Best Paint for Bathroom Ceiling for a Professional Finish

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Bathrooms need to be treated with extra care, given their proximity to moisture. Additionally, bathroom ceilings need paint that can withstand varying heat, humidity, and condensation levels. This means getting paint that can inevitably withstand steamy showers for many years. Keep reading to find out the best paint for your bathroom ceiling.

Our top choice is the KILZ Stain Blocking Ceiling Paint due to its perfect semi-gloss finish that is durable and resistant to mold and mildew. The second best choice on our list is the Diamond Brite Semi Latex Paint for a beautiful and crisp white finish. Our third choice is the INSL-X Color-Changing Acrylic Ceiling Paint, which is easy to apply since it's color-changing.

Best Paint For Bathrooms

1) KILZ Stain Blocking Ceiling Paint

Sale
KILZ Stainblocking Ceiling Paint, Interior, White, 1...
  • CEILING PAINT: KILZ Stainblocking Ceiling Paint is a unique...
  • ADVANCED FORMULA: This splatter-resistant formula rolls on easily...
  • APPLICATION: For use on all interior ceilings. Apply with a...
  • SUPERIOR COVERAGE: This 1 Gallon can of KILZ Color-Change...
  • KILZ has been making premium primers and paints for 40 years and...

My initial bathroom ceiling paint job was not a good one. Additionally, due to the heat and humidity, it started turning yellow. Needless to say, I needed a high-quality paint job to cover up any ceiling imperfections, water stains, and heat damage.

After removing the peeling paint, treating some minor mildew growth, and applying a primer, it was time to apply the bathroom paint. The first coat went on smoothly without a hitch. You should remember that the paint applies as a pink coat, then gradually changes to white. You can only apply a nylon or polyester brush to apply the paint.

Image Source: walmart.com

After two coats, the semi-gloss finish looked excellent. It dried down to the touch after one hour. However, it needs at least 24 hours to dry down completely. I was surprised by how great coverage it provides for non-porous surfaces. I thought it would be like regular paint, where the finish would not be smooth and even.

Pros:

  • Applies easily
  • Great coverage
  • Dries easily
  • Easy to clean
  • Value for money

Cons:

  • The can is leaky

2) Diamond Brite Semi Latex Paint

Diamond Brite Paint Kitchen & Bathroom 1 Gallon White...
  • Made in America
  • Not intended for use on bathtubs, showers, or sinks
  • Great for Kitchens and bathroom walls, ceilings, and cabinets
  • High hiding
  • Semi-Gloss finish

If you want a beautiful crisp white finish, this is the paint type to get. Before mixing the paint and getting to work, I always thoroughly clean the bathroom and prep the surface. I removed the existing coat of paint and sprayed a mixture of bleach and water to kill the existing mold. I hadn't seen any signs of mold, but sometimes, you can never be too sure. I then went in with a moisture-resistant primer.

Image Source: diamondbritepaint.com

I started with a single coat of bathroom ceiling paint and let it dry before applying the second coat. If you want better water spot coverage, apply at least 4 coats of paint. I gave the drying times 4 hours between each fresh coat, so it took me 2 days to finish the bathroom ceiling.

This is a high-gloss paint, so ensure you know that before purchasing. It doesn't dry down matte. Aside from that, if you do an excellent paint job, you won't have any problems with the paint peeling.

Pros:

  • Spreads well
  • Easy to use
  • Dries fast
  • Low odor
  • Mixes well

Cons:

  • Sticky consistency

3) INSL-X Color-Changing Acrylic Ceiling Paint

INSL-X Color-Changing Acrylic Ceiling Paint, White, 1...
  • Acrylic ceiling paint formulated with a disappearing pink...
  • Easy to apply – helps prevent missed spots.
  • For smooth or textured ceilings.
  • Quick drying: recoat in as little as two hours.
  • Self-priming paint for ceilings.

I recently purchased a new roller set, and this was the perfect time to put it to use. Of course, after chiseling off the existing paint job and prepping the bathroom ceiling, I applied moisture-resistant primer and let it dry. Since the paint changes colors, it is easy to apply and ensures I don't miss any spots. Additionally, it's the perfect paint for a small space like my downstairs bathroom.

Image Source: youtube.com

I used painter's tape on areas where I didn't want the paint to go and started painting. The first coat of paint did a good job and covered all the water spots and sink splashes. However, I added 2 more coats for extra protection and moisture resistance. While this is not a semi-gloss paint, it has more sheen and dries glossy.

Remember, if you want crisp white satin paint, you shouldn't use this paint. The pink tint is visible in low light. That's not a big issue for me because it's mostly white in bright light. However, it could be an issue if it doesn't go with the general décor you are going for.

Pros:

  • Has full coverage
  • High-quality paint
  • Long-lasting durability
  • No volatile organic compounds
  • Perfect for smooth and textured ceilings
  • Dries quickly

Cons:

  • Retains a barely visible pink tint

4) Rust-Oleum White Eggshell Water Interior Paint

When your shower ceiling paint job starts to bubble and chip at the corners, it's probably time for a fresh coat of paint and sometimes a whole bathroom remodel. After a few trial and error situations, I finally settled on this mildew-resistant paint with moisture protection. Of course, I swiftly eliminated any existing mildew with some bleach.

Image Source: parkersbuildingsupply.com

Like most paint for bathroom ceilings, it's very easy to spread, and it's also awesome if you need to paint the trim. Remember, this is a flat white bathroom ceiling paint. Therefore, if you want semi or high-gloss paint, this won't cut it. As I was painting, I noticed a few spots of mold that didn't die off. I painted over the spots just to see how the paint would hold up.

After I let the paint dry, no mold spots were visible. The instructions suggested I let the paint dry for 24 hours before using the bathroom. A month of steamy showers later, the moldy spots haven't returned. Not all paints can do this.

Pros:

  • High-quality paint
  • Easy to apply
  • Dries fast
  • Spreads easily

Cons:

  • Pricey

5) Diamond Brite Paint 42300 Interior Latex Flat Acrylic Vinyl Ceiling White Paint

Diamond Brite Paint 42300 1-Gallon Interior Latex Flat...
  • Washable and low odor
  • Covers over most colors
  • Splatter resistant
  • Colorfast finish
  • Can be brushed, rolled or sprayed

This matte finish bathroom ceiling paint is the right shade for every bathroom. Before painting my bathroom ceiling, I applied 2 coats of primer. I didn't want any bubbling or imperfections, so I let the primer dry for 24 hours.

Image Source: thehomedepot.com

When I opened the can of paint, I was happy that the consistency was thick and creamy and laid on well. Stirring it makes it adhere better to the ceiling. The trick to this paint is to let the first coat dry for at least 24 hours before going in with a second coat. With a few months of use, the water resistance is remarkable.

You will probably finish the whole can of paint on the bathroom ceiling if you use two coats. Even after 3 months, if steam rises, it won't cause any peeling or bubbling in the paint. While no two paints are created equal, this comes close to being an all-rounder.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Smooth application
  • Dries quickly
  • Not clumpy

Cons:

  • It is not white. It dries off-white.

Best Paint for Bathroom Ceiling: Buying Guide

A bathroom is one of the most high-traffic areas in a house. This is why it has to be durable and repel moisture after every steamy shower. Mold and mildew can easily grow on humid surfaces, not to mention the dangers they pose to your health. Here are a few things to consider before purchasing paint for your bathroom ceiling.

a) Oil Paint or Latex Paint

Most bathroom ceilings do well with water-based latex paint. Since ceilings and bathroom walls experience a lot of moisture, latex paint is moisture-resistant. Additionally, when applying this paint, you can clean up any spills using water. Furthermore, its satin sheen is a winner for most home décor. Latex paint for bathrooms has added durability, and it is also easy to clean stains.

Image Source: wow1daypainting.com

While oil paints are durable and can take more scrubbing, they also have a reputation for needing mineral spirits when you need to clean them. Furthermore, they take forever to dry, and you need proper ventilation, which is not always available. Most oil paints also develop a yellow tint over time.

b) Picking the Finishing

Sherwin Williams recommends a semi-gloss finish. Semi-gloss finishes repel moisture rather than absorb it. Any mold-resistant paint with a semi-gloss finish will hide any water damage and stains. A semi-gloss paint finish is also an excellent choice since it's easy to clean.

Image Source: saga.com

Additionally, with moisture-resistant paint, you can also have a flat finish. While your bathroom walls and ceiling might need more paint jobs frequently, you can still go for it. However, you should also know that flat finishes usually absorb moisture rather than repel it. So if you prefer the luster of a flat finish, be prepared to prime with a moisture-repellent.

c) DIY or Professional Paint Job

If you want to go the DIY route, you will need to first consider the size of your bathroom, windows for ventilation, and safety. You also have to know how to remove the existing coat of paint and pull off a decent paint job. Furthermore, if you have to remove any existing mold or mildew, you have to be very careful not to inhale the spores.

Image Source: realsimple.com

The professional way is less hectic since you will have to leave everything to the professionals, especially if you have mold or mildew.

d) Plan Ahead

Planning makes it easier to select a paint finish and type. It also places you in a position where you don't have to do anything in a last-minute rush. Furthermore, whether you engage in a professional service or do it yourself, you should always ensure to prepare the bathroom.

Image Source: wilsonswarrnambool.com

Washing the entire bathroom is a great first time. Additionally, turning off the water mains to the shower to minimize humidity is also helpful. Next, the bathroom floor should be dry. Furthermore, drop cloths on the floor are a great way to go if you don't want spills and droplets of paint on your floor. Lastly, removing any essential bathroom accessories and opening the windows to allow air circulation is also recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Paint for Bathroom Ceiling

i) Is there special paint for bathrooms?

Yes, there is. Most high-humidity areas like bathrooms require special paint, specifically water-based latex paint. This type of paint is excellent since it can repel moisture, is easy to clean, and doesn't stain.

ii) Can you use ceiling paint on bathroom walls?

Yes, you can. Since the entire bathroom is prone to water damage, the walls can also benefit from a coat of bathroom ceiling paint. Furthermore, a good primer before paint is an excellent way to ensure your paint lasts long, even on bathroom walls.

iii) Should bathroom paint be light or dark?

It is recommended that small bathrooms have a lighter color of paint to open up the space. Bigger bathrooms can accommodate darker colors without an issue. Of course, you can also play around with the contrast. For example, bright floor tiles will complement darker walls.

iv) Do bathroom ceilings need a coat of primer?

Ceiling paint is usually a mixture of paint and primer. Therefore, most times, primer is not necessary. However, if you have heavy staining from water damage and leaching, then a coat of primer is recommended. However, you must ensure the primer is compatible with the paint you want to use.

v) How do I stop my bathroom ceiling paint from peeling?

Chipping and peeling paint usually indicate that the surface wasn't primed well. To prevent this, priming is crucial, especially in a high-humidity area like a bathroom. The primer should also have stain-blocking properties to prevent brown water stains.

The Bottom Line

Bathroom ceilings have to be treated with extra protection and care. A thin or watery paint won't work for the bathroom interior. Not to mention, a damp environment is a haven for mold and mildew. Therefore, any paint that will go on a bathroom ceiling has to be resistant to developing mold and mildew. This will ensure that your paint remains durable for a long time.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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