Are you getting ready to paint bathrooms for the 1st time or repainting your bathroom a new color or remodeling. Knowing the right paint for a bathroom will save you a lot of headaches down the road. There are several brands of paint for bathrooms. For today, we are only looking at two, Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. So – what is the Best Paint for bathrooms?

Hey Everyone, David with Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper, here in Huntley, IL. This week, we had 2 people ask the same question, the subject of today’s blog post, what is the best paint for bathrooms. Then we had similar questions as to what to difference is between bathroom paints. So I gigured we better answer the question!

Does it matter what paint you use in a bathroom?

Absolutely! Bathrooms are a unique area of the home. Every home is unique. Painting homes is Elgin, IL can be fun for sure as they have a huge variation in age. With age comes a wide array of builders, materials used, and substrates we have to paint over. But as the bathroom is the room most often visited outside of the kitchen, it needs to be painted right! With that, a bathroom has special needs to keep it looking great for years to come.

Bathrooms- those with bathtubs or showers especially, need the right paint. The paint needs to be able to withstand moisture that comes from steam or water that comes from the sink areas from hand washing.

Washability is also another concern for bath paint. MOst batrhooms are used to get redy for the day. In getting ready there are certain products that are problematic for paint. The biggest problem product is hairspray! Hairspray has silicates in it. These silicates make it absolutely a nightmare for painting. Silicates, in general, are waterproof or water-resistant. So they may be great for makeup, hair care etc, but when it comes to painting a bathroom, hairspray on the surface of walls and cabinets is a huge- as Donald trump would say HUGE, Big, im talking out of this world big..lol.

hair spray in bathrom paint
hairspray residue on bathroom wall paint

We won’t get into how we get over silicate issues to paint. We are talking about the right paint for bathrooms, so you can have the right paint so you avoid problems.

Does sheen matter when painting a bathroom?

Yeah buddy! Every home is different in some ways For example older plaster homes have different issues than new construction. However- one things is constant, water penetrates. If you add soap the equation then water penetrates even more.

When we are painting a bathroom, we recommend eggshell or satin as the minimum sheen to use for the walls and ceilings. These sheens have a built-in water moisture repellance due to the sheen. The higher the sheen the more water will bead or repel from the surface.

Think like a car- those shiney cars have water beads whenever they come in contact with water. I would not want that for the walls of my house, but you get the idea.

Can you use flat paint in a bathroom- yes, but flat paint is very absorbent. Extra moisture from shower or water will be absorbed into the paint which then is absorbed into the walls. For some homes it may not matter. But it is something to be aware of.

wtaer on flat paint
water absorbing into flat paint

Sherwin Williams Duration Paint

For us, we have turned to Sherwin Williams for most of our paint use. Customer service, warranty claims, on-site visits, and price have been the reasons we made that choice. As it relates to bathrooms- Duration is their product of choice and recommendation.

Now I am not gonna get into the tech that can lead you down a rabbit hole, I am just discussing what i think the best paint for bathrooms – based on our experiences in your homes.

Duration, is fast drying, 1 hour to the touch, 4 hours to recoat, and about 8 hours you COULD take a shower. The label shows Moisture vapor tech- no clue what that means lol. What I do know is that those claims have been tested and found pretty true. And to date, we have had no issues.

No matter what paint you choose- I would still suggest waiting 24 hours for it to dry before using the bathroom after painting.

Benjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa Paint

Until 2 years ago, we used this product on every bathroom we painted. Overall- we have no problem with it, if you select certain colors – you have no choice but to use it, as the colors cannot be matched in other brands.

Bath and spa paint goes on nice, has a great sheen look appearance and feel. Their product also is dry to the touch in 1 hour, but claims it can be recoated in 1 hour. They also recommend 24 before using the area.

We have not found that to be true, we had two failures in a row, both were recoated in under 4 hours. We do not know how soon the owner waited to shower, but we left at 1pm. So, we assumed it was later in the day that the shower was used. But- but both jobs had us called back within 3 days.

running lines on bath paint
running complaints in a bathroom

Both rooms had severe “running” the moisture rand down the wall and left stains. We do not know why. After having to repaint two baths for the same issue, we just made the choice to stop using this product. I know there are people that use it ever day with no issues, and I am happy for them. We have just had a different experience.

Duration Vs Aura BAth and Spa paint

I am not a huge fan of the VS conversations or comparisons. Most of the time, there is an agenda to sell a specific product. We are here to give you our field use what we use. Giving the facts of our situations. We cannot control what happens when we leave a house. So when there is a product failure like we had, we have to find out how to avoid it again.

It is very possible that the Spa paint was exposed to shower moisture sooner than the suggested 24 hours. These homes were also built in the same 90’s time frame. So there could have been an issue with the vent fan. The house could have been too “tight” not allowing fresh air to circulate in the home. We just dont know.

So- again these are our results, based on the homes we paint everyday, and the product we use everyday. Im sure you will find other people who will say something different. However we warranty what we do. Which means we solve problems- not make them. If a product we use fails, we fix it. It would be great if the manufacturer would stand behind what they sell, but we know that doesn’t always work. So we at D’franco Painting, have to be ready to stand by our work.

If you have questions- let us know- we would love to help!