Best Bathroom Ceiling Primer – What The Pros Use

You should use a primer when painting bathroom ceilings due to the high moisture levels in these areas. Primers help to ensure that paint adheres to the top correctly, preventing bubbling or peeling caused by excess humidity.

Best Primer for Bathroom Ceilings

The best primer for bathroom ceilings with brown water stains is an oil-based primer.

Zinnser Coverstain will always be my go-to product because it works.

Oil-based primer is the best choice for high-moisture areas

because it has superior water resistance and can withstand high humidity.

The best Oil-based paint and primer come in oil-modified or alkyd.

The former contains a synthetic resin that makes the color easier to apply and reduces the risk of cracking over time; the latter includes no resin but has a longer drying time (about 24 hours).

Both types are suitable for use on porous surfaces like drywall or plasterboard.

If you’re working with new drywall, we recommend using a latex primer rather than an oil-based one because it dries faster (about 30 minutes) and offers better adhesion than other types of paints do when applied directly onto bare gypsum board without any previous coats beneath them first.

My top pick is Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 all-purpose primer.

Check out Best Primer For Drywall

What type of bathroom ceiling paint is there?

Choosing the right paint is important when it comes to bathroom renovation or any painting project in the bathroom.

Several types of bathroom paints are available, including mildew-resistant, fast-drying, and waterproof options.

Want to know What Paint To Use For Bathrooms?

  • Mildew-resistant paint is specially formulated to resist mold and mildew growth in high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms.
  • Fast-drying paint is ideal for bathrooms because it dries quickly, reducing the chances of water damage.
  • Waterproof paint is also an excellent option for bathrooms since it can withstand exposure to water and moisture without peeling or cracking.

Always choose the paint specifically labeled for bathroom use to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

My go-to bathroom paint is Benjamin Moore-Aura Bath & Spa.

aura bath and spa - best paint and primer for bathroom ceilings

Preparing the Bathroom for Painting

Before you start painting, preparing the bathroom for painting is essential.

This includes cleaning and preparing the surface of your ceiling.

  • Cleaning: You will want to remove any soap scum or existing mold from your walls and ceiling before applying primer or paint. To do so, use warm water with a mild detergent–like dish soap–to wash down all surfaces of your walls and ceilings (including trim).
  • Peeling Paint: If there are areas where paint has peeled away from a wall or ceiling surface, scrape off all paint peeling using either a putty knife or scraper tool until only smooth drywall remains underneath them. Then, once the new drywall compound material has dried, apply another coat of spackle over each area where peeling occurred so that they’re entirely covered again.
  • Applying quick-dry spackle: Once all loose pieces have been removed from around where new repairs need making then, mix up some quick-drying white plaster-based compound into a thick paste consistency. Before applying the mixture, use warm water to wet each affected area thoroughly. Spread the solution evenly using an old rag cloth soaked in clean, warm water mixed with liquid dishwashing detergent like Dawn (this step is vital for preventing staining). Let it dry overnight before starting work again tomorrow morning.

Best Practices for Painting the Bathroom Ceiling

When painting your bathroom ceiling, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you should choose the right type of paint and primer.

Second, you should pick the right color for your space.

Thirdly, apply multiple coats of paint for best results–and allow proper dry time between each coat!

Finally (and most importantly), ensure that your surface finish is smooth so that mildew growth is prevented as much as possible by using mildew-resistant paints like Sherwin Williams Duration Premium 2-Part Polyurethane Enamel or Benjamin Moore Aura Interior Acrylic Latex Paint with Mould Blocker Technology.

Top Tips from Professional Painters

  • Use Kilz Kitchen & Bath for high moisture areas. This primer is designed to be used in areas with high moisture and mold, so it’s a good choice for bathrooms. The paint contains mildewcides that help prevent mold growth on the surface of your ceiling.
  • Special considerations for pregnant women and lead dust. Lead dust is harmful if inhaled or ingested by children under the age of 6 years old; pregnant women should avoid exposure to lead dust and other hazardous substances found in homes, such as asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), because they may harm their developing baby’s health.* Importance of proper ventilation in humid conditions

What Have Homes Led Paint?

Homes built before 1978 are more likely to have lead-based paint. This is because lead-based color was commonly used in homes before its toxicity was fully understood.

what homes have led paint-best primer for bathroom ceilings

In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 87% of homes built before 1940 contain lead-based paint, while 24% of homes built between 1960 and 1978 have lead-based paint. If you live in an older home, it’s important to take proper precautions when removing or renovating any surfaces that may contain lead-based paint to avoid potential lead poisoning from lead dust.

Preventing Mildew Growth in Bathrooms

Mildew thrives in warm and humid environments, making bathrooms a prime target for growth. To prevent mildew growth on your bathroom walls and ceilings, follow these tips:

Keep your bathroom well-ventilated by using an exhaust fan or opening a window. This will help to reduce humidity levels and keep the air circulating.

Wipe down your shower walls, bathtub, and sink after each use to remove any excess moisture. This will help to prevent mildew from growing in these areas.

Use a squeegee to remove excess water from your shower walls after each use. This will help to prevent water from pooling and create an environment for mildew to grow.

Fix any leaks in your bathroom, including leaky faucets or showerheads. Standing water can contribute to mildew growth.

Clean your bathroom regularly using a mildew-resistant cleaner. Be sure to pay attention to areas where moisture can accumulate, such as around your shower or bathtub.

By following these tips, you can help to prevent mildew growth in your bathroom and keep it clean and healthy.

Related article: Remove Mildew From Showers And Bathtubs

mildew in shower

Best Way To Paint A Small Bathroom

Giving your bathroom a fresh coat of paint can make a big difference in its appearance.

Follow these top tips to ensure a successful bathroom painting project:

  1. Prepare the area: Cover the floor with a drop cloth and remove any accessories or fixtures you can. Also, ensure the bathroom is well-ventilated by opening windows or using a fan.
  2. Clean the walls: Make sure the walls are clean and free of dirt, dust, or mildew. Use a cleaning solution and a scrub brush to remove mold before painting.
  3. Choose the right paint: Use a paint labeled explicitly for bathroom use, such as a fast-drying, flat, or matte finish paint. These types of paint are designed to resist moisture and mildew growth.
  4. Prime the walls: Using a primer is recommended for painting bare walls. This will help the paint adhere better and provide a more even finish.
  5. Start painting: Use a brush or roller to apply the paint, starting at the top of the wall and working your way down. Use long, even strokes, and avoid overloading the brush or roller with paint.
  6. Allow the paint to dry: Check the paint’s label for specific drying times and allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat.
  7. Apply a second coat: Once the first coat is dry, apply a second coat of paint to ensure even coverage.

By following these tips, you can achieve a successful bathroom painting project and enjoy a fresh, updated look in your bathroom.

best paint to paint a bathroom

10 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of priming a bathroom ceiling before painting?

Priming helps to create a uniform and smooth surface for the paint to adhere to, ensuring better durability and coverage. It also helps prevent mold and mildew growth by sealing porous surfaces.

How do I choose the suitable primer for my bathroom ceiling?

Choose a primer specifically designed for bathrooms with mold and mildew resistance. Look for products labeled as “kitchen and bath” or “mildew-resistant” primer.

Do I need to clean the bathroom ceiling before applying primer?

Yes, it’s essential to clean the ceiling to remove any dirt, dust, or mildew before applying primer. Use a solution of water and mild detergent or a specialized ceiling cleaner and allow it to dry completely.

How do I prepare the surface of the ceiling for priming?

Remove any peeling paint, sand any rough or uneven areas, and repair any cracks or holes before applying primer. Make sure the surface is clean and dry before proceeding.

How many coats of primer should I apply to the bathroom ceiling?

Typically, one coat of primer is sufficient for most bathroom ceilings. However, if the ceiling is stained or you’re changing the color drastically, applying two coats may be necessary for better coverage.

How long should I wait between applying primer and painting the ceiling?

Allow the primer to dry completely, which can take about 24 hours, before applying the paint. Check the primer’s label for specific drying times.

Can I use a paint-and-primer-in-one product for my bathroom ceiling, or should I use a separate primer?

While paint-and-primer-in-one products can be convenient, a separate primer designed for bathrooms will provide better mold and mildew resistance and ensure a longer-lasting paint job.

What is the best way to apply primer to the bathroom ceiling – brush, roller, or sprayer?

Rollers are a popular choice for applying primer to ceilings, as they provide even coverage and are easier to use than brushes. However, a sprayer can also be effective if you’re experienced in using one.

How can I prevent mold and mildew growth when priming and painting my bathroom ceiling?

Use a mold and mildew-resistant primer and paint, ensure proper ventilation in the bathroom, and keep humidity levels low by using a fan or dehumidifier.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when working with primer in a bathroom, mainly if the paint contains lead?

Wear protective clothing, gloves, and goggles when working with primer. If your paint contains lead, use a lead-safe certified renovator, and follow all necessary safety measures to avoid lead exposure.


You now have all the tools to choose the best primers and paints for bathroom ceilings.
The most important thing to remember is that a good paint job will last longer than anything else when it comes to maintaining your bathroom ceiling. Make sure you use products specifically designed for bathrooms, as they’ll withstand moisture better than regular paints or primers.
If you follow these steps, your bathroom will look great for years!

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