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What Kind of Paint Should You Use for a Bathroom Ceiling?

Dana Mial McMahon

Painting a bathroom may seem like a fairly easy project given it’s typically the smallest room in a house. Much thought must be given to the project, though. Certain paints are actually made for bathrooms, and painting a bathroom ceiling incorrectly can ruin the look of the room.

Choosing paint colors is fun, but also consider practical factors.

Color, finish and technique must all be considered to maximize the life and effect of the paint.

Mildew Resistance

There are several manufacturers that make paints that claim to be mildew resistant. They’re specifically designed for bathrooms and kitchens because of the presence of water in those rooms. As steam rises from a shower, it rests on the ceiling and can become absorbed within the paint and into the plaster or drywall. Mildew is difficult to remove from a surface once it’s grown in. It’s best to avoid it at all costs and buy mildew-resistant paint for bathrooms.

Paint Color

Most people paint the walls of a room and neglect the ceilingby using white ceiling paint. While this is acceptable, there’s another paint technique that makes the room seem more welcoming and gives it a little depth. Consider using a paint technique that calls for creating a shade of paint for the ceiling that is a half tone of the wall color. The paint is created at the hardware or paint store by asking for an extra batch that’s mixed 50/50 with a white paint.

Low-Luster Paint

Bathrooms are a place where many dirty hands and bodies enter in order to become clean. Knowing this, you might choose to paint your walls with a high-gloss or semi-gloss paint that’s easier to clean than matte or low-luster paint. The ceiling, however, isn’t going to be touched often, if ever. Low-luster paint is better for the ceiling than high-gloss or semi-gloss. Too much gloss may be somewhat overwhelming. The matte finish will help tone it down a bit.

Paint vs. Wallpaper

If ventilation is an issue in your bathroom, it is best to steer clear of wallpaper. If, however, you have your heart set on wallpaper, choose one that has been treated to prevent mold, mildew and peeling caused by moisture buildup. Wallpaper is not recommended for bathroom ceilings, mostly due to aesthetics. Consider using a mildew-resistant paint for the ceilings.