Anti-Mould Paint – Does it Work & Which is Best?

People often ask which is the best fungicidal paint and I’m reluctant to give an answer because there is an expectation that such paints can cure a problem which has a number of causes that, in many cases, a paint product is unlikely to fix. It’s always the best policy to tackle the source of the problem first..

The presence of mould and mildew in the home indicates a problem with condensation (warm air meeting a cold surface), poor ventilation, inadequate insulation and heating. In some cases it can also be a result of poor building design.

Simple measures, such as opening windows and regular cleaning with a dilute fungicidal or bleach solution can eradicate some minor instances of mould/mildew altogether.

In many cases though these measures may not entirely solve the problem and the application of a mould-inhibiting paint may help resist the further onset of mould/mildew growth. In this respect, anti-mould paints may not offer a magic cure but can be of some benefit.

Do Fungicidal Paints Work?

Almost 40 years ago, The Building Research Eastablishemnet (BRE) carried out tests on some of the leading fungicidal paints available at the time (*see list below) and the results were encouraging.

Under lab conditions, all the paints tested showed no growth of mould after 3 months and trials within buildings identified as having a history of mould problems were found to be free of any further mould growth over 2 years later.

The BRE concluded that ‘…the fungicidal paints tested can make a valuable, cost-effective contribution to reducing or eliminating mould on interior surfaces.

Some years later, it is fair to conclude that the development of such paint finishes has advanced somewhat and, in most cases, anti-fungicidal paints can indeed be effective at dealing with the growth of mould within buildings.

Which is the Best Anti-Mould Paint?

Biocheck and Glixtone are the brands that have survived from the original test so they would be a safe choice. Otherwise, I would opt for a trusted brand such as Crown, Dulux and Zinnsser simply because they are the most widely available and receive favourable reviews within the trade…

Biocheck Anti-Mould Paint
A long track record of performance providing protection of mould attack in areas where severe condensation is present.
Available in pure white and 10 pastel shades
Water-based, VOC Content: 0.02g per litre
Fungi Shield Mould Resistant Paint
Glixtone Fungi-Shield – Anti Mould Coating
Contains a highly effective biocide which will kill mould spores on contact and prevent mould growth for the life of the paint
Water-based, VOC Content: 30g per litre
PermaWhite Mould Resistant Paint
Zinsser Perma-White
A versatile self-priming option, containing a biocide which continues to be effective against mould for up to 5 years
Available in sizes 1litre to 10litre
Water-based, VOC Content: 30g per litre
Crown Mould Inhibiting Matta
Crown Trade Clean Extreme Mould Inhibiting Scrubbable Matt
A stain-resistant finish, ideal for kitchens and bathrooms, contains a slow-release agent to ensure the fungicide keeps on working long after the paint has been applied
Water-based, VOC Content: 29g per litre
Dulux trade fungicidal matt
Dulux Trade Mouldshield Fungicidal Matt
A high-performance anti-mould finish available in various pack sizes. Can be mixed to any colour
Water-based, VOC Content: 15g per litre
Anti-mould paint
Ronseal Anti Mould Paint
Available in small pack sizes
Water-based, VOC Content: 30g per litre
*List of fungicidal/anti-mould paints tested in the original study
BioCheckMould Growth Consultants Ltd
BioCoat 250Mandoval Coatings Ltd
Clear MouldMR (Polymer Cement Products) plc
Fugi-CheckBio-Kil Chemicals Ltd
Fungi-ShieldGlixtone Ltd
Masopar Fungicidal Quality
Maso Paints Ltd
MRS9 Acrylic EmulsionMR (Polymer Cement Products) plc
SteracrylAkzo Coatings Ltd
SterashieldJohnstones Paints Ltd
SteridexLiquid Plastics Ltd
Stop-MouldManders Paints Ltd

Please note: Many of the original paints tested are no longer on the market and in the case of Steracryl & Sterashield these are brand names now being used by other paint manufacturers.

  • Controlling mould growth by using fungicidal paints – C A Hunter, BSC, Phd, 1995
  • Surface condensation and mould growth in traditionally built dwellings – BRE Digest 297 Garston, CRC, 1985
  • Tackling condensation. A guide to the causes of, and remedies for, surface condensation and mould in traditional housing – Building Research Establishment Report. Garston, CRC, 1991
  • Methods of test for paints. Part G6. Assessment of resistance to fungal growth – British Standard BS 3900:Part G6:1989

*The Volatile Organic Compounds in Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products Regulations 2012 Max level for this classification (interior matt walls & ceilings) is 30g per litre

See Also
Damp wall at window reveal causing staining and blistering of paint covering
Damp Problems
Water stain on a white-painted wall
Dealing with paint stains