In addition to hosting spooky season and skyrocketing sales of pumpkin spice lattes, October is National Kitchen and Bath Month. While we’re still trying to see how redoing the grout or installing new granite countertops fits in with changing foliage and sweater weather, we love a celebration as much as the next paint contractor, so this month we highlight some of our favorite suggestions for your next bathroom paint job.
Painting the bathroom presents a unique set of challenges. Usually the space is among the smaller rooms in a house, lighting the space adequately can be difficult, and the sheer amount of water makes choosing the right bathroom paint a decision that needs to be made carefully. While we’ll leave design-specific elements like shades and tones to you, we have a few general suggestions for choosing your perfect bathroom paint.
Before You Paint
You can do a lot to prevent mildew and mold from growing in your bathroom before you even lay down a coat of paint. Make sure your walls are a clean slate, free from grime or debris. You can do this by thoroughly cleaning all the surfaces in the room, not just the ones being painted. This makes sure that no unwanted growth is trapped underneath your layer of paint and that no spores are transferred aerially from other surfaces into your fresh coat.
Trust us, we’re not here to tell you which color to paint your bathroom, but there are a few basic rules to keep in mind. Darker shades—when not used in moderation—have a tendency to make small spaces feel smaller and poorly-lit areas feel darker. Softer neutrals like whites and grays and even pinks help to reflect any light from windows or lighting fixtures, brightening up a space. Perhaps the biggest danger with using a white bathroom paint is that such shades show any grime or stains clearly.
Before you settle on one bathroom paint color, add it in sections to test how it works with your cabinets, countertops, and hardware. Any of these things can be changed if you find a hue you really love, but switching out your paint shade (especially if you haven’t applied it to the whole room) is much easier than remodels that replace countertops or cabinets.
Primer isn’t always a necessity during a bathroom paint job, but it does have some key benefits to help block out moisture. It seals up more porous wall surfaces like wood and drywall, preventing bacterial bleeding on either side of the primer coat. Primer also provides an even surface for a coat of bathroom paint to adhere to and minimizes staining. If you are replacing a dark coat of paint, primer is almost certainly a must.
More than in any other paint in a house, bathroom paint must be able to repel moisture and not absorb it. While some bathrooms are more at risk than others of mold and mildew formation, it is better to err on the side of caution. The humid conditions in a bathroom provide the perfect environment for microbial growth, extending drying times and making the space cozy and damp.
While a good primer can help retard unwanted growth, the best preventative is the finish you choose to apply. Historically, glossy finishes perform better at repelling high moisture content. The shiny surface doesn’t give purchase for growing things or even for water to absorb. It acts as a protective coat on which water beads and runs off.
While some people aren’t especially fond of the almost dry-erase board-like slick surface of enamel or high-gloss paints, they work better for bathroom paints than do those with eggshell or flat finishes. The latter tend to absorb moisture, which can invite fungal interlopers or even damage the underlying wood or drywall.
Semi-gloss finishes find an agreeable middle ground. While they still promote beading of moisture in the room, their appearance is softer than a true gloss. It is also relatively easy to clean. We recommend bathroom paints with a semi-gloss finish whether you’re giving your walls a new shade or updating your cabinets.
Additives with Antimicrobial Properties
If you are very concerned about microbial growth in your bathroom, know that it is possible to supplement your paint with antimicrobial additives. These further deter growth so that your bathroom can remain a safe place, free from dangerous, foul-smelling, and unattractive fungus and mildew.
Professional Painting Services Near You
At Wilson’s Paint and Floor Coverings, we are here to help you find the perfect paint for your bathroom. Whether you need to consult about finishes or if you would like your bathroom paint applied professionally, we have got you covered. Give us a call today to get started.