Mold is unsightly and, if left unchecked, could damage your property and your health. The best mold-resistant paints help stop the spread of mold, especially in rooms like your kitchen and bathroom, where moisture is more of an issue.
We look at mildew-resistant paints, rating them for ease of application, anti-mold qualities, and cost.
- Nanotechnology resists water and is also alkali-resistant
- Touch dry in 1-hour and recoats in 4 hours
- Low VOCs and kind to the environment
- Mildew-resistant even on your exterior wood
- Up to 500 square feet coverage
- Dries in 3 hours and recoats in 6 to 8 hours
- It dries in a soft-sheen finish
- Washable and mold-resistant for 5 years
- Ideal for walls and ceilings
- Covers up to 400 square feet
- Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
- Water-based, so it is kinder to the environment
- Covers up to 350 square feet
- Scrubbable and water-resistant
- Dries in about 2 hours and low VOCs
Does Mold-Resistant Paint Really Work?
Mold-resistant paint helps to stop mold from spreading thanks to its antimicrobial qualities. Mold loves damp and dark spaces. Any area of your home that has poor ventilation, and a combination of humidity and heat, will take hold and grow.
Mold-resistant paint kills mold spores and slows the spread of the nasty black fungus. However, it will not entirely banish mold and mildew. Over time, they slowly start to grow back.
Types of Mold-Resistant Paint
Choice is a wonderful thing, but unless you know which mildew-resistant paint works for you, how do you decide? Here are some pointers:
Matte paint has no reflective qualities. It has between 0 and 10 percent gloss, and it dries flat, so if you have a room that gets almost no natural light, you might want to consider a gloss finish.
Matte is better for low impact, drier areas of the house like ceilings and high walls. And because it is a matte finish, it isn’t as robust as other types and harder to clean. You can use it in bedrooms and living spaces, as well as kid’s bedrooms.
You might get away with using matte paint on the bathroom ceiling, but that’s about it for water resistance.
Eggshell has many of the same qualities as matte paint. The gloss quantities are slightly higher at 10 to 25 percent but still dries with a soft reflective sheen. It is more durable than flat paint, but it is still better for areas with low moisture content.
It’s also easier to clean because there is slightly more of a sheen.
Satin paint has a slightly more vibrant luster than eggshell, with about 20 to 35 percent gloss. It is more hard-wearing than eggshell, but there is very little to differentiate the finish.
Satin is a good middle-ground option, with better cleaning qualities without the high gloss sheen. You can use satin paint in high-traffic areas, but don’t expect it to hide imperfections and blemishes like matte and eggshell.
Low or Semi-Gloss
This is a popular choice among homeowners because it is used in high-traffic and moisture-rich rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. Thanks to its 35 to 70 percent gloss content, it reflects light to brighten up low light areas. It can also be used in indoor and outdoor situations, and it is easy to clean.
With a gloss content of 70 to 100 percent, high gloss paint is the most hard-wearing and reflective of all the paint options. It reflects light in low-light rooms and is super easy to clean.
You can apply it to just about anywhere and to any surface. You can use it on window frames, door trims, woodwork, and moldings.
How To Choose the Best Mold Resistant Paint
What are the key things you should be looking for when shopping for mold-resistant paint? Here’s a rundown of the key considerations before you commit to a purchase.
Once it’s down, how long will it stay down between fresh coats? The mold and mildew repelling features of the paint probably won’t last as long as the paint will stay looking good, but at least you still get a nice-looking coat of paint.
Of course, if you want to boost the moisture resistance, you could always paint on a fresh layer.
How far will the paint spread? Most cans of paint come in 1-gallon tins, so the amount of coverage you get is important to determine your costs.
You can expect anywhere between 250 and 400 square feet, depending on the quality and porosity of the surface.
Oil-Based vs. Water-Based
The formula of the paint makes a difference in coverage, cost, and drying times.
Oil-based paints are made up of solvents and other chemical compounds that evaporate when they dry. This gives off VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which can be harmful to your health.
Oil-based paints are also damaging to the environment because when you wash your brushes or roller clean, the solvents drain into the water system, poisoning the planet. However, oil-based paints have greater resistance to wear and tear.
You also get a higher sheen, although this does fade over time.
Water-based paints consist mainly of water, so they have a lower environmental impact and fewer VOCs. It means that there are lower health risks because you don’t have to breathe in vapors as the paint dries.
These paints are often referred to as acrylic paints, and they last longer because they have a lower sheen. They also offer more flexibility when they dry, reducing cracks.
Mold and mildew-resistant paint should repel water because it is the primary food source that causes black mold spores to grow. You need the paint to have that special resilience, otherwise, it would just be ordinary paint.
Higher gloss paint has the best waterproofing because the sheen has more luster, meaning the water beads on the surface, ready to be wiped dry.
The Best Mold Resistant Paints of 2021
We spent hours gauging the opinions of the public and professionals to bring you our definitive list of the top mold-resistant paints.
KILZ Interior/Exterior Basement Paint
This KILZ mold-resistant paint is ideal for exterior and interior use. It is specially formulated to resist mold growth on basement floors, where higher moisture levels are present in the sub-floor level.
It uses nanotechnology to form a seal to prevent water infiltration, while the alkali-resistant coating provides long-lasting protection.
This 1-gallon can cover 75 to 125 square feet depending on the porosity of the surface. You need a minimum of 2 coats, and it dries to the touch after 1-hour and is ready for recoats after 4 hours.
It withstands water pressure of 12 PSI, and because it is a water-based paint, it is kind to the environment, and the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are low.
However, if your basement gets a lot of foot traffic, you might be better using an epoxy.
- Nanotechnology resists water and is also alkali-resistant.
- Touch dry in 1-hour and recoats in 4 hours.
- Low VOCs and kind to the environment.
- Withstands water pressure up to 12 PSI.
- Epoxy paint is more robust for high-traffic areas.
|Coverage||75 to 125 square feet|
|Drying time||4 hours|
|Value for money||$$|
KILZ Exterior Fence, Patio and Siding Paint
This is the second KILZ mold-resistant paint to feature, but this one is a dedicated exterior formula. It covers decking, siding, and fences, providing a mildew-resistant coating that soaks deep into the wood fibers.
It is an oil-based product, so you do get stronger odors and VOCs as the paint dries. It’s also damaging to the environment, and you need mineral spirits to clean your tools when the task is complete.
This one dries in 3 hours to a matte finish, and you can recoat after 6 to 8 hours. You also get 200 square feet of coverage on porous surfaces and up to 500 square feet on non-porous surfaces.
You can spray this paint, roll, or brush it on, although you might need a thinner to dilute the formula if you are spraying.
- Mildew-resistant even on your exterior wood.
- Up to 500 square feet coverage.
- Dries in 3 hours and recoats in 6 to 8 hours.
- Spray, roll, or brush this paint on.
- High VOCs and strong odors.
- Oil-based paint is damaging to the environment.
|Coverage||200 to 500 square feet depending on porosity|
|Drying time||6 to 8 hours|
|Value for money||$$$|
Dryzone Mold-Resistant Kitchen Emulsion
This Dryzone mold-resistant emulsion is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms and is only intended for use on walls and ceilings. It gives you up to 5 years of protection from condensation, keeping black mold at bay.
It dries with a soft-sheen finish and 1-quart covers between 105 and 130 square feet, depending on the surface quality and porosity. The manufacturer doesn’t state what the drying time is, but because it is an emulsion, it probably dries to the touch in about 30 minutes, with recoats possible after a couple of hours.
This paint comes in brilliant white, so it will leave your kitchen walls and ceiling looking fresh and clean, and it is also washable, so if you notice any staining, you can scrub it clean with a damp cloth.
The only downside is the containers are so small, restricting your coverage, and it gives off a powerful odor.
- It dries in a soft-sheen finish.
- Washable and mold-resistant for 5 years.
- Ideal for walls and ceilings.
- Covers up to 130 square feet.
- It only comes in 1-quart containers.
- Gives off a strong odor.
|Coverage||130 square feet|
|Drying time||2 hours|
|Value for money||$|
Rust-Oleum PermaWhite Mold and Mildew Paint
This is the first of two Rust-Oleum products to feature in the review. We chose this one because it is a self-priming paint. So, rather than spending more money on a separate primer, this one does it all in one.
Rust-Oleum is so confident you will love this paint that they warrant the mold resistance for 5 years and give you a lifetime durability guarantee.
This semi-gloss paint is wipeable and withstands stains, plus it is moisture-resistant to deter mold from growing. It is fade-resistant, water-based and kind to the environment, and low VOCs, so you can avoid headaches, sore eyes, and throat.
One can cover about 400 square meters, although that depends on the porosity of the surface, and it dries to the touch in about 30 minutes to an hour. Recoats are possible after 6 to 8 hours.
This isn’t the cheapest product you can buy. It costs almost 3 times the price of other similar paints, but you are paying for a well-known brand.
- Covers up to 400 square feet.
- Dries to the touch in 30 minutes.
- Water-based, so it is kinder to the environment.
- 5-year guarantee against mold growth.
- Expensive compared to other similar paints.
|Coverage||400 square feet depending on porosity|
|Drying time||6 to 8 hours|
|Value for money||$$$$|
Rust-Oleum 2774 Zinsser Interior Eggshell PermaWhite
This eggshell paint has a mildew-resistant barrier, and it is also a self-priming paint, so there is no need to sand or prime before painting.
When it dries, it is washable and scrubbable, so you can remove fingerprints and other common stains, and Rust-Oleum guarantees that this paint will repel black mold for up to 5 years.
All this protection is thanks to a mildewcide in the formula. And because it is a water-based product, it washes clean with soap and water, has a low odor and low VOCs. It’s also kinder to the environment because it doesn’t pollute like solvent-based paints.
It dries in about 2 hours and covers roughly 350 square feet, depending on the surface quality. This paint comes in 31.5 fluid-ounce containers, so if you plan on painting the walls of your bathroom, you will need quite a few cans at a considerable cost.
- Covers up to 350 square feet.
- Scrubbable and water-resistant.
- Dries in about 2 hours and low VOCs.
- 5-year guarantee against mold growth.
- Comes in small cans, so better for small tasks.
- It costs a lot if you need multiple cans.
|Quantity||31.5 fluid ounces|
|Coverage||350 square feet depending on porosity|
|Drying time||2 hours|
|Value for money||$$$$|
|Product||Best||Quantity||Type||Coverage||Drying time||Value for money|
|KILZ Interior/Exterior Basement Paint||Best for Basements||1-gallon||Water-based||75 – 125 square feet||4 hours||$$|
|KILZ Exterior Fence, Patio and Siding Paint||Best Exterior||1-gallon||Oil-based||200 – 500 square feet depending on porosity||6 – 8 hours||$$$|
|Dryzone Mold-Resistant Kitchen Emulsion||Best for Kitchens||1-gallon||Not stated||130 square feet||2 hours||$|
|Rust-Oleum PermaWhite Mold and Mildew Paint||Best Self-Priming||1-gallon||Water-based||400 square feet depending on porosity||6 – 8 hours||$$$$|
|Rust-Oleum 2774 Zinsser Interior Eggshell PermaWhite||Best for Basement||31.5 fluid ounces||Water-based||350 square feet depending on porosity||2 hours||$$$$|
Can I Paint Over the Existing Mold?
The simple answer is no; you cannot paint over existing mold. It keeps growing under the paint, and eventually, it breaks through the surface.
How Do You Get Rid of Mold Before Painting?
Mix up a solution of 2 parts bleach to 10 parts of water and fill a spray bottle. Apply it to the surface of the mold and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, wipe it clean with a dry cloth. Repeat as necessary until the mold is gone.
Where Are the Best Places To Use Mold-Resistant Paint?
The best places to use mold-resistant paint are the bathroom and the kitchen. They have the highest moisture content of any room in the house.
How Long Does Mold Resistant Paint Last?
Most mold-resistant paint will give you up to 6 years of protection. It depends on where the paint is applied and the conditions that allow mold to grow. If you have a damp environment, you might find your resistance to mold reduced to no more than 2 or 3 years.