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Whether you’re planning a full bathroom remodel, a bathroom refresh or need to fix ceiling issues, choosing the best paint for your bathroom ceiling is a task not to overlook. With the steam from a hot shower turning your bathroom into a high-humidity environment, not just any paint will do.

small bathroom with a blue vanity and toilet

Why Your Bathroom Ceiling Paint Matters

The unique conditions your bathroom ceiling faces, such as high humidity and temperature fluctuations, demand a specific kind of paint.

Ordinary paints may offer a good finish initially, but they’re not equipped to handle moisture over time, leading to peeling, cracking, and the potential for mold growth.

The lesson here? The right paint isn’t just a choice; it’s a necessity for a lasting, beautiful finish.

RELATED: How to paint a bathroom vanity.

Learning from Experience

Our adventure in our new home quickly taught us the importance of selecting the right type of paint and sheen for moisture-rich environments.

After correcting the previous owners’ mistakes with thorough prep work (lots of chipping of flaky paint and sanding!) and then applying moisture-resistant paint, the difference was like night and day.

This experience underscored the need for bathroom paint that can withstand the unique challenges of steamy bathroom ceilings.

bathroom ceiling with glass light fixture.

The Best Paints for Your Bathroom Ceiling

After considerable research and drawing from personal experience in both homes we’ve owned, I’ve narrowed down the best options for your bathroom ceiling:

  • Zinsser Perma-White: Renowned for its mildew-resistant properties, this is a popular choice for keeping your bathroom ceiling pristine.
  • Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa: Known affectionately as the “Mercedes Benz of paints,” its quality and durability are unmatched. The matte finish is perfect for steamy bathrooms, offering a sophisticated, non-glossy look that defies the challenges of humidity.

Top Qualities to Look for in Bathroom Ceiling Paint

The journey to finding the perfect bathroom ceiling paint highlighted several key factors:

  • Durability and Moisture Resistance: Essential qualities to withstand the steamy environment of a bathroom.
  • Mold and Mildew Resistance: Look for paints formulated to resist mold and mildew, crucial for damp environments.
  • High-Quality Latex Paint: Water-based latex paint is preferred due to its less susceptible nature to moisture effects compared to oil-based paints, and it emits fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
bathroom with rustic vanity, round mirror and shower alcove with subway tile.

Debunking Common Myths

There’s a misconception that you must use a semi-gloss or satin paint on your bathroom ceiling for moisture resistance.

However, with advancements in paint technology, high-quality paints designed for humid environments can offer excellent moisture resistance even with a matte or flat finish.

This allows for a beautiful finish without the shine, proving to be the best option for many homeowners seeking a sophisticated look for their master bath or powder room.

small bathroom with shower tub combo, and small vanity.

Additional Considerations

  • Ventilation: Good ventilation is crucial in a steamy bathroom to prevent mildew growth and ensure the longevity of your paint job. An exhaust fan can make a significant difference.
  • Color Choices: Lighter colors can make a small space feel larger and more inviting, a key consideration for family baths or powder rooms. Yet, don’t be afraid to experiment with darker colors for a different look.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right paint for your bathroom ceiling is about more than just picking a color. It’s about understanding the unique challenges of a bathroom environment and selecting a product that can meet those demands.

With the right paint, such as Zinsser Perma-White or Benjamin Moore Aura, you’re not just painting; you’re protecting and enhancing one of the most important rooms in your home.

Remember, investing the effort in selecting the best paint pays off in durability, aesthetics, and peace of mind.


Opt for paints specifically designed for high humidity and moisture, such as Zinsser Perma-White, Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Soa, which are known for their durability and moisture resistance.

While semi-gloss or satin finishes offer better moisture resistance and are easier to clean, high-quality matte finishes are now also acceptable for bathroom ceilings, provided they are designed for high-moisture environments.

While not strictly necessary, choosing a highly moisture-resistant or mold-resistant paint is crucial to prevent long-term issues like peeling, chipping, and mold growth, ensuring your bathroom remains a sanctuary for years to come.

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