Damp Proof Paint: Review & Recommendations

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Welcome to our big Damp Room Colour Test 2020, where we present all the damp room colours we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information for you and also added a summary of the customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best wet room colour for you.

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

The most important facts in brief

  • Damp room paints are moisture-regulating and actively work against mould.
  • There are three types of wet room colours. Anti-mould paints are damp room paints with chemical additives, whereas lime and silicate paints are mineral paints with a high pH value.
  • Some anti-mould paints may contain biocides that are bad for health. You should follow the respective product description.

Damp proof colour test: Favourites of the editors

  • The best anti-mould paint
  • The best lime paint
  • The best silicate paint

The best anti-mould paint

Pufa’s anti-mould paint is resistant to repeated mould infestation. Due to the long-term film protection it is durable. According to DIN EN 13300, the paint is of wet abrasion class 2 and contrast ratio class 2, making it abrasion resistant and providing good coverage. The Pufas anti-mould paint is solvent-free and sprayable.

The anti-mould paint is particularly distinguished by its long-lasting mould protection. The suitability of the product for spraying offers a comfortable and easy application. If you are looking for a quick solution for mould, whether in the bathroom or bedroom, this product is ideal for you.

The best lime paint

AURO Profi lime paint is a mineral damp room paint based on marsh lime. It is open to vapour diffusion, absorbs odours and has a preventive effect against mould. The lime paint can be used on mineral substrates, plasterboard or clay.

This ecological paint provides a very good indoor climate. If you want to colour the lime paint, there are many offers of colour shades available from the brand.

If you want to create your own colour mix while protecting the environment, this lime paint is the best for you.

The best silicate paint

RyFo Colors silicate interior paint with its mineral alkalinity offers a natural mould protection. The paint is biocide-, solvent-, preservative- and odour-free. Therefore it is well suited for allergy sufferers. The product belongs to class 1 in terms of wet abrasion resistance and covering power.

This ecological silicate paint is very suitable for allergy sufferers, as it is free of many allergenic agents. This makes this damp room paint particularly suitable for living rooms, bedrooms and other sensitive areas such as hospitals.

Advisor: Questions you should deal with before you buy damp-proof paint

What is damp-proof paint?

Damp room paint is a coating agent that is particularly suitable for rooms with high humidity.
Damp room paint can also be found under the name “Bathroom and kitchen paint”. However, the wet room colours have other areas of application.

Why should I buy damp-proof paint?

Damp rooms have high demands, which not every wall colour can fulfil. As the name implies, damp room colours are manufactured with these demands in mind.
The high air humidity is the ideal breeding ground for mould. Over time, it can cause allergies and asthmatic diseases. This is why this problem must be combated at all costs.

Damp room paints can combat existing mould and also have a preventive effect for the future. That is why the use of damp-proof paints is sensible.

Where can I use damp-proof paint?

The most popular areas of application for wet room paint are kitchen and bathroom. Damp room colours are also recommended for basements.

There is no clear definition of the term “wet room”. It often refers to rooms with constant high humidity and/or rooms without free ventilation.

At first glance, the steam from delicious dishes is assumed to be the cause of mould growth in the kitchen. However, the ceiling is not the greatest 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-proof paint.

Everyone knows from experience how damp a bathroom is after a shower. The high level of humidity makes the bathroom a humid place and if you can’t ventilate the bathroom well, your bathroom will turn into the favourite habitat of fungi and bacteria. The presence of these microorganisms brings health risks and should therefore be combated preventively with a damp room paint.

Cellars are usually located below the ground surface. Therefore the ventilation possibilities in the cellar are low and the air humidity is high. The damp room colour is moisture regulating and thus ensures a healthy room climate even in the cellar.

Garages are other rooms like cellars, which have limited ventilation possibilities. Therefore the garage is damp from time to time. We strongly recommend painting garages with damp room paint.

For living rooms and bedrooms the application of a normal emulsion 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 polluted with moisture, the use of damp room paint can also be useful in living rooms.

Which substrate can I paint over with damp-proof paint?

Painting wet room paint on plasterboard is the most recommended method. Plasterboard is open to diffusion and thus moisture-regulating. 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 stick to gypsum plaster. Therefore, the substrate should be first applied with silicate primer.

Tip: Start with the ceiling when painting.

The use of emulsion paint on woodchip should be avoided. The high cellulose content of woodchip wallpaper provides good nutrition for fungi. Therefore, woodchip wallpaper is not suitable for damp rooms, which with its high humidity is an equally suitable habitat for mould.

If you should apply the damp-proof paint to a wallpaper, choose a vinyl wallpaper or another one that is made of plastic – never woodchip wallpaper or simple paper wallpaper. Only plastic wallpaper offers the mould protection that is achieved with damp-proof paint because it is diffusion-open.

What does damp-proof paint cost?

The prices of the wet room colours are between 2.5 and 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 like public places and hotels. You can also find quality products at reasonable prices.

Where can I buy damp-proof paint?

You can buy damp-proof paint in specialist shops and DIY stores as well as in online shops. You will find a wide range of products and direct advice from our staff on the respective product.
According to our research, these online shops sell most of the damp-proof paints:

obi.com
amazon.com
idealo.com
hornbach.com
otto.de

All wet room colours that we present to you on our site have a link to at least one of these shops. Once you have found a kitchen and bathroom colour that you like, you can strike right away.

What alternatives are there to damp-proof paint?

The following product types are an alternative to damp room 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 wet cleaned. For this reason, they are preferred for particularly stressed surfaces such as stairwells and children’s rooms.
Non-woven wallpapers: Non-woven wallpapers consist of cellulose and textile fibres. Not used to wallpapers – non-woven wallpapers are vapour diffusion open. Therefore they are also suitable for bathrooms. Most non-woven wallpapers are foamed with PVC and therefore they cause a high pollution.

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

Decision: What types of wet room paint are there and which one is right for you?

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

  • Anti-mould paint
  • Kalkfarbe
  • Silicate paint

Anti-mould inks are damp room inks with chemical additives. Lime paints and silicate paints are mineral damp room paints with natural coating possibilities.

Each of these species has certain advantages and disadvantages. In the following paragraphs, we will explain the properties of different types of damp-proof paint in more detail.

What distinguishes anti-mould paint and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

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

Advantages

Active against bacteria and fungi
Wipeable
Can combat existing mould

Disadvantages

Mostly contain harmful chemicals such as chlorine or biocides
Active ingredients are used up over time
Less permeable

Because of their biocide and chlorine content, anti-mould paints are almost exclusively criticised today. In addition, 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 fends off some problems, it brings some others with it.

The substances contained in some products can trigger allergies and cause damage to skin and eyes.

Because of the many health risks of anti-mould paint, there is now an incentive to produce paints with mould protection 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 curbs after a few weeks.

Anti-mould paints can also combat existing mould and, unlike lime paints, have the advantage that anti-mould paint is highly resistant to abrasion and can therefore be easily wiped off.

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

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

Advantages

Kills germs thanks to high pH value
Emission-free
Diffusion open
Moisture-regulating
Organic production
Biodegradable

Disadvantages

Not smudge-proof
Stains with damp
Not easy to process
Unsuitable for many surfaces
Not easy to paint over

The environmentally friendly lime paint consists of slaked lime and water. However, it is emission-free. Emission-free means that the lime paint contains no solvents or softeners and does not release any toxic substances such as formaldehyde, residual monomers and ammonia. This means that the lime paint is also suitable for allergy sufferers.

Lime paint cannot be simply painted with a paint roller. Instead, you should use a ceiling brush. Therefore, it is recommended to seek professional help when applying the paint.

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

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

Silicate paint is a mineral paint obtained at high temperatures from quartz sand and potassium carbonate. As a binder, silicate paint contains potassium water glass. The silicate paint, which consists of natural materials, is environmentally friendly.

Advantages

Fungicidal and germicidal effect
High diffusibility
Washproof
Durable
Pollutant-free
Purely natural

Disadvantages

Adheres only on mineral substrates
Strongly alkaline – can be corrosive
Eye and skin protection required during processing
Usually only available in specialist shops

Silicate paint has a very high pH value. This protects the paint from mould and kills germs. The silicate paint is disinfectant and wash-resistant – however, you should protect yourself very well during application because the paint can be corrosive due to its extremely high alkalinity.

Silicate paint is extremely durable and is therefore also used for monument protection. Their service life can be more than a hundred years.

Today, mixed wet room paints made of silicate and emulsion paint are also available on the market. The silicate dispersion paints have some advantages of dispersion paints like easy application and processing on gypsum. They are offered ready for painting in different colour shades.

To give you a better idea of the concept of silicate dispersion paints, we have selected a suitable video for you.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and evaluate damp-proof paint based on these factors

Afterwards, we will show you which aspects will help you decide which of the many wet room colours is the right one for you.

The criteria you can use to compare wet room colours include

  • Wet abrasion class
  • Yield
  • Hue
  • Gloss level

In the following we take a closer look at these criteria to make your decision easier.

Wet abrasion class

The resistance of an ink to mechanical abrasion is measured by wet abrasion classes. In other words, the wet abrasion class of a paint indicates whether you can clean the walls by rubbing with a cloth or sponge, with class 1 paints having the highest resistance.

In the following table you will find the division of the classes and their more precise measurement:

The colours of classes 1 and 2 are scrub resistant. These are high-quality wall coatings. For use in damp rooms, we recommend damp room paints of class 1 and 2, as the damp rooms are heavily loaded.

Yield

Yield describes how many square meters can be covered with one liter 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 yield 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 yield than other wet room paints.

Hue

Although lime paint and silicate paint are naturally white, today they are also available in different colours.

If you are not satisfied with the available range of colours or if you want to create your own colour mixture, there is the possibility to mix colour 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.

As the anti-mould paints are mostly emulsion paints with special chemical anti-mould substances, they can be found in a wide range of colours.

Gloss level

The gloss level of a wet room ink can have one of the following four levels:

    Glossy
    Silky lustre
    Matt
    Dull matt

The degree of gloss describes whether the color reflects the light in the main direction of reflection or scattered. The more scattered the light is reflected, the duller the colour looks.

Ultimately it is a matter of taste whether you want your walls to look glossy or matt.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about wet room paint

How do I process damp-proof paint?

All three types of damp proof inks have different application requirements.

Anti-mildew 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 room paints: The surface should be well primed.

If you have already had mould on the walls before applying a damp room paint, you should first remove the mould.

How can I tint damp-proof paint?

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

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 mixer, so that the paint does not look cloudy but monotonous.

If your anti-mould paint is a dispersion paint with chemical additives, you can simply mix the paint with tinting paints on the market or with other anti-mould paints. You will find further instructions in the respective product descriptions.

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

Colours of other types or brands have different properties in general and compatibility. If the colours mixed together have different characteristics apart from the shade, this can lead to incompatibilities. Consequently, we do not recommend mixing a lime paint or silicate paint with a dispersion paint.

How do I remove damp-proof paint?

To remove silicate paint, you should tap the entire plaster. However, silicate paint is extremely durable and diffusible. For these reasons it is often not necessary to remove the paint. If you would like to have a different colour, you can paint over the silicate paint again with a different silicate paint.

If your wet room paint is a poorly bound slaked lime, you can wash off the lime paint. If the lime paint is not suitable, you should moisten the lime paint and then remove the lime paint mechanically with a spatula, wire brush and grinder.

An anti-mould paint based on dispersion paint can be peeled off over time. In this case you can simply smooth the paint off. Depending on the surface of your room, there may be a different method of removal.

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