7 Best Bathroom Paints To Prevent Mold in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks
Mold in the bathroom can be unsightly and unhealthy. It is hard to have people over or sit in the bath and stare at black spots on your walls. Mold is a common occurrence in many bathrooms around the country, and it can be a pain to deal with.
One of the newest ways to deal with mold growth in a home’s bathroom is to paint it with mold-resistant paint. This new paint prevents mold growth for years at a time. Repainting your bathroom with this special paint can eliminate these ugly sights of yucky black mold.
A Glance at Our Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||Rust-Oleum Zinsser Perma-White 1-gallon Semi-Gloss Paint||
|Best Value||WILLIAM ZINSSER & CO WATERPROOFING PAINT||
|Best for High Mold Areas||Rust-Oleum Zinsser 31.5 fl oz. PermaWhite Exterior Semi-Gloss||
|Best for Tile||INSL-X SXA11009A-04 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer||
|Best for Basement Bathrooms||KILZ Basement and Masonry Waterproofing Paint||
The 7 Best Bathroom Paints To Prevent Mold
1. Rust-Oleum Zinsser Perma-White 1-gallon Semi-Gloss Paint – Best Overall
|Coverage:||300 sq. ft.|
When it comes to a basic all-in-one mold-resistant paint that is perfect for your bathroom, nothing beats the Rust-Oleum Zinsser Perma-White 1-gallon Semi-Gloss Paint. This paint is self-priming, mold and mildew resistant, scrubbable, and offers great coverage. This is the best choice for someone looking to repaint their bathroom with mold-resistant paint without any frills or complications. This is the best paint for simple drywall surfaces in bathrooms where mold has appeared in the past.
This paint does not need a primer in order to work, and it can go on in one coat in many situations. It is easy to put on, easy to clean, easy to maintain, and keeps the mold away. It is still a good value for the cost, especially for small bathrooms that won’t take more than a couple of gallons of paint. The paint is made by a reputable brand and offers superior quality over time.
This paint won’t work in special situations like masonry walls, high water areas, high mold areas, or bathrooms with a lot of tiles. This is a basic paint for a basic job, but that makes it appealing to the largest number of people.
2. WILLIAM ZINSSER & CO WATERPROOFING PAINT – Best Value
|Coverage:||350 sq. ft.|
If you are looking for a mold mitigation paint solution on a budget, then you should be looking at the William and Zinsser Waterproofing Paint. This is a latex-based paint that is super durable and designed to keep water and mold out of your bathroom walls. The cost is a chunk lower than other similar paints which make it a great choice for people working on a tight project budget.
The William Zinsser Waterproofing Paint guarantees a watertight coating for 15 years and is made in the United States. It is mold and mildew-proof. It is also designed to withstand up to 20 PSI of water pressure making it a unique choice for bathrooms with a rinse-off station or a hose.
The cons include the fact that this is masonry paint which means it works best on block walls. It is also a thick latex paint that is hard to mix and requires multiple coats to be the most effective. However, we think this is still the best bathroom paint to prevent mold for the money.
3. Rust-Oleum Zinsser 31.5 fl oz. PermaWhite Exterior Semi-Gloss – Best for High Mold Areas
|Coverage:||100 sq. ft.|
The Rust-Oleum Zinsser PermaWhite Exterior Paint is a great option for high mold areas. If you find yourself continuously battling persistent mold in your bathroom, you might need to upgrade to a heavy-duty paint option. This paint is technically exterior paint, but it is designed to mitigate tough mold and can be used in specific circumstances in interior bathrooms. This paint is self-priming, meaning you do not have to put on a coat of primer beforehand. It is also guaranteed to remain mold-free for 5 years. It also resists dirt, mildew, and dust. This might not be the most conventional choice, but it can be a great option for areas with a ton of persistent mold.
It should be noted that using exterior paint inside can have some unintended consequences. Exterior paint does not behave the same way inside as it does outside. Some exterior paints also have higher levels of VOCs than interior paints, which can irritate some people’s allergies.
4. INSL-X SXA11009A-04 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer – Best for Tile
|Coverage:||400 sq. ft.|
INSL-X Stix is a heavy-duty bathroom bonding primer that makes repainting any tile a breeze. Sometimes old moldy tile needs a good refinishing in order to get it back to its former glory. However, most paints can’t or won’t stick to tile which can leave you scratching your head. That is where INSL-X Stix comes in. This special bathroom primer will stick directly to your old tile and allow you to have a mold-resistant base to paint over.
Painting over old tiles is one way to help prevent future mold growth. If you use a mold-resistant primer and paint over old tiles, it can help keep those tiles free of harmful mold for years.
This is just primer and unlike some primers, for walls, you cannot simply leave this primer unpainted. You must cover this primer with a topcoat of bathroom paint. It does allow you to repaint old tile, which is something that many people are looking for in their bathroom.
5. KILZ Basement and Masonry Waterproofing Paint – Best for Basement Bathrooms
|Coverage:||300 sq. ft.|
There are some bathrooms that have concrete, masonry, or brick walls. These bathrooms are often found in the basement of a home. If you have a finished, unfinished, or partially finished basement with a bathroom that features masonry walls, you have likely struggled with what to do with it. That is where KILZ Basement and Masonry Waterproofing Paint comes in. This mold-resistant paint can be rolled or sprayed directly onto masonry surfaces.
Masonry weeps and creates a lot of moisture if left untreated. This paint is perfect for locking the water out, and it keeps the mold and mildew away as well. This paint would also be good for bathrooms that always feel humid, damp, and moldy. This matte white acrylic paint was specifically designed to be used in basements with the purpose of keeping out water, mold, and mildew, which is perfect for many bathrooms.
This paint can only be used on the appropriate surfaces, and it cannot be used with latex or water-based paints or primers. This is one of the most affordable gallons of anti-mold paint you can buy right now, but it is not flashy.
6. Zinsser 287512 Mold Killing Primer – Best for Touch Ups
|Coverage:||10 sq. ft.|
Some bathrooms have that one corner where mold always seems to form. However, one moldy spot does not necessarily mean you have to repaint your entire bathroom. If you dread the idea of repainting the whole room but want to try and get rid of a persistent mold spot, you can get Zinsser’s Mold Killing Primer. This spray can is perfect for spraying areas with persistent mold in order to simply touch them up with fresh primer and paint. This primer is specifically designed to go under any topcoat and has seriously powerful mold killing properties.
Instead of buying multiple gallons of new paint and primer, you can get one gallon of your favorite paint and a couple of cans of spray primer and touch up those grimy areas without getting into a massive project.
This is a budget-friendly option for people sick of seeing mold in the corners. After using this product, most customers report being mold-free. The downsides are these cans only cover 10 sq. ft. each and have to be painted over. If you have a white bathroom, you can get away with simply using the primer as a touch-up and save yourself a lot of hassle.
7. Paint-Guard Mold and Mildew Defense Paint Additive – Best Paint Additive
If none of the mold mitigating paint and primer you have found matches your style or clicks with you, do not worry. There is an alternative that you can consider. If there is a color of paint you just have to have that does not prevent mold, you can use a paint additive to try and give any paint the benefits of mold prevention.
The Paint-Guard Mold and Mildew Paint Additive is a water-based paint that boosts the mold-busting power of any gallon of other paint. Simply add a bottle to any gallon of paint of your choice and transform it into anti-mold paint. This allows you to have more flexibility and peace of mind when designing your next bathroom upgrade without being locked into certain paints that you just don’t like.
There are a couple of downsides to using a paint additive. Since this treatment is water-based, it must be added to water-based paint in order to get the full benefits. Paint-Guard Mold and Mildew Defense is also a bit expensive. If you are doing a large project, it is going to add a considerable cost to each gallon of paint that you use. You also won’t get as good of a result as if you simply bought mold-resistant paint right from the get-go.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Bathroom Paints To Prevent Mold
There are a large number of different finishes when it comes to paint and primer. The most common finishes are high gloss, semi-gloss, and matte. There are also eggshell, satin, and flat finishes. For bathrooms, the most common finishes are flat or matte. Bathrooms are utilitarian spaces that people enter frequently but do not spend much time in.
These areas call for a simple finish. That is not to say you can’t put high-gloss paint in your bathroom, but it might look a little odd when you have completed the job. Always be sure to check the finish of your paint before bringing it home. Finishes seem like simple details until you paint an entire room with a finish you do not like.
There are various paint brands on the market. The paint market is interesting in that there are many brands that will only sell at certain retailers. If you go to a smattering of home improvement stores as well as check online, you will find different brands featured exclusively at different retailers. That means if you have a specific brand that is your favorite, you will have to look up where to find it.
There are some off-brands that have received poor reviews so be sure to look up some additional information before purchasing from a brand you are unfamiliar with. The last thing you want is to buy paint that runs, fades, or chips.
We have only featured reputable brands in this guide.
Many anti-mold paints only come in white. If you want to find colored paint that retains its anti-microbial properties, you will likely have to go to a local paint center. Paint centers have the ability to mix a large variety of different colored paints in addition to basic white. For most people, white is a fine color for a bathroom, especially if it means keeping the unsightly fungal growths away.
If you are buying paint online be sure to double-check exactly what color they are shipping to you. There are a variety of subtle differences within the white color group alone. Not everyone would be happy with bone white if they meant to order off-white.
There are a large number of mold-resistant primers on the market to go along with mold-resistant paints. We have featured some mitigating mold primers on this list. For the best protection possible, it is recommended to pair a mold-resistant primer with a mold-killing paint. That way, you have a double layer of protection. Without a good primer, mold can grow on the surface underneath the paint and start to seep through to the surface over time.
There are some paints that are all-in-one, meaning that they have a primer and topcoat mixed together. These products are good for some applications. Some consumers like all-in-one paints because it saves time by eliminating one or more coats that have to be put on.
Dangers Of Bathroom Mold
Paint that prevents mold is expensive. There is no way around that. Is it worth it to pay the extra money to have mold-resistant paint in your bathroom? That choice will ultimately fall on the consumer, but the black mold that grows in bathrooms does present some dangers.
Mold grows in areas where it is warm and damp – like a shower. The mold appears on surfaces as a grimy black stain. That stain represents thousands of tiny fungal particles that have grown together. When these particles are agitated, they fly into the air. If mold particles are inhaled, they can cause health issues. Mold can cause asthma to flare up and trigger people’s allergies.
Mold exposure can also cause shortness of breath, coughing, sneezing, congestion, and sore throat. Bathroom mold is rarely fatal, but it is not good for your long-term health to breathe in mold day in and day out. In order to prevent these symptoms, people are investing in preventive mold paint. The other option is to scrub off the mold with bleach when it appears, which can be time consuming and difficult.
There are many different types of mold-resistant paint that are great for bathrooms. There are heavy-duty primers, waterproof paint for basement bathrooms, and paint additives that help you increase your flexibility. If you are battling mold in your bathroom, the use of mold-resistant paint can be a lifesaver. One day of painting can save you years of mold growth. Now you just have to find the paint that is best for you and your bathroom.
Featured Image Credit: Sidekix Media, Unsplash