Why Choosing the Right Bathroom Paint Really Matters

And why finish is key.

Any bathroom renovation is rife with opportunities for mistakes—don't let your choice of wall paint be one of them.

When picking out wall paint for your bath, you have so many options in regards to brand, hue, and finish. The paint world is your oyster, but there's one essential thing to remember: Of all your choices, the paint finish is the most important.

Bath Wall Paint
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Why finish? Because few rooms produce as much dampness as the bath. The widespread consensus is that paints with shiny finishes are both easier to keep clean and more resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew than flat finishes. That's why paints with shinier finishes are better choices for walls in the bath, a space notorious for the amount of moisture—and potential mold and mildew—it generates. The mistake, then, is choosing a flat finish for your bathroom walls.

In terms of the actual paint finishes, Consumer Reports recommends using either satin or semi-gloss. They argue, "Satin is more durable and shinier than eggshell and is ideal for a bathroom. It's also easy to clean. Use it for the walls, ceiling, and even the trim, because many satin finishes are tougher than they once were. Semi-gloss is even tougher and a cinch to clean. It can be used on the walls, ceiling, trim, and vanity—if you don't mind a shinier look."

Before breaking out your paint brush, clean the bathroom walls first so you'll start with a clean surface. Remove any existing mildew with a water and bleach solution (crack a window or turn on the exhaust fan while scrubbing). Those searching for a good paint to use in the bath might want to consider the Valspar Reserve Interior Paint, which promises "exceptional washability, a mildew-resistant finish, and superior adhesion to tough surfaces." Check, check, and check! If mold is already an issue, you also might want to look into a mold-killing primer.

Need inspiration to kick off your DIY project? From creamy white to powder pink, we're swooning over these six paint colors for bathrooms this year. Or browse through 12 relaxing bathroom retreats with the soaking tubs of our dreams.

Keep in mind: If you don't use paint with a semi-gloss or satin finish on the walls in the bath, you may find yourself with tougher cleaning duties in the future—and that may even include battling mold. Who's ready for a reno?

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