Can You Use Satin Paint for Bathroom Walls?

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Color palette, can background

There are a wide variety of paints available for homeowners planning to paint their bathroom.

Satin paint continues to gain popularity for painting bathrooms. Is it a good choice for a high moisture area such as a bathroom?

Benefit of Satin Paint

Satin paint is water-resistant, so it is a highly suitable option to use in the bathroom. In addition, the flat and glossy finish enhances the aesthetic while also resisting mold and mildew build-up. It is also quite durable and is highly resistant to scratches.  

Satin paint is also washable. In the case of mold or mildew, feel free to gently scrub as needed.

Thanks to its semi-glossy finish, satin paint adds a bit of class to any bathroom. In addition, it creates a unique, charming atmosphere while making smaller bathrooms feel larger.

Satin Painted Bathroom

Different Paint Types

  • Flat Paint

Flat paint has a matte finish, and therefore it is not recommended for use in bathrooms or kitchens. Flat paint tends to have more pigment than other paints so it does a great job covering up other colors or mistakes. However, it is quite difficult to clean.

  • Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paint has a semi-gloss finish and thus is water resistant. Also, it is easy to clean, making it a good choice for both kitchens and bathrooms.

  • Satin Paint

Satin paint is semi-gloss, water resistant, and easy to clean, all similar to eggshell paint. However, satin is just a bit glossier, giving satin paint slightly better performance in all of these areas.

  • High-Gloss and Semi-Gloss Paint

Glossy paints are easy to clean and water resistant. High-gloss paints tend to not look great when applied to large areas.

The glossier a paint is, the easier it will be to see dirt, damage, finger prints, etc…

Overall, we recommend going with either satin or eggshell paint for bathrooms. There are also special mold resistant paints specifically for bathrooms and spas available.

Modern black and red bathroom with sink and bathtub

Why Choose Satin Paint for Bathroom Walls?

Satin paint is considered the most well-rounded choice for bathroom walls for all of the reasons outlined above: durability, water resistance, and ability to prevent discoloration. Also, modern satin paint products are tougher and longer-lasting than their predecessors.

In addition, the glossy finish of satin paint makes it easy to clean, thus making mold and mildew problems a non-factor.

Additionally, the slightly reflective coating of satin paint allows it to reflect light around the room. Light is crucial in making a room appear larger. So, if your bathroom is relatively small, satin paint can give it a roomier aesthetic.

Consider a white satin paint for the ceiling to increase the light reflecting in your bathroom, for an even more spacious feeling.

Satin Paint – Is It Oil or Water-Based?

Satin paint products are available in both oil and water based formulations. Water based paint is better for resisting discoloration and holds its color longer than oil based paint. Therefore, water based paint is the best choice for bathrooms.

How Easy is it to Clean Satin Paint Coated Walls?

In a word – very! Satin paint is designed so that it is easy to wipe and scrub. In addition, it is durable enough to withstand a good scrubbing without getting scratched. The satin finish also resists typical bathroom problems such as mold and mildew build-up, so the cleaning job should be easier to begin with.

Satin Paint for Bathroom

Tips on Cleaning Satin Painted Bathroom Walls

While satin paint is considered durable, you should still know the proper method of cleaning this type of coating to optimize its lifespan. Here are important guidelines regarding the appropriate cleaning of satin-painted walls.

  • Only use soft sponges and soft to medium bristle scrubbing brushes when cleaning satin paint. While modern satin paint products are durable, all paints should be washed with care.
  • Regular dish soap, like Dawn, dissolved in warm water is all you need to clean walls with satin paint. Do not use harsh bathroom or bathtub cleaners on your satin paint.
  • For dirt on the surface of your satin paint you probably don’t need any soap; a damp towel should do it.

Satin Paint for Bathroom Summary

Satin paint is an excellent option for bathroom walls due to its water resistance and easy-to-clean qualities. If you are looking for a less-glossy finish that comes with all the advantages of a high-gloss coating, satin is a good choice in this regard.

To summarize, below are the advantages and disadvantages of using satin paint for your bathroom walls.


  • There are many options for satin paint, including: oil-based, water-based, and odorless.
  • It is an excellent choice for bathroom walls and ceilings due to its high water resistance, easy cleaning properties, and durability.
  • While not as glossy as high-gloss paint, satin can still reflect light around the room, making a tiny bathroom appear more spacious.


  • Any imperfections on the wall, such as bumps, will still be visible. Simply put, satin paint cannot hide such blemishes on your wall, unlike some paint types. It isn’t quite as bad as high gloss paint.
  • Satin paint is more expensive than eggshell paint.
  • Satin paint dries quickly and should be applied all at one time without interruption.

Final Thoughts

Can you use satin paint for bathroom walls and ceilings? Yes!

Satin paint is the most popular bathroom paint for good reasons. If you like the appearance of satin paint, you can use it throughout your home and not limit its application to the bathroom.