Nothing is more frustrating than completing your bathroom remodel only to start having problems with the paint just a few months later. Unfortunately, problems with paint are common. The environment of the typical bathroom makes it difficult to avoid these types of problems over the long term. That said, there are some things you can do to mitigate paint problems such as peeling, fading, and mold growth. While you may not be able to eliminate the risks entirely, you will find a situation is a lot more manageable with the proper care. To that end, we offer you the following tips:
Mold Growth – You may not be aware, but mold and mildew grow more easily on flat paint than on satin or semi-gloss. Flat paint is more porous, allowing water to accumulate and mold spores to multiply. To help reduce the likelihood of mold growth in your bath, use a satin or semi-gloss paint. To help minimize the damage mold can cause if it does grow, learn how identify it and what to do about it. When mold first appears, it looks like small black dots, usually in corners near the tub or shower. As soon as you see the dots, attack them with a bathroom mold killer. For maintenance purposes, spraying areas prone to mold is a good idea every few weeks.
Peeling Paint – Because flat paint is more porous, it is also more prone to peeling. As we said earlier, the porous nature of flat paint allows moisture to accumulate. That moisture can significantly weaken the molecular structure of the paint until it begins to peel and crack. Satin and semi-gloss are much better here as well. As a side note, some people prefer to use exterior paint in the bathroom. And exterior latex will be slightly more expensive but it will hold up better to the constant changes in temperature and humidity. The only downside is that it tends not to be as aesthetically pleasing.
Repairing Peeling Paint If your bathroom paint does start to peel, there is a right and wrong way to handle it. The wrong way is to simply grab a paintbrush and cover it up. This is only a temporary solution that does not really address the problem. The best way to handle it is as follows:
- Scrape away all loose paint with a drywall knife
- Cover the area with drywall compound (two or three coats)
- Sand and seal the area with primer
- Apply two coats of paint
Fading Paint In the areas of the bathroom where direct sunlight comes in, paint may fade over time. You can help mitigate fading by using light colored draperies that block direct sunlight but still allow for ambient lighting. Whites, creams, and light yellows are good choices. The bathroom environment is one that is naturally unfriendly to paint. However, there is no need to let it get the best of you. Following these simple tips will help you reduce the likelihood of severe paint problems.