How to Keep Your Bathroom Paint in Good Shape

22 August 2017

Bathroom moisture presents a unique set of challenges for the surrounding paint job. Let’s briefly review what you’ll need to maintain a flawless bathroom wall finish, and what to do if you’re already noticing potential paint damage due to humid conditions.

Ventilation is your first defense

Adequate airflow is critical to keep your bathroom mold-free and prevent moisture damage that can compromise everything from your paint job to fixtures, appliances, supplies, and decor. If your bathroom isn’t equipped with a window you can open to let in some fresh air, you likely already have an overhead vent fan or may need to install one according to building code.

Make sure to run your fan or prop open your window each time you use the shower or tub, and keep the air flowing until any leftover condensation clears out (at minimum). A dehumidifier can further boost your anti-humidity mileage.

When to paint

If you’re noticing yellow or brown wall stains or peeling or bubbling paint — especially in corners, near baseboards, or at shower, tub, or sink edges — it’s likely time to bring in an interior painting contractor. This must be addressed while the damage has only affected the visible outer layer of paint, as once the moisture damage has reached the drywall, you’ll need to move straight to the next point on this list. Be proactive and avoid additional costs and labor!

Your contractor may suggest using a glossy or semi-glossy paint finish made for areas prone to high humidity, as the surface sheen can repel some excess moisture and reduce the amount of condensation that absorbs into the wall. Scraping, sanding, and sealing as needed will produce an even and lasting paint job.

When to repair or replace

What happens when you reach out and apply gentle pressure to an area showing signs of moisture damage? If the wall feels soft or swollen, you may need to replace the drywall itself before repainting. A drywall repair specialist can help determine whether you need a simple patching or a more significant replacement.