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Painting Bathroom

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thorthor Forumite
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What is the best way to paint a bathroom? Over the years I have used normal paint only for it to start flaking away in a few months. I even used paint that was supposedly specially formulated for the damp humid air of a bathroom but that didn't last too long either. Should I use an undercoat? Are there emulsions that are recommended for painting bathrooms or is that just hogwash? How many layers should I paint? Any other hints or tips? Advice would be most appreciated.

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  • edited 2 August at 8:54AM
    DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    edited 2 August at 8:54AM
    I'd suggest it's the extraction rate/ventilation in the room and not necessarily the paint, though if that original paint is still on the wall then it will always behave in the way it does and it won't matter what goes over it.  The reaction is in that initial problem paint.  


    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • clive0510clive0510 Forumite
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    my bathroom used to get mould in the corners and on the ceiling by the coving there was a black patch about 2'' square. so I sprayed all the mould with mould remover. let that dry. then I painted the whole with dulux bathroom paint. I did two coats. that was about 8 yrs ago and the mould has never come back. but the bathroom itself could actually do with painting again now.
  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    If the bathroom is properly ventilated, ordinary paint should be fine. That the paintmakers have been able to create a market for bathroom paint shows how many bathrooms are not properly ventilated. Bathrooms, especially those with a shower, need a fan controlled by a humidistat. A timer fan is the worst idea; it wastes energy while not ventilating the bathroom properly. 

    The fans in my home and rental property are wired to come on when the light is turned on OR when the humidistat mounted above the bath recognises that the humidity is too high. The fans run until the humidity has dropped to the point where it doesn't cause problems. I use Humidistats from MS Electronics and have found them to be completely reliable. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • EmmiaEmmia Forumite
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    I used Zinsser perma white, with the Zinsser BIN undercoat in our windowless bathroom 5 years ago - 1 wall is untiled and done in a satin paint, and the ceiling is done in a matt version, and apart from a tiny bit in the corner I clearly missed when painting, and I have to bleach twice a year (I've yet to muster the enthusiasm to touch that bit up) the mould hasn't returned.

    Before I did this the bathroom was really mouldy - the lack of window, and a rubbish fan meant it never really ventilated or dried out properly. A heavy duty meaco dehumidifier helped but did not sort the problem completely. 

    This year we've replaced both bathroom fans with more powerful versions which also have a humidistat - the humidity level in the flat dropped by about 20% almost as soon as those fans were installed - so as well as painting I'd look to see if the bathroom fan needs an upgrade.
  • Apjs87Apjs87 Forumite
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    Emmia said:
    I used Zinsser perma white, with the Zinsser BIN undercoat in our windowless bathroom 5 years ago - 1 wall is untiled and done in a satin paint, and the ceiling is done in a matt version, and apart from a tiny bit in the corner I clearly missed when painting, and I have to bleach twice a year (I've yet to muster the enthusiasm to touch that bit up) the mould hasn't returned.

    Before I did this the bathroom was really mouldy - the lack of window, and a rubbish fan meant it never really ventilated or dried out properly. A heavy duty meaco dehumidifier helped but did not sort the problem completely. 

    This year we've replaced both bathroom fans with more powerful versions which also have a humidistat - the humidity level in the flat dropped by about 20% almost as soon as those fans were installed - so as well as painting I'd look to see if the bathroom fan needs an upgrade.
    I’ll second that. The Zinsser paint is brilliant. Goes on easily too. The comments regarding the fans I’ll second too. A quality inline fan with a high extraction rate will work wonders.
  • BananaRepublicBananaRepublic Forumite
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    I used a clear acrylic sealer on bare plaster, I think it was a Zinsser product, followed by four coats of acrylic paint. The end result is tough, cleans easily and moisture resistant. Acrylic sealer and paint costs more but I wouldn't hesitate to use it again. My regret is not using it in the kitchen.
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