November 01, 2022

What is the Best Paint for Bathrooms?

What is the Best Paint for Bathrooms?

Bathrooms are one of the most frequented rooms in any house, so it’s only natural that you want yours to look the part. While a lick of paint is enough to revitalise or transform many rooms in the home, bathrooms are a little more complicated.

In this post, we’ll discuss the practicalities of painting your bathroom, how to choose the best paint for the job, and some colours that might take your fancy…

Bathroom paint: what you need to know

First things first, let’s outline exactly why bathrooms are tricky. In short, it’s down to humidity and maintenance.

Whether it’s from the bath, shower or both, bathrooms are subject to high humidity on a daily basis. If it’s not dealt with, that humidity can result in mould. The best way to avoid mould building up in any area is to ensure that there is sufficient ventilation. Some bathroom paints include biocides, intended to inhibit mould growth, and they tend to be more expensive. However, in the presence of excessive moisture, these products can struggle to prevent mould completely.

Quite simply, no paint can stop moisture condensing and running down your walls if there is insufficient ventilation in your bathroom. Before choosing your paint, make sure you have adequate ventilation from extractor fans or windows – and make sure you use them when needed.

That’s all paired with the potential for splashes of water getting onto walls and other painted surfaces. Along with the very nature of bathrooms, this means that they need to be cleaned properly and regularly to keep them hygienic. 

Choosing a bathroom paint

With all of that in mind, what kind of paint is best for your bathroom?

The answer is one that is robust enough not to be compromised by damp conditions. You’ll want paint that’s highly scrubbable for walls and durable for woodwork. As your paint can be regularly wiped down and cleaned, it will be fine for your bathroom.

In terms of Frenchic products, our Chalk Wall Paint has an ISO11998 Class 1 Wet Scrub rating, while our Trim Paint is a highly durable option for your woodwork, panelling or bathroom furniture with a soft satin sheen. Our Lazy Range can also be used for bathroom furniture, such as under-sink cabinets, shelves or corner units.

For added water-resistance and general protection, you can use Finishing Coat or Tuff Top Coat. Both are clear, with a choice of a soft sheen finish from Finishing Coat or a flat matte finish from Tuff Top Coat. Alternatively, our Al Fresco Range is water-resistant by design, making it ideal for bathroom furniture and bath panels.

Can you paint ceramic wall tiles in a bathroom?

While the advice above focuses on walls, woodwork and furniture, it’s worth mentioning a surface that’s found in countless bathrooms up and down the UK. We’re talking about ceramic wall tiles.

It’s easy to see why people would want to paint their tiles – it allows you to refresh your bathroom without the messy, time-consuming and costly process of removing tiles and replacing them. So, is it a practical option?

In some cases, it’s an acceptable option. As covered in our blog post on painting tiles, you’ll need to:

  • Ensure tiles aren’t immediately surrounding your shower or bath (more on this below)
  • Choose a suitable paint that’s formulated to adhere to ceramic tiles
  • Prepare the surface by cleaning, allowing to dry, and hand-sanding to abrade.
  • Allowing paint to cure properly by treating the surface with care and keeping it dry

Be sure to read our guide to painting tiles before considering this option.

Is there anywhere you shouldn’t use bathroom paint?

With the right paint and adequate ventilation, you’re free to spruce up or transform most of your bathroom with great, long-lasting results. That said, there are a few areas that aren’t suitable for paint.

While the right bathroom paint can withstand splashes and some humidity, it’s not recommended to paint any area that gets very wet. That includes the area around showers and baths, as well as anywhere that has standing water.

While some types of bathroom flooring can be painted, for example, the likelihood of standing water and heavy wear from footfall means that a lot more maintenance will be required to keep them looking good. On top of that, tiled floors are not recommended for painting.

Similarly, while many types of radiators can be painted, chrome towel rails are not suitable as they tend to get super-hot. Modern powder-coated radiators can be painted with a suitable paint. But you may need to check your finish with the supplier if you have reconditioned vintage radiators. You can find out more in our blog post on painting radiators.

Bathroom paint colours

Once you’ve decided which type of paint you need and where or what you’re going to paint, it’s onto the fun bit – choosing your paint colours.

Our advice is to think about how you’ll be using your bathroom, so you can choose colours that create the atmosphere you want.

For a calming effect, consider botanical hues like Dusky Blush and Green with Envy


Alternatively, a pale duck-egg blue such as Duckling can be the perfect choice for a spa-like design…


Or maybe you’re looking for classic and chic? Pairing crisp, clean Whiter than White with a timeless shade such Wise Old Sage is the way to go…


You could even add a splash of colour to the walls, such as muted vintage pink Last Dance


Of course, sometimes, you don’t want to change the whole room. A quick bath-panel makeover with a bold shade like Blackjack may be all you need to bring things together or update your look…


Similarly, you can upcycle a piece of furniture to give your bathroom a new focal point. The example below uses Salt of the Earth to add a bit of vintage charm. That’s topped off with Finishing Coat on the horizontal surface for extra water resistance.


If you want to express yourself a little more, a bright shade like Honeycomb is ideal for woodwork…


Ready to paint your bathroom?

If you’re raring to go with your bathroom renovations, Frenchic has a selection of beautiful paint colours for you to choose from. Whether you’re going bold and brave or sweet and subtle, we can help you create the perfect atmosphere in your bathroom.

Choose from highly functional paint products such as scrubbable Chalk Wall Paint and scuff-resistant Trim Paint, and pair with one of our top coats for added protection in problem areas.


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