The Best Paint to Use in the Bathroom

Bathrooms are susceptible to moisture, mildew, cosmetics, mud and more. You’ll be happy to know you can reduce the chances of these becoming a problem with something as simple as choosing the right paint. Another thing to consider is the environmental impact of the paint and its health impact on your family and yourself.

Oil-Based vs. Water Borne (formerly known as Latex)

Oil-based paint was traditionally thought of as more durable than water-borne paint, but many companies have developed products that match or exceed the durability of oil-based paint – without the extra clean up and unpleasant smell. Modern water-borne paints are acrylic based, and often wear very well.

Best Bathroom Paint

Finish Style

Depending on the brand, between 4 and 8 finish options are usually available for any given color of paint. This decision will highly influence how obvious scuffs are and how shiny the walls will look. On one side of the spectrum, we have flatter finishes (often called matte, eggshell and satin). These won’t show as many imperfections in the drywall job, but it’s harder to keep them looking clean. On the other side, there is semi-gloss and high-gloss. The best results require properly prepped walls without cracks or bumps, but the finished job will stand up better to smudges and moisture.

Special Features

For some extra money, you can repel moisture and prevent mold growth with a mildew resistant paint. Self-priming paint will save you time and hassle, but it’s also a bit more expensive. Extra-durable paints are good for bathrooms because they can be cleaned with more than “mild soap and water” which doesn’t always get the job done, especially in a bathroom.

Health Concerns

Paint has come a long way since lead-based paints were primarily used! Low-VOC and No-VOC options have been developed by most major manufacturers. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, which are chemicals released into the air by the paint. Long term exposure to VOCs is believed to have a negative impact on your health, so minimizing them is ideal.


Content provided by Julia Ritzenthaler

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