A fresh coat of paint can completely transform the appearance of your bathroom. And although bathrooms are primarily functional spaces, they can also be a great place to experiment with colour and design in your home.
However, decorating a bathroom certainly comes with its challenges. This guide includes practical tips to help make redecorating a success, along with our recommended bathroom paint colours for 2022.
What paint is suitable for a bathroom?
Bathrooms are high-traffic rooms, susceptible to humidity and moisture. The frequent exposure to water, steam and harsh cleaning products can be tough on paints used in this room. This means that choosing a moisture-resistant paint with mould-preventative agents is highly recommended to ensure long-term results. Additionally, bathroom paints must have a tough formula to withstand cleaning chemicals and regular scrubbing.
Browse our bathroom paints
Tikkurila’s Luja range is a high-performance bathroom paint formulated to resist moisture while being easy to clean making it a perfect solution to condensation and humidity. Designed to provide an extremely durable film that can withstand repeated cleaning with even the harshest chemicals. (It’s even approved for use in hospitals, swimming pools, and distilleries!)
Our bathroom paints have a M1 (Emission Classification of Building Materials) eco-label declaring that they are low emitting. This simply means that our paints have a low-environmental impact on air quality.
Read more about Tikkurila’s commitment to sustainability.
What paint finish is best for a bathroom?
Historically, bathrooms were painted using high-gloss paints. While they did little to combat mould, they did allow for walls to be wiped down easier. We’ve come a long way in the development of durable paints since then, meaning this is no longer an issue. The finish you select is now entirely up to personal taste! No matter what gloss level you choose, all of Luja's finishes are guaranteed to perform to the same high standard.
Tikkurila uses internationally recognised standards for gloss levels. The minimum is 0 with a matt surface and the maximum gloss is at 100. Our bathroom paint is available in three different sheen levels. Matt (Luja 7), Semi-Matt (Luja 20) and Semi Gloss (Luja 40).
The information below will help you decide which one is right for you:
- Matt paints have a low gloss level between 5%-10% and are perfect for those who prefer a flat finish in their bathrooms. With almost no sheen, matt paints offer a beautiful velvety look with a strong depth of colour.
- Semi-Matt paints (also known as eggshell paints) are slightly less flat than matt paints, with a gloss grade between 11 and 35%, creating a luxurious low lustre finish.
- Semi-Gloss paints are a great choice for those who are looking for a glossy finish that isn't overly shiny. Semi-gloss paints vary in sheen level between 36 and 60%.
Tips for painting your bathroom
Bathroom walls should always be carefully prepped before painting as moisture can absorb into the topcoat causing bubbling and chipping.
If there’s one step you shouldn’t skip before painting your bathroom, it’s washing the walls. Start by cleaning all surfaces with an appropriate cleaning agent like Maalipesu and allow them to dry thoroughly. Conceal any cracks and holes with a suitable filler. We recommend Tikkurila Presto filler for bathroom walls. Gently sand the filled areas and wipe away any dust.
If the existing paint is peeling or flaking, make sure to remove these with sandpaper until you’re left with a smooth surface.
Do I need to use a primer?
By using a primer, you will help the paint bond to the wall, and prevent it from peeling in the future. For added protection from mould, opt for using a primer with mildewcide additives.
Apply one coat of a suitable primer and let it dry completely. Once the surface is dry, stir your paint before use and apply one coat with a roller, and a brush in smaller areas that are trickier to reach. Follow with a second coat once dry.
Priming previously painted walls
We recommend Luja Universal Primer - our moisture-resistant interior primer that withstands frequent cleaning and high humidity.
Priming new plaster
It’s important to note that painting new plaster is different to painting a standard wall, and there is an extra step that needs to be taken before moving on to painting. New plaster soaks up moisture very fast, so it must be sealed with a suitable primer. Once primed, leave the surface to dry completely, otherwise, it will absorb your topcoat leaving an uneven and faded result. (Top tip: speed up the drying process with a heater or by opening a window.)
For priming new plaster, we recommend our Optiva Primer - a water-based, acrylic primer suitable for bathroom walls and ceilings.
Need more help with these steps? Follow our video guide focusing on How to Prep Your Walls for Painting
Looking for a specific answer to a bathroom painting question? Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find answers to our most frequently asked questions about this space.
Our favourite bathroom colours for 2022
Long gone are the days when your bathroom design is left as an afterthought. Choosing the right colour can transform a bathroom.
Here are some of our favourite bathroom colour schemes.
A classic white is never out of style. Bathrooms painted white have a bright, clean look that opens even the smallest space. Painting your bathroom white also leaves the opportunity to change out accents for a varied look. A crisp white bathroom provides a fresh template that can work with any trend.
Black is probably not your first colour choice for your bathroom, but it is trending significantly. Black bathrooms can have an enclosed, “cave-like” feel but pair beautifully with a modern, luxurious hotel spa vibe. Afraid of painting your bathroom walls black? Try a black and white combo in a bold print or check pattern. When used together, these two colours perfectly complement each other creating a stylish monochromatic look.
Grey bathrooms might be the biggest colour trend in 2022. They strike a balance between white and black, allowing the room to feel smaller but not overwhelming. Grey bathroom walls match well with silver hardware or stone textured tiles.
Painting your bathroom a soft pink will pair perfectly with a vintage, rustic, romantic aesthetic. Pink walls in bathrooms gives a light feminine touch that can be combined with floral prints, plants, or even a sleek modern look.
Bathroom trends for 2022
Find inspiration in these bathroom trends paired with our specially formulated bathroom paints.
Bold Colours and Patterns
Patterns and bold colours are the hottest trend for bathrooms in 2022. Minimalism is on its way out, and creative expression is in. If painting your entire bathroom TANGO M339 terrifies you, opt for an accent wall behind the sink or cabinet doors.
Try our tutorial to create a bold pattern on your bathroom walls.
Colour suggestion: TVT 4005 (Yellow)
Bringing the spa home with hotel-inspired bathroom interiors will have you feeling luxurious in no time. Hotel-inspired bathrooms have a modern high-end feel yet don’t shy away from being a place to relax. The design is simple with painted or single-coloured tiled walls, designer faucets, large mirrors, and fluffy thick towels.
Colour suggestion: TORO Y497 (Black)
Bringing the outside in is what botanical bathrooms are all about. This trend involves natural materials such as reclaimed wood, cork and natural fibres. Botanical bathrooms embrace nature through their details, linen towels, real plants and wooden accents. The botanical trend shares many elements with biophilic design.
Colour suggestion: SEPAL L447 (Green)
FAQ about painting bathrooms
What is the difference between bathroom paint and normal paint?
Bathroom paint is designed to resist moisture and mould while being able to withstand cleaning. Compared to other paint, bathroom paint helps prevent mould forming from condensation. Bathroom paints are water-based which helps them to hold their colour and finish longer while also being environmentally responsible.
What colour paint should be used in a bathroom?
Any bathroom specific paint that is resistant to moisture and wear. Our Luja range is perfect for bathrooms with limited ventilation and helps to reduce mould. These paints are also low odour which makes them perfect for painting small spaces.
Can I paint over mould and mildew?
Covering up mould and mildew with a fresh coat of paint might be tempting, but it's never a good idea - even when using mould-resistant paint. Instead, try to find the root of the problem and eliminate it before you start decorating your bathroom. The most common causes for mould formation are poor ventilation or excess moisture, typically present in bathrooms and kitchens.
To remove the mould before painting, we recommend using our Homeenpoisto Cleaning Agent. It's a very strong cleaning solution that removes mould, dirt, and grease, so make sure to read the instructions carefully before use. Once clean, leave the surface to dry thoroughly before applying your primer.
Does bathroom paint stop mould?
Mould is caused by an accumulation of moisture and a lack of ventilation. Our Luja range of bathroom paints are designed for high-humidity environments such as swimming pools or high-traffic spaces like hospitals.
Can I paint ceramic tiles in my bathroom?
That depends on the placement of the tiles. Most ceramic tiles are safe to paint on as long as they aren't situated in an area that is continuously subjected to water or heavy wear, such as the floor, countertop, bathtub, and shower.
Make sure that the tiles are thoroughly cleaned and dried before painting, otherwise, the moisture will prevent the topcoat from adhering.
You will also need a good primer that is suitable for interior tiles. We recommend our Otex Adhesion Primer - ideal for priming tricky surfaces. The primer will help the paint bond to the surface and prevent it from chipping away with time. Once this priming layer is dry, follow with a hard-wearing topcoat paint.
We have a wide range of paints that are suitable for tile painting available in different sheen levels, from matt to gloss.
How to paint a bathroom ceiling?
Prepare your bathroom ceiling ensuring there is no mould or moisture present. Use a primer to help with moisture and avoid a peeling ceiling. Paint the ceiling with a paint roller and step ladder (if needed) and finish up with a paintbrush for the corners. Our Luja range is a high-performance system for high humidity areas.
What is the best paint for ceilings?
Since bathroom paint is designed to resist moisture, the same paint can be used for the walls and ceiling. Our Luja range is a hygiene-safe, scrubbable and anti-mould paint for bathroom walls, ceilings, tiles, and even wooden furniture. The high viscosity of ceiling paints helps to reduce dripping, hide stains, and to dry faster.
How to stop bathroom paint from peeling?
Bathroom paint can peel or bubble when there is high humidity. Ventilate your bathroom (if possible) after every shower or bath. Don’t forget to use a primer on your walls and ceiling before using a paint designed specifically for high humidity.
How long does it take for bathroom paint to dry?
Tikkurila’s Luja range for bathrooms takes 2 hours to dry, but 4 hours between coats for it to cure.
Does painting a bathroom cabinet work?
Yes! Bathroom cabinets differ from kitchen cabinets in that their biggest threat is moisture. Due to this, water-based paint is a better choice as it provides a moisture-blocking layer.
How much paint do I need to paint a bathroom?
Use Tikkurila’s Paint Calculator to see how much paint you will need to buy for your bathroom.
Not ready to paint?
Our bathroom paint is available in thousands of shades, helping you bring your vision to life. Browse our colour samples and testers below to try your favourite colours at home.