Does damp proof paint work?

November 16, 2023

Whether you're a landlord looking to make your properties the most appealing on the market or a homeowner trying to keep your home clean and welcoming, you have likely had to fight damp at some point or another. It is one of the most common problems in properties, especially those with poor ventilation.

One of the suggested solutions online and by professionals is to invest in damp proof paint for your property. But with seemingly mixed reviews out there, people often find themselves wondering whether damp proof paint actually works. After all, it's just paint, right? How can damp proof paint stop damp on interior wall surfaces any better than masonry paint or ordinary paint?

We spoke with Drycore in the UK about everything to do with how damp proof paint works to stop your damp problems and whether or not you should invest in it as a form of damp proofing.

What is damp proof paint?

Damp proof paint is a specialist paint with a water reactive agent in the form of a powerful polymer that stops moisture and damp from resurfacing. It is a strong resistant paint that can be really beneficial in homes with lots of moisture, and is safe to wash and wipe down. It often saves homeowners money, as it provides long lasting protection against dampness and tends to last longer than generic paint work. Great for preventing damage caused by condensation, damp proof paint is great for ensuring long lasting protection and keeping your rooms fresh and bright.

Advantages of damp proof paints

It sounds great; but what exactly are the benefits of damp proof paint? Is it worth the hassle of painting your walls with it? Is it really as reliable as it sounds? Well, the advantages of damp proof paint are:

  • Many brands of damp proof paint are non-toxic
  • Many brands of damp proof paint are non-hazardous
  • Many brands of damp proof paint are solvent-free
  • Damp proof paint is ideal for wet and humid areas of the home such as the kitchen, wet rooms and the bathroom
  • Damp proof paint adds an almost waterproof layer to your interior surfaces
  • Damp proof paint can be applied using a brush, a roller or even a high pressure spray
  • Damp proof paint can be applied to walls, floors and ceilings
  • It is possible to use damp proof paint on damp walls and floors
  • Most types of damp proof paint are suitable for everything from brickwork, stone, timber and concrete
  • After drying, damp proof paint is safe to plaster or boarder over

Disadvantages of damp proof paints

Despite all of the advantages of damp proof paint in tackling damp problems, there are also some disadvantages. For example:

  • Damp proof paint will not tackle penetrating damp or rising damp (or any kind of structural damage)
  • When applied poorly, damp proof paint will not work effectively

Does damp proof paint work?

So does damp proof paint work? If so, when?

Damp proof paint will work for treating interior wall surfaces in the hopes of stopping a damp problem so long as the damp problems at hand are not structural. It works well to prevent damp issues on brick walls and other surfaces within the home that are caused by condensation and not by other factors. In order for it to work properly and protect your walls, however, the walls must be adequately prepared. Failing to do so could result in your damp proof paint working no better than normal paint. You must remove all previous coatings and ensure that there is no mould growth on the wall before you paint it. Many homeowners overlook this, and then wonder why their damp issue persists.

Damp proof paints will not work for all types of damp. Moisture from leaky faucets can cause penetrating damp and rising damp in many properties, and people too often assume damp proof paint will work against it. However, just because the paint stops damp, it is useless in this situation. That is, unless you treat the root cause. If the damp problem is tackled completely, damp proof paint can be used to protect the wall after the fact, keeping it safe from surface water penetration and preventing any further moisture from accessing the surface.

Damp proof paint is best used alongside other damp proofing techniques. For example, a good damp proof paint will work brilliantly alongside a good damp proofing course. It will also work better in tandem with good ventilation.

If you are struggling with damp, you should call out a professional to check your property for structural defects first and foremost. It is best to catch these things early. If there are no structural causes, consider placing your heating on more often to prevent condensation from gathering on surfaces. You should also increase ventilation where possible, wipe away any condensation on windows and walls, dry clothes outside or in tumble dryers where possible, and try to keep the windows open when generating moisture (like during cooking or bathing). Investing in damp proof paint will definitely aid in solving your issue, and you should use it wherever you notice the issue arising most. You may also, in the meantime, wish to place dehumidifiers in those spots to try and reduce the moisture in the air.

What damp proof paint should you get?

There are plenty of brands out there that offer protective paints, but the first thing that you should consider is what finish you want. Many brands will offer protective paints with semi gloss finish, matte finishes or gloss. It's worth deciding this and looking for protective paints that offer that finish.


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