Can you use kitchen paint in a bathroom

DIY Hack: Can You Use Kitchen Paint in a Bathroom?

Last Updated on January 18, 2023

You’ve just finished painting your kitchen, but you have some leftover paint that might be wasted if you do not use it. And as you are wondering what you are going to do with the paint, a question pops up: can you use kitchen paint in a bathroom?

Both rooms have the same characteristic—the walls regularly come into contact with water. Can such similarities make your kitchen paint suitable for bathroom walls too? Well, in this post, we will give you an insight into kitchen paint so that it’ll be easier for you to know whether it is also suitable for bathroom walls or not.

Kitchen Paint in a Nutshell

Manufactured to be used on kitchen walls and wet environments, kitchen paint has special chemical formulas that make it resistant to water, tear, and wear. Since water can get on kitchen walls as you wash dishes and cook, most kitchen paints are designed to save walls from water splashes.

What Makes Kitchen Paint Effective?

Grease Resistance/Oil Resistance

Food splashes contain grease from cooking oils and will leave stubborn stains on your kitchen walls. Wiping off grease from different surfaces can be quite hectic, especially if the surface is not grease resistant.

Kitchen paint forms a coating that is resistant to grease. While grease might stick to the coating, it will not adhere to the surface completely. As a result, cleaning and wiping grease stains from walls covered with grease-resistant paint is relatively easy. Some kitchen paints have stain-resistant properties for streamlining the cleaning process.

Mould Resistance

Most kitchens harbour a humid environment, which fosters the growth of mould. Walls close to sinks and cooking areas might get mouldy if the paint is not resistant to mould.

As a result, multiple kitchen paints have a chemical formula which minimises mould growth. However, other paints may not feature such properties.

Moisture Resistance

Walls in kitchens are constantly exposed to moisture and wet conditions and can absorb moisture easily. For instance, steam might condense on kitchen walls while cooking, or water splashes from the sink can affect the walls.

Paints designed to be used in kitchens have moisture-resistance properties and can handle water splashes easily.

Ordinary, non-moisture resistant paints absorb water faster than kitchen paints; these, instead, slow down the rate at which water seeps through them.

The Differences Between Kitchen and Bathroom Paint

Here are the main differences between kitchen and bathroom paint:


Kitchen and bathroom paints are available in a wide array of paint colours, but they provide different types of finishes.

Kitchen Paint Finish

Once the kitchen paint dries off, it leaves a matt finish on your kitchen walls. Unlike other types of paint finishes, matt paint (also known as flat paint) is quite effective in hiding multiple wall defects. However, water can penetrate through the matt emulsion finish at a faster rate compared to bathroom emulsion paint.

While the humidity levels in kitchens can rise to a certain extent, most kitchens are equipped with ventilation mechanisms to improve air circulation and reduce overall humid levels.

Bathroom Paint Finish

Bathroom paints can either leave a glossy finish or a satin finish on walls. Plus, semi-gloss paints are also used in various bathrooms to control moisture. Obviously, most bathrooms have high humidity levels—actually, the highest humidity levels in the house. For example, a hot shower produces a lot of steam within a short period, increasing the bathroom’s humidity level.

Due to this, bathroom walls need paint with strong moisture and steam-resistant properties that might not be featured in standard paint.

A satin finish is always used on bathroom walls due to its attractive appearance. And in terms of water resistance, gloss paint is more effective in protecting walls from moisture than satin finishes.

Mould Resistance

Unlike kitchen paints and the standard emulsion paint, all bathroom paints have an anti-mould chemical formula that prevents mould growth, saving your walls from fungi.

The Reason Why Kitchen Paint Can Be Suitable for Bathroom Walls

Once you get some insight into different types of paint, the question becomes more intriguing than before; so, can you actually use any type of kitchen paint in a bathroom?

Well, in terms of properties, kitchen paints are quite similar to bathroom paints and can protect bathrooms from humid conditions. Water resistance and mould resistance are the most attractive properties of kitchen paint.

Kitchen and Bathroom Paint FAQs

What if My Kitchen Paint Is Not Resistant to Mould?

Use a primer coat with antifungal effects before applying the kitchen paint to your bathroom walls. A mould-resistant topcoat can also save your walls from fungi. Several coats of paint can give the desired results. Not to mention, the recoat time ranges from 6-7 hours.

Do You Need Special Paint for Bathrooms?

Due to tough moisture and steam, bathroom walls should be covered with water-resistant paint to minimise the effects of moisture on walls. Any paint that is designed to handle moisture and mould can be used in bathrooms. However, it is always advisable to use the right paint type.

Will Regular Paint Work Well in Wet Areas?

Young woman painting ceramic wall tiles

Standard paint might not be ideal for bathrooms. Regular paint cannot handle high moisture content in bathrooms and kitchens as it does in other rooms. And if you apply it on kitchen or bathroom walls, it won’t be as durable as the paints manufactured from specific formulas.

After a certain period, blisters will appear on the bathroom walls. The paint might also peel off due to high humidity. To avoid such defects, apply water-resistant paint in rooms with high humidity levels.

How Often Can You Repaint Bathrooms and Kitchens?

You should paint both kitchen and bathroom walls every four years. As mentioned earlier, small amounts of moisture can seep through the paint coating causing various defects. If you repaint your kitchen and bathroom walls every four years, your walls will be saved from moisture-related defects.

Make the Most of Your Excess Kitchen Paint

Can you use kitchen paint in a bathroom? By now, you should have all the info needed to know if you can use your excess kitchen paint in your bathroom.

Most kitchen paints are produced from special formulas and chemicals, making them moisture-resistant and mould-resistant, and therefore suitable to be applied on bathroom walls. Don’t pour away the leftover paint after you’ve painted your kitchen. Instead, give your bathroom walls a new look.

Make sure, however, to check whether the paint is resistant to mould or not. Some kitchen paints might not have this property. If that’s the case, you should apply mould-resistant coats on your bathroom walls before using the kitchen paint.

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