best paint finish for bathroom

Best Paint Finish For Bathroom Walls Make Over

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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Do you want to give your bathroom walls an attractive finish? Choosing the right paint finish for bathroom walls is crucial to ensure aesthetic appeal and long-lasting durability. Bathrooms present unique challenges due to the high humidity, moisture, and frequent temperature changes they experience. Therefore, it is essential to select a paint finish that can withstand these conditions while maintaining its visual appeal. 

Our article explores the best paint finish for bathrooms to help you make an informed decision. On top of our list is Rust-Oleum 285144 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Acrylic Paint which offers a smooth and elegant look to bathroom walls. Second, on our list is Rust-Oleum 1993502 Painter’s Touch Brush Multi-Purpose Enamel Paint which came second since it has a durable formulation that protects against moisture ad wear in bathrooms. Our third choice is THE ONE Paint & Primer, which provides excellent coverage and adhesion on bathroom walls.

Why Is the Paint Finish Important for Bathroom Walls?

The paint finish is particularly important for bathroom walls due to this space’s unique conditions and requirements. Here are some reasons why the paint finish is important for bathroom walls:

1. Moisture Resistance

Bathrooms are exposed to high humidity and moisture levels, leading to mold, mildew, and deterioration of the wall surface. Choosing a paint finish with moisture-resistant properties, such as a satin or semi-gloss finish, can help protect the walls and prevent moisture-related issues.

2. Easy Cleaning

Bathrooms are prone to splashes, spills, and stains. A paint finish that is easy to clean is crucial in maintaining a hygienic and visually appealing bathroom. Glossier finishes, such as semi-gloss or high-gloss, are generally more washable and can withstand frequent cleaning without getting damaged.

3. Durability

Bathroom walls are subject to frequent use, cleaning, and exposure to various products. A durable paint finish can resist wear and tear, ensuring the walls maintain their appearance over time. Opting for more durable finishes, like enamel or satin, can help prevent chipping, peeling, or fading.

4. Mildew and Mold Resistance

Bathrooms provide a favorable environment for the growth of mold and mildew due to the presence of moisture. Some paint finishes are specifically formulated to resist mold and mildew, incorporating anti-fungal additives. Using such finishes can help inhibit the growth of these microorganisms and maintain a healthier bathroom environment.

5. Aesthetic Appeal

The paint finish also plays a role in the bathroom’s visual appeal. It can contribute to the overall design, complementing other elements such as tiles, fixtures, and decor. The choice of finish should align with the desired style and ambiance of the bathroom, whether it’s a matte finish for a more subdued look or a glossy finish for a sleek and modern appearance.

What Type of Paint Finish Is Good For Bathrooms?

1. Semi-Gloss Finish

Semi-gloss paint finishes are popular for bathroom walls due to their durability and moisture resistance. This finish offers a slight shine and a smooth, sleek appearance. The high sheen of semi-gloss paints helps repel moisture, making it easier to clean and maintain the walls.

Is Semi-Gloss Paint for Bathrooms the Best Choice?

Image Credits: propainters.com

It also provides better resistance against mildew and mold growth, a common concern in bathrooms. Additionally, the reflective nature of semi-gloss paint enhances the room’s brightness, making it an ideal choice for smaller bathrooms or spaces with limited natural light.

2. Satin Finish

Satin finishes balance the flat paint look and the high gloss of semi-gloss paints. They offer a subtle paint sheen that adds a touch of elegance to bathroom walls. Satin finishes provide good moisture resistance and are relatively easy to clean. They also hide imperfections better than higher gloss finishes, making them suitable for walls with slight surface irregularities. They are versatile and work well in bathrooms of all sizes, giving a soft, inviting appearance. Satin is also the best paint for bathroom ceilings.

3. Eggshell Finish

Flat or eggshell is considered the best paints for bathroom walls. As a finish, it provides a low-sheen, smooth appearance like an eggshell. It strikes a balance between hiding imperfections and offering easy maintenance. Flat or eggshell finishes are slightly washable, making them suitable for bathroom walls that don’t receive excessive moisture exposure. However, they may not be as resistant to moisture and stains as semi-gloss or satin finishes. If you opt for an eggshell finish, proper ventilation is crucial to reduce humidity levels in the bathroom.

4. Matte Finish

A flat or matte finish offers a non-reflective, velvety appearance. While matte paints are not traditionally recommended for bathrooms due to their lower moisture resistance, advancements in paint technology have introduced moisture-resistant matte formulas specifically designed for high-humidity areas.

Matte paint For Bathrooms

Image Credits: homesthetics.com

These matte finishes can provide a modern and sophisticated look to bathroom walls. However, ensuring your chosen product is explicitly labeled as suitable for bathrooms is essential to prevent moisture-related issues.

Our Top Picks- Best Paint Finish For Bathroom

1. Rust-Oleum 285144 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Acrylic Bathroom Paint

Sale
Rust-Oleum 285144 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30...
  • Use on a variety of interior surfaces like wood, metal, ceramic,...
  • Low-odor, latex formula allows for easy clean up with soap and...
  • Dries to the touch in just 30 minutes and covers up to 150 sq....
  • Excellent adhesion and easy application with minimal prep
  • Dries to an ultra-matte velvety, smooth finish. Lightly scuff...

Last year, I revamped my bathroom walls using Rust-Oleum 285144 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Acrylic Paint. Its ultra-matte finish provided a smooth and elegant look to my bathroom walls. The acrylic formula ensured durability and moisture resistance, making it suitable for bathroom environments.

I loved applying it to other surfaces, including walls, cabinets, and furniture. It was also available in various stylish colors and was a cost-effective solution for transforming my bathroom into a chic and modern space.

Pros:

  • Ultra-matte finish adds elegance to bathroom surfaces.
  • Durable and moisture-resistant acrylic formula.
  • Versatile application on walls, cabinets, and furniture.
  • Stylish color options are available.
  • Cost-effective solution for bathroom makeovers.

Cons:

  • It may require multiple coats for some surfaces.
  • Strong odor during application.
  • Not suitable for high-heat or outdoor applications.

2. Rust-Oleum 1993502 Painter’s Touch Brush Multi-Purpose Enamel Paint

Rust-Oleum 1993502 Painter's Touch Brush Multi-Purpose...
  • Use for a variety of indoor and outdoor project surfaces...
  • Water-based acrylic formula is low odor, resist chips and...
  • Covers up to 120 sq ft and dries to touch in 30 minutes for quick...
  • Semi-gloss finish provides a soft shine on surfaces, goes on...
  • Prior to application sand surfaces with 180/200 grit sandpaper,...

While refinishing my bathroom, I bumped into Rust-Oleum 1993502 Painter's Touch Brush Multi-Purpose Enamel Paint. Its durable formulation protects against moisture and wears in high-humidity environments like bathrooms.

Image Credits: amazon.com

Its brush application made it easy to achieve a smooth finish on various surfaces, including walls, cabinets, and fixtures. Additionally, this enamel paint offered a wide range of colors to suit my bathroom style. Its quality and versatility made it a reliable choice for bathroom renovations and touch-ups.

Pros:

  • A durable formulation for high-humidity environments.
  • Versatile application on various surfaces.
  • It provides excellent protection against moisture and wear.
  • Wide range of color options.
  • Suitable for bathroom renovations and touch-ups.

Cons:

  • It may require multiple coats for desired coverage.
  • Strong odor during application.
  • Longer drying time compared to other paints.
  • Brush application may result in visible brush marks.

3. THE ONE Paint & Primer

THE ONE Paint & Primer: Most Durable Furniture Paint,...
  • A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY: Great coverage saving you time and...
  • PAINT AND PRIME: A Strong durable 2-in-1 means less work, save...
  • MULTIPLE SURFACES: For furniture, wood and laminate cabinets,...
  • RICH PIGMENTS: Choose from the 12 stunning colors available in...
  • ADVANCED FORMULA: Non-toxic, Water-Based, Low Odor, ultra low...

I used THE ONE Paint & Primer to finish my bathroom walls. Its advanced formula combined the qualities of paint and a primer, providing excellent coverage and adhesion. It was designed explicitly for high-moisture environments as it resisted mold and mildew growth, ensuring long-lasting durability.

Image Credits: amazon.com

It also had a range of attractive colors; THE ONE Paint & Primer added a touch of style to my bathroom while offering superior protection against moisture damage. Its easy application and quick drying time made it a convenient and reliable option for my bathroom renovation project.

Pros:

  • Excellent coverage and adhesion.
  • It resists mold and mildew growth.
  • It is designed explicitly for high-moisture environments.
  • Attractive color range.
  • It provides long-lasting durability.
  • Easy application and quick drying time.

Cons:

  • It requires proper ventilation during application.
  • It may require multiple coats for specific surfaces.

4. Soto White Paint Touch Up, Appliance + Porcelain, High-Gloss Finish

soto White Paint Touch Up, Appliance + Porcelain,...
  • COLOR CHART - 12 Shades Available - Get your sample Color Chart...
  • KITCHEN + BATHROOM TOUCH UP - High-Gloss appliance + porcelain...
  • ULTRA DURABLE - High-gloss formula can be used used to cover over...
  • EASY-TO-USE DESIGN - Easy to apply using included...
  • VIRTUALLY ODORLESS - Exceptionally durable, water-based, acrylic...

The Soto White Paint Touch-Up is formulated for bathroom applications. This high-gloss finish was perfect for touch-ups on appliances and porcelain surfaces such as bathtubs or sinks. Its advanced formula ensured seamless blending, providing a smooth and durable finish.

Image Credits: amazon.com

Soto White Paint Touch Up revitalized my bathroom, making it look new. Say goodbye to unsightly chips and scratches with this convenient solution that guarantees professional results. Transform your space effortlessly with Soto White Paint Touch Up, the ultimate choice for a flawless bathroom makeover.

Pros:

  • Specifically formulated for bathroom use.
  • High-gloss finish for a sleek look.
  • Easy and convenient touch-up solution.
  • Seamless blending for a professional finish.
  • Durable and long-lasting results.

Cons:

  • Limited paint color options (only available in white).
  • It may require multiple coats for complete coverage.
  • Not suitable for non-porcelain or non-appliance surfaces.
  • It may not match the exact shade of the existing paint.

5. Majic PAINTS Interior/Exterior Paint

Majic PAINTS Interior/Exterior Satin Enamel,Acrylic...
  • Color: White
  • IDEAL FOR DIY PROJECTS: Repurpose furniture, trim, cabinets,...
  • SUPERIOR COLOR-RETENTION: Levels to a beautiful smooth satin...
  • EASY-TO-APPLY: Sticks to any surface without sanding or priming
  • ALL-PURPOSE USE: Perfect for wood, metal, brick, drywall, glass,...

Majic PAINTS Interior/Exterior Satin Enamel, Acrylic Paint, is suitable for bathroom applications. Its satin finish provided a smooth and durable surface, ideal for areas prone to moisture and humidity. This acrylic paint adhered well to bathroom surfaces like tiles, cabinets, and trim. It was the best paint for bathroom cabinets.

Image Credits: amazon.com

It offered excellent coverage and quick drying, allowing for efficient bathroom renovations. However, ensuring proper ventilation during application is essential due to its potential strong odor. Overall, Majic PAINTS Interior/Exterior Satin Enamel was a reliable option for enhancing the appearance and durability of my bathroom.

Pros:

  • High-quality acrylic paint suitable for bathroom use.
  • The satin finish provides a smooth and durable surface.
  • It adheres well to bathroom surfaces like tiles and cabinets.
  • It offers excellent coverage and quick drying time.
  • Resistant to moisture and humidity.
  • Wide range of colors available.

Cons:

  • It may have a strong odor during application.
  • Requires proper ventilation during use
  • It may require multiple coats for optimal coverage.

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Finish for Bathroom

1. Water and Moisture Resistance

Bathrooms are prone to high moisture levels due to showers, baths, and sinks. Choosing a finish that is specifically designed to withstand water and humidity is crucial. Look for waterproof or water-resistant finishes to protect against warping, water damage, and mold growth. Materials like ceramic tiles, porcelain, and certain types of natural stone are known for their water-resistant properties.

2. Durability

Bathrooms experience frequent use and undergo regular cleaning, so the finish you choose should be durable enough to handle these demands. Look for finishes that are resistant to scratches, dents, and impacts. High-quality finishes will have a protective layer or a fresh coat that helps them withstand everyday wear and tear. Consider materials like porcelain tiles, quartz, or solid surfaces like Corian for their durability.

3. Easy Maintenance

Bathrooms require regular cleaning to maintain hygiene, so choosing an easy finish to clean and maintain is essential. Finishes that are smooth and non-porous are generally easier to clean since they don't allow dirt or stains to penetrate the surface. Avoid finishes that require special cleaning products or excessive scrubbing, as these can damage the finish over time. Materials like glazed ceramic tiles, laminates, or solid surfaces are easier to clean and maintain.

4. Aesthetic Appeal

The finish you choose should enhance the overall aesthetic of your bathroom. Consider the color, texture, and overall appearance of the finish in the style and design of your bathroom. Choose a finish that complements your existing decor or the desired theme. For instance, if you want a modern and sleek look, you might consider polished tiles or a solid countertop. Natural stone finishes can provide a more rustic or luxurious feel.

5. Budget

Finishes for bathrooms can vary significantly in price, so it's essential to consider your budget. Some finishes, such as high-quality tiles or natural stone, tend to be more expensive, while others, like laminate or vinyl, offer more budget-friendly options. Assess your budget and prioritize the areas where you want to invest in higher-quality finishes while finding cost-effective alternatives for other areas.

6. Installation

Consider the complexity of the installation process and whether you plan to hire professionals or handle it as a DIY project. Some finishes, like intricate tile patterns or natural stone, may require skilled installation to ensure proper sealing and placement. On the other hand, finishes like laminate or vinyl are often designed for easier installation and can be suitable for DIY projects. It's crucial to assess your skill level and consult professionals to ensure proper installation and long-lasting results.

7. Longevity

Evaluate the expected lifespan of the finish. Higher-quality finishes generally last longer, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements. Consider the warranty provided by the manufacturer as an indicator of the finish's expected durability. Learn how to paint your bathroom walls effectively to get a log lasting experienced.

8. Eco-Friendliness

If you are into environmental sustainability, look for finishes that are eco-friendly or made from recycled materials. Some finishes may have certifications such as LEED or GreenGuard, indicating they meet specific environmental standards. Additionally, some finishes may emit fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), harmful chemicals affecting indoor air quality. Look for finishes that prioritize sustainability and have a minimal environmental impact.

Frequently Asked Questions on Best Paint Finish For Bathroom

1. Is mold-resistant paint good for bathroom walls?

Yes, mold-resistant paint is beneficial for bathroom walls. Mold-resistant paint contains additives that inhibit mold and mildew formation, helping to prevent their growth on the painted surfaces. Painting a bathroom with mold-resistant paint protects against moisture-related issues and helps maintain a cleaner and healthier bathroom environment. However, it's important to note that mold-resistant paint is not a foolproof solution and should be used with proper ventilation and moisture control measures for optimal results.

2. What is the best sheen for bathroom walls?

For bathroom walls, the best sheen options are satin and semi-gloss. Satin provides a subtle shine, good moisture resistance, and easy cleaning. It hides imperfections well. Semi-gloss offers a noticeable shine, increased durability, excellent moisture resistance, and high washability. It is resistant to stains and mildew. The choice depends on personal preference and desired aesthetics, considering lighting and wall condition. Both sheens provide durability and moisture resistance, making them suitable for bathroom walls.

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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