While it may be possible to continue your paint job from room to room throughout the house, when you arrive at the bathroom door, you'll want to switch gears. There are several reasons:
- The bathroom is highly moisture-intensive. Thus, the paint must resist moisture.
- Unless painting a newly-built bathroom, you will have some issues that can affect the "stickability" of the new paint.
- Because bathrooms are small, you need to think more carefully about color choices--otherwise, you may adversely affect the perceived space.
Tip 1: Use Bathroom Paint or At Least Paint Appropriate For The BathroomSome paint manufacturers sell what they call bathroom paint: paint that has both mold-inhibiting agents and a better surface for resisting moisture.
As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on this matter--especially on the mold-inhibiting angle. But you'll certainly want to think in terms of sheen or finish, from flat up to high-gloss. While it's generally not recommended, I find that even the flattest of the flat can be used in the bathroom, outside of the super-moist areas. To play it safe, though, go for eggshell or glossier.
Tip 2: Exception--Shower Stall WallsIt's a mystery why bathroom remodelers and homeowners opt for painted drywall in the shower stall rather than tile all the way up to the ceiling or polymer shower stall materials. Painted drywall in the stall area is far inferior to the previously mentioned materials.
If you have drywall in the stall area, go for the highest gloss bathroom-appropriate paint, such as Valspar Ultra Premium Bath and Kitchen Enamel. Your one gallon of this expensive paint will more than cover this small area, but you will be glad that you did it.
Tip 3: Clean Those Walls!In most other areas of the house, you can slide by without cleaning the walls. But in the kitchen, especially around the stove, and in the bathroom--near shower and sink--it's crucial to clean the walls.
It's not so much stains and everyday ick as it is soap scum and cleaning agents. Soap scum will absolutely peel off your nice paint job, if you can get it to stick in the first place.
Tip 4: Bathroom Paint Colors Should Be Light and EasyIt is difficult to make dark, weighty colors work in any bathroom, due to the small size.
Yet it's not necessary, or even advised, to surrender to the classic white bathroom. Light, airy, bright bathroom paint colors such as light blue and white or light-yellow and white always work well. Read more about bathroom paint color ideas.
All that said, there are no true "shoulds" in home renovation. If you want a flat black bathroom, by all means you should do this. But understand the consequences.