Facebook

Best Mold-Resistant Paint of 2022

Updated
Don’t let mold ruin your bathroom. Use these 5 excellent mold-resistant paints.

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.

Our Top Picks

Sensible Digs earns a commission through the following independently chosen links at no additional cost to you.
Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the KILZ Basement and Masonry Waterproofing Paint, Interior/Exterior, White, 1 Gallon
Best for Basements
Kilz Interior/Exterior Basement Paint
  • Nanotechnology resists water and is also alkali-resistant
  • Touch dry in 1-hour, recoats in 4 hours
  • Low VOCs and kind to the environment
Product Image of the KILZ 10211 Exterior Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint, White, 1-gallon, 1 Gallon (Pack of 1), 128 Fl Oz
Best Exterior
Kilz Exterior Fence, Patio and Siding Paint
  • Mildew-resistant even on exterior wood
  • Up to 500 square feet coverage
  • Dries in 3 hours, recoats in 6 to 8 hours
Product Image of the Zinsser Satin Interior/Exterior Paint, Water Base, White, 1 gal. 1 gal. White Satin 3101-1 Each
Best Long-Lasting
Zinsser Satin
  • It dries in a satin finish
  • Mold-resistant for 5 years
  • Covers up to 400 square feet
Product Image of the Rust-Oleum Zinsser Perma-White 1-gallon Semi Gloss Paint (2-Pack)
Best Self-Priming
Rust-Oleum PermaWhite Mold and Mildew Paint
  • Covers up to 400 square feet
  • Dries to the touch in 30 minutes
  • Water-based, thus, kinder to the environment
Product Image of the Rust-Oleum Zinsser 31.5 fl oz. PermaWhite Exterior Semi-Gloss
Best for Bathrooms
Rust-Oleum Zinsser Semi-Gloss
  • Fade resistant
  • No sanding required
  • 5-year guarantee against mold growth

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

Product Image of the KILZ Basement and Masonry Waterproofing Paint, Interior/Exterior, White, 1 Gallon

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 when painting bathroom ceiling, but that’s about it for water resistance.

Eggshell

Product Image of the Rust-Oleum 2774 White Zinsser Perma-Mold and Mildew-Proof Interior Eggshell, 1 Quart Can (Pack of 6)

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

Product Image of the Zinsser 02704 Quart Satin Gloss Perma-White Mildew-Proof Bathroom Paint6

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

Product Image of the Rust-Oleum Zinsser 31.5 fl oz. PermaWhite Exterior 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.

High Gloss

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.

Paint Durability

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.

Paint Coverage

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

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

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.

Water Resistance

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.

1. Kilz Interior/Exterior Basement Paint

Best Mold Resistant Paint for Basement

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Epoxy paint is more robust for high-traffic areas.

Additional Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Type Water-based
Coverage 75 to 125 square feet
Drying time 4 hours
Value for money $$

2. Kilz Exterior Fence, Patio and Siding Paint

Best Exterior Mold Resistant 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • High VOCs and strong odors.
  • Oil-based paint is damaging to the environment.

Additional Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Type Oil-based
Coverage 200 to 500 square feet depending on porosity
Drying time 6 to 8 hours
Value for money $$$

3. Zinsser Mold-Resistant Satin Paint

Best Long-Lasting Mold-Resistant Paint

This Zinsser mold-resistant paint is ideal for interior and exterior and is intended for use on metal and wood. It gives you up to 5 years of protection from condensation, keeping black mold at bay.

It dries with a sating finish and 4-quarts covers between 300 to 400 square feet, depending on the surface quality and porosity. The drying time is relatively quick at 30 minutes, with recoats possible after two hours or more.

This paint comes in brilliant white, so it will leave your newly-painted surface 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 that it only comes with a single white shade which is a bit restricting for those who wants to paint their walls aside from white.

Pros

  • It dries in a satin finish.
  • Washable and mold-resistant for 5 years.
  • Ideal for both exteriors and interiors.
  • Covers up to 400 square feet.

Cons

  • It only comes in a single color.

Additional Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Type Water-based
Coverage 400 square feet
Drying time 30 minutes
Value for money $

4. Rust-Oleum PermaWhite Mold and Mildew Paint

Best Self-Priming-Mold-Resistant 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other similar paints.

Additional Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Type Water-based
Coverage 400 square feet depending on porosity
Drying time 6 to 8 hours
Value for money $$$$

5. Rust-Oleum Zinsser PermaWhite Exterior Semi-Gloss

Best Mold Resistant Paint for Bathrooms

This semi-gloss 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 resists dirt and moisture, so you can remove common stains, and Rust-Oleum guarantees that this paint will repel black mold for up to 5 years. In addition, it can withstand cracking, fading, peeling, and blistering for 15 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 covers roughly 100 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.

Pros

  • US-made product.
  • Withstands cracking, peeling, fading, and blistering for 15 years..
  • Washes clean with soap and water.
  • 5-year guarantee against mold growth.

Cons

  • Comes in small cans, so better for small tasks.
  • It costs a lot if you need multiple cans.

Additional Specs

Quantity 31.5 fluid ounces
Type Water-based
Coverage 100 square feet depending on porosity
Drying time 2 hours
Value for money $$$$

Mold Resistant Paint Comparison Chart

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 $$
Kilz Exterior Fence, Patio and Siding Paint Best Exterior 1-gallon Oil-based 200 – 500 square feet depending on porosity 6 – 8 hours $$$
Zinsser Mold-Resistant Satin Paint Best Long-Lasting 1-gallon Water-based 400 square feet 30 minutes $
Rust-Oleum PermaWhite Mold and Mildew Paint Best Self-Priming 1-gallon Water-based 400 square feet depending on porosity 6 – 8 hours $$$$
Rust-Oleum Semi-Gloss Best for Bathrooms 31.5 fluid ounces Water-based 100 square feet depending on porosity 2 hours $$$$

FAQs

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.


Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.