Fortunately, these days there are quite a few options available to us decorators; even many retail “bathroom paints” now contain anti-mould ingredients. I’m going to stick with trade products, as they’re generally a lot better quality than retail. Trade products are usually cheaper to buy online than instore, so I’ll link to an appropriate website for each of the products I talk about.
Based on comments and conversations on the Decorators Forum UK Facebook page, I would hazard a guess that this is probably the industry favourite.
Don’t be put off by the name. Yes, you can buy it off the shelf in white, but it can also be tinted to a wide range of colours if you contact a good decorator’s merchant such as Decorating Centre Online. It’s available in matt and satin finishes, and in 1L, 2.5L, 5L or 10L sizes (white), or 1L, 2.5L or 5L (tinted). You can apply it with a brush, roller or sprayer. It’s not cheap paint, but it is widely regarded as one of the best, so if I see the white on offer anywhere, I tend to grab a can in the knowledge that sooner or later I’ll be using it.
I’ve used it in both white and tinted over the years, and never had a call-back from a customer, so it must work in the medium-long term. The only slight downside I find with this paint is that the opacity isn’t brilliant, especially in white, so be prepared to do an extra coat. But apart from that, this is good stuff!
I would say this is probably the best option if you’re looking for an anti-mould paint. Zinsser Perma-White is waterproof, meaning it won’t hold onto condensation. It is also very durable, and will last for years. I’d highly recommend Perma-White as an anti-mould paint.
Dulux Trade Mouldshield Fungicidal Paint
Dulux’s anti-mould paint is available in a matt or eggshell finish; interestingly (see below) Dulux themselves recommend the eggshell in situations where “frequent heavy condensation is likely”. You can buy it in Pure Brilliant White or tinted to any of Dulux’s thousands of shades, but it’s only available in a 5L size as far as I can tell.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t used it myself, but Dulux claim that its anti-mould properties have been independently tested to BS 3900 Part G6, so I assume it works. Be prepared for a substantial increase to your mortgage though, as it’s even dearer than the Zinsser product. Click here to see online prices.
Crown Trade Clean Extreme Mould Inhibiting Paint
Anyone who knows me will know that the Crown Trade Clean Extreme range is a bit of a personal favourite of mine, great products at a fair price. Within the range they have two mould-inhibiting products – matt, and acrylic eggshell, both available in 2.5L or 5L sizes, and in white or tinted to any of Crown’s many colours.
The choice of finish is partly down to personal taste, but also depends to some extent on the room you are painting. Personally, I find the best product for painting walls and ceilings in bathrooms is acrylic eggshell;
These paints are slightly shinier than matt, but are really easy to wipe down and don’t show the condensation “run marks” which are often a problem in bathrooms (especially if you have teenagers in the house!)
This has become pretty much my “go to” paint for bathrooms, and I’ve used it in my own bathroom at home, and there’s not a sign of mould or condensation marks. Matt or eggshell is up to you, but I’d say in terms of performance and value for money, this is definitely one of the best anti-mould paints out there.
Tikkurila Luja Range
Scandinavian paint manufacturer Tikkurila also produce a range of anti-mould paints within their vast product portfolio. The range is called “Luja”, and it’s available in three different finishes; Luja 7 (matt), Luja 20 (satin) and Luja 40 (semi-gloss). There’s also a primer which they recommend using as part of a two-step system, particularly on surfaces which will be washed frequently or subjected to high humidity.
The primer is called “Luja Yleispohjamaali”, which I’m guessing is either Finnish or the result of someone falling asleep on the computer keyboard. The Luja products are available in 1L, 3L, 10L and 20L sizes (primer not available in 20L) in a huge range of colours, either direct from Tikkurila online or from Decorating Centre Online.
It’s extremely hard-wearing, capable of withstanding repeated cleaning with hospital-grade detergents and suitable for use in really high humidity areas such as swimming pools or distilleries. Take Tikkurila Luja as a high-end anti-mould paint…. Expensive, but will look good and do the job brilliantly. Click here to see online prices.
Make Your Own Anti-Mould Paint!
Seriously, this is apparently not as daft as it sounds; there are anti-mould additives available that you simply mix into your chosen paint. I think Blackfriars do one, and there are one or two others out there, but probably the best-known is Owatrol VC175. It’s described as a powerful, long-lasting mould and algae killer which can be added to paint and wood stains, but also to tile grout or mortar (just FYI!).
It comes in a 50ml bottle, and you simply add 5ml of the product per litre of paint (works in both water-based and solvent-based paints); 50ml will set you back about £20, and you can buy it online here. It’s not something I’ve tried myself, but I may give it a go on a job I have coming up soon; other decorators I’ve spoken to rate it highly, and say it has no effect on the paint, either during application or on the finish. Click here to see online prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should now understand a bit about the best anti-mould paints. I thought it would be useful to add a little Q&A on some of the frequently asked questions regarding mould.
What is Black Mould and What are the Effects if Untreated?
Mould is a living fungus, and anti-mould treatment is basically fungicide which kills it. Mould looks unsightly, but it’s worse than that. Mould can seriously damage a person’s health. The black spores can cause breathing difficulties, trigger allergies, even asthma. Do not live with mould in your home, take action to get rid of it.
Should I Treat the Mould before Painting Over?
Yes! It doesn’t matter how good your anti-mould paint is, if you do not treat the effected area, then you will not get rid of the mould for any period. There are a couple of things you should do: the first is apply HG Mould Spray where needed to kill the spores and stop it spreading. Click here to see online prices.
The second thing you need to do is block any stains to stop them from seeping through your emulsion. I use Zinsser Cover Stain for this. It is oil-based, but quick drying, great adhesion, and will block the stain well. Click here to see online prices.
Where Does Mould Grow
Mould grows anywhere conditions allow. It thrives in warm, moist areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, or behind furniture where airflow doesn’t allow for condensation to evaporate. Cheap paint like contract matt is the perfect home for mould because it contains very little polymer binder, which makes it porous, and allows it to hold onto moisture. I think of cheap paint as a flowerbed for mould; it’s the perfect habitat for it to grow.
What Else Can You do to Get Rid of Mould?
Using the best anti-mould paints will make a huge difference when preventing mould from returning, but there are other things you should do. Adding ventilation to a room will help reduce moisture in the air and condensation on the walls or ceiling. Bathrooms should be fitted with a working extractor fan. Another tip is to try and keep windows vented or put a dehumidifier into a room.
Another thing you could do is insulate walls if it’s practical. Water condenses on the coldest surface, so if your walls retain heat, then water will not condense on them as much, and mould growth will be reduced.
9 times out of 10 mould is caused by condensation, but it may be from moisture entering into a home from the outside. If this is the case, and you can’t spot any obvious causes, then you may need to get an expert in to diagnose the problem for you.
Final Thoughts on Anti-Mould Paint
So there you go, that’s my take on some of the best anti-mould paints around. I’d like to stress again that getting rid of mould is not just a case of painting over it with these products; these products are for use AFTER the mould has been successfully treated as described here, to try to ensure it doesn’t return.
If I had to choose just two products from the list I think you should consider, it would be Zinsser Perma-White, which is the industry leader and a proven product, or Crown Clean Extreme, which is a personal favourite.
Robin Gofton – Wokingham Decorating Services
Best Anti-Mould Paints for Decorators Forum UK
What do Other Decorators Think Are the Best Anti-mould Paints?
I would never look past Zinsser Perma White for something like this, only because it is tried and tested. I can remember painting the changing room of a swimming pool with Perma White about 7 years ago. Before I painted it, mould and water marks would appear every 6 months, so the client was constantly having it repainted. My work with Perma White has lasted 7 years so far, and it still looks mint now. Mould just doesn’t grow on it!
Zinsser Perma White is the best anti-mould paint.
I used it on my own property were there is no insulation in the wall of a dormer. It was a cold wall, with warm room air condensing and mould forming. Two coats of that Perma White and I didn’t have an issue after that, but I’d say it’s a temporary fix. What I should have done is line with Wallrock Thermal Lining Paper.
For me, Zinsser Perma white is my ‘go to’ for finish when tackling mould.
It’s a bright white, it applies lovely and I’ve not had a single call back on any jobs using it. I’ve tested it over the last year in my own home and things like toothpaste also just clean off.
I’ve been back to a previous job where it was a camp site communal shower, it was the worst mouldy ceiling I’ve seen.
I followed the full Zinsser set up. (Sorry, Zinsser fanboy here)
I used their anti-mould cleaner spray, followed by 2 coats of Cover Stain, which I find has better stain blocking properties than a water-based alternative.
Then after that was fully dry, I used 2 coats of Perma White matt.
It’s still white and fresh. But will be following that closely. (Of course, a stronger extractor and airflow was advised).
Perma white Matt is an excellent product for mould issues. Covers well and adheres brilliantly, leaving a fully maintainable surface in case of reoccurrence.
Have used Tikkurila Luja 7 which I’ve never had a problem with when tackling mould. It needs the Luja primer to give it the full protection.
Also used Owatrol Vc 175 additive which can be added to any paint without effecting the quality of the paint. Had no comebacks using this either.