A bathroom is a wet and steamy place! Damp air and splashes from the sink, shower and tub can lead to mould growth and peeling paint! While there are no hard and fast rules on what is the best paint for your bathroom, the following are some guidelines on paint choice, colour, sheen and the painting process.  


The paint you use in your bathroom should be:

  • Mould resistant: Choose paint with antimicrobial additives that resist mildew and mould growth. This is especially important if your bathroom does not have good ventilation. Many paints on the market will kill existing mould and prevent regrowth.
  • Have a tight structure: The less permeable the paint, the less moisture gets through. Flat finishes are porous and trap moisture. Glossier finishes cause water to bead and runoff. 
  • Washable: Dripping brown stains due to moisture are unsightly! Choose a paint that is easy to wipe clean. Satin finishes are slightly glossy and are suitable for low-moisture bathrooms such as a powder room or ½ bath. Semi-gloss finishes repel moisture and are easy to wipe making them suitable for all bathrooms. Use high gloss paint on the trim and cabinets.


Other considerations:

  • Moisture resistant primer: To prevent moisture from causing peeling by seeping between your paint and the surface of the wall, apply a coat of moisture-resistant primer before you add your mildew resistant paint colour. This will help avoid frequent touch-ups down the road.
  • Colour and reflection: The wrong colour can change the appearance of your complexion! Whites, creams, grays, and pastels are good colour choices for the bathroom as they are flattering to your reflection. Blues and greens cast an unnatural sheen onto your skin under both natural and artificial light. This exaggerates dark circles and blemishes. 
  • Preparation and technique: Wash the bathroom walls, remove mildew with a solution of three parts water to one part bleach. Apply painters tape to corners, doorways and floorboards. Place drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect the floor, countertops and toilet. Start painting in one corner and work your way across the walls. Let the paint dry for a few days before taking a hot shower or bath. 


Is there a special bathroom paint?

Bathroom paint is made with high-quality resins that coalesce into a tight barrier reducing moisture absorption. It is less likely to bubble, blister, peel or yellow but will be more expensive than standard paint. Though you can use a standard semi-gloss paint with an antimicrobial additive, paint formulated especially for bathrooms will offer the option of more sheens (flat, matte, satin, semi-gloss, gloss) while still meeting all the requirements for a bathroom.


Want to refresh your bathroom with a coat of paint? The paint you choose needs to stand up to damp, humid conditions! Purchase a premium semi-gloss paint with mildew/mould resistant additives or consider trying a bathroom paint. If you are unsure what paint to use, talk to your local paint provider. They have the knowledge and experience to help you with your bathroom project. 

Looking for advice on paint for your bathroom? Call Calgary’s independent paint and blinds store West Hillhurst Paint + Design at (403) 270-9696 or email at kyle@westhillhurstpaint.com Our knowledgeable professional design associates provide high-quality paint, a wide selection of blinds and expert advice for home projects. We offer excellent service and a variety of products to match any budget. Call for a consultation today!

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