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What Is the Best Bathroom Paint?October 13th, 2022 by
When it comes to the best type of paint for your bathroom, you might think semi-gloss is your only option. While semi-gloss paint is the most traditional option, satin, eggshell, and even matte finishes are increasingly popular. Whether you’re looking to add a fresh coat of paint to your bathroom walls or completely redecorate, here are some tips for choosing the best bathroom paint.
What Type of Paint Is Best for the Bathroom?
When it comes to choosing the best paint for bathrooms, it really comes down to how you plan to use that space. Here are the top things to consider when choosing what type of paint to get for your bathroom:
- Who Will Use It – The most important thing to consider when choosing paint for your bathroom is who will use that space. Young children tend to be harder on walls, which means more dirt and marks. Adults might want a more relaxing bathroom. You might want a more stylish look if the bathroom is just for guests.
- What Are You Using It For – While all latex paint offers moisture resistance, certain types of paint wear faster than others. Gloss paints are best for high-traffic bathrooms with showers and bathtubs, while flat, eggshell, and satin paint are better in half baths.
- How Often Do You Clean – Light colors and glossy finishes are great at hiding dirt and condensation stains. Whereas low-sheen paint and darker colors tend to highlight dirt and stain and are harder to clean.
How To Choose the Right Color Paint for Your Bathroom
Even in the bathroom, paint colors are extremely subjective. While whites and neutral colors are best if you plan to sell, there is no ready you can’t go wild with your bathroom paint colors.
Lighter colors are great for almost any bathroom. Blues, greys, and darker greens often create a more relaxing space. Bold colors are best for half bathrooms.
Also, take into consideration the amount of natural light and the size of the room. Dark colors might make a small bathroom feel cramped unless you have windows to let in light.
How To Choose the Best Bathroom Paint Finish
For many years, the assumption was that only glossy paints would stand up to moisture in the bathroom. However, flat, eggshell, and satin finishes are also moisture-resistant. But you should also consider the durability of each finish. While high-gloss paints wipe clean easily, matte or flat finish paint is easier to mark up and harder to clean.
- Matte – Also called flat finish, matte paint has become very popular over the last few decades. However, it is very easy to mark up matte walls and they are harder to clean. Flat finish paints are best used in half bathrooms or powder rooms that get very little traffic.
- Eggshell – Eggshell paints offer a similar style but are easier to clean and maintain than matte styles. Paints with eggshell finishes look great in many colors, especially deeper and richer tones. They are best for low-traffic guest bathrooms or homes without children.
- Satin – Satin finishes are quickly becoming a popular option for many bathrooms. The satin sheen looks better in a variety of colors and offers a more refined finish. They are more durable that eggshell paints but clean easily and quickly like gloss finishes.
- Semi-Gloss – Sem-gloss paints are perfect for any bathroom, especially if you have older kids or tweens. The semi-gloss finish looks great in many colors and is easy to clean.
- High-Gloss – High-gloss paints offer a very shiny finish and almost anything wipes clean with just a little soap and water. However, the shine can be overwhelming depending on the paint color. High-gloss finishes are best for families with young children, especially if they are rough on the walls.
Best Pick Reports Pro Tip: Avoid using two-in-one paint and primer products. While they are marketed as offering the same quality as separate paint and primer, they never perform as advertised. In most cases, you end up using more paint for the same coverage. Which also means you spend more money and time painting.
Tips for Getting the Best Wear Out of New Bathroom Paint
Remember, the best bathroom paint is the finish and color that fits your style and budget. Whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a professional painter, here are some tips to make sure your walls look great and that the paint lasts for years.
- Wash the walls thoroughly with warm, soapy water, then dry them with a microfiber cloth. This will remove dirt, stains, fuzz, and hair that can cling to the wall surface.
- Use a mold- and mildew-resistant primer. Sometimes marketed as kitchen and bathroom primer or moisture-repelling primer, this will seal the walls and prevent moisture, mold, and mildew damage.
- Always seal walls with two coats of primer. This creates a moisture barrier that protects your walls and actually helps your top-coat cling to your walls better.
- Buy quality paint. While you might not use your bathroom as much as other rooms, they can take a beating. Economy paints look okay in living areas but can fade, peel, or stain in the bathroom. Spending a few dollars more on brand names will save you time and money in the long run.
- You can probably skip fancy kitchen and bath paints. Some paint brands offer mold-resistant paint that provides better moisture protection. However, this is only necessary if you have very poor bathroom ventilation or a history of mold problems.
- Never use exterior paints in the bathroom. While you might think exterior paint offers better protection again water, they are formulated completely differently. They release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when painting and can cause headaches and allergies. You can release VOCs when cleaning as well.
- Avoid using oil paints. Unless you know you already have oil paints on your walls, stick with latex-based paints. Mixing oil and latex paint can cause them to peel, flake, and chip. If you really want to use oil-based paint, stripe the existing paint off the wall first.
- Use at least two coats of quality bathroom paint and avoid showering for 48 to 72 hours. Since moisture will make the paint peel, this gives the paint ample time to dry.
- Always paint in a well-ventilated area. Paint fumes can get overwhelming, especially in a small bathroom. Use a fan to help blow air out of the bathroom. If you have a bathroom window, open it while painting.
- Wash your walls with soap and warm water regularly to keep the paint looking fresh. Wash glossy paints every three months and satin, eggshell, and flat styles every month.
- Apply a touch-up coat of paint once a year. This will prevent mold and mildew, help seal the walls, and keep the paint bright and vibrant.
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