The objective of this study is to evaluate how synthetic and natural surface finishes, with or without antimicrobial chemical additives, impact microbial viability in the built environment. To simulate a wall surface environment in a typical home or office space, mold-resistant drywall coupons painted with conventional mold-resistant paint, antimicrobial paint, and natural clay paint were inoculated with a synthetic microbial community containing five bacterial strains isolated from indoor dust samples. Microbial viability was monitored for seven days under dry, ambient, and wet treatment conditions. Four of the five isolates selected were shown to be sensitive to exposure to antimicrobial paint, whereas the last was suspected to form endospores to facilitate its survival under environmental stresses. Clay paint and conventional mold-resistant paint selected for different members within the same community. These results will provide meaningful information to guide decisions on interior design. Follow-up research will further investigate the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in real-world buildings containing antimicrobial surface finishes.