Zinsser Perma-White Review – Mould Resistant Paint

Updated Feb 27, 2024 | Posted Jan 22, 2018 | Product Review, Paints | 5 comments

Zinsser Perma White is a product I use all the time as a Professional Decorator, so I thought it was time I sat down and wrote a quick review.

You can buy Perma White from any trade decorating centre, but unless you’re entitled to a trade discount, then it’s probably cheaper to buy it online. Click here to see online prices.

It comes in 1L, 2.5L, 5L and 10L containers in satin or matt. Some people think you can only buy this paint in white, but it’s available in just about every colour. Zinsser Perma White has been developed for use in bathrooms, kitchens, and other rooms that suffer with condensation or mould.

Most Decorators use Zinsser Perma White as an emulsion; however, the superior adhesion and durability of this paint means you can also use it on woodwork.

 

Is Zinsser Perma White Any Good?

 

Right, let’s get into my Zinsser Perma White review. Firstly, the opacity in white is a bit rubbish. So, if you’re going for a colour change and the end result is to be white, then it’s often better to block out the exiting colour with white emulsion before applying Perma White. Either that, or you’ll need to apply additional coats.

There is no such issue if you’re using this paint in a tinted colour. Opacity is spot on in every colour except white. Flow is great too. You’ll find it flies on, particularly on the second coat. The overall finish is also good (particularly in white, which makes up for any additional coat you may need to apply).

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So, it performs relatively well as a normal paint. But it isn’t a normal paint, is it. Zinsser Perma White has been developed to cope with the harshest conditions. The true test is how well it stands up.

Well, I painted the shower room of a swimming pool complex with Perma White about 8 years ago. Before I painted it, the room suffered from bad mould and peeling paint. This was caused by the extreme humidity. My client had someone in to paint the room every 12-months or so to keep it looking relatively fresh, but the problem always came back.

I went in, removed all loose paint, primed with Zinsser Bullseye 123, then applied two coats of Perma White to the walls and ceiling. I knew it was a massive test for the paint, but I figured Zinsser Perma White had more of a chance than anything else.

They had the room repainted again a couple of years ago, and that was only because they wanted to change the colours. The Perma White looked mint for years! It still impresses me when I think back! If Zinsser Perma White will cope in that shower room, then a household bathroom or kitchen will be no issue at all.

 

Summary

 

The only downside of this paint is the opacity in white. Ease-of-use, overall finish, durability, and longevity are all fantastic. It’s a paint I know and trust, and I’d recommend it to anyone. Click here to see online prices.

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Best Tools to Apply Zinsser Perma White

 

I thought I’d include a little section on the best tools to use to apply Zinsser Perma-White. After all, it’s a bit of a strange product in a way. It flies on, but if you apply it too thick you can experience the odd paint run or orange peel.

A medium pile roller is perfect, and ideally you need a roller that will reduce orange peel. The one I’d recommend is Hamilton Perfection Green. It holds plenty of paint, distributes it evenly, and leave a fantastic finish. Click here to see online prices.

As for the brush, I love the ProDec Ice Fusion for material like this. It is an absolute joy to use with Perma-White. You’ll find it easy to manipulate the material, and you’ll create razor-sharp lines. Click here to see latest prices.

Zinsser Perma White Review – by Mike Cupit

What Other Decorators Think

I’ve been using this for the last 2 months on woodwork. It flows really well and the finish is brilliant, but sometimes does need 3 coats.

Gareth Bryan

Professional Decorator

I love it! I did my bathroom in Zinsser Perma White it about 2 years ago. I’m about to redecorate to be honest, but 2 years in my damp bungalow in deepest darkest Cornwall and it has stood up well. ‘Tis a bit like p*ss mind! It’s very thin, so expect to need extra coats on application.

Ross Ratty

Professional Decorator

Brilliant product been using Perma White for years. Not the best coverage but bombproof product.

Chris Whittle

Professional Decorator

I’ve used Zinsser Perma White a couple times on bathroom and kitchen ceilings. It was really nice. It needed 2 coats but did 3 to keep the client happy. I’ve never used it on woodwork.

José Luis Palacios Martinez

Professional Decorator

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Zinsser Perma White is awesome! The only downside is the opacity in white isn’t the best, however the finish is sublime! It’s like pearls! You can order it tined from Crown Decorating centres so you can use it as a coloured emulsion on walls.

It’s durable enough to use on woodwork and it will last for years, even in the most humid environments. This is one of the best kitchen and bathroom paints on the market and I use it all the time.

Dean Johnstone

Professional Decorator

I think it’s an excellent product, both in satin and matt finishes.

As a matter of fact, I was back on site where I did a small ensuite ceiling with Zinsser Perma White three years ago and it still looked great. Not a sign of discolouration or mould.

Ralph Darvill

Professional Decorator

I love it. Especially the satin finish, amazing sheen to it and looks great when solid

Ruben Smith

Professional Decorator

The satin is bombproof for bathrooms, but it is rubbish opacity. 2 coats minimum, 3 and a mist coat of bullseye 123 on bare plaster. However, it does eliminate mold growth, even if you don’t have an AC unit.
Paul Mann Decorating

Professional Decorator

I used Zinsser Perma White for the first time today, so can’t give you much of a review. It was actually over fresh plaster with a mist coat.

I was really impressed. Covered in 2 coats, once dry awesome finish.

Yeah, I agree it’s a bit runny and thin.

Carla Ross

Professional Decorator

Perma White is great stuff!! It has poor opacity, so base it out with something else first, but great stuff none the less. I’ve done loads of problem bathrooms with the satin and not had any call backs.

Jim Ware

Professional Decorator

Happy to give you my zinsser Perma White review.

It’s good gear, excellent finish, a bit thin, but that makes application easy. It doesn’t have very good opacity, so if the ceiling is bad, I use a coat of Supermatt first. I used Perma White on a mouldy bathroom ceiling (after washing down) and it’s still perfect 6 years later, no sign of mould/mildew.

Howard J Double

Professional Decorator

It’s the absolute business for humidity/mould problems in bathrooms 👌my go to paint, and probably the best on the market in that type of environment.

David Humphreys

Professional Decorator

I used it in a bathroom with a jacuzzi, which the guy uses for 2 hrs a day. The walls and ceiling get soaked!

Used it on the ceiling and Got it tinted for the walls, still looks mint 3 years on. I don’t know of any other paint which could have stood up in those conditions.

Andy Russell

Professional Decorator

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I think Perma White is a great drop of gear. I use it in all the bathrooms I decorate. Some are in a right old state, but this stuff sorts them out!

Jamie Bennett

Professional Decorator

A bit runny, but seems to last.

Arnis Grinbergs

Professional Decorator

Doesn’t cover well. It’s way too thin!! The overall finish is spot on though

Ross Berryman

Professional Decorator

Updated Feb 27, 2024 | Posted Jan 22, 2018 | 5 comments

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5 Comments

    • Dana

      I’m58 and have been painting since i was 16 professionally; I’ve brushed, rolled and sprayed 1000’s of gallons of paint on every kind of structure and prep situation. I’m the best painter you will ever see because I’ve owned my own business since i was 18; and I’m head and shoulders above anyone in skill, speed, perfectionist applicator, and product knowledge.
      If you are remodeling and you apply drywall mud over a previously painted existing surface then the mud and the paint will bubble because the air can’t escape into the surface when drying; therefore you handed to gently backroll as you paint2 or 3 times in some spots, keeping the wet edge going and going back and forth this way on the first coat.(it’s not the paints’ fault just takes a little more work)!
      If the surface is not clean or has wax (candles burning) and plug in deodorizes, hairspray (bathrooms) bugspray/any sprays, dirt, oil/ grease( kitchens) and body oils from hands etc.. then paint will“fisheye” and Bubble..

      If your paint isn’t t leveling; and it’s leaving brush marks then add about 1-2 tablespoons of water to your 1-2” of paint in your cut- in bucket and also keep a spraybottle of water and mist the inside of your bucket and even your brush to keep the paint from drying on the lip and insides of your bucket and upper portion of your brush.. also add floetrol to latex and penetrol to oil- base for smoother application and leveling (don’t thin paint too much- a little at a time until it is thick as possible but working nice.

      Having said all this; i have been using zinsser Perma-white as my go to paint for about 3 years. It is absolutely excellent paint-i don’t use interior- i use exterior paint inside and outside because it has more acrylic polymer(glue), titanium dioxide(coverage) and mildewcide. It doesn’t have the best coverage in the world but i put paint on so thick, and with smooth-speed (stays wet longer) and then long stroke from the top of the door to the bottom (for example) to eliminate brushmarks the perma- white is the most brilliant and beautiful finish I’ve ever seen and y customers are completely impressed with the finish; as are the neighbors.

      So use only the exterior perms white, get it working good, put it on heavy and Longstroke it as you go. Its gorgeous!!!.

      If you call yourself a professional and you can’t get s good results then maybe you aren’t as good as you think

      Reply
  1. Chris Turner

    I was a joiner in a previous life – advanced City & Guilds. I made my own small pane windows about 35 years ago. They were first treated with a wood preserver, followed by traditional painting – primer, undercoat and three top coats of oil-based gloss. Six years ago, I rubbed them down very carefully and applied Zinsser Perma-White exterior paint. Most is still in good condition but It has cracked over putty which has come loose, mostly on SMALL (thin) glazing bars which are south facing into direct sunlight. That problem isn’t so obvious on the putty in the surrounding window frame, where the wood in much thicker, so is less inclined to heat up. An initial issue in early October, was having to wait for the temperature to rise to a min of 10 degrees and not be able to work in direct sunlight. I tried that and it didn’t work as the paint will not spread. I built a canopy for shade but cannot remember if that helped. The claim is to last UP TO 15 years but that doesn’t mean 15 are guaranteed. To repair the damage from strong sunlight after 5 to 6 years, I’m thinking of trying Ronseal 10 Year Weather Proof Wood Paint which is guaranteed for 10 years and not “up to” 10. Rubbing down is first essential, (which I’ve always done), but that isn’t necessary with the Zinsser paint. The important question, is which white paints last longer in strong sunlight? White is better at reflecting it away, so dark colours would presumably deteriorate quicker. Writing from Harrogate …

    Reply
    • Dana

      If the top 3 ingredients are water, acrylic polymer, and titanium dioxide then it is top of the line paint— period

      I like ppg, ace royal and zinsser perma white. Great paints

      Reply
  2. Chris Turner

    Postscript

    I forgot to be very clear about an obvious point.

    I made my purchase on the 29 Sept 2015 . The details on the tin state, that it can only be used, when the air and surface temperatures are between 10 and 35 degrees centigrade and the humidity is below 85%.

    If that is true today, it means it is an exterior paint which cannot be used outdoors for most of the time, between October and April. Occasional days may reach 10 degrees and not have high humidity but it is impossible to plan ahead for anything other than very small tasks during those months.

    In short, it was and may still be, an exterior paint which cannot be used outdoors for roughly half of each year. I’ve yet to read the instructions on a tin of Ronseal 10 Year Weather Proof Wood Paint, to discover if that has the same or other limitations.

    Reply

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