If you’re planning on lining bathroom walls using wainscoting, you need to protect it from moisture. You don’t have to utilize oil-based or exterior paint, though; inside latex paint works well while aiding the paneling look its best.
Mildewcide and Primer
The walls in a bathroom, especially those around the tub and tub, are subjected to condensation and humidity, and many semi-gloss latex paints can defy that. They will better withstand the mold that can grow in such circumstances, however, if you include a mildewcide into the top coat. Since wainscoting is made from wood or fiberboard, you can’t get away with a self-priming paint. A shellac- or latex-based wood tip is critical to seal the grain and improve adhesion. Tinting the primer can help avoid the need for multiple top coats.
Finish With Latex Paint or Polyurethane
Generally, semi-gloss wall paint is durable enough to handle the requirements in a regular bathroom, however not all bathrooms are average. If yours has poor ventilation or you have had previous difficulties with peeling paint and mold, your wainscoting may require a coat of full-gloss latex enamel to correctly protect it. You may prefer to stain the wainscoting as opposed to painting it. If so, safeguard the stain with clear polyurethane; water- and solvent-based products are equally acceptable.