We’ve discussed in previous posts specific bathroom painting challenges and some of the biggest pitfalls homeowners face when they go the DIY route. While painting a bathroom requires a bit more planning and preparation, it can be done. However, expect to meet with disappointment if you fail to choose the right type of paint for your bathroom.
Account for Moisture
Moisture is the biggest factor you must take into consideration when selecting paint, as well as primer, for a bathroom. Using an oil-based primer that is moisture resistant is a good place to start.
If possible, it’s also helpful to know if the walls in your bathroom were treated for moisture. In many cases, “greenboard” is used to protect against moisture buildup, and it gives you more flexibility with your paint and primer choices.
What Type of Paint Should I Use?
Flat or matte paints are not recommended for bathrooms. They have a rigid, almost porous surface that can cling to moisture and lead to rapid mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Regarding bathroom paint finishes, you want to select from satin, semi – or high-gloss options, something with a noticeable sheen to it.
Many paints contain mildewcides. Mildewcides work to retard the buildup of mold and mildew, but they don’t kill the bacteria causing them. If you have an incredibly high moisture level in the room, these may be some of the best paints for your bathroom. However, many homeowners steer away from high chemical paints, and these would fall into that category.
What About Color?
You should also consider colors when selecting bathroom paint. While many people lean toward light, even stark white, paint colors for their clean, crisp appearance, these paints can stain more easily than others. Depending on the size and layout of your bathroom, as well as your aesthetic preferences, a colored paint can be better at disguising moisture issues that may occur over time.
As with any home improvement or interior painting job, if you’re uncomfortable with any aspect of it, seeking professional advice is recommended. While some people shy from the upfront costs, having the job assessed by an expert and done properly the first time will save you time and money down the road.
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