I grew up in a one bathroom home—during our teenage years my siblings and I could drain the town reservoir, our showers were so long. This also made the bathroom a haven for mildew as well as severely stressing the paint—yellow water stains running down the wall, blisters, cracked and peeling paint.
Now, many homes have a bathroom for each bedroom, so no one bathroom gets constantly overused. However, the arrival of steam showers and waterfall-style shower heads are still capable of overwhelming a typical bathroom with moisture, even a bathroom equipped with a fan.
As a professional painter, I always specify the use of bathroom paint on ceilings, walls and trim. I do this because using the right type of paint means I’ll have a happy customer, and no call backs or warranty issues down the road. I use bathroom paint because bathroom paint works!
What makes bathroom paint different?
Bathroom paint is formulated using a very high quality resin that, while drying, coalesces into a very tight barrier. That means that the paint won’t absorb moisture from the air. That moisture is what causes paint to degrade. When bathroom paint is used, you don’t have to worry about bubbles, blisters, peeling or yellow streaks caused by surfactant (surface active agents) leaching out as the paint essentially decomposes.
It’s also worth noting that bathroom paint typically contains higher levels of mildewcide. This will slow the growth of mildew for a while, but unless you are a fastidious cleaner, eventually mineral deposits, left behind by steam, will provide a food source on which mildew spores thrive. When that time comes, wipe down the walls with a cleaning solution that contains bleach.
Using bathroom paints will add minimal additional expense to a project but it pays for itself quickly. A premium bathroom paint, with deep color and pigment, will cost on average around $55 per gallon. A bathroom paint in a lighter color will cost around $40 per gallon. I believe they are well worth the investment.