Bathroom "Primer": Decorating Ideas

Painting a bathroom is a whole other ball game than painting the rest of your interior. That's because bathrooms are damp wet places where mold can find an easy growing medium. Moisture is the major factor you must take into account when choosing paint for your bathroom. Therefore manufacturers have created special bathroom paint that can help to inhibit mold.

Glossier Paints

But before you choose and purchase bathroom paint colors, it's also important to consider which paint finishes and sheens are most appropriate for bathrooms. Paint comes in every sort of luster from flat to high-gloss. In general, the glossier paints are best for bathrooms. Here's a list of the various paint sheens:

*Flat—best in an area that receives little traffic.  A flat, matte finishing doesn't wear well, and also absorbs moisture so is inappropriate for bathroom use.

*High-Moisture Matte Finish—Benjamin Moore makes a Bath and Spa Matte Finish that is one of a very few flat paints that is designed to repel moisture. Unless you really love a matte finish in the bathroom, you're still better off with a glossier paint for preventing mold and mildew.

*Eggshell—has a bit more of sheen than flat paint, wears a bit better, and can be washed down a bit, but is still best for places with little moisture.

Powder Rooms

*Satin—moving up a bit on the gloss scale, satin may be suitable in powder rooms or in guest bathrooms which don't contain as much moisture as a regular family bathroom.

*Semi-Gloss—most people go with semi-gloss for bathroom paint since it does a good job of repelling moisture and has the nicest-looking sheen.

*High-Gloss—this is the best possible paint for bathroom walls because a high-gloss repels moisture best of all. High-gloss paint repels moisture as well as a shiny smooth plastic surface. However, most people aren't happy with the look of high-gloss paint when applied to the walls of a large bathroom. You can compromise by applying this type of paint to cabinetry and trim.

Inhibit Mold

Zinsser and Sherwin Williams both make bathroom paints that inhibit the growth of mold and mildew and come with five-year guarantees. Zinsser comes in white and in a few other colors. Sherwin Williams comes in more colors than the Zinsser. Such paints cost more and are not really necessary for bathrooms unless you have a known problem of mold and mildew.