Interior painting of your home is a project many homeowners choose to undertake themselves. But have you thought about what you will do when doing the interior painting of wet areas?

Painting a house interior is often seen as an easy job that will be fun to do, there are however, certain things you will need to consider. Should you paint with flat paint on the ceiling? What sheen paint should I use on the walls? How do I prepare old paint that has mold? These questions are important to ask because preparation is the key with painting, not just sanding, but insuring you have the right product for the job. So now that we have you asking the questions, this article will endeavor to give you more details around what to consider. Of course, we always recommend speaking with your local paint shop to get the right advice for your circumstance.

What is wet area painting?

The answer most people will give is the bathroom, and this is correct. But in fact, there are 3 main wet areas in a house: bathroom, kitchen, and laundry. As well as these areas having a greater chance of exposure to moisture, they are also exposed more often to cleaning chemicals. This is important to consider, and I will explain more soon. For now, it is important to understand that these rooms must be considered differently when it comes to painting.

Types of paint that can be used in wet areas

In general, you want to use a paint with a minimum of a lowsheen. You should never use flat/matt paints in wet areas unless they are designed for that purpose. However, from an experienced painter’s point of view, I would still stay clear of flat/matt paints.

The next thing to consider is whether the paint has an anti-mold or antibacterial property. These are additives the painting company adds to the paint which will inhibit mold growth. It is important to note these are only available in acrylic paints at this point, and won’t kill all mold, it will only slow its ability to grow.

The other type of paint which works well in wet areas is a water-based enamel. These paints don’t have the same anti-mold additives, but since they are enamels, the paints are much harder wearing. This means that when cleaning regularly with a spray and wipe, it will be more resistant and easier to clean. Only Aalto paints and Resene paints currently produce a lowsheen water-based enamel which works well for painting walls and ceilings.

Wet areas and which paint is best?


Bathrooms are the main interior wet area painting people think of, and for obvious reasons. Water goes everywhere! Whether it is from kids splashing in the bath/shower or washing your face in the morning. The other one is because of steam from the shower, during winter this issue increases due to our showers getting hotter as we try to warm up. This make bathrooms the most likely rooms to grow mold, and as well as looking ugly, it is bad for your health. In these rooms, a paint like Dulux Wash’n’Wear Kitchen & Bathroom low sheen is a great product. It contains an anti-mold additive to reduce how much mold can grow, it is also easy to wipe. Remember though it is best to wipe mold away as soon as it is seen, if left, it will eat its way through the paint and be more expensive to repair.

Interior painting of bathroom


The kitchen is also exposed to lots of splashing from water and steam, either from the dishes, the kettle, or even when boiling food, but it is also exposed to other things. Oils and detergents are as common as water in the kitchen and can be very hard on the painted surfaces. A water-based enamel is a great way to protect these areas while being hard wearing enough to make clean up a breeze. Aalto Water-based Enamel is a premium paint brand that produces a great quality water-based enamel, starting at a flat paint all the way up to a full gloss. Resene SpaceCote is also a quality product that leaves a beautiful finish.

Interior painting of kitchen


The laundry is a unique area out of the 3 of them. First, it can be exposed to large amount of moisture from cleaning things in the sink. It can also be exposed to a large amount of condensation if you run a dryer a lot. Even when the dryer has good ventilation, it is still common for humidity to be high.

On the other hand, the laundry is also where things are often done using chemicals, from storage to washing something unusual, the laundry is where it happens. In such case, you can choose between either paint to use, my personal preference is to use a water-based enamel because we do not own a dryer and it is much easier to clean.

Interior painting of a laundry

Is mold already present?

If you have chosen to paint a wet area because of mold or other stains, then special attention will need to be given to preparation. Give all the areas a good clean using sugar soap, it is important you take your time and do this properly. Once it has dried, give the surface a quick sand and paint with pigmented sealer, skipping this step will only end in tragedy! Why? Because the mold will bleed through any water-based paint you use, regardless of how many coats you put on. Once it has been sealed with pigmented sealer, you are safe to apply your topcoats.

Interior painting with mold

Which ever paint you choose when painting interior wet areas, it is important to use a paint that is designed for the purpose. This will prevent many issues, issues that can arise as quickly as 6 months after painting in some circumstances.

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