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I just removed some wallpaper from a shower ceiling. I now have exposed drywall. What type of primer and paint do you suggest I use? I'm overwhelmed by the oil/water/latex bases, and when to use which. It stands to reason, being a shower, that moisture is top concern.

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Oil based / latex isn't a "where" question as much as it is an "on what" question. With drywall, latex will be fine. On wood you want oil based.

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What about primer? – Evan Carroll Sep 26 '12 at 16:10
Same. Oil for wood, latex for drywall (greenboard preferred as DA01 said). You want to be sure to use a finish coat paint made for bathrooms/damp environments as well. – The Evil Greebo Sep 26 '12 at 16:13
BTW water based, as far as I know, is synonymous with latex. I may be wrong on that point but I've never seen a non-latex water based paint. Much easier clean up with that than with oil. – The Evil Greebo Sep 26 '12 at 16:15
@Evan the primer you need is standard sheetrock primer--though if you have any glue residue from the wallpaper, that may require something slightly different. – DA01 Sep 26 '12 at 16:34
@TheEvilGreebo do you have more info on the wood=oil based? I've never used oil based paint on primed wood. Latex has always seemed to work fine for me. Aside from sealing pine, perhaps, is there other reasons to consider oil based on wood? – DA01 Sep 26 '12 at 16:35

Ideally, if it's standard sheetrock, I'd suggest removing it. You normally want to use 'greenboard' (sheetrock with a waxed paper layer) or, even better, the paperless wallboard products like Densarmor (they use a fiberglass layer rather than paper). The paper is what the mildew will like to 'eat' so removing as much of that as you can, the better.

Barring that, they do make paints specifically for bathrooms. They usually have some sort of anti-mildew additive.

Finally, be sure the bathroom is properly vented. That, alone, is the single best solution. If there is no ceiling fan, invest in that first.

To answer the specifics:

Latex is water based, so that's the same thing. And is what you want to use--specifically ones labeled for bathrooms and high-moisture areas (ie, they have the mildew preventative additive). You COULD use Oil based paint, and that has historically been something to use in a bathroom, but latex paints have come a long way and Oil based interior paint is now a rarity and likely not what most DIYers would want to use anyways (it's a bit more finicky and smelly to apply and a lot more messy to clean up).

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This didn't answer the question at all. It's specifically about the type of primer and paint with regards to latex, oil, or water (and preferably why, so I understand it). – Evan Carroll Sep 26 '12 at 16:01
Actually the point about anti-mildew additives is relevant. But yea, the answer is kind of "out of scope"... – The Evil Greebo Sep 26 '12 at 16:14
@Evan see updates. Hope that answers your question. – DA01 Sep 26 '12 at 16:32

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