painter painting on a damp treated wall

What Paint To Use On Damp Walls?

Key Takeaways

Damp-Proof Paint: Damp-proof paint creates a barrier against water penetration on interior and exterior walls. It often serves as a primer, enhancing surface durability before applying the final colour. It is not a cure-all for existing damp issues; professional advice is recommended for severe cases.

Effectiveness of Damp-Proof Paint: Effective against mould due to fungicidal compounds but wears off over time. Regular maintenance and addressing the root cause are essential to prevent mould recurrence.

Uses of Damp-Proof Paint: Versatile product for interior and exterior surfaces, including render, plaster, brickwork, floors, and timber. It functions as a damp-proof membrane, waterproof layer, gas barrier, and protection for concrete.


Damp is a menace. It is a significant threat to the structural integrity of the entire property. Be it the walls, ceiling, floor, timber, or other areas of the house, damp issues can turn into a serious problem if left untreated.

Moreover, damp issues affect not only the property but also the people who are living in it. With damp, the amount of moisture content becomes high in internal walls of the house not to mention the microscopic debris particles that come off from the damaged structures. All of it has the potential to affect the health of your family members.

That’s why it is essential to treat damp walls in a bedroom, bathroom, garage, or any other area of the house. There are various methods to do it, such as using damp-proofing treatments, painting damp walls, using specific damp-proof primers, specialised damp cleaners, etc.

However, today, we will just talk about the paint that you should use on damp walls – its type and how to do it. So, let’s get into it!


a house getting painted from inside


What exactly is a Damp-Proof Paint?

A damp-proof paint is used strategically on interior walls in moist locations to create an effective barrier against possible water penetration.

This adaptable solution is not limited to interior applications; it can also be used outside, effectively avoiding water seepage caused by both rainfall and climate moisture.

Surprisingly, many damp-proof paints have dual functionality, serving as a dependable primer that fortifies your fundamental surfaces, assuring ideal durability before the following application of your preferred colour.

However, it is critical to understand that damp-proof paints are not a cure-all for existing or underlying damp concerns.

If your walls are already showing indications of wetness, it is strongly advised to seek expert advice and personalised solutions from an independent damp removal specialist.


a house painting professional painting a wall with a roller


Does a Damp-Proof Paint Work?

Damp-proof paint or anti-mould paint is indeed effective against mould because it contains fungicidal compounds that operate as strong deterrents, creating an unfavourable environment for mould growth.

However, one thing that must be noted is that the efficacy of these chemicals wears off with time, and the comeback of mould becomes a possibility if the root cause is not treated or if the specified affected area is not well cleaned prior to the application of the paint.


a painter painting a house from the outside


What Paint to Use on Damp Walls?

Dulux Damp Seal Undercoat and White Primer

Dulux, a well-known do-it-yourself brand, offers a wide range of paints, including a damp-proof paint that serves not only as an effective damp sealer but also as a flexible primer and undercoat, assuring the utmost brilliance of your final colour scheme.

The rigorous application technique involves completely eliminating all surface mould to create a spotless surface. Following a thorough stirring (which removes the need for product thinning), the application is carried out with either a brush or a roller, followed by a patient waiting period to ensure ideal results for the whole drying phase.

Zinsser Perma-White

The Zinsser Perma-White paint is one of the best choices to produce a sophisticated finish on your interior woodwork, including doors, skirting boards, and cabinets.

This long-lasting product not only protects against common difficulties like peeling and cracking, but it also contains a biocide, which protects the dry coating from potential mould and damp damage. Furthermore, its washability allows for the easy removal of marks caused by normal wear and tear.

Dulux Trade Weathershield High Gloss for Exterior

Consider Dulux Trade Weathershield High Gloss for outdoor applications. This premium paint has an outstanding lifespan of up to eight years to protect against various weather conditions.

Its sophisticated composition contains a robust fungicide, which successfully inhibits mould formation on exterior trim components such as gutters, pipes, and prepared metal surfaces.

Explore the Weathershield collection to find a wide selection of specialist solutions, such as anti-mould masonry paint and a variety of external woodcare products, for a full answer to your outdoor surface demands.

Dulux Mouldshield Fungicidal

Dulux Trade Mouldshield Fungicidal paint is an innovative product precisely created to handle interior situations plagued by mould or moisture.

This durable, water-based paint exemplifies a sophisticated combination of cutting-edge technologies, with highly effective antifungal chemicals strategically integrated to proactively prevent the onset and proliferation of mould, ensuring long-lasting, high-quality results for walls and ceilings.

Polycell Damp Seal

You can also secure your walls with a single application of Polycell’s revolutionary solution, available in 500ml and 1l quantities. This durable paint not only protects your interior walls and ceilings from fungal infestation, but it also comes in an aerosol version for individuals who prefer spray application.

Thoroughly combine the recipe, apply it abundantly, and let it cure overnight before considering additional paint coats or wallpaper installations since failing to do so may result in ugly fissures.

Prioritise complete skin and hair coverage before beginning the painting procedure, and maintain optimal airflow throughout the whole process—from pre-painting preparations to the application phase and following post-painting time.

Johnstone’s Damp Paint

Apply this specialist white base paint carefully to damp surfaces, as it serves the critical role of building a protective barrier against moisture infiltration into the final coat of your selected paint or wallpaper.

Take into consideration the vigorous smell intensity that accompanies its application, which necessitates a cautious approach similar to that used with regular paint.

Ensure that clean surface of the treated space has enough ventilation in accordance with established standards for applying conventional paint.

Ronseal White Anti-Damp Paint

Ronseal shines with its One Coat Damp Seal. Execute the simple procedure of applying a single coat to immaculately clean walls, letting the material properly undergo the desiccation process, culminating in the decoration of your choice, whether it be painted in your favourite colour or visually appealing wallpaper.

Polar Damp Seal Paint

This adaptable solution comes in a variety of hues, including the conventional black and grey, as well as the pure ice white, giving you plenty of options for your protective base coat.

This paint, which contains a cutting-edge water-reacting ingredient, aggressively repels water, preventing damp from infiltrating surfaces of bathroom, bedroom, garage, or any other area. Surprisingly, the firm claims a quick drying period of only 10 minutes, allowing you to resume your larger restoration projects as soon as possible.

Landlords Anti-Damp Paint

With a large volume of 2.5 litres, this anti-damp paint option, available in over 20 hues, serves the dual aim of building a solid seal to prevent mildew formation.

Its broad application includes both walls and ceilings, resulting in a polished matte finish. Notably, the choice to keep a single colour scheme is simplified, allowing one to maintain aesthetic integrity without the need for extra hues.


a painter painting a wall


What are the Uses of Damp-Proof Paint?

A damp-proof paint is a versatile and high-performance product that serves a variety of purposes across different surfaces. It functions as a general interior paint suitable for rendering, plaster, and brickwork on both walls and ceilings.

Additionally, it can be applied to floors as a damp-proof floor paint, effective both above and below screeds to provide a damp-proof membrane. However, it is recommended that a further coating be applied to protect the floor from potential damage.


A painting specialist getting the paint ready


When used on walls, damp-proof wall paint serves as a waterproof layer beneath the render. Externally, it can be utilised below ground as part of a tanking slurry system behind external wall or a cavity drain membrane, and for specific applications like tiling, it offers secondary protection in wet areas such as bathrooms.

The paint also plays a role in protecting concrete in applications like silage, bunds, and sewage tanks, guarding against silage attacks. Additionally, damp-proof paint serves as a gas barrier, providing protection against radon and methane penetration.

For timber applications, it can be used to waterproof joist ends before installation into damp walls. To ensure optimal use and application, it is advisable to consult with our technical advisors, especially when incorporating the paint into specialised systems like tanking slurry.


Various paints for painting a house


Preparing Damp Walls Before Applying the Paint

Before painting, prepare the surface by removing any wetness or mould. Prioritise safety by using goggles, masks, and gloves to minimise irritation. Follow these techniques to successfully treat wet walls before you begin painting:

Make Sure the Surface is Clean

Begin the procedure by methodically preparing a surface that is not only immaculately clean but also properly dry, ensuring excellent adhesion of the following primers or paints.

Use a wire brush to thoroughly remove any organic materials, including flaking paint.


A professional painter painting a wall in the room


Apply Mould Treatment

To prevent the reappearance of mould or moisture, use a specially designed mould remover. This effective product quickly handles numerous mould forms thanks to its fungicidal qualities, making it ideal for use in high-humidity areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Allow the treated brick walls to dry thoroughly overnight before proceeding with the next steps of sanding and priming, which will improve the efficacy of the restorative procedure.

Fill the Surface and Prime it.

Before beginning the second coat of the painting process, repair any fractures or voids in the plaster caused by mould-induced degradation. After the filler has finished drying, polish the surface with an excellent abrasive paper to ensure it is ready for priming. The use of primer serves the objective of sealing the chosen area, concealing any discolouration, and improving the adhesion characteristics for the next paint application.


a room getting from inside


How to Paint Over Mould?

After washing, treating, and priming the damaged area, you may start painting. Here’s how:

Use a Mould-Resistant Paint

Apply the anti-mould paint as a protective base coat by expertly layering a thin application with a high-quality brush, ensuring equal distribution and allowing for adequate drying time for best efficacy.

Use a Layer of Oil-Based Paint

Begin by applying an oil-based paint to improve adherence and coverage. This procedure phase is critical when dealing with regions with stains or discolouration since it effectively obscures and camouflages these visible imperfections.

Finish Off With the Final Coat

Finally, use the distinguished selection of emulsion paints in your carefully selected hue to carefully give an enduring, carefully refined, and unmistakably professional aesthetic appeal on all surfaces.


A room wall getting painted


Is There Damp or Condensation in Your House?

Damp is the undesired penetration of moisture into a structure, which can appear in a variety of ways, ranging from penetrating damp through walls to rising damp from moist soil.

Unmitigated damp poses a catastrophic threat to a property, causing building materials to erode and timbers to degrade and creating an atmosphere suitable for mould growth. The cost of damp-related damage might reach hundreds of thousands of pounds.

While both damp and condensation can cause moist surfaces and mould development, they are independent phenomena with different causes, albeit they commonly co-occur. When air moisture comes into touch with a cooled surface, it condenses into a liquid.

While sporadic condensation is harmless, prolonged moisture on a surface can promote mould growth and cause damage to structural components.

Condensation happens when there is an imbalance between atmospheric moisture and surface heating. The convergence of damp exacerbates this condition by increasing air moisture levels. Individuals typically focus on controlling condensation while mistakenly missing the underlying damp issue, causing it to degrade their home over time.

While anti-condensation paint does not directly address airborne moisture, it does improve the thermal efficiency of cold surface of your walls, making them less susceptible to damp by reducing the number of cold surfaces.

It works well if the significant source of condensation is cold surfaces. However, in circumstances when mould grows from moisture rather than condensation, anti-condensation paint is useless and simply functions as a superficial layer of new paint.


House paint professional painting a ceiling of the room


Do Not Paint Over Damp Walls

Throughout our significant experience in damp survey evaluations, moisture issues have seldom been resolved only via the application of damp-proof paint.

The primary cause of damp issues is inadequate or poor ventilation throughout, which is best addressed by implementing a Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) device or other sophisticated ventilation systems.

PIV devices, which produce positive air pressure within a building, aid in the outflow of stagnant, moisture-laden air and the entrance of renewing unspoiled air. Notable is the low daily running cost associated with PIV units, which has the potential to significantly reduce condensation-related concerns while simultaneously improving the quality of indoor air.

Damp-related problems come from a variety of structural faults that cannot be resolved with simple painting. To handle damp problems, use anti-mould, anti-condensation, or waterproof paint.

Before applying, completely strip back any mould or damp-affected materials. Simply painting over moist materials permits harm to stay beneath the fresh coat of paint, and washing it off and painting over will result in mould recurrence since the underlying materials are still afflicted.


Painter painting a damp wall


How to Get Rid of Damp Problem?

Peeling wallpaper, crumbling plaster and cracking plaster are common signs of humidity, indicating the entrance of moisture into your walls. This event is frequently caused by external factors such as broken roof tile, overflowing gutters, or poorly placed windows.

Additionally, humidity may rise from a poorly insulated basement, demanding close monitoring. It is critical to be vigilant about these conditions, as wetness may be prevalent long before apparent signs appear.

Olfactory perception is essential in this setting because a prolonged, stagnant, and musty stench may precede the visible manifestation of wetness. As a result, if you experience persistent staleness and stuffiness, it is possible that the presence of moisture is to blame.

If you have a water leak that is producing moisture, try applying anti-damp paint on the inside surfaces. The anti-damp paint keeps water out, may be used on wet surfaces, and resists fungal decay. It also comes in a variety of hues.

It works on damp surfaces and in all weather conditions, giving a fast, waterproof coating that keeps water out. Damp-resistant paints assist in alleviating moisture, but it is critical to treat the underlying source of damp, as the paint is only a partial remedy.


Painting a wall


How to Get Rid of Condensation?

To prevent the negative impacts of a water leak that causes unwanted moisture collection or condensation, try using an effective anti-damp paint for interior surfaces and roof sealing. These cutting-edge paints have outstanding water-resistance qualities, proving effective even on moist surfaces and in varying weather situations.

Furthermore, they come in a variety of colours, offering aesthetic versatility to your moisture-reducing efforts. It is critical to emphasise that while these innovative paints contribute significantly to moisture alleviation, careful attention must be paid to addressing the root cause of damp, as the application of paint, while commendable, serves as a provisional and partial solution in the overarching quest for a long-term resolution.

Improving thermal conditions through the adjustment of heating devices and air circulation is also critical for addressing condensation-related issues.

Renowned industry experts, such as Damp Surveyors Ltd., are available to give professional advice, taking you through the delicate decision process of either permanent or portable radiators designed for short-term relief or long-lasting solutions. Furthermore, a wide range of specialist paints that provide a robust defence against moisture are available, making them especially effective for small-scale projects in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms.


Paintwork going on in a house


How to Get Rid of Damp on Skirting Boards?

Excessive moisture from the flooring is probably affecting the neighbouring wall, while the skirting boards appear to be absorbing excess moisture, from both the flooring and the wall.

Employing a proper sealant may temporarily disguise the problem, but it is possible that the wetness will reemerge at some unspecified moment in the future.

Before beginning the painting process, make sure that the skirting boards have been completely desiccated. When reinstalling them, try adding a little gap between the floor and the boards to reduce the possibility of direct contact with possibly moist surfaces.

While these safeguards are beneficial, it is critical to remember that the right solution and the ultimate remedy rests in rigorously addressing the latent damp situation.


The house getting painted


The Bottom Line

There are a lot of paint types for walls in the market. If the walls of your house are healthy, it’s okay to use paint that does not explicitly serve damp prevention. But you never know – damp can occur anytime in a home. And there’s no going back from there.

Also, if you are already dealing with damp walls, the first thing would be to get a damp survey done to find the exact cause behind all of it happening and then go for the best damp proof paint along with other treatment options.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if your house doesn’t already have damp walls or not; a rule of thumb is to use damp-proof paint so that you don’t encounter damp issues in future.


What to put on damp walls before painting?

When painting damp walls, it’s vital to first address the moisture issue to prevent future damage. Identify and fix the source of moisture, let the walls dry thoroughly, and use a quality damp-proof primer or sealer. Opt for mould-resistant and breathable paint to ensure a durable and visually appealing finish. Following these steps is essential for a successful, long-lasting paint job on previously damp walls.

What paint to use on the wet wall?

Painting on a wet wall is not recommended, as it can lead to adhesion problems, peeling, and an uneven finish. It’s essential to address the moisture issue first. Once the wall is dry, follow the steps mentioned above for painting damp walls.

What can you put on a wall to stop damp problems?

To prevent wall damp, focus on improving ventilation, fixing leaks promptly, installing a damp-proof course, applying waterproof coatings, and ensuring proper landscaping. These measures collectively reduce humidity, address moisture sources, and create barriers against damp, significantly minimising the risk of wall-related issues and promoting a healthier living environment.

Is there such a thing as damp-proof paint?

Yes, there are paints labelled as “damp-proof” or “moisture-resistant.” These paints typically contain additives that help create a barrier against moisture, preventing it from affecting the paint and the underlying surface. However, it’s essential to note that damp-proof paint should not be used as the sole solution for addressing damp issues. Proper identification and treatment of the root cause of damp are crucial for effective and long-lasting results.

Table of Contents

Picture of Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Author – CSRT Damp Surveyor
Sam is a highly qualified and seasoned damp surveyor with over ten years of specialised experience. With a strong academic foundation in building surveying and numerous professional certifications, Sam has established himself as an authority in the field of damp diagnosis and remediation.

At Damp Surveyors Ltd, Sam applies his extensive knowledge to help homeowners across the UK address and solve their damp issues effectively. His approach combines cutting-edge techniques with a commitment to honest, client-focused service, ensuring that every survey and recommendation is tailored to the specific needs of the property.

As a thought leader, Sam’s insights into damp prevention and treatment have been featured in industry publications, underscoring his role as a trusted expert dedicated to maintaining the integrity and comfort of your home.

Testing device for measuring dampness in a house


At Damp Surveyors Ltd, we stand out as your premier choice for damp survey services in the UK. Our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction sets us apart. Here’s why you should choose us:

  • Exclusive 3 Free Quotes: We offer a one-of-a-kind optional service where you not only get our top-notch damp survey but also receive 3 free quotes from vetted local companies, giving you peace of mind by saving you thousands on getting the most competitive quotes, and also time researching and contacting other reputable companies.
  • Knowledge and Experience: We provide unmatched knowledge to every survey we conduct thanks to our team of seasoned professionals and years of industry experience. This guarantees accurate assessments and practical solutions.
  • Nationwide Coverage: Whether you’re in a bustling city or a rural area, our services extend across the UK, making us accessible wherever your property is located. Choose us for nationwide reliability and excellence.

Choose Damp Surveyors Ltd as your reliable partner for all-inclusive survey needs. Our top concerns are the health and safety of your property, and we are committed to providing outcomes you can trust.

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