Choosing the Best Paint Finish for Your Bathroom

Choosing the Best Paint Finish for Your Bathroom

Are you planning to paint a high-moisture area, such as your bathroom? Taking on a home improvement project in areas with high humidity levels requires you to make extra preparations before painting. If you don’t choose the best paint finish for your bathroom, this could result in cracking, peeling, or even worse, mold.

Our guide will discuss everything you need to know about picking the best paint finish for your bathroom.


What is the Best Paint Finish For  Bathrooms?

1. Satin Finish

Satin paint is a finish or sheen falling directly in the middle of exterior and interior paint sheens. While satin paint appears glossier than an eggshell finish, it’s much flatter than semi-gloss finishes. Unlike semi-gloss and gloss finishes, satin finishes won’t produce a reflection in low-light areas.

In specific bright light or angles, satin finishes have a highly visible shine. Satin finishes have a PVC rating of 30 to 40 percent, meaning it helps with cleaning and durability.

When using Satin finishes, this paint style is best used where durability and cleaning are essential. Use satin finishes on low-impact surfaces such as bathroom windows, doors, and door casings. When selecting satin finishes, you should avoid painting high-impact bathroom surfaces, using high-gloss or semi-gloss paint.

While flat paints can easily stain and soak up moisture, satin finishes shed moisture, making it an excellent choice for powder rooms and bathrooms that don’t have significant moisture.

  • Easy application
  • Highlights contours
  • Durable
  • Difficult to apply touch-ups
  • Highlights cracks, dents, and imperfections


choosing the best paint finish for your bathroom

1. Matte Finish

When using matte finishes, you’ll want to use them in low-traffic areas, such as living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. You should avoid using matte finishes in high-traffic areas such as bathrooms, hallways, or kids’ bedrooms. Likewise, this finish is an excellent choice for walls or ceilings as an accent.

It’s essential to remember that matte finishes contain little gloss, meaning fingertips and scuffs can show over time. Additionally, since matte finishes absorb light, you’ll want to avoid using them in powder rooms with little light, as it can make the room appear smaller.

  • Easy Application
  • Costs less than semi-gloss or satin finishes
  • Modern paint finish
  • Less durable against imperfections
  • Not moisture-resistant
  • Absorbs light


3. Eggshell

Eggshell paint finishes fall between satin or matte finishes. Eggshell finishes resemble the appearance of dried paint, providing a slight sheen and soft glow that creates more depth. You can tone down or emphasize the shine with various artificial or natural lighting.

Eggshell finishes are ideal to use in areas such as dining rooms, living rooms, and kitchens. While traditionally used on walls, you can apply eggshell finishes to skirting boards, molding, and trim. While it can’t cover significant flaws, it can cover imperfections and bumps.

Eggshell paint is an excellent choice, providing durability and texture to master bathroom walls. This finish is suitable for bathroom walls that are warped, damaged, or bumpy. However, when purchasing eggshell paint finishes for your bathroom, you should choose a top brand, as standard eggshell paint is not designed to repel mildew and moisture.

Therefore, if you’re set on using eggshell paint in your bathrooms, it’s essential to invest in a top-quality brand.

  • Gorgeous color
  • Easy cleaning
  • Flaw concealment
  • Easy application
  • Durable
  • It is more challenging to apply touch-ups
  • Less durable than high-gloss


choosing the best paint finish for your bathroom


4. High-Gloss

While bathroom walls are prone to mildew and mold growth due to moisture, steam from bathing and showering will create condensation. As matte paints can absorb moisture, this can cause paint to peel and bubble, creating a prime environment for mold. The higher the gloss a finish has, the higher its moisture resistance, making mold harder to grow.

High-gloss finishes provide a clean, chic aesthetic in high-humidity and high-traffic environments such as bathrooms. Homeowners who prefer modern interior touches love to use high gloss finishes on bathroom moldings and trim, along with their walls, to give a polished and sophisticated appearance.

So, what makes high-gloss paint unique? Not only is high-gloss paint more straightforward to clean, but it also has water-resistant benefits. Additionally, since high-gloss paint is more durable than other finishes, it makes it the best paint finish for bathrooms.

  • Reflects light, making rooms appear larger
  • Easiest to clean
  • Bright sheen
  • Great at accentuating cabinets
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Can hold grime and dirt
  • It may require multiple layers and primer
  • Requires more preparation


5. Semi-Gloss Finishes

Often, many compare semi-gloss finishes to satin finishes, but it has more sheen. When using semi-gloss paint, this means that light from your bathroom windows will bounce off quickly. So, where is it best to use semi-gloss paint?

Many homeowners use semi-gloss paint finishes in areas where drips and moisture build up on the walls, such as bathrooms. Semi-gloss paint can be easily cleaned and is a highly durable finish with a high sheen, making it an ideal selection for bathroom walls.

Using semi-gloss paint for bathrooms is an excellent choice if you don’t mind the preparation. It’s one of the most versatile finishes because it’s water-resistant and clean, making it an excellent choice for bathroom trim and walls.

You can also use semi-gloss paint finishes on bathroom cabinets.

  • Resistant to moisture
  • Reflects some light
  • Best used on bathroom trim and walls
  • Easy to clean
  • Reveals minor imperfections
  • Reveals brush strokes


Why is it Important to Choose the Best Paint Finish for Bathrooms?

When painting bathrooms, humidity is a top threat to the performance and appearance of paint. Moisture from your bath or shower can make its way between the walls and paint coats, creating peeling, bubbles, and unwanted textures.

So, why is it essential to choose the best paint finish for bathrooms? One reason is that paints with glossy finishes are resistant to moisture and, once cured, block out water, allowing it to fall onto the floor rather than soak into walls. 

High-gloss paints are similar to a dry-erase board, while low-sheen finishes such as eggshells can absorb more moisture.


Essential Factors When Choosing the Best Paint Finish for Bathrooms

Since bathrooms are prone to moisture from baths and showers, choosing the best paint finish for bathrooms is a crucial decision to make. Before selecting the best paint finish, there are a few factors you’ll need to consider.


Moisture and Humidity

One of the biggest threats to the performance and look of your bathroom is humidity. Moisture, such as the steam from your shower, can build up between the coat of paint and your walls, which can create uneven texture, peeling, and bubbling.

Therefore, choosing the best paint finish for bathrooms can prevent mold growth, protecting your painted bathroom surfaces from damage. By selecting the best finish, you can ensure your bathroom remains hygienic and clean from the harmful risks of mold. 


Mirror Reflections

When selecting the best paint finish for your bathroom, mirror reflections are probably the last thing you’re considering. Neutral and light-colored walls can bring out the clarity and brightness of your mirror’s reflection because it reflects light. In contrast, using dark paint colors will allow your bathroom to absorb more light, which leads to fewer reflections.

Using different paint colors can affect the reflection that you receive in your bathroom.


Mildew and Mold

Some of the most significant common problems in bathrooms are mildew and mold due to the humidity and moisture that build up over time. Therefore, you should select the best paint finish with mildew and mold-resistant properties to prevent the growth of these fungi in your bathroom. To ensure your bathroom remains hygienic and clean, choosing this type of paint is essential.


Peeling Prevention

Paint peeling in bathrooms may occur if your bathroom has low-quality paint, poor surface preparation, or high humidity levels. To prevent your bathroom paint from peeling, use a compatible primer with your new and existing coat of paint.


Can You Buy Mold-Resistant Paint?

As its name implies, mold-resistant paint is a type of paint that can prevent mildew and mold from damaging your bathroom walls. These paints contain ingredients, such as mildewcide, that don't come in traditional paint.

It’s essential to remember that selecting mold-resistant paint doesn’t mean that you’ll never notice these spots on your bathroom walls. These paints won’t solve mold problems entirely, but they can help prevent mold from worsening. 


Best Paint Finish for Bathrooms: FAQ

1. Should you use satin or gloss paint for bathrooms?

While satin has a bit of gloss and can be used for low-moisture bathrooms, it’s not the best paint finish for high-moisture areas.

2. What is the best paint for a humid bathroom?

High gloss and semi-gloss finishes work best in bathrooms with high humidity because they can repel moisture.

3. What is the best paint for a humid bathroom?

Semi-gloss is the best paint for trim and can even be used on bathroom doors and cabinets.

4. What is the best sheen for a bathroom wall?

The best sheen to use on your bathroom wall, according to experts, are semi-gloss or satin finishes because of their durability.

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