Paint Sheen and Bathroom MoistureThis list starts with the flattest, lowest sheen finish and works up to high-gloss. The higher the gloss, the better the paint sheen does in bathrooms.
- Flat - Nice matte coating, but best in low-traffic areas where it is never or rarely touched. Absorbs moisture, so it is bad for bathrooms.
- Eggshell - Slightly "sheeny" and more washable and scrubbable than flat. Like flat, eggshell is good for places without moisture.
- Satin - Satin has a bit of a gloss, and can be used in low-moisture bathrooms, such as powder or guest bathrooms.
- Semi-Gloss - Best sheen for any kind of bathroom. Repels moisture well.
- High-gloss - Best for bathroom walls because high-gloss repels moisture almost as well as if your walls were coated in plastic. Downside is that high-gloss (in the opinion of some people) does not look good when spread out over large surfaces such as walls. Best for smaller surfaces like trim and cabinetry.
In fact, you can even find matte finishes that are specially designed for high moisture areas. Benjamin Moore's Aura® Bath And Spa Matte Finish is one such paint.
Mold and Mildew Resistant Bathroom Paint?Certain types of paint claim to resist the growth of mold and mildew in bathrooms. Zinsser's Perma-White claims to be guaranteed to prevent the growth of mold and mildew for a minimum of five years.
In case you don't want white in your bathroom, Perma-White can be tinted to off-white, pastel and medium colors. And it comes in eggshell, satin and semi-gloss sheens.
Sherwin Williams also has a bath paint called, simply enough, Bath Paint. It has the same 5-year guarantee as the Zinsser, inhibits mold and mildew just as well, yet has far more available colors.