Home » 8 Best Paints for Bathroom Ceilings in 2020

8 Best Paints for Bathroom Ceilings in 2022

One of the most overlooked details of home DIY is what type of bathroom paint is best for the ceiling. Picking a color scheme can be hard enough sometimes, but often people will not consider that the paint of their choice will have to withstand more moisture than anywhere else in the house. The steam produced in the bathroom by hot baths and showers can cause water to collect on the bathroom walls and ceiling, more so in a poorly ventilated home.

Over time, this can lead to paint peeling or, worse, damp damage to your home itself. But fear not, there are plenty of paint types specifically designed to safeguard bathroom walls and resist the excessive moisture and long term ailments that can arise from it such as mold, mildew, and rust.

These paints will give your bathroom lasting and durable moisture protection that looks even and professionally painted. You should take some time to consider what type of paint will work best for your bathroom, be it oil-based, water-based, acrylic or latex. To help you figure it out, we’ve compiled a list of the best ceiling paint in bathroom decoration.

View The Best Paint for Bathroom Ceiling Below

1. Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel

Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel


This might be the best paint for bathroom ceiling coverage. This Rust-Oleum paint can be used indoors or outdoors thanks to its durable protection against rust, weather, and resistance to corrosion. If it can withstand the elements outside, then it will have no problem protecting against moisture brought on by hot showers or baths. It also has great resistance against chipping, fading, and abrasions.

When used flat with a base primer, this paint offers supreme coverage of wood, metal, concrete, masonry, and plastic with a glossy finish that brightens up your room. A massive range of colors are available in 8 or 32-ounce tins, and an 8-ounce tin can cover up to 55 sqft of wall or ceiling surface. Just imagine how much more you could cover with the 32-ounce! This paint is oil-based and becomes touch-dry within 2-4 hours.

+ All-round protection and resistance against water, rust, mold, and more.
+ Versatile use in multiple locations and environments.
+ Range of styles and color.

Why We Like It – Few painting brands can produce a product that has such consistent and satisfactory use results on multiple flat, wall, and ceiling surface types and materials. No matter what you’re painting, the Rust-Oleum will make sure it looks its best.

2. KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Semi-Gloss Paint and Primer

KILZ TRIBUTE Interior Semi-Gloss Paint and Primer


The people at KILZ have over 40 years of expertise when it comes to bathroom ceiling paint, and it really comes through in the Tribute Interior range. This low odor and low VOC paint provide a gorgeous and reflective sheen finish on any flat, wall, or ceiling surface made from wood, drywall, masonry, cured plaster, and more. This paint is made from a 100% acrylic and primer formula that is durable and allows for scrubbing and wiping clean once dry.

This allows you to keep your walls and surfaces clean from any new marks or stains that might occur. This paint is resistant to dust, grease, chalk, mold, rust, mildew, and even covers existing stains or markings with ease. Tubs are available to select in 1 or 5 gallons, so this might be the best ceiling paint for bathroom use if you have large areas to cover. One gallon can cover up to 400 sq ft with a single coat.

+ Low VOC and fumes.
+ Mildew resistance.
+ There’s over 100 colors to select.

Why We Like It – The quality of finish this paint for bathroom ceilings offers is outstanding, and the low VOC makes it more environmentally friendly than other brands.

3. Zinnser Covers Up Stain Sealing Ceiling Paint

Zinnser Covers Up Stain Sealing Ceiling Paint


This ceiling and wall paint is very different from the other options on our list. The Zinsser does exactly what it says in the tin; it covers up stains and flaws in your bathroom ceiling so you can repaint over it. You can even use it to fill hairline gaps as long as your ceiling is white, as this is the only color it comes in.

This 13-ounce spray is best used for touching up and covering discoloration and imperfections in bathroom ceilings and gives a matt and chalky finish. It comes highly recommended for dealing with water stains caused by bathroom condensation and steam. This spray can even help to extend the life of your home bathroom ceiling by dealing with imperfections early.

However, it should only be used for touching up smaller areas and not covering the entire ceiling as a primer. This type of paint is oil-based and works best on flat surfaces. As this is mostly a touch-up and fix product, you might want to invest in some additional paint for bathroom surfaces.

The convenience of spray can make for quick use.
It brightens up any dingy bathroom ceiling.
Matt paint finish allows for easy painting over.

Why We Like It – So much of home painting requires extensive set up of brushes, paint cans, protective sheets, and the laborious cleaning of them all afterward. This is not the case with Zinsser Covers Up as it allows you to get right to work spraying those stains away.

4. Rust-Oleum 1992502 Painters Touch Latex Paint

Rust-Oleum 1992502 Painters Touch Latex Paint


This is some of the fastest drying bathroom paint on our list. Your bathroom ceiling can be touch-dry in just 30 minutes, cutting down your DIY completion time significantly. Each 32-ounce tin of this low odor and water-based paint can cover up to 120 sq ft and works for both indoor and outdoor use. You can use this to paint bathroom surfaces that are wooden, metal, plastered, masonry or unglazed ceramic and cover them all in a glossy finish with unmatched smoothness and long-lasting durability.

For best results, Rust-Oleum recommends sanding down your surfaces first with a 180-200 grit sheet. Doing this helps to aid the paint’s chip resistance and gives better coverage over stains and other markings you would like concealed.

+ Fast paint drying time.
+ There’s a huge range of colors to select.
+ Highly durable paint.

Why We Like It – The sharp and glossy finish of this paint provides a lasting and durable coat that protects against multiple damages and conditions.

5. Montage Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint

Montage Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint


Montage uses pollutant-free materials to make this eco-friendly wall and ceiling paint in a wide range of colors. We love the semi-gloss finish, but it is also available as a low sheen finish if you want to add bolder color to your bathroom walls. This versatile paint can be used both indoors and outdoors and provides lasting protection.

The specialty finish and improved sealant technology add defense against moisture and mildew in your home bathroom. A generous 10-year warranty covers it should it ever fail to meet your expectations. This paint is water-based and can be scrubbed clean once dry so you can keep it looking its best. Tubs are available in 1 or 5-gallon options.

+ Environmentally friendly paint.
+ Moisture and mildew protection.
+ 10 Year warranty

Why We Like It – The larger tub sizes of this paint mean you do not need to purchase multiple paints for a mid-level job.

6. Prestige Paints Interior Paint and Primer

Prestige Paints Interior Paint and Primer


Prestige offers a range of both indoor and outdoor paints for the home, but it should be noted that these are area specific. Rather than trying to cover all areas with a one-use versatile cure-all, prestige looks at indoor and outdoor environments separately to best address the needs of both. The result is a range of paints and primers in one tin.

This significantly reduces your working time as the paint can go straight onto your working surface without the need for a primer. We highly recommend, however, that you take time to clean and dry your work area before starting to paint bathroom surfaces for the best results.

This small bit of painting prep is all you will need to get a gorgeous semi-gloss finish to your paint job. This paint is made from 100% latex, and the low VOC makes it environmentally friendly. You can choose from a staggeringly huge range of colors, all available in 1-gallon tins.

+ The paint and primer in one saves on painting time.
+ Low VOC / environmentally friendly paint.
+ Massive color range.

Why We Like It – It comes back to the painter and primer in one again. This use of innovation is such a time saver for painting bathroom walls and ceilings we can help but keep harping on about it.

7. Zinsser Perma-White Mold and Mildew-Proof Satin Interior Paint

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One of the most important things to watch out for in bathroom upkeep is the development of mold and mildew across the bathroom walls or ceiling. The Zinsser Perma-White alleviates these concerns thanks to their mold and mildew protection in this 1 pint tin of paint. A durable film coating on the dried paint protects against dirt and moisture to give you the best looking finish for longer.

It is touch dry in 30 minutes and does not require a primer, though, for best results, we still recommend using one on a flat, dry, and clean surface. Also, you should take the time to use multiple thin coats of paint to bring out the best of your color. A 5-year warranty also covers this paint.

+ Mold and mildew proof on walls and ceilings.
+ Fast-drying paint.
+ Additional film coating protection.

Why We Like It – While many paints on our list offer some all-round protection, the Zinsser Perma-White focuses on preventing the long term damage brought on by mold and mildew.

8. The Spruce Best Home by KILZ Interior Semi-Gloss Paint and Primer

The Spruce Best Home by KILZ Interior Semi-Gloss Paint and Primer


This paint from KILZ might be the best for touching up and recovering a fading paint job. It is made from 100% acrylic and, when dry, can be washed or scrubbed clean with soap and water to keep your walls and ceiling looking their brightest and best. Each 1-gallon tub of paint is low odor and becomes touch dry after 1 hour of painting.

After 2 hours, it can be repainted with a second coat for a smooth and professional-looking finish in your bathroom. 32 designer approved colors are available to choose from in a range of matt, satin, and semi-gloss finishes. Once finished, this paint resists against stains and mildew to ensure you get a long-lasting and brilliant finish in any number of bathrooms.

+ Available in matt, satin, and semi-gloss.
+ You get a low odor, meaning no headaches from paint fumes.
+ Stain and mildew resistant.

Why We Like It – Many paints brag about being touch dry in a short amount of time, but the Spruce Best is the only paint that gives you a definitive guide as to when you can start repainting a second coat.

Paint for Bathroom Ceiling Buyer’s Guide

There are several things you should consider and precautions you should take when buying bathroom paint. What color goes well with the shower curtain you just bought shouldn’t be that high on your list of conditions. While style and color can be significant, we would argue it might be more important to be sure that you get the right type of paint for the job in all bathrooms. This ensures that your hard work designing and painting your home and bathroom stays looking its best for a long time, rather than flaking and fading within a year.

To prevent you from having to redecorate bathrooms every year or so, we’ve compiled a list of factors to consider when painting bathrooms or paint use at home in general.

Review your bathroom working conditions before you start shopping

Loving couple staring at their freshly painted room, back view: home renovation and relationships concept

For most people, bathrooms are one of the smallest rooms in the house. So much space is taken up by white appliances, such as the bath or toilet, that steam and condensation can collect quickly when running the hot tap. Therefore, one of your first considerations should be the ventilation of your bathroom.

You do not necessarily need to spend any time or money on increasing the ventilation of your bathroom, but it should be something you take time to consider. Something as simple as opening the bathroom window can be a big help.

Still, if you don’t want to do that during showering because of cold outside temperatures or privacy, then this will point you in the direction of purchasing a bathroom paint with moisture and mildew protection. You will need the extra protection to help deal with the bathroom steam build up as this can create a hospitable environment for mold and damp to grow. The moisture protection will stop the steam from your bathroom, seeping into the walls and thereby reducing or preventing the growth of mold and mildew.

Also, if you are working in low ventilated bathrooms, you should purchase paint with low VOC as this will have fewer fumes that could be harmful to your health.

What type of paint should you use?

Painting supplies with ladder and paints against bricks wall

Color is just one facet of this decision. The base material type of your paint will affect its overall finish and durability, so it’s always a good idea to try samples out first on a test piece of material or a clean section of the wall. There are many choices of paint types, including water-based, oil-based, acrylic, or latex.

You also need to decide whether you want to go for a matt, satin, gloss or semi-gloss finish. This refers to the amount of light reflection or sheen your finished paint surface will have. Matt paint offers little or no reflection, and gloss paint is at the other end of the spectrum, offering a bright reflective sheen.

For darker or more light restricted rooms, we recommend a paint on the glossier end of the spectrum as this will help to reflect and add light throughout the room and brighten up the area. Satin paint is primarily used for wood, so if you do have any wood fixtures on your walls, around your home, or in any bathrooms, using satin paint can help bring out a deeper and more authentic color. Just remember that satin might not look the same on all textures around your home.

Figure out how much paint you will require

Female house painter prepares for work

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of despair and futility when you run out of resources before you’ve finished a job. When painting your bathroom ceiling it is always a good idea to find out what the recommended or expected square footage of coverage is for your tin of paint. Remember that the guide only applies to one coat of paint as well, so factor in the amount for multiple coats, as this will always give a much better and defined finish to your bathroom.

A good rule is to overestimate slightly, so at worst, you’ll have just enough to finish the job, and at best, you’ll have a little paint left over to cover up any missed sections and touch up imperfections. Depending on your paint’s shelf life, you can even put your remaining paint into storage in case you need to make any touch-ups or repairs further down the line.

Additional Investments

By this, we mean purchasing extra painting supplies such as paintbrushes, rollers, masking tape, and cover sheets.

Paintbrushes or rollers – You can’t paint without a brush, and a range of good quality brushes of various sizes will ensure you get a nice even paint spread. The smaller brushes will let you get in and around tricky areas like pipes or radiators, and having a roller will save you lots of time and effort on open spaces, such as the bathroom ceiling itself. We recommend using the smaller brushes for the wall edges, though to get a neater finish.

Masking tape – One of the most underrated painting tools. Masking tape allows you to lay down a hard and sharp line to where you want your paint color to end. This is especially useful for light switch boxes or the intersection between the wall and the ceiling. Make sure not to remove your masking tape until the bathroom paint is dry; otherwise, it may run and result in a splotchy or uneven edge.

Cover Sheets – Even for the most careful of painters, paint is going to get everywhere. When using paint rollers, you may not realize how much of a fine spray of paint gets pushed backward when used. In just an hour of home painting, it can result in all of the bathroom appliances becoming covered.

The use of a cover sheet is a no brainer as it does exactly what it sounds like; it’s a sheet that covers things. However, if you don’t want to spend money on a plastic sheet, you can always get creative and use things like newspapers and tape (to hold the newspaper in place) or an old bedsheet.

Mixing paint

Female house painter mixes black and green paints

By this, we mean giving each tin of paint a good stir before use to ensure the color is consistent and any compounds that have separated during storage are re-mixed. A simple, clean piece of wood or plastic will suffice, but make sure that no parts will break off and become lumps within the paint. Some painters have been known to use power drills to mix their paint, but personally, we advise against this as it gives you less control of the mixing, may damage your power tool, and the drill head may damage or even perforate the paint tin.

We also highly recommend not mixing different paints to make your own color. Bathroom paints of different bases and ingredients may react differently with each other that could result in the paint not setting properly or developing a change in finish or viscosity. You may even end up creating something harmful to your health or surfaces.

Also, even if you mix two paints of the same brand and base, you will need to be a skilled artist and have a keen eye to be able to gauge the exact color consistency and shade over multiple batches. Granted, this is less of an issue if you make the amount you need, but if you need to create more of that paint color at a later date or have miscalculated the amount you need, it is going to be very difficult to recreate your desired shade.


Can I use flat paint on the bathroom ceiling?

We would recommend not doing so, but in some cases, it can work. For most ceiling paints, they have a thicker or denser viscosity, which allows the paint to grip the ceiling better. If you were to use flat paint for the ceiling, you would need to check that the paint is thick enough to work in this way. If it is too thin, the paint may drip during drying and can result in a poor quality finish and excess mess all over your floor. The best course of action is to use approved ceiling paint. You wouldn’t use a hammer to put in a screw, so use the right tools for the job.

What’s so special about bathroom paint?

The bathrooms of any home will have to deal with significantly more moisture and steam than any other room because of the hot water released during hot baths and showers. Bathrooms are almost always (or should be) tiled or painted as wallpaper will soak up moisture and dissolve the paste holding it up.

While tiles and paint deal with this excess moisture much better, they can still become worn down or flaky over extended periods. To make things worse, this excess moisture and heat make it the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

These not only look bad but can also be bad for your health in extreme cases. Bathroom paint is specially designed to form a protective coating that stops the moisture from bathrooms from seeping into the walls and causing damp damage. Some paints even add extra mildew and mold resistance to protect homes and bathrooms better.

What is VOC or low VOC paint?

VOC stands for volatile organic compounds and refers to substances that are harmful to the environment or your health. Paints with high VOCs are smellier or more fume heavy and require better ventilation of the job area when used. The government now regulates VOC amounts to help environmental conservation. So by buying low VOC paint, you are, in fact, helping reduce the number of harmful chemicals released into the atmosphere.

Our top tips

Always paint on a cleared and flat surface to ensure a nice even coverage. The use of pre-sanding and primer is always a good idea.
It’s better to do 2 or 3 thin coats over time rather than trying to do one thick coat at once. Patience is a virtue.


Whichever brand, color, or style of paint you decide to go for, it is your skill as an artist and DIY worker that will yield the greatest results. Take your time and create a beautiful bathing space that makes you look forward to your morning shower or evening bath.

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