Best bathroom paints: 6 moisture resistant paints

The best bathroom paints need to be moisture resistant to suit a humid room. See our favorites for freshening up your bathroom or shower room

a modern white bathroom with a double sink and two mirrors and a blue vanity, to illustrate the best bathroom paints
(Image credit: Getty images)

When picking the best bathroom paints for your home, you initially need to put choosing the perfect color aside. First and foremost, this type of paint needs to be moisture resistant – it is going in a room with several water sources after all. If you have kids (and even if you don't), the odd splash is inevitable, and normal paint just won't do. And if you don't have kids, then humidity will certainly put your paint to the test.

Bathroom paints therefore need to contain the right ingredients and the necessary properties to handle the damp environment, and they may even need to be wipeable. Fortunately, paint brands have made it their mission to create the best paints for bathrooms that can withstand these conditions. All while offering a beautiful range of colors and finishes to bring a brand new look to your space. Just be sure to have your best cleaning products to hand first – you'll want to give your bathroom a thorough scrub before painting it.

Our list includes not just colorful top coats, but specialist paints to battle mold and damp too – perfect for prepping you bathroom walls. Here are the best bathroom paints you can buy.

The best bathroom paint - our 6 favorite picks

Best bathroom paint you can buy: Dulux Bathroom+ Emulsion Paint

1. Dulux Bathroom+ Emulsion Paint

Best bathroom paint you can buy: a steam and moisture resistant paint from one of the most popular painting and decorating brands

Specifications

Best for: All rounder
Sizes available: 1ltr & 2.5ltr
Finish: Soft sheen
Colors: 26

Reasons to buy

+
Good range of colors available
+
MouldTec formulation to prevent mold
+
Tough

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing!

Dulux Bathroom+ Emulsion Paint should be your go-to if you’re looking to redecorate your bathroom. The paint has been formulated to be both steam and moisture resistant, which means it should remain in tip top condition no matter how many showers are taken in a day. Its MouldTec foundation protects the paint against mold for up to five years, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy it before another coat is required. Over 24 hours, the paint dries to a mid sheen finish, which repels steam rather than allowing it to soaking. In our opinion, this is one of the very best bathroom paints.

Best bathroom paint for damp: Polycell One Coat Damp Seal

2. Polycell One Coat Damp Seal

Best bathroom paint for damp: seal patches of penetrating damp with this handy paint from Polycell

Specifications

Best for: Damp bathrooms
Sizes available: 500ml, 1ltr & 2.5ltr
Finish: N/A
Colors: 1

Reasons to buy

+
Only requires one coat – quick to apply
+
Great for bathrooms that have suffered leaks
+
Easy to apply

Reasons to avoid

-
Only comes in one color

Damp stains will persistently show through emulsion paint, so if you're decorating a bathroom that's suffered leaks in the past, this is one of the best bathroom paints for you. Polycell's One Coat Damp Seal will seal the damp patch, so it won't show through your top coat. It only requires one coat, making it quick and easy to apply, and you can use it on plaster, cement or stone. Best of all, it’s touch dry within four hours, so you can get on with applying your chosen paint color on the same day.

Best bathroom paint for bad ventilated rooms: Ronseal Anti Mould Paint

3. Ronseal Anti Mould Paint

Best bathroom paint for bad ventilated rooms: no window in your bathroom? Opt for this paint and your mold will be gone

Specifications

Best for: Bathroms with bad ventilation
Sizes available: 0.75ltr & 2.5ltr
Finish: Matt
Colors: 1

Reasons to buy

+
Provides up to six years of mold protection 
+
Dries in just two hours

Reasons to avoid

-
Only available in white

Living in a rental property with no prospect of improving the bathroom's ventilation? Or perhaps a new bathroom – including a bathroom extractor fan – is something you're saving up for? In the meantime, why not give your bathroom walls a coat of Ronseal Anti Mold Paint, which is a great option for a bathroom that suffers persistent mold growth caused by condensation? It protects your walls for up to six years, so there’s plenty of time for you to enjoy your bathroom before you need to give the walls another coat. The paint dries in just two hours and once dry, it’s wipeable, too.

Best bathroom paint for quick-drying: Johnstone's Brilliant White Kitchen & Bathroom Emulsion

4. Johnstone's Brilliant White Kitchen & Bathroom Emulsion

Best bathroom paint for quick-drying: resisting moisture, stains and grease, this is a hardy paint with a quick drying time

Specifications

Best for: Quick drying
Sizes available: 0.75ltr & 2.5ltr
Finish: Mid-sheen
Colors: 22

Reasons to buy

+
Wipeable
+
Low odor
+
Lots of color choices

Reasons to avoid

-
Hard to wash off brushes and rollers

If you’re looking for a good top coat, consider Johnstone’s Brilliant White Kitchen & Bathroom Emulsion, which will provide durable protection in areas where there’s high condensation, with the mid sheen finish providing a moisture resistant surface to ensure walls are kept dry. It’s a low-odor paint and it should dry within four hours, ideal if you're decorating an en suite and don't want to endure paint fumes all night long. There are plenty of other colors available too, if you don't fancy white. 

The only negative is that it is quite rich paint that can take a while to clean off brushes and rollers. Any spillages also need to be wiped up right away as this paint adheres very well and is hard to clean off other surfaces once dried – a good sign of its 'scrubability'. 

Best bathroom paint for tiles: Ronseal High Gloss Tile Paint

5. Ronseal High Gloss Tile Paint

Best bathroom paint for tiles: give your bathroom a quick revamp with this Ronseal tile paint

Specifications

Best for: Tiles
Sizes available: 0.75ltr
Finish: Satin and Gloss
Colors: 13

Reasons to buy

+
Effective
+
Good for a freshen up

Reasons to avoid

-
Only comes in one size

If you want to give your bathroom a quick freshen up while you save up for a whole room makeover, Ronseal High Gloss Tile Paint will save you the time and the hassle of removing your existing tiles and re-plastering your bathroom wall. There are several colors to choose from and, once applied, the high gloss finish makes the tiles look good as new, which is why it's one of the best paints for bathrooms. The paint itself is waterproof and mold resistant and Ronseal promise that the paint will cover up patterned tiles and strong colors. The best bathroom paint if you're looking for a quick-fix tile revamp, we think.

Best bathroom paint on a budget: GoodHome bathroom paint

(Image credit: B&Q)

6. GoodHome bathroom paint

Best bathroom paint for budget: great quality paint at a great price

Specifications

Best for: Price
Sizes available: 0.5ltr, 0.75ltr, 2.5ltr
Finish: Soft sheen
Colors: 26

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Plenty of color choice

Reasons to avoid

-
Finish varies depending on the color

If you are after a budget friendly paint that's going to freshen up your bathroom without costing a lot, GoodHome's bathroom paint is the answer. It's currently only available in the UK, and on sale for just £16 for 2.5 liters, but you still get all the properties you would want from a bathroom paint – it's washable, stain and mold resistant. The finish is a soft sheen which is perfect for bathrooms as they tend to be the rooms that get the least amount of natural light – a slight gloss with bounce light around the space.

How to buy the best bathroom paint

Color
Since bathrooms tend to be the smallest room in the house, lighter colors are often used to create the illusion that they are bigger and brighter than they actually are. Most bathroom paints therefore have a good range of whites and neutrals to act as a base for your bathroom scheme. This will create a timeless look that you can update with colorful towels and accessories as and when you please.

Alternatively, go for a bold, moody color to create a cocooning feel in your bathroom. Sumptuous slates and inky greens work well to offer a sense of serenity and depth.

If you still want more paintspiration when you're done, check out our bathroom paint ideas page for endless ideas. Or, see our bathroom ideas gallery for loads of gorgeous looks to get you inspired on your theme.

Wipe-ability
Bathroom walls tend to get splashed and are subject to condensation, so choosing a paint that can stand the moisture (and potentially mold) is a must – but so is its wipe-ability. Being able to get shampoo marks off is essential. The best washable paints are some of the best options for kids rooms, playrooms and boot rooms.

Drying time
Dulux have the largest selection of colors on our list, but you’ll find the drying time to be excessively long compared to others, such as Johnstone's Brilliant White Kitchen & Bathroom Emulsion, which is perfect for giving your bathroom a quick refresh and makes painting a bathroom a breeze.. Expect most paints to take at least four hours to dry between coats and don't be tempted to ignore this, or you could affect the final finish.

Surface
Make sure that whatever you are painting is clean and dry before application of any paint. If damp or mold has been a problem, look at the specialist products in our list. These can also be used as undercoat for a final colored bathroom paint to go on top. 

Annie Collyer
Deputy Ecommerce Editor

Annie is our Deputy Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, with her particular area of expertise being home fragrance (there isn't a candle out there that she hasn't lit in her home). She's our guru when it comes to what to buy, when — and also where. She has years of experience when it comes to finding deals — Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday or not — and she particularly loves finding a bargain. With some of her favorite homeware pieces coming from Amazon, she's always looking for budget-friendly alternatives and dupes, as well as eco-friendly products to help her on her recent journey to being more sustainable at home. There's nothing she loves more than her Pug, Doug, and a bargain thrift shop find (yes, she once thrifted a brand new Le Creuset pan). Next up on her to-do list at home: DIY crittall-style doors...

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