Bathrooms can be one of the most-difficult areas of the home to paint. This room sees a high level of traffic, excessive dirt and grime and more moisture and humidity than any other room in the house. With these concerns in mind, the following advice is designed to help you select the best paint for the job and apply it in a way that will give you a clean and professional look.
The high level of humidity in the bathroom can cause a plethora of problems if the walls, trim and ceiling aren't treated properly. All the extra moisture from showers and baths can build up, creating an inviting home for mold and mildew. The humidity can also cause discoloration on the walls as well as cracked and peeling paint.
Fortunately, there are now a variety of paints on the market designed specifically for bathrooms. These are usually called "Kitchen and Bathroom Paints." These tend to have semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes which create a smooth, easy-to-clean surface that doesn't absorb moisture. Many also contain special additives designed to protect against mildew. Look for paints specifically formulated for bathrooms as your first choice. If you can't find this type of paint, anything with a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish should serve as your second option.
In addition to the walls, you may also want to paint the ceiling and trim in your bathroom. For these, it is best to use a semi-gloss paint. Though the finish will have a bit of a sheen to it, flat paints in a bathroom will bubble, crack and suffer serious damage from the high humidity levels. If your walls, ceiling and trim will all be the same color, consider using the exact same paint throughout the room. If you are painting the walls a different color, using a higher level of gloss on the walls will minimize the glossy look of the trim and ceiling.
With the wide variety of home design and décor options available, you can make nearly any color work in your bathroom. If you don't have a specific décor to match, consider using a tinted white. This will give a subtle touch of color to the room, while still providing a light and airy atmosphere. Lighter colors tend to make rooms look bigger. A lighter shade of paint will also help you spot dirty walls more quickly so that you are able to clean them before mold or mildew can spread.
Once you have purchased your paint, there a few preliminary steps you should take to ensure a professional-looking job. Clean any surface you will be painting before you begin. Re-caulk the area around the bathtub and shower as well as where the counter meets the wall. A fresh layer of caulk will give the bathroom a professional and finished look. After you have finished painting the bathroom, allow at least 24 hours for the paint to dry before showering in the room.