Is Semi-Gloss Paint Good for Bathrooms?

When it comes to freshening up the look of a bathroom, many DIYers turn to paint as a quick and affordable solution. So is semi-gloss paint a good option for your bathroom?

Semi-gloss paint is a great option for bathrooms. It has a higher sheen than other finishes, so it will stand up to moisture better and won’t easily chip or scratch. Semi-gloss also cleans more easily, so you don’t have to worry about stubborn dirt or stains ruining the look of your walls. 

Let’s explore why semi-gloss is such an effective choice for bathrooms. Read on to find out how semi-gloss can help make your bathroom look beautiful and last longer.

4 Benefits of Using Semi-Gloss Paint in Your Bathroom

Semi-gloss is one of the best paint finishes for bathrooms. Here is a list of the 4 reasons why.

Durability and moisture resistance

One of the most important benefits of using semi-gloss paint in your bathroom is its durability. It is not prone to dings, scuffs, and dents.

Semi-gloss paint has a higher sheen than other types of paint, making it more resistant to moisture and humidity. This makes it perfect for bathrooms prone to getting wet or steamy.

Easy to clean 

Another great advantage of using semi-gloss paint in a bathroom is that it’s easy to clean. Semi-gloss paints have a higher sheen than other paints, making them easier to clean without leaving any residue or streaks behind. This makes them perfect for bathrooms since they will look like new after each cleaning session. 

Aesthetic appeal 

Semi-gloss paint also adds an extra layer of aesthetic appeal to your bathroom walls. The high sheen reflects light in such a way that it can make even small bathrooms look bigger and brighter.

Can brighten any room

Perhaps the most important benefit of semi-gloss paint is that it can instantly brighten up any room with its glossy finish.

Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color to a neutral palette or just want to make your bathroom look more inviting, semi-gloss paint can do the trick.

4 Drawbacks of Using Semi-Gloss Paint in Your Bathroom

Despite its many benefits, there are some disadvantages to using semi-gloss paint.

Difficult to touch-up

The higher sheen of semi-gloss paint makes it more difficult to touch up any blemishes or scratches on your walls. The glossy finish also tends to highlight any imperfections and make them stand out more than other types of paint. 

More expensive

Another downside of using semi-gloss paint in your bathroom is that it is more expensive. The higher sheen and moisture resistance often come with a heftier price tag.

Can still be water damaged

Although semi-gloss paint is more resistant to moisture than other types of paint, it can still be damaged by water.

If you live in an area with high humidity or get a lot of condensation in your bathroom, it’s important to consider investing in a waterproofing sealant for extra protection.

Lighting issues 

Semi-gloss paint often reflects light in such a way that it can create an unwanted glare or hot spots on certain areas of the wall. This can be distracting and make the room appear out of balance if not addressed appropriately.

It is important to consider how much natural light will enter the room when selecting semi-gloss paint, as well as where any artificial lighting will be placed in order to minimize these issues.

How Does Semi-Gloss Paint Compare to Other Finishes?


A high-gloss finish provides more of a glossy, reflective look than semi-gloss paint. It also tends to have more durability, making it less prone to wear and tear. However, it’s more likely to show dirt, scuffs, and fingerprints over time.

Painting a bathroom with a high-gloss finish may also require multiple coats of paint for best results, as well as careful preparation before applying. Poor preparation can lead to an uneven application of color with this type of paint.

On the other hand, semi-gloss paint tends to reflect less light than a high-gloss finish, offering more of a mid-sheen appearance when finished.

Both finishes can withstand moisture and humidity. Generally, high-gloss paint performs better than semi-gloss due to its higher sheen level.


In terms of appearance, painting bathrooms with satin paint provides a slightly muted sheen that reflects light softly, creating a more matte-like effect when compared to semi-gloss.

The slight sheen provides just enough of a shine to add interest to walls but not so much as to be overly glossy or reflective. Semi-gloss, on the other hand, is shinier.

When it comes to durability, both types of paint tend to do well in humid environments like bathrooms.

However, semi-gloss is generally considered more durable than satin due to its extra layer of a protective coating that helps guard against scratches and fading with time.

Cleaning is also an important factor to consider when choosing between semi-gloss and satin paint. Semi-gloss is often easier to wipe clean due to its higher shine, making it a better choice for areas prone to frequent cleaning, such as bathrooms.

Flat, matte, and eggshell

Flat, matte, and eggshell paint finishes all have a duller look than semi-gloss. Flat finishes are the least reflective of the three, rendering a completely non-shiny surface.

They are easier to touch up than other finishes but can be more difficult to clean because dirt is less likely to run off a flat, porous surface.

Because of their low to no sheen level, flat, matte, and eggshell finishes are not ideal for bathrooms as they will be more prone to staining and water damage.

Overall, semi-gloss paint is considered a great option for bathrooms because of its mid-level sheen and moisture-resistant properties.

It may require more preparation than other finishes, but the end result will be worth it. Flat, matte, and eggshell, on the other hand, may still be used on bathrooms but for ceilings and walls where the risk of water splashes is lower.

Bathrooms Need a Special Primer

Primers are an essential part of painting any bathroom, as they help to create a strong bond between the paint and the wall that will last for years. When choosing a primer for your bathroom project, you will want to look for one with mildewcide additives.

These additives are designed to prevent the growth of mold and mildew on walls and ceilings. Furthermore, primers are even more important if you choose an all-in-one paint and primer product. Using a dedicated primer provides superior coverage and adhesion.

Finally, having a good base coat of primer helps ensure that whatever color or design you decide on will stand out better than without one. With all these advantages in mind, there’s no doubt that using a top-quality primer is essential when painting any bathroom.

Joshua Milton

I want to share everything I know about home improvement in order to help you. Whether you're a home enthusiast or an industry professional, I have the information that you need.

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