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The best paint for a bathroom

I've moved into a house where, after a few uses, the bathroom walls seem to be peeling. I'm wondering what the best type of primer and paint should be used in a small bathroom? Is oil based  or water based primer the best? 


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Posted 2010-11-05T18:12:35+0000  by szwer84 szwer84

Gotcha. It's more than likely an oil base if it didn't do anything to it.


If you're going to go over it, just make sure it's clean and dry. If it's got any dirt or grease on it, that will stop the new primer from sticking; as will any dampness on the wall. 


I would take a look at doing either a Gripper or Kilz Premium primer to go over that then, either will help bring the wall back to paintable shape and help better protect it from moisture later on down the road. After that, you can go right over it with a brand new latex based paint of your choice. :smileyhappy:


Best Answer

Posted 2010-11-05T19:48:36+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

Hey there szwer84,


Welcome to the community here! Glad to see another new member, and I hope you'll enjoy your stay here =)


First off, lets get a bit of background info. What kind of paint were you originally using on these walls? Was it a latex/oil base, and what kind of sheen did it have?


What may have happened is that there was originally a water-based primer/paint on the wall, and oil paint was applied to it. Peeling does tend to happen if they're mixed improperly. A good tip to check if it's oil or latex is to take a small cotton ball and soak it in a bit of denatured alcohol. Rub gently in a corner or less visible spot, and if the paint softens or comes off at all, you're looking at latex/water-based.


  • Oil Primer is generaly thought to be more durable for high moisture areas such as the bathroom. Oil also has a very strong odor, so be aware of that if you ever do use it and be sure to keep the windows open. Be sure to check that this primer is able to have latex applied over it, as it's getting harder to find oil-based paints these days.
  • Latex based primer, like Kilz 2, doesn't have that same odor and will work just fine in bathrooms as well since most drywall in areas like that are "greenboard," meaning they are treated for moisture. It's easiest to apply over this, since water/latex works best with the new latex based paints. This is what I would recommend going with.


Be sure to get either a Satin or Semi-Gloss finish, as those are the most recommended for high-moisture areas. For more information on sheens and finishes, as well as what rooms to put them in, please see my blog entry; A Sheen Can Make It Or Break It.


Let me know how that works for you or if you have any other questions~


- Mr. Jay

Posted 2010-11-05T18:57:00+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

I just moved into the house and am not sure what type of paint was used. The alcohol didn't show any paint coming off of the wall though. 


I do know that this isn't a new house and the drywall is probably older than a few years. I was going to use a latex primer to paint over whatever the previous owners had done but didn't know if that would solve the problem.

Posted 2010-11-05T19:09:34+0000  by szwer84

Hi jay !

The paint is peeling in my bathroom . But the problem is that the paint that is over the shower has mold on it . How do i remove the paint ? and can i paint if this mold is removed ? need help now !


Posted 2010-11-11T20:34:24+0000  by desi

Hey desi,


Welcome to our community as well! Sorry to hear about your problem as well. :O Let's get it straightened out though, and have your bathroom back in order.


Getting rid of the existing mold will be our first priority here, since that can become a big issue if left untreated. To treat it, you'll want to use a product that will eliminate the mold well the first time. For example, a product called Concrobium, which will help remove the mold, and also prevent later growth. It also does so without and bleach, or VOC. ZEP also makes a similar product as well that will help remove it. If you'd rather not buy more cleaners, than I have seen a white vinegar & water 50/50 mix work as well.


Also, be aware if the mold is just on the surface of the paint...or if it's in the drywall itself? Can you feel that the drywall is soggy, or slightly "squishy"? You may have a mold growth problem within the drywall itself, which can then spread into the insulation. That'll require a bit more effort than just a paint remedy, but we'll help you through that as well if need be.


If you've removed the mold, and the paint is still in good shape and the drywall is okay...we can prime over it. If the paint is looking shabby, remove it by lightly scraping what is peeling off and bringing it back to the drywall, trying to even it out as best as possible. If need be, we may have to get some joint-compound for the wall to patch small areas.


When you prime, make sure that your primer has either a Mold or Moisture control, which most will these days. This will help keep this problem from happening again; and just like I recommended earlier, do a Satin or Semi-Gloss sheen.


    • As a side note, check your bathroom fan if you have one (or think about installing one in this room due to mold issue). See that it has adequate power to help remove the moisture in the room. A good way to test is to run it, and place a tissue close to the box. If you can see that it's blowing it about, then you're okay..if not, then there isn't enough power. Run this fan 20 minutes or so after using the shower, to help take the excess moisture out.


  • As with any mold issue, I'd advise getting a mold test kit at one of our stores, so that you can know what you are dealing with. It's more than likely a household growth, but I always like to air on the side of caution.

Let me know how that works out, and if you have any questions or issues that arise, don't hesitate to ask~


Posted 2010-11-12T14:41:08+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI
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