Can You Use Bathroom Paint in a Bedroom? (3 Considerations)

If you’re looking to paint over mold in your bedroom or use up some of your old bathroom paint, then you might be wondering if you can use bathroom paint in your bedroom without any adverse effects.

Bathroom paint with a flat/matt finish can be used on your bedroom walls and ceiling because it has a low level of sheen and glare. However, most bathroom paint has a soft, mid, or high sheen that’s typically unsuitable for large surface areas in the bedroom and better for selective use on woodwork.

The rest of this article looks more closely at the 3 key points that you should consider before deciding to use bathroom paint in your bedroom or not.

Should You Use Bathroom Paint in Your Bedroom?

Deciding on whether or not to use bathroom paint in your bedroom depends on if the paint will provide the correct finish for the surface that you’re painting on, plus the cost of buying the paint if you’ve yet to purchase it, and the reason for wanting to use bathroom paint in your bedroom (such as to cover up mold).

These key elements are explored in more detail below to help you decide if using bathroom paint in your bedroom is the right choice for you.

What is Bathroom Paint?

Bathroom paint is a specially formulated type of paint that’s designed to resist mold and mildew growth by using a resin that’s able to lock out moisture by forming a tight barrier as it dries.

Bathroom paint is usually designed to prevent the surface from becoming cold to the touch and therefore less conducive to the production of condensation when exposed to the airborne water vapor that is common in bathrooms due to shower and bath usage [1].

This reduction in surface moisture can help to inhibit mold growth and this beneficial effect is often underpinned by the addition of a fungicide to the paint.

Often, you’ll find that a type of bathroom paint is also marketed as being suitable for both bathroom and kitchen usage due to the overlap in requirements for moisture resistance and the ability to allow a surface to be wiped down easily.

But some brands like Dulux sell separate bathroom and kitchen specific paints.

Bathroom paints are available in a range of finishes but they typically tend to have a higher sheen that makes them easier to wipe down and more resistant to bumps, scrapes, friction, and even exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals.

What Type of Paint is Normally Used in Bedrooms?

Emulsion is the most common type of paint used to paint bedroom walls and ceilings because it holds well to most surfaces without pre-treatment (although a primer can be used to obtain a smoother finish), is resistant to cracking and fading in the sunlight, and comes in a range of finishes – including matt, satin, and silk.

Gloss paint is used in bedrooms to add shine and protection to more prominent woodwork – often taking the role of an accent color to add emphasis and depth.

Emulsion paints tend to be quicker drying and smell less than gloss paint.

What’s the Difference Between Bathroom and Bedroom Paint?

The main difference between bathroom and bedroom paint is that bathroom paint is typically better at inhibiting mold growth by resisting moisture penetration and inhibiting the formation of condensation – however, emulsion paints typically still have a fair amount of resistance to moisture too.

1: Consider the Finish

Probably the biggest consideration when deciding to use bathroom paint in your bedroom is the type of finish that it will create.

Although bathroom paint is available in a range of finishes, it typically tends to be more glossy overall – potentially making it unsuitable for painting large surface areas like your bedroom walls and ceiling.

Because unless you’re specifically after a shiny bedroom, a high level of gloss in your room could create glare and detract from the calming ambiance that you’re trying to create in order to promote relaxation and sleep.

To avoid any catastrophes, you should check the label to find out which type of finish the bathroom paint that you have – or are thinking of buying – has.

Here’s a guide to the different types of paint finishes and what you can expect from each in terms of aesthetics and performance:

  • Flat/matt (lowest sheen) – a flat/matt finish works well in low-traffic areas where contact with the painted surface is minimal (due to the lower damage resistance), whilst creating a low level of sheen to reduce glare and cover up imperfections that’s ideal for bedroom walls and ceilings. For example, matt-gray bedroom walls can provide an excellent backdrop for muted pastel bedding and cherry wood bedroom furniture.
  • Eggshell (low sheen) – eggshell paint has a semi-textured finish with a slight sheen that is common in heritage or rustic styled interior walls in bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. Eggshell paint is popular for painting bedroom furniture like drawers, wooden bed frames, and even picture frames.
  • Satin (mid-sheen) – satin paint has more sheen than eggshell and is commonly used in low moisture bathrooms that are well ventilated and/or are used infrequently for hot showers and baths. Satin paint can be used in children’s bedrooms for greater damage resistance where wear and tear are more likely, but be aware that the extra luster can highlight existing surface imperfections.
  • Semi-gloss (mid-high sheen) – semi-gloss paint has a high sheen and is used in prominent areas of the bathroom for easier wiping and damage resistance. Using semi-gloss bathroom paint in your bedroom should be done sparingly since it’s quite shiny and can produce glare – unless that’s the look that you’re going for in your bedroom.
  • High-gloss (highest sheen) – high-gloss bathroom paint repels moisture and protects against damage very well. However, you should avoid using high-gloss bathroom paint on large areas in your bedroom such as the walls and ceiling because of the high level of shine and glare – use it selectively on woodwork as an accent color for emphasis.

2: Potentially More Costly

Bathroom paint tends to be more costly than regular paint due to its capacity for mold and moisture resistance – expect to pay in the region of up to $50 to $60 per gallon of bathroom paint versus $15 to $30 per gallon of regular paint.

Therefore, it’s likely going to be cheaper to use regular emulsion paint for your bedroom walls and ceiling and then consider using any bathroom paint that you may already have for selective use in your bedroom if required (especially if the bathroom paint has a higher sheen – since this is typically best suited to woodwork and for selective accent colors).

3: Reason For Use (Covering Up Mold)

If you’re considering using bathroom paint in your bedroom to cover up mold then you should first find out what’s causing the mold because even though bathroom paint is typically mold and moisture resistant, the mold could be the sign of a much deeper issue – such as water leaks, pipe damage, or damp.

But more easily solvable issues such as excess humidity caused by drying wet clothes in the room or not opening the windows often enough to allow for air to circulate are possible too.

Once you’ve diagnosed the root cause of the issue, then you can decide if using bathroom paint to paint over the mold in your bedroom is still a viable solution or not.

Conclusion: The Finish is Critical

Before deciding on whether to use bathroom paint in your bedroom or not, the most significant consideration is what the final finish is going to look like.

Because most bathroom paint has a sheen to it that may cause glare when used on large surface areas in your bedroom like on the walls and the ceiling.

So if you’re looking to create a calm and tranquil bedroom ambiance then you might prefer to go with regular emulsion paint that has a flat, matt finish because it has the least amount of sheen and can minimize glare.

However, you may like to use bathroom paint with a higher sheen in your bedroom on selective areas like the woodwork as an accent color and to provide more protection against scratches, dints, and damage.

Have you used bathroom paint to paint your bedroom before?

Let me know what you thought of the outcome in the comments section below.

Sources and References

[1] DIY Data – Different Types of Household Paint. Accessed 10/9/20.

Image Credits and Licencing

Featured image: ‘Bedroom Painted With Geometric Pattern’ by George Inguanez – used under Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement (see terms).

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