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Wall coverings

6 min read

How to Choose Paint for Your Bathroom

Wall coverings

6 min read

How to Choose Paint for Your Bathroom

Wall coveringsHow to Choose Paint for Your Bathroom

Your bathroom is a room on its own, which is purely functional for most, yet somewhere many others will soak in a warm candlelit bath. Painting the surfaces around bathroom-specific items is a simple and cost-effective way to revamp the area and change the overall look. Now it’s up to you to choose the right paint to coat this humidity-prone area. 

The Right Type of Bathroom Paint

bathroom paint

Source: Canva

Typically, people will head to the nearest paint retailer to purchase a gallon of 100% acrylic latex paint. The reason why is that this type of paint is designed for humid areas, like a bathroom. And, such a finish can better withstand humidity and frequent washing and scrubbing, unlike a matte finish. 

As for a semi-satin finish, it’s slightly glossy and must be coated onto a wall that was adequately prepared. A gloss finish with high levels of sheen must be coated onto perfectly smooth walls, otherwise, all of the surface’s imperfections will show through. 

Note that applying a primer isn’t always a necessary course of action for this type of painting project. However, if the chosen paint is lighter than the one that’s currently adorning the walls, it’s highly advised to apply a primer. 

Avoid painting your bathroom in a matte finish since it’s less likely to allow humidity to permeate its surface and therefore will become prone to mould growth. To achieve a matte-finish depth, an eggshell finish is the ideal alternative.

You can also opt for anti-fungal paints designed especially for water-prone rooms. This type of paint contains preservatives designed to protect the paint from mould and stains, yet still give off a matte finish. 

What are VOC levels?

Paints sold in stores have a VOC, or volatile organic compound, index. The most common compounds are formaldehyde, benzyne, toluene (smells like paint thinners), organic solvents, and fuel gasses. They may cause dizziness, nausea, and fatigue, amongst other symptoms.

Hydrocarbon-based solvents are but one of five compounds found in paint. Binders or resins that bind paint compounds together allow the mixture to stick to the surface in question as it cures. Pigments give the paint its desired colour. Additives improve the paint’s overall compounds: faster drying time, better shelf life, etc. Naturally occurring fillers have additional properties: greater viscosity, thicker texture, more stabilizing effect, etc.

Solvents or thinners that dissolve all components to obtain a liquid formula can be water-based. In fact, there are two types of VOCs. There are VOCs found in paint that are man-made, originating from petrol-refining processes, transportation, industrial solvents, chemical processes, agricultural waste, etc., and natural VOCs, which result from plant, forest, fermentation, etc. emissions. 

According to Environment Canada, man-made VOCs remain the number one cause of air quality issues in urban areas, while natural VOCs are biodegradable via bacteria, fungi, plants, UV light or ozone. Human activity disrupted the balance by producing man-made VOCs.

Recycled paints contain fewer VOCs. The leftover paint in the cans is reprocessed and reconditioned (reused). Such paint is latex-based, however, fewer colour options are available. 

An Eco-Friendly Choice

Natural paints are much more durable than conventional paints, but it’s best to avoid painting over your bathroom with milk or casein paint. Instead, opt for natural limewash paint to create a cozier look. It results in a healthy, hypoallergenic and anti-fungal setting. Note that darker, natural paint shades are more expensive as a result of the pigments used. 

Choosing a paint colour

paint bathroom

Source: Canva

Blue, white, and grey appear to be the colours of choice when it comes to bathrooms. These shades are very reminiscent of water, the sea, and the whole aquatic universe that allows you to splurge on a wide range of hues from navy blue to Caribbean turquoise, with greyish hues much like a harbour fog in between. If your bathroom is well-lit, feel free to use dark colours to create a sense of privacy. On the other hand, if your bathroom isn’t all that well-lit, and narrow, it’s best to paint your ceiling the same colour as your walls to make it appear bigger than it actually is. 

Canary yellow, scarlet red and lime green are colours that may not seem like those one would normally use to paint the walls of their home, but remember that your bathroom is a separate room altogether! The bathtub, shower, toilet, sink, mirror, and all the other little accessories make this space functional. 

Bright colours light up and warm up a space not unlike a rooster’s crowing at dawn, while oranges lean toward energy, spring lilacs permeate the room giving it a sort of atypical pendulum effect. However, avoid contrasts that detract even slightly from the monochromatic effect.

The Cost of a Painting Project

According to Protégez-Vous (a French Canadian monthly magazine and content website), the cost of a 4-litre gallon of paint varies between $28 and $60, based on the 27 interior paints evaluated. BEHR Premium Plus paint is unrivalled in terms of quality-price ratio—100% acrylic, washable, and recommended for kitchen and bathroom use. If you’re looking for paint that has good coverage, is low maintenance, and withstands wear, it’s best to opt for a high-end, dark, and 100% acrylic colour. 

Boomerang recycled paint retails for $13 a gallon and is the most cost-effective option. In-store, a mid-range bathroom or kitchen paint can costs between $35 and $40. 

If you compare paint pricing, make sure to take into account its coverage capacity instead of quantity. Measure the to-be-painted surface, then refer to the paint’s guidelines for square footage coverage. Note that the product details coverage for one coat of paint only, but you’ll need to plan for two. 

The square footage coverage may vary based on your painting method and just how porous or rough the to-be-painted surface is. Make sure you adequately prepare the surface by cleaning it or layering it with a primer. It’s also best to plan for more materials than not enough, like for touch-ups. 

Looking for more information to help plan your bathroom renovation project? Check out our Bathroom Renovation Guide

LOOKING FOR A RELIABLE BALLPARK FIGURE FOR YOUR PAINTING PROJECT? Try out our cost calculator! Simply input the rooms' square footage and the desired number of colours.

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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