Skip to content
November 29, 2022

How Do You Choose the Best Paint for a Bathroom?

When it comes to painting a bathroom, the right paint finish can make all the difference. While semi-gloss is the traditional choice, other finishes such as satin, eggshell, and even matte have become increasingly popular in recent years. Whether you’re looking to touch up the walls or redecorate your bathroom completely, it’s important to choose the best paint finish that will not only look great but also hold up well in a high-moisture environment. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the different paint finishes available and provide tips for selecting the best paint for your bathroom.

How To Choose the Best Paint for Your Bathroom

When painting a bathroom, it’s important to choose a paint that is resistant to moisture and mildew. Latex paints are a great choice because it is easy to clean and can withstand the humidity in a bathroom. They are also extremely economical.
Oil-based paints are more resistant to moisture and mildew than water-based paint. However, they have strong odors and require solvents for cleanup. Plus, they can crack and peel when applied over latex paints. If you want to use latex, consider hiring a professional painter for the job.

  1. Consider the Humidity: Bathrooms are often more humid than other rooms in the house, so it’s important to choose a paint that can handle moisture. Semi-gloss and satin finishes are best for bathrooms because they are more resistant to moisture and mildew.
  2. Choose Easy-to-Clean Paint: Since bathrooms tend to get dirty quickly, it’s important to choose a paint that is easy to clean. Semi-gloss and satin finishes are the best options for bathrooms because they are more resistant to dirt, grease, and moisture.
  3. Consider the Sheen: The sheen of your paint can make a big difference in how it looks in your bathroom. Semi-gloss and satin finishes are the most popular choices for bathrooms because they are more resistant to moisture and mildew. Eggshell finishes are also popular, but they may not be as durable as semi-gloss or satin.
  4. Consider the Color: When choosing a color for your bathroom, it’s important to consider the size of the room and the amount of natural light it receives. Lighter colors can make a small bathroom feel larger, while darker colors can make a large bathroom feel cozier.
  5. Think About Quality: When it comes to picking the best paint, quality matters. High-quality paints are more durable and will last longer than cheaper paints. It’s important to invest in good quality paint if you want your bathroom to look its best for years to come.

No matter what type of paint you choose for your bathroom, it’s important to take the time to properly prepare the walls before painting. Make sure to clean and sand the walls, fill in any cracks or holes, and prime the walls with a good-quality primer. This will help ensure that your paint job looks its best and lasts for years to come.

What Is the Best Paint Finish for a Bathroom?

When it comes to bathroom paint, the options go beyond just glossy finishes. While flat, eggshell, and satin finishes are also moisture-resistant, they tend to be less durable. High-gloss paints may wipe clean easily, but matte or flat finish paint can be more prone to marks and harder to clean.

Matte or Flat

Matte finish paints, also known as flat paints, can give a modern and stylish look to a bathroom. However, they are best used in low-traffic spaces like guest or half bathrooms. While you can use them in a master bath, be prepared to clean the walls regularly and repaint them about once a year.


  • Hides imperfections in the wall surface
  • Gives a modern and stylish look to the bathroom


  • Easy to mark up
  • Harder to clean
  • Not as moisture-resistant as other finishes


Eggshell finishes offer a similar aesthetic to flat or matte finishes but are more durable and easier to clean. Similarly, they work best in bathrooms that have lower traffic. If you use them in your main bathroom, you will need to clean the walls more often and repaint them a little more often.


  • Offers a similar style as flat paint but with better durability and easier maintenance
  • Looks great in many colors, especially in deeper and richer tones


  • Not as moisture-resistant as other finishes

Satin Finish

Satin finishes are becoming more and more popular due to their refined look. Of all of the low-sheen finishes, they are the most durable and easiest to clean. They are best in either half bathrooms or powder rooms and primary bathrooms if you have older children.


  • Has a more refined finish than matte or eggshell finishes
  • Clean easily and quickly like gloss finishes


  • Not as moisture-resistant as other finishes


Semi-gloss paints are an excellent option for bathrooms, especially if you have younger children. They are easy to clean, hide fingerprints and dirt, and resist mildew. However, it will show imperfections in the wall, like dings and scratches. Consider semi-gloss paint for a kids bathroom or if you have poor ventilation.


  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Resists mildew
  • Works well in high-moisture areas


  • May show imperfections in the wall more readily


High-gloss paints have a very shiny finish and are easy to clean. However, they can be too glossy or shiny for some tastes. It can also highlight wall imperfections like scratches and dings. Since it resists moisture, it is great for high-traffic bathrooms or if you don’t have good ventilation.


  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Resists mildew
  • Works well in high-moisture areas
  • Gives a shiny finish


  • May show imperfections or marks more readily
  • The shine can be overwhelming, depending on the paint color
Find a local pro for your project

Tips for Making Anything Paint Finish Look Great in Your Bathroom

When it comes to painting a bathroom, the right finish and color can make all the difference. To ensure your bathroom walls look great and the paint lasts for years, consider the following tips:

  1. Start by cleaning the walls thoroughly with warm, soapy water and drying them with a microfiber cloth. This will remove dirt, stains, fuzz, and hair that can cling to the wall surface.
  2. Use a mold- and mildew-resistant primer to seal the walls and prevent moisture, mold, and mildew damage.
  3. Use two coats of primer to create a moisture barrier that protects your walls and helps your top-coat cling better.
  4. Invest in quality paint, as economy paints may not hold up well in a bathroom.
  5. Skip fancy kitchen and bath paints unless you have poor bathroom ventilation or a history of mold problems.
  6. Avoid using exterior paints in the bathroom. They are not intended for use inside your home.
  7. If you use oil-based paints, research the best way to apply them. Alternatively, hire a professional painter.
  8. Use at least two coats of quality bathroom paint and avoid showering for 48 to 72 hours to allow the paint to dry.
  9. Always paint in a well-ventilated area and use a fan or open a window to help dissipate paint fumes.
  10. Regularly clean the walls with soap and warm water to keep the paint looking fresh.
  11. Apply a touch-up coat of paint once a year to prevent mold and mildew, seal the walls, and keep the paint bright and vibrant.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to achieve the best paint finish for your bathroom, which will last for years and look great.


How to Make Your Bathroom More Accessible

Many homeowners experience difficulties with bathrooms that are not suitable for their needs, particularly when they are elderly or have disabilities or illnesses. Some common pain points they may encounter include:  Limited mobility: Bathrooms with narrow doorways and tight spaces can make it difficult for individuals with mobility issues to maneuver.  Slip and fall hazards:...


Comparing Window Materials: Wood vs. Vinyl vs. Aluminum

When it comes to choosing windows for your home, there are a variety of frame materials to consider, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Each material–including, wood, vinyl, and aluminum–has its own unique features that make it suitable for specific needs and preferences.  It’s important to note that there is a spectrum of quality...


Decoding Window Ratings: What Do They Mean?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of window ratings out there? You’re not alone. With terms like U-factor, R-value, SHGC, and VT, it’s no wonder many homeowners find themselves scratching their heads when trying to decode these phrases and acronyms.  But understanding these ratings is crucial when selecting windows for your home. It...