Best paint for a bathroom ceiling - Decorator's forum UK (2023)

Updated May 24, 2023 | Posted Feb 22, 2022 | Product Advice, Professional insight | 4 comments

Choosing the best paint for a bathroom ceiling isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need something that is going to stand up to varying levels of condensation and humidity, but also look good. I’m a professional decorator and I wanted to talk you through what I think are the best products available in the UK.

Please take the time to read this blog and make an informed decision based on your bathroom and the information provided.

Zinsser AllClean Scrubbable Matt (in white)

This is a paint many people don’t know exists, but it’s a great durable matt emulsion, particularly in white. However, you can buy this product online in a range of different colours.

There are three things I like about Zinsser AllClean which make it an ideal paint for a bathroom ceiling. The opacity in white is spot on, which is rare for a durable matt. The overall finish is awesome; It is crisp and clean, with no flashing or roller marks. Then there is the toughness of the paint, which is easily capable of standing up to the humidity in a bathroom.


A durable matt is never going to cope with condensation as well as an eggshell, but this paint comes close, and the finish is much better than that of an eggshell.

Armstead Eggshell

You can buy Armstead eggshell is available from any Dulux Decorating Centre, but if you order it online by clicking here, you will probably find it cheaper, and the can match any colour from any other brand for you. Acrylic eggshell paint will stand up to loads of condensation and will not mark, even if water runs down the paint. If you want a white ceiling, choose standard white over brilliant white. The paint finish will be far better.

Any good quality trade eggshell will do the trick. I chose to talk about Armstead because, as with most Armstead paint products, it is good value for money. Click here for more info.

Best paint for a bathroom ceiling - Decorator's forum UK (2)

Opacity is good, except from in white. So, if you’re painting over a strong colour with white, you may be better blanking out the colour with a good quality vinyl matt before using a topcoat of Armstead Eggshell. The finish has a sheen level of around 20%. You’ll find it easy to use and the paint will withstand bathroom conditions. You can even wipe this paint down, which is another major plus point for a bathroom.

Zinsser Perma White Mound Resistant Paint

Zinsser Perma White is a very interesting product, and one I use regularly in bathrooms. Available online by clicking here, in white, or limited colours. You could go for either matt or satin finish.

Opacity in white is poor and you’ll find the paint runny as you apply it, but the finish is spectacular. The best thing about this paint is mould will not grow on it! No black spores, no bad breathing conditions, just crisp, clean surfaces. The longevity of this paint is great too. Surfaces look brand-new for years after you’ve decorated.

I painted the shower rooms to a swimming pool with Zinsser Perma White about 8 years ago. Before I painted them, they constantly had issues with mould and peeling paint, opting to have them decorated every year or so to stay on top of it. My work has lasted 8 years, and it is still going strong, all because I used Perma White. I’d highly recommend this paint for bathroom ceilings.

WRX Ceiling Paint

WRX ceiling paint is a specialist product, meaning it has been specifically developed to perform as well as it possibly can on a ceiling. With that in mind, it is always going to be one of the best at what it does. This paint is not cheap, but you get what you pay for sometimes. I buy mine online. Click here to see online prices.


WRX Ceiling Paint is fully acrylic, meaning it will dry very durable, but take a while to cure. The finish on this product is unreal! This is the emulsion I have used on the ceilings in my own house! You can get it tinted into just about any colour.

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex

Tikkurila Anti-Reflex is a very flat matt emulsion. It is available in white and pale colours online, or instore from dozens of different merchants around the UK. This is one of my all-time favourite products for ceilings in general. I find it easy to use and it always looks good, particularly in light-critical areas

This emulsion is on the list because of the overall finish, which is luxurious. It is a durable product, meaning it will stand up to some moisture, but you wouldn’t want to use it if heavy condensation is an issue in your bathroom.

Best paint for a bathroom ceiling – by Mike Gregory

What do Other Decorators Think is the Best Paint for a Bathroom Ceiling?

With so much media publicity these days over bathrooms and lack of ventilation, air flow and mould forming….

Zinsser Perma White mould paint is a safe bet to use with mould inhibiting properties and up to 7yrs protect.

Glixton Fungi-Sheld is another product ideal for bathrooms and areas where mould can form. It’s also recommended by the RLA… Residential Landlord Association.

Phil Beckwith

I like Dulux diamond eggshell in bathrooms as it seems bullet-proof and has great water resistance.

Though in the past on a few rentals with poor ventilation, I have used oil-based eggshell for future proofing.

Lydia Taylor

It’s Zinsser Perma White for me. I first used it back in the 90s when I lived in Australia on old cement rendered bathrooms. Mould can’t grow on it, but I remember it being a thicker paint than it is now.

Andy Cairns

Johnstone’s Durable Matt for me. It’s great for bathroom or kitchens

Lee Richard

Due to special conditions like high humidity, a bathroom needs high-quality paint dedicated specially to this sort of room. My choice is Zinsser Perma White, which is not only anti-moisture, but also anti-fungal. The name “permanent white” is placed on the tin for a reason.

Available in satin and the more expensive matt finish. Matt always looks better on a ceiling.

It’s also durable and easy to clean, so can be used in kitchen as well.

My method on fresh plaster is to prime with vinyl Matt, then apply two coats of Perma White. Give it a good drying time between layers.

Pioter Sulecki

Zinsser Perma White is the best paint for a bathroom ceiling. There’s no comparison and it stops mould completely.

Matthew Elliott


100 % Dulux eggshell for me on a bathroom ceiling. Why? Because doesn’t hold water and moisture. When dry it is like rubber. I have a bathroom without windows, only a small fan and I never suffer with damp or mould. I use it for kitchens as well, as it is very easy to wipe and good for touch ups

Kiril Gyulev

After having problems with my own bathroom, I now use Zinsser Perma White and it’s great. No probs with it at all 👍🏻

Simon Bohea

The best paint for a bathroom ceiling is Zinsser Perma White satin. I tried it after seeing a recommendation on the Decorators Forum UK as a replacement for acrylic eggshell (which is also great stuff). Perma White is beautiful to look at and seems to do the job for me. Also, it gives 7-year guarantee on the tin, so if something goes wrong, I can blame moisture coming out of the plasterboard opposed to my choice of paint.

Vincent Roche

Zinsser Perma white has never let me down in bathroom.

Kev Saunders

Crown clean extreme mould inhibiting paint is a great choice. Good coverage, nice clean white and seems to do what it says on the tin.

Joe Pellicci

Zinsser Perma White for me. Although it takes three coats before it’s solid. Extremely tough and mega scrubbable. It’s all I use now on bathroom Ceilings

Jamie Hansford Reynolds

I use Little Greene Intelligent Eggshell for bathrooms with loads of moisture. I need to try this Perma White.

Gary Hillman

Zinsser Perma White… but make sure you get a good coat of white emulsion on there first.

Ben Williams

I tried oil-based eggshell and never looked back. I’ve used different colours over last 20 years and never any problems, even when there’s no ventilation. I’m definitely sticking with it & always recommend to clients for their bathrooms.

James Tull Goodwin

Zinsser perma white for me. I did my own bathroom 4-5 years ago and my now 20year old gives it a proper test every morning, it’s like a sauna!! The ceiling still looks mint though.

John Sweeney

Johnstones Durable matt is the best paint for a bathroom ceiling by far 🖌️👍

Ian Clayton

I’ve used eggshell, or any oil-based paint. Anything like that can hold the moisture back, whereas some water-based paint will suck it up and cause it to peel in my opinion. Silk is a good option too.

Jason De Jager

Leyland acrylic eggshell is great on a bathroom ceiling. It is reasonably priced, leaves a great finish and has never let me down.

Gerald Henderson


Zinsser Perma White mould resistant paint is my ‘go to’. You can get it in matt or satin which is great.👍

Dave Molyneux Professional Decorator

Dulux Trade Diamond Eggshell is the best I’ve used. It is tough, nice coverage, scuff & stain resistant and lovely to put on. What more can you ask for?

Chris Ward

I use Dulux diamond eggshell on a bathroom ceiling. However, I also find that Leyland acrylic eggshell also stands up to the rest of shower/ bathroom moisture and steam. Dulux Diamond is very expensive in comparison to Leyland, but I struggle to get Leyland mixed in colours, so use it when the ceiling requires white.

Lee Robinson

Keim Optil for me. It etches to the substrate; therefore it needs no mist coat. It is natural silicate mineral paint (no plastics or nasty chemicals) so is the wrong PH for mould to grow.

It is breathable, it regulates the moisture in the room, it is not like plastic film forming paints, which tend to act like bin liners across any surface and …. I have had it on my Gypsum ceiling for nearly ten years and it gets wet every day from the bath-shower and still looks perfect. Oh, quality pigments so it can be thinned hugely. It can be thinned with Fixative (it’s a water-glass – a miracle product in its own right). I would never, ever recommend a plastic chemical paint again.

Kevin Foot

Another vote for Zinsser Perma White. It never lets me down and is readily available.

Steve Bould

Zinsser Perma White.

If the answer isn’t Zinsser, then I’ve misunderstood the question! Perma White is easily the best paint for a bathroom ceiling.

Martin Gater

I’m going to throw in a left field one: Dulux retail Easycare Bathroom if you’re in a pinch.

Got all the right stuff to stop mould and is tough and wipeable.

But my weapon of choice would be Perma White, typical Zinsser quality and it really does do what it says on the tin.

Best paint for a bathroom ceiling - Decorator's forum UK (6)

Darren Owen

I’m going to say Zinsser Perma White is the best. It rolls off will with a good quality roller. It will also last donkey’s years, even in high-condensed areas from moisture from shower etc. cheap enough for the product and if the worse comes to worse, you don’t even need to sand it. You can just chuck it straight on 😂😂

Jb Decorations

Has to be Dulux water-based eggshell for me.

Nigel Moore

Zinsser Perma White. I’ve returned to jobs years after painting a bathroom or shower room ceilings with it and it has not suffered one bit from condensation on a daily basis.

Tim O'keefe

I use Dulux oil-based eggshell. This works brilliant because it’s hard wearing and also helps prevent damp coming through as it is waterproof.

Robin Nathan

As I’m old school I always use silk on bathroom ceilings due to it being waterproof, unless the clients state otherwise.

Fred Mercer

Perma White is good and contains anti-mould. Ceiling, walls and woodwork. 👍🏻

Steven Duff

I use Tikkurila Luja 7 for me. It is amazing paint. I had problem with ventilation in my own bathroom, so I use bathroom paint but kept bubbling. Now since using Luja 7, I never had a problem.

Daniel Bailey

Updated May 24, 2023 | Posted Feb 22, 2022 | 4 comments

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