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What type of paint is best for a laundry room?

What type of paint is best for a laundry room?

When choosing paint for a laundry room, there are a few key factors to consider: moisture resistance, stain resistance, durability, ease of cleaning, and aesthetics. Laundry rooms tend to have high humidity levels from steam and water splashes. They are also prone to stains from dirt, grease, and cleaning products. The ideal laundry room paint should stand up to moisture, stains, and frequent cleaning without fading, peeling, or wearing down over time.

Moisture-Resistant Paints

Look for paints specifically formulated for bathrooms and laundry rooms when moisture resistance is a top priority. Latex or acrylic interior paints are already somewhat moisture-resistant, but paints promoted for bathrooms and laundry rooms offer extra protection. Here are some top options:

  • Alkyd/oil-based enamel paint – Provides a glossy, highly stain-resistant finish that repels water.
  • Epoxy paint – Extremely durable two-part paint that resists moisture, stains, and chemicals.
  • Moisture-resistant latex or acrylic paint – Latex paint with additives to improve moisture resistance.
  • Mold/mildew resistant latex or acrylic paint – Formulated to resist mold and mildew growth.

Oil-based enamels provide the best protection against moisture, but require mineral spirits for cleanup. Epoxies are extremely tough and water-resistant, but also require solvents. Water-based latex or acrylic paints are the easiest to apply and clean up after. Look for those marketed as bathroom/kitchen, mold/mildew resistant, or high-performance for laundry rooms.

Stain-Resistant Paints

Laundry rooms need paint that can stand up to food, grease, mud, and other tough household stains. These paint options resist staining and make stains easy to clean off:

  • Enamel paint – Oil-based enamels naturally resist stains due to their glossy finish.
  • Epoxy paint – Nearly impervious to stains.
  • Semi-gloss or gloss latex/acrylic paint – More resistant to staining than flat sheens.
  • Stain-blocking primer – Priming walls before painting adds an extra layer of stain protection.
  • Paint with stain-resistant additives – Some latex paints add stain guard technology.

Glossier paint finishes are easier to clean and resist stains better. However, glossy paint also highlights flaws like bumps and imperfections. Using semi-gloss gets some of the benefits of gloss without being quite as reflective. An oil-based enamel, epoxy, or stain-blocking primer topped with a stain-resistant latex paint gives the ultimate stain protection.

Durable and Scrubbable Paints

Frequent cleaning takes a toll on paint. Using durable paints formulated to withstand scrubbing minimizes wear. Consider these features when selecting laundry room paint:

  • Enamel paint – Hard oil-based finish resists yellowing, cracking, and peeling.
  • Epoxy paint – Hard, ceramic-like finish is extremely durable and scrubbable.
  • Polyurethane paint – Contains a protective top layer to resist scratches and wear.
  • Semi-gloss/gloss finish – More resistant to cleaning than flat.
  • Higher sheen latex/acrylic – Look for “scrubbable” or “washable” finishes.
  • Harder paint – Paints with harder resins hold up better to cleaning.

Enamel, epoxy, and polyurethane paints are all extremely durable options suitable for laundry rooms. For easiest application, look for interior latex paints promoted as scrubbable, washable, or heavy-duty. Paint sheens above flat provide added durability. Test paint first since not all latex paints are created equal when it comes to scrubbability.

Mold and Mildew Resistant Paint

The warm, humid environment in laundry rooms can allow mold and mildew growth. Using mold resistant paint inhibits mold and mildew.

  • Epoxy paint – Nonporous so moisture cannot penetrate to allow mold.
  • Oil-based enamel – Resists moisture.
  • Mold/mildew resistant latex paint – Formulated to inhibit mold and mildew.
  • Anti-microbial paint – Contains anti-microbial additives to resist mold.
  • Light colors – Don’t show mold growth as much as dark colors.

Epoxy and oil-based enamel paints are highly moisture-resistant. Latex paints with anti-microbial additives or promoted for bathrooms/kitchens offer easier clean up and application. Stay away from darker colors like black and navy, since any mold is harder to spot before it spreads.

Easy Cleaning and Maintenance

Frequent wipe-downs mean laundry room paint needs an easily cleanable finish:

  • Semi-gloss/gloss sheen – Glossier finishes don’t hold onto dirt, grease, and grime.
  • Light to medium color – Lighter paint is easier to touch up when needed.
  • Satin or matte finish – Provides some sheen for easy cleaning without the high reflectivity of gloss.
  • Same brand for re-painting – Re-painting only sections is less obvious when using the same paint brand/color.

Eggshell, satin, or low-luster semi-gloss latex or acrylic paints provide a good balance of stain resistance and easy cleaning without too much shine. Neutral to medium colors like grays, taupes, and lighter blues also hide scuffs better than white.

Aesthetics and Decor

Paint color and finish set the overall decor tone and style of a laundry room. Consider the look you want as well as practical needs:

  • Bright white – Fresh, clean look and reflects light.
  • Soft white or gray – More subtle alternative to bright white.
  • Color -Adds personality with pastels, deeper hues, or an accent wall.
  • Patterned feature wall – Bold laundry-themed stencil or interesting geometric or floral pattern.
  • Glossy finish – Sleek, stylish look.
  • Matte finish – Understated and sophisticated.
  • Matching cabinetry – Coordinating wall and cabinet paint unifies the space.

Traditional choices like white or gray are safe picks, but don’t overlook injecting more color if desired. For example, a light sunny yellow delivers cheer and pairs nicely with whites and grays. Contrasting hues on cabinetry make appliances and fixtures pop. Don’t forget the ceiling – paint or wallpaper introduces interesting detail overhead.


The perfect laundry room paint withstands moisture, stains, frequent cleaning, and sometimes rambunctious kids. Top options include:

  • Oil-based enamel – Extremely durable, moisture-resistant, and scrubbable glossy finish.
  • Epoxy paint – Nearly indestructible with ceramic-like finish that protects against moisture and stains.
  • Latex/acrylic bathroom/kitchen paint – Formulated with moisture, stain, and mold resistance for laundries.
  • High gloss latex/acrylic enamel – Budget-friendly durable gloss.
  • Satin or semi-gloss latex/acrylic – All-purpose sheens easier to apply than gloss.

Consider primer formulated for bathrooms or high-traffic areas for added durability. Darker, glossier paints show scuffs and stains readily, so opt for lighter eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss sheens. Color choice makes a decor statement – white for a fresh feel or infuse personality with a vivid hue. With the right protective paint, laundry room walls withstand the demands of heavy use in this busy space.