Should You Use Mildew-Resistant Paint in a Bathroom?

Mold grows easily in most bathrooms, but mildew-resistant paint can help

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Q. Is it important to use mildew-resistant paint in my bathroom?

A. Mildew is a type of mold that thrives in moist places, so you're right to be thinking about it when you paint your bathroom. Using a mildew-resistant paint can keep growth at bay, especially on the shower ceiling.

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"Moisture from showering collects and may soak into a room's paint," says Rico de Paz, a chemist and engineer who runs CR's paint tests. "Paints that are resistant to mildew not only resist water absorption by forming an impenetrable paint film but also contain fungicides that kill mildew spores before they can grow at all."

Mold spores love crevices that they can attach to, so a smooth surface is better. "We also advise a satin or semi-gloss finish," says de Paz. "They're less likely to trap mold and are easier to clean than flat or eggshell finishes."

Best Interior Paints From CR's Tests

Here are four top paints from our tests, listed in alphabetical order. For more information, see our paint buying guide and our full interior paint ratings for details on the nearly two dozen lines of paint we test, including those from Behr, Benjamin Moore, Kilz, PPG, Prestige Paints, and Valspar.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the August 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.