Last updated: August 5, 2021

Welcome to our large damp-proof paint test 2021. Here we present all the damp-proof paints we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best damp-proof paint for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy damp-proof paint.




Summary

  • Damp room paints regulate moisture and actively combat mould.
  • There are three types of damp room paints. Anti-mould paints are damp-proof paints with chemical additives, whereas lime and silicate paints are mineral paints that have a high pH value.
  • Some anti-mould paints may contain biocides that are bad for your health. You should pay attention to the respective product description.

The Best Damp-proof Paint: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying damp-proof paint

What is damp-proof paint?

Damp room paint is a paint that is particularly suitable for rooms with high humidity. Damp-proof paint can also be found under the name "bathroom and kitchen paint". However, damp-proof paints have other areas of application.

Why should I buy damp-proof paint?

Damp rooms have high demands that not every wall paint can meet. As the name implies, damp room paints are manufactured with these demands in mind. High humidity is the ideal breeding ground for mould. Over time, it can trigger allergies and cause asthmatic diseases. Therefore, it is essential to combat this problem.

Damp room paints can combat mould with existing ones and also have a preventive effect for the future. That is why the use of damp room paints makes sense.

Where can I use damp-proof paint?

The most popular areas of application for damp-proof paint are kitchens and bathrooms. Damp-proof paints are also recommended for cellars.

There is no clear definition of the term "damp room". It is often used to describe rooms with constant high humidity and/or rooms without free ventilation.

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Bathrooms, kitchens and cellars are among the damp rooms in our living areas. Since not all paints are moisture-resistant, special damp-proof paints should be used in these areas.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Sebastien LE DEROUT)

At first glance, one assumes the steam from delicious dishes to be the cause of mould growth in the kitchen. However, the ceiling is not the biggest danger, but the areas under the sink and behind the dishwasher. Due to the continuous flow of water through the pipes, these areas are heavily loaded with moisture.

They create favourable conditions for the development of mould, which can be prevented by using an alkaline damp room paint. Everyone knows from experience how damp a bathroom is after a shower. The high level of humidity makes the bathroom a damp room and if you do not ventilate the bathroom well, your bathroom will turn into the favourite habitat of fungi and bacteria.

The presence of these microorganisms poses health risks and should therefore be prevented with a damp room paint. Cellars are usually located below ground level. Therefore, the ventilation possibilities in the cellar are limited and the humidity is high. The damp room paint is moisture-regulating and thus ensures a healthy room climate in the basement as well.

Garages are other rooms like cellars that have only limited ventilation possibilities. As a result, garages are damp from time to time. We thoroughly recommend painting garages with damp room paint. For living rooms and bedrooms, the application of a normal dispersion paint is sufficient, as these rooms usually do not have high humidity.

Nevertheless, if you have a large aquarium or similar and think that your living room is heavily loaded with moisture, the use of damp-proof paint can also be useful in living rooms.

Which surfaces can I paint with damp paint?

Painting damp-proof paint on plasterboard is the most recommended method. Plasterboard is open to diffusion and thus regulates moisture. Thanks to these properties, a plasterboard substrate adapts very comfortably with damp-proof paint.

Damp-proof paint can be applied to plaster. However, the application should not follow directly. It is advantageous to use a primer under the paint. Silicate paint does not adhere to gypsum plaster. Therefore, the substrate should first be treated with silicate primer.

Tip: When painting, start with the ceiling.

You should avoid using an emulsion paint on woodchip wallpaper. The high cellulose content of woodchip wallpaper makes it a good food for fungi. Therefore, woodchip wallpaper is unsuitable for damp rooms, which with its high humidity is an equally suitable habitat for mould.

If you should apply the damp paint to a wallpaper, then choose a vinyl wallpaper or another that is made of plastic - in no case woodchip wallpaper or a simple paper wallpaper. Only a plastic wallpaper offers the mould protection that is achieved with damp room paint because it is open to diffusion.

What does damp-proof paint cost?

The prices of damp-proof paints range from 2.5 to 16 euros per litre. It is possible to find high-quality products for as little as 4 to 8 euros per litre. More expensive products are more suitable for professional applications such as public places and hotels. You can also find quality products at low prices.

What alternatives are there to damp-proof paint?

The following product types are an alternative to damp proof paint:

  • Dispersion paint: Dispersion paint is called the universal wall paint because it is suitable for all interior and exterior areas. Dispersion paint is an emulsion of fillers, binders and solvents, pigments and additives.
  • Latex paint: Latex paints have a high wet abrasion resistance and can be easily cleaned wet. For this reason, they are preferred for particularly exposed surfaces such as staircases and children's rooms.
  • Non-woven wallpapers: Non-woven wallpapers consist of cellulose and textile fibres. Not usual for wallpapers - non-woven wallpapers are open to vapour diffusion. That is why they are also suitable for bathrooms. Most non-woven wallpapers are foamed with PVC and therefore cause a high level of pollution.

In the following table you will find a summary of the suitable areas of application for the above-mentioned product types.

Product type Suitable areas of application
Damp-proof paint Bathroom, kitchen, basement
Emulsion paint All rooms
Latex paint Staircase, children's room, kitchen, bathroom
Non-woven wallpaper All rooms incl. bathroom

Decision: What types of damp paint are there and which is right for you?

If you want to paint a room with damp paint, these three types are available:

  • Anti-mould paint
  • Lime paint
  • Silicate paint

Anti-mould paints are damp room paints with chemical additives. Lime paints and silicate paints are mineral damp-proof paints with natural coating options. Each of these types has certain advantages and disadvantages. In the following paragraphs, we will explain the properties of the different types of damp-proof paints in more detail.

What are the characteristics of anti-mould paints and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Anti-mould paints are mostly dispersion paints with chemical additives for mould protection.

Advantages
  • Active against bacteria and fungi
  • Can be wiped off
  • Can combat existing mould
Disadvantages
  • Usually contain chemicals that are harmful to health, such as chlorine or biocides
  • Active ingredients are used up over time
  • Less open to diffusion

Because of biocide and chlorine content, anti-mould paints are almost exclusively criticised today. However, one should not forget the health hazards of mould. Biocides are a solution against mould and are also used in many other disinfectants. In short, while the product wards off some problems, it brings with it some others. The substances contained in some products can cause allergies and damage to the skin and eyes.

Because of many of the health hazards of anti-mould paint, there is now an incentive to produce paint with anti-mould properties without biocides or other harmful substances. You can find information and warnings about this in the respective product descriptions. Some customers report from experience that the mould protection is contained after a few weeks.

Anti-mould paints can also combat already existing mould and, in contrast to lime paints, have the advantage that anti-mould paint is very scrub-resistant and therefore easy to wipe off.

What distinguishes lime paint and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Lime paint is a mineral paint that has a pH value above 10. The strong alkalinity of the paint gives mould no chance to live. Lime paint regulates moisture and is therefore very suitable for damp interiors.

Advantages
  • Kills germs thanks to high pH value
  • Emission-free
  • Open to diffusion
  • Moisture regulating
  • Ecological production
  • Biodegradable
Disadvantages
  • Not smudge-proof
  • Stains with moisture
  • Not easy to apply
  • Unsuitable for many substrates
  • Not good for painting over

The environmentally friendly lime paint consists of slaked lime and water. However, it is emission-free. Emission-free means that the lime paint does not contain any solvents or plasticisers and

does not emit any toxic substances such as formaldehyde, residual monomers and ammonia. This makes the lime paint also well suited for allergy sufferers. Lime paint cannot simply be painted with a paint roller. Instead, you should use a ceiling brush. Therefore, it is recommended to seek professional help when applying the paint.

Do not apply lime paint to surfaces such as wallpaper or layers of emulsion paint. As a general rule, lime only holds well on lime. You should also be careful when painting over: Lime paint can be recoated with a lime paint. Other alternatives such as emulsion paints do not cover the lime paint. If you still want to paint the room with another colour, the lime paint can be easily removed.

What are the characteristics of silicate paint and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Silicate paint is a mineral paint that is obtained at high temperatures from quartz sand and potassium carbonate. Silicate paint contains potassium water glass as a binder. Silicate paint, which consists of natural substances, is environmentally friendly.

Advantages
  • Acts as a fungicide and germicide
  • High diffusivity
  • Wash-resistant
  • Long-lasting
  • Pollutant-free
  • Purely natural
Disadvantages
  • Only adheres to mineral substrates

  • Strongly alkaline - can have a corrosive effect
  • Eye and skin protection required during application
  • Usually only available from specialist retailers

Silicate paint has a very high pH value. This means that the paint protects against mould and kills germs. The silicate paint is disinfecting and wash-resistant - however, one should protect oneself very well during processing because the paint can have a corrosive effect due to its extremely high alkalinity.

Silicate paint is extremely durable and is therefore also used for the protection of historical monuments. Its lifespan can be more than a hundred years. Today, you can also find damp-proof paints mixed from silicate and dispersion paint on the market. Silicate emulsion paints have some advantages over emulsion paints, such as easy application and application on plaster. They are offered ready to paint in various colour shades. To give you a better idea of the concept of silicate emulsion paints, we have selected a suitable video for you.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate damp-proof paints

We will then show you which aspects you can use to decide which of the many damp-proof paints is the right one for you. The criteria you can use to compare the damp-proof paints with each other include:

In the following, we will go into these criteria in more detail to make your decision easier.

Wet abrasion class

The resistance of a paint to mechanical abrasion is measured by wet abrasion classes. In other words, the wet abrasion class of a paint shows whether you can clean the walls by rubbing with a cloth or sponge, with class 1 paints having the greatest resistance. In the following table you will find the classification of the classes and their more precise measurement:

Classification according to DIN EN 13 300 abrasion
Class 1 less than 5 µm at 200 rubbing cycles
Class 2 greater than 5 µm up to 20 µm at 200 rubbing cycles
Class 3 greater than 20 µm up to 70 µm at 200 rubbing cycles
Class 4 less than 70 µm at 40 rubbing cycles
Class 5 greater than 70 µm at 40 rubbing cycles

The colours of classes 1 and 2 are rub-resistant. These are high-quality wall coatings. For use in damp rooms, we recommend damp room paints of class 1 and 2, as damp rooms are subject to heavy loads.

Yield

Yield describes how many square metres can be covered with one litre of paint. "Covered" means that the contrasts or colour differences in the substrate are no longer visible. We often prime the wall to avoid such contrasts. Nevertheless, the coverage also indicates how much material and energy we can save when painting. The hiding power is classified in classes from 1 to 4 and class 1 describes the highest hiding power. Lime paints have a lower coverage than other damp-proof paints.

Colour shade

Although lime paint and silicate paint are naturally white, they are now also available in different colours. If you are not satisfied with the range of colours available, or if you want to create your own colour mixture, there is the option of mixing paint with colour pigments.

However, when colouring a silicate paint, you should make sure that the pigments are alkali-resistant. Alkali-resistant pigments are inorganic or mineral pigments. Since anti-mould paints are usually dispersion paints with special chemical anti-mould substances, they can be found in a wide range of colours.

Gloss level

The gloss level of a damp-proof paint can have one of the following four levels:

  1. Glossy
  2. Silk gloss
  3. Matt
  4. Dull Matt

The gloss level describes whether the paint reflects light in the main direction of reflection or scattered. The more dispersed the light is reflected, the more matt the paint looks. Ultimately, it is a matter of taste whether you want your walls to look glossy or matt.

Facts worth knowing about damp-proof paint

How do I apply damp-proof paint?

All three types of damp-proof paints have different application requirements. Anti-mould paints and silicate paints can be applied with a paint roller, whereas lime paint should be applied with a ceiling brush. However, the same applies to all damp-proof paints: The substrate should be well primed. If you had mould on the walls before applying a damp paint, you should remove the mould first.

How can I tint damp-proof paint?

Lime paint and silicate paint are strongly alkaline paints, which is why they can only be coloured with pigments that are resistant to high alkalinity. You can buy these pigments in specialist shops.

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Although lime paint and silicate paint are naturally white, they are now also available in different colours in specialist shops.
(Image source: unsplash.com / russn_fckr)

In order for colour pigments in lime paint to disperse well, they are first sumped in water. Then you stir them slowly into the paint, preferably with an electric stirrer, so that the colour does not look cloudy but monotonous.

If your anti-mould paint is an emulsion paint with chemical additives, you can simply mix the paint with tinting colours in the shops or with other anti-mould paints. Further instructions can be found in the respective product descriptions.

It is best to have the paint tinted by a professional so that you have exactly the colour combination you want.

Colours of other types or brands have different characteristics in general and in compatibility. If the colours mixed together have different characteristics other than the shade, it can lead to incompatibility. Consequently, we do not recommend mixing a lime paint or silicate paint with an emulsion paint.

How do I remove damp paint?

To remove silicate paint, you should tap off the entire plaster. However, silicate paint is extremely durable and open to diffusion. For these reasons, it is often not necessary to remove the paint. If you want a different colour, you can paint over the silicate paint again with another silicate paint. If your damp paint is a poorly bound slaked lime, you can wash off the lime paint.

If the lime paint is not suitable for this, you should moisten the lime paint and then remove the lime paint mechanically using a spatula, a wire brush and a grinder. An anti-mould paint based on emulsion paint can peel off over time. In this case, you can simply spackle off the paint. Depending on the type of surface in your room, a different removal method may be suitable.

Image source: Purplequeue/ 123rf.com

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