finish and sheen as the walls for better moisture resistance.