How To Choose Bathroom Ceiling Paint

Choosing your bathroom ceiling paint can be tricky. From color and finish to the properties in paint, if you don’t know what to look out for, you might be left standing at the paint shop, scratching your head! 

With a variety of options, you’re always spoiled for choice. But with a little guidance and the right tools, you can make sure that picking the right paint becomes one of the most rewarding experiences as a homeowner! 

First things first, when it comes to choosing the right paint for your bathroom ceilings, you will need to prepare a little. Take into account how damp the bathroom can be, the ventilation in the bathroom, humidity levels, and usage patterns as well. If the bathroom is where one plans for a lot of steamy showers, or if the only use comes from a sink, then all these factors can influence the process of selection.

Type of paint:

The first thing we’re looking at, when learning how to choose bathroom ceiling paint, is the type of paint. The two most popular paints you’ll find are Oil-based paint vs. Latex paint. When it comes to the humid and moist environment of the bathroom, your best bet is high-quality latex paint, for the following reasons:

  • They are the easiest to clean, due to their tight molecular structure, which prevents water from penetrating through the paint.

  • They come with the most desirable finish for a bathroom.

  • Latex paint offers durability and moisture resistance. 

  • These paints also work very well regardless of ventilation, since it dries very quickly and leaves behind little to no fumes. 

Oil paints, while not a bad option, prove harder to clean and stand the chance of yellowing over time. This makes your walls look unappealing. Hence, the best choice of paint for bathroom ceilings is generally latex! You can choose between water-based latex paint or acrylic-latex paint.
Just make sure they’re specially formulated for bathroom ceilings by reading all the labels! 

Type of finish:

While the type of finish might seem like a purely aesthetic decision, it can also affect how durable and resistant to mold or mildew your ceilings will be. 
  • Flat Finish:
The most common finish you can find for ceilings is flat finishes. A flat finish paint would only work when they are specifically formulated for bathrooms otherwise, they are most prone to moisture absorption. Flat finishes also don’t stand up to scrubbing and are hence difficult to clean.

  • Gloss/Semi-Gloss Finish:
The best finish is gloss or semi-gloss paint, which will give you some shade and also absorb excess moisture without mildew growth. They have a tight molecular structure, making them the best choice for your bathroom, no matter what the usage of the bathroom is. 

Gloss, or semi-gloss ceilings, repeal moisture. This allows for the moisture to evaporate away, and ensure that there is no mildew or mold growth, even if they are not formulated for bathroom walls.

The tougher formula aids washing and scrubbing since water will not penetrate through the walls. This also means that it allows no stains on the bathroom walls, requires little to no maintenance, no wear and tear in the long run, and will help keep your bathroom sanitized. 

If you don’t want to bring attention to the ceilings of your bathroom, you can also opt for a satin finish. But we recommend a gloss or semi-gloss finish as the best bathroom ceiling paint.

Properties of the paint:

Bathrooms are splash-prone areas, and without the right paint can retain moisture, which could cause mildew or mold growth over long periods of time. To prevent this, you can choose a paint that has been specially formulated for bathroom ceilings or even one with these two properties:

  • Anti-microbial: 
These paints resist mold and not only ensure no new mold grows but is strong enough to kill existing mold. 

  • Moisture resistant: 
Most paints with a glossy finish are theoretically moisture resistant due to the molecular structure of the paint. But, certain paints are more moisture-resistant, like paint formulated for bathrooms. These not only prevent health hazards like mold formation but also ensure that the paint won’t peel, which often happens due to water penetrating paint. 

All bathroom ceiling paints are formulated with these properties. If you can’t find bathroom ceiling paint, look for high-quality latex paint with a glossy finish, and that should prove to be just as useful. 

Should you use a primer?

An additional layer of protection to bathroom ceilings is primer. 

While not all bathrooms require a coat of primer, it ensures durability and lower maintenance. Primer can also ensure that bathrooms stay mold/mildew-free for long, and even help cover up any aesthetic imperfections like stains and peeling. The right primer for paint should ensure the paint is extra moisture resistant, is strongly anti-microbial, and allows for no water seepage. 

Some other factors to consider are:

  • Usage:
If a bathroom is used exclusively for hot showers that produce a lot of steam, it is crucial to get a moisture repellant paint, and even a primer that ensures water does not seep through due to the high levels of humidity in the bathroom.

  • Ceiling height: 
A low ceiling tends to receive more water spots and splashback compared to a higher ceiling. Hence, to ensure minimal staining and water retention, you must get a glossy or semi-gloss finish, which adds to the longevity of the ceiling paint.

  • Low ventilation: 
A bathroom that isn’t ventilated is more prone to moisture retention and mildew/mold. This means that a primer with both moisture-repelling properties and anti-microbial properties will keep the bathroom safer, and make the paint more efficient. 

  • Leakage prone: 
If the bathroom is more prone to leaks and stains, then getting the source of the leak fixed, along with a strong primer can make sure the bathroom is stain free 

And that’s almost everything you need to know before you get to painting the bathroom ceiling. It always helps to consult with your local paint shop experts too, so that you have a bathroom ceiling paint that lasts for a long time with minimal need for touch-ups.


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