Finding the best paint for a bathroom ceiling is a much more difficult task than you’d think! With a variety of ceiling paints on the market, all with different uses, researching can seem like a bit of a minefield.
Fortunately, we’ve used our years of experience using multiple products to give you our top recommendations, depending on your needs. Paints covered in this guide include matt, eggshell, anti-mould, and anti-condensation.
To find the best paint for your job, keep reading!
What Type of Paint Should You Use on a Bathroom Ceiling?
The type of paint you should use on your bathroom ceilings all depends on how well-ventilated your bathroom is and what your style preferences are.
Matt paint or flat matt paints are paints that don’t reflect a lot of light and for this reason, they are preferred for their modern aesthetic. However, unless your bathroom is well-ventilated it’s usually a good idea to avoid using retail matt paints in particular. If you really want a modern aesthetic then trade matt paint is your only option here.
Eggshell paint tends to have a soft sheen that isn’t the best at hiding imperfections but does have more durability than matt paint. It’s, for this reason, a lot of professionals will opt for an eggshell (particularly oil-based eggshell) to paint their clients’ bathroom ceilings. The resistance it offers to humid conditions means it lasts a lot longer than matt paints.
The clue is in its name: anti-mould paint is a paint formulated to resist and inhibit mould growth on your ceilings. If you’ve had trouble with mould in the past, have fully removed it and want to prevent it from growing again then it’s worth considering using an anti-mould paint that contains fungicides to kill mould immediately.
Anti-condensation paint is specifically formulated to produce insulation for your surfaces. By insulating your surfaces, it means the paint can raise the surface temperature. Of course, with warmer surfaces, the moisture in the air doesn’t condense when it comes into contact with the surface, thus saving you from the effects of condensation.
Best Ceiling Paint for Bathrooms Overall: Crown Clean Extreme Acrylic Eggshell
My pick for the best paint for bathroom ceilings, and I’m sure many other professional decorators would agree with me, is Crown Trade’s Acrylic Eggshell paint.
As my go-to bathroom ceiling paint, I’ve personally used this a million times (ok, not literally) and have never encountered any sort of problem and, most importantly, customers have never reported a problem after it has been applied.
Suitable for almost any bathroom environment, Crown Trade Acrylic Eggshell covers like a dream with its 16m2/L spreading rate with most jobs completed in just 2 coats unlike some other bathroom ceiling paints that can take up to 5 coats to fully cover some ceilings.
I often find that most bathroom ceilings have issues such as hairline cracks so one of the most important characteristics of the paint I choose for bathroom ceilings is how well it covers filler. Some matt paints are notorious for flashing when painting over filler but this eggshell paint has no such problems.
Once dried, the paint film has great adherence to plaster ceilings and thus never encounters issues such as flaking in humid environments, unlike some other paints I’ve used in the past.
If you have particularly bad ventilation that is leading to mould growth, you could even opt for the Crown Clean Extreme Mould Inhibiting paint.
In terms of durability, you can expect this paint to last at least 6 years and in most cases, you could even be looking at 10 years before you need to refresh it. This of course depends on your bathroom environment.
- Covers and dries in no time meaning you can finish painting within a day.
- Has an elegant soft sheen finish that will modernise the look of your bathroom and make you the envy of your guests.
- Has great flow straight out of the tin meaning you can easily apply it without leaving roller marks.
- Can be expensive if you have a large bathroom or plan to paint multiple bath/shower rooms.
Best for Mould Resistance: Zinsser Perma-White
This is where things get argumentative in the decorating trade! Whilst most would opt for an acrylic eggshell, many swear by Zinsser Perma-White as the best paint for bathroom ceilings. Do I think it is? In terms of product quality, I would probably say yes. However, the opacity is pretty terrible and can sometimes take up to 5 coats to properly cover.
With that being said, it’s a stunning product for mould resistance and if you do have a mould problem I would highly recommend removing the mould permanently, and then covering the ceiling with Zinsser Perma-White – however many coats it takes.
Would I recommend using this if you don’t have mould problems? Probably not. It’s not worth the additional cost and effort when you could just use Crown Acrylic Eggshell and be done in a couple of coats with minimal effort. Painting ceilings are laborious at the best of times, you don’t want to chance having to put 4 or 5 coats on if you don’t need to!
- Is the best paint on the market for inhibiting mould growth
- Incredibly durable in high humidity conditions and should last at least 6 or 7 years.
- It can take up to 5 coats to fully cover the bathroom ceiling.
Best Paint for Steamy Bathroom Ceilings: Ronseal Anti-Condensation
This particular paint is thick, easy to use and most importantly permanently reduces condensation on walls and ceilings. Whilst formulated for use on walls and ceilings, you’ll find that it works just as well on other areas of your home such as doors and windows.
Being incredibly thick, it does a great job of insulating, especially if you’ve applied it liberally. As you might know, condensation builds up on colder surfaces and during tests we could feel the difference in temperature between the treated area of our wall and the untreated section. That should give you an idea as to how well it works!
In terms of aesthetics, this anti condensation paint has a clean, white matt finish which in itself is a look worth keeping. Of course, if you wanted a particular colour scheme you could always paint over it with a different coloured emulsion of your choice. If that’s the case, you don’t need to worry as the anti condensation paint continues to work as promised.
- Is durable and can be cleaned
- Prevents condensation
- Can save you thousands of pounds by preventing mould and damp
- It’s easy to apply and easy to clean
- Dries fairly quickly allowing you to finish painting during a morning/afternoon
Budget Choice: Dulux Easycare
When it comes to retail paint, professional decorators tend to shy away from even trying them but every now and again a retail paint will come along that performs just like trade paint. In this instance, I’m talking about Dulux’s Easycare bathroom paint.
Coming with a retail price yet trade quality, if you don’t want to fork out on the expensive trade paints listed in this guide, I’d highly recommend trying Dulux’s Easycare bathroom paint.
In general, this goes on very smoothly however I’ve used this on a few occasions and have noticed that you need to be careful when rolling over the cutting in section as it can sometimes pull the coating away from the ceiling. You’ll need to be quite speedy in your transition from cutting in to rolling and I’d recommend only cutting in small sections at a time.
Whilst I wouldn’t recommend using this if your bathroom is particularly humid, for well-ventilated it’s certainly a valuable purchase.
- Super cheap yet possesses qualities of trade paints
- Has great durability if using in a well ventilated bathroom
- The coating can sometimes pull away from the surface when rolling over it
Best Waterproof Paint for Bathrooms: Tikkurila Luja 7
Arguably the best ceiling paint for bathroom ceilings, Tikkurila’s Luja 7 is a go-to for decorators where high humidity and condensation are a major concern. It can withstand getting wet, is mould-resistant and comes in a modern matt finish.
Wondering how durable it is? It is formulated to be able to withstand cleaning in hospital environments and can even be applied on walls and ceilings where swimming pools are present – it’s truly tough as old boots.
So with this in mind, why didn’t we put Luja 7 as our number one choice? Simply put, it’s bloody expensive (just 1 litre costs over £24) and can be difficult to source, especially if you want to purchase it online. However, if you really need waterproof ceiling paint it might be worth considering.
- Incredibly durable even in the highest humidity areas
- Comes in an aesthetically pleasing matt finish
- You’ll need to take out a mortgage to afford it
Best Dulux Ceiling Paint: Dulux Trade Diamond Eggshell
It’s understandable that some people like to stick to brands they know and when it comes to painting, Dulux are one of the most reputable ones around. With that being said, most people fail to realise that Dulux formulates two different types of paint – one they use for retail customers and one they use for tradesmen. It should come as no surprise that the paint formulated for tradesmen vastly outcompetes the retail equivalents.
With that in mind, I would highly recommend purchasing Dulux Trade Diamond Eggshell if you’re looking for the best Dulux ceiling paint.
Like Crown Acrylic Eggshell, this eggshell paint is perfect for bathroom ceilings with its robust defence against moisture and water stains.
It has amazing flow meaning it’s easy to keep a wet edge and roll your way to perfection and avoid the dreaded picture-framing effect that some cheaper paints are prone to. Like the Crown Acrylic Eggshell, Dulux Diamond never flashes over filling so if you do have to make good the ceiling before painting, you can be confident of a great-looking finish.
This paint is quite expensive so it’s worth considering taking a chance on a different brand unless you can afford it. In my opinion, Crown Acrylic Eggshell is just slightly better in every department such as opacity, flow and durability yet slightly cheaper.
- Incredibly durable in high moisture environments
- Doesn’t flash when painted over the top of filling
- Great flow means you can keep a wet edge when painting
- Very expensive
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use Normal Ceiling Paint in the Bathroom?
It’s perfectly ok to use normal ceiling paint in the bathroom but it’s worth considering how well-ventilated your bathroom is before using this option. If your bathroom is well-ventilated and doesn’t suffer from steam or condensation issues then you can go ahead and use normal ceiling paint in your bathroom.
If you do have issues with ventilation, it’s advised to use a mould-resistant, anti-condensation, or even waterproof paint for your bathroom ceilings.
Should You PVA the Bathroom Ceiling Before Painting?
In general, it’s best not to PVA a bathroom ceiling before painting. Whilst you may think that the PVA will provide a protective barrier between the ceiling and steamy conditions, the paint is going to struggle to adhere to the PVA and will likely result in the paint peeling or crazing.
Is Satin Paint OK for a Bathroom Ceiling?
Whilst satin paint offers even more protection than matt or eggshell paint, I wouldn’t suggest using it in your bathroom as the sheen level is too much to offer a pleasant aesthetic. Satin paint reflects plenty of light and can make imperfections on your bathroom ceiling glaringly obvious so it’s best to avoid using it.
What is the Best Paint Finish for a Bathroom Ceiling?
Modern decor ideas suggest using matt paint if you want the best paint finish for your bathroom ceiling, however, soft-sheen and eggshell finishes can still offer you an elegant aesthetic but with the additional benefit of being more durable than matt paints.
As you can probably tell, there are plenty of options on the market and the best ceiling paint for bathrooms very much depends on your personal situation.
If you’ve struggled with mould issues in the past, it’s worth purchasing a paint that contains a fungicide to inhibit the growth of mould or if you’re just looking for a durable yet aesthetically pleasing paint it’s worth considering an acrylic eggshell.
If you’ve made it this far, then you should be armed with the knowledge to make the right choice for you.