So far, using mildew resistant paint is the best method to prevent mold and mildew from growing in your house.
If you are wondering about what areas in the house should you apply painted mildew resistant on, they are bathrooms, kitchens, and sometimes basements. These places are often in wet and damp conditions, which are the two main factors to cause mold and mildew to grow.
However, choosing the type of paints that is suitable for your dwelling is not a simple task. My aim today is to make clear the things you need to know when choosing a mildew resistant paint for your house. Scroll down to know!
What is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?
Mold and Mildew
Mold is a fungus with a fuzzy appearance, which usually shows up on the surface of the affected material. It comes in various colors, but you can find them in patches of green and black.
What might surprise you is that mildew is actually a type of mold. Mildew usually grows on a flat surface, either in a powdery or downy form.
Mildew can be found in the bathroom, kitchen, or on paper, fabrics, and organic materials in your house. Wet and damp areas are where it tends to grow most strongly.
As you may know, there are many kinds of mold that actually benefit humans. They can be used in food production, or even medications making processes. For example, the antibiotic penicillin is made from a kind of mold called Penicillium.
Unlike some types of mold that can benefit humans, mildew does not appear to have any advantages for us. Some common health effects of being exposed to mildew are breathing difficulty, coughing continuously, and extreme fatigue.
Both mildew and mold can cause extreme damage to your house, including numerous health problems, such as respiratory-related diseases or allergies, unstable mental status, and continuous exhaustion.
Therefore, removing mold and mildew is a vital task if you want to ensure the health of you and your family. What you need to understand is how to solve the problem from its root. Why should you keep removing the mildew when you can stop the problem from its roots. How? By buying mildew resistant paint!
How to Know if You Have a Mildew Problem in Your House?
- The smell. Mildew has a very distinct smell. It is a damp and musty smell that you can sense near the affected areas.
- You can see dark spots or sometimes large patches of mildew on the ceiling, the wall, and sometimes around the windows. They can be black, green, white, etc. but most often, black is the most visible color.
- The paint on your wall starts to look bubbly because of a high moisture level.
What Type of Paint is Mildew Resistant?
To prevent paints from peeling off the surface they cover, always put a coat of moisture-resistant primer on first before applying paints.
Lower parts of the walls in the bathroom, kitchen, or basement are ideal spots for mildew to develop. Make sure the area is scrubbed clean and dry, then you should brush a coat of mildew-resistant primer on as a base of protection for your paint.
If the growth of mildew already infects the area you want to paint, try to remove as much fungus as you can before applying anything on. Remember, wiping is better than brushing, even though you will have to put more effort into it. Once the surface is cleaned up, wait for it to dry completely. You can use a dehumidifier to fasten the drying process. This will give you a fresh base to start painting.
After the surface is ready, you can start by brushing a coat of primer onto the wall using soft bristle paint brushes or foam brushes.
Mildew Resistant Paints: The Types and Brands
Mildew resistant paints won’t prevent mildew from growing; they only make it harder for it to grow and spread across your wall. They also enable cleaning and removing mildew effortlessly, thanks to the ingredients in these paints.
Two of the most well-known types of mildew-resistant paints are semi-gloss and high-gloss. You can apply a coat from one of the two types to your wall after laying a primer layer down.
Yes, they cannot completely get rid of mildew, but it is easier to clean and maintain this type of paint than paints with a flat or eggshell finish. The mildew resistant paint can even avoid absorbing water , which is suitable for areas like the bathroom or kitchen.
If mildew ever shows up on your wall, removing it shouldn’t be too hard. You can switch to satin paint if you don’t like the high sheen look of semi-gloss and high-gloss paint. Even though the removal process takes some more effort, and the reflectiveness is slightly as good, it is still not difficult to clean off the mildew.
As I stated before, you have to apply a good coat of primer before putting the next layer of paint onto the surface. For highly-moisturized areas like the lower parts of the walls in bathrooms or kitchens, make sure to paint thoroughly to create a good layer of protection for the wall.
You might as well apply an extra coat of paint to these areas to prevent any potential mildew growth. Even if your walls are covered with mildew resistant paint, it is necessary that you routinely dry, and clean these areas. Do this often to keep the fungus from coming back.
Don’t forget to give the paint extra time to dry off, especially in the bathroom. Even when it seems completely dry, it’s not. Thus, wait a day or two before you take a shower to avoid raising the moisture level, which can cause the paint to soften and peel off.
The paint cover tends to wear off after a time of applying. For the best performance, professionals recommend retouching the paint every once in a while to ensure the mildew-resistant feature. Whatever kind of paint you choose, it is best to buy a brand from prestigious dealers.
In these times, there are plenty of companies that offer various kinds of mildew-resistant paints, in any color you want. Therefore, try to look for brands that provide you with a two or three-year warranty. The number of coatings, as well as how to apply the paint, should be followed thoroughly in the guidelines.
Below are the brands whose products I think you should have a look at and don’t forget to check out the customers’ reviews:
- Pratt & Lambert
- Cath Kidston
Read More: Who Makes The Best Exterior Paints?
Can You Paint Over Mildew?
Yes. Is it encouraged? No.
However, a better question is: Should you paint over mildew?
Let me tell you something, painting over mildew without cleaning it first will only cause you further problems. Eventually, the mildew spots will appear again, through the new paint cover, and it might even spread out faster. Painting over mildew will waste both your time and your money.
Remember, mildew resistant paints do not get rid of existing mildew or kill it off. So, don’t be fooled to think that you can paint over your problem. I’m afraid it takes more work and effort than that.
First and foremost, try to find the roots of mildew growth. It can be because of the roof leaking, or perhaps there is something wrong with the toilet, etc. Without finding the source of the moisture that’s attracting mildew growth, you won’t be able to put a stop to it.
Instead of painting over mildew, you should find a proper way to get rid of it. You can use an antimicrobial cleanser or a mixture of bleach and water at a proportion of 1:10. Don’t forget a good brush as well for the scrubbing process. If you want a more eco-friendly solution, you can use vinegar as a replacement. Mix vinegar and water at a proportion of 1:2, then scrub the mixture against the mildew areas along with baking soda.
It might be impossible to remove all the mildew, in that case, applying a mildew sealant before painting seems to be a good idea. This process, which is called ‘encapsulation’ can seal any mildew that cannot be removed, as well as keep the fungus from growing and spreading.
If you choose to apply a sealant instead of a primer, it is excellent. Nevertheless, a sealant coat is not encouraged to be put on, unless you cannot remove all the mildew existing, and you don’t want to replace an entire wall either. Therefore, only apply this method if you don’t have any other way.
Note: if the area of mildew is too big, professionals recommend against this method.
Once the mildew has spread uncontrollably, and there is no way to wash it off, consider replacing the whole wall and starting over with a new one. Of course, try calling an expert over to find out what the problem is. If the fungus has grown dramatically, the problem must be prominent.
After you found the source of mildew and cleaned it all off, it is time to start painting. Make sure to follow the steps I mentioned before: primer – paint – extra paint. However, if you are not sure what to do, call an expert and let he/she instructs you. Most professionals offer free consultations, so why not take advantage of that?!
A professional will come to your house to look thoroughly at the situation and equip you with a better understanding of mold and mildew. You might as well have him/her to do the work for you, which is recommended if the mildew growth is out of control, or if you have any mildew-related symptoms.
In the bathroom, you should have a good ventilation fan for fresh air circulation. It can also speed up the drying process, which optimally prevents the return of mildew.
How do You Make Paint Mildew Resistant?
It is not possible to turn regular paint into mildew resistant paint.
You will have to choose a mildew-resistant paint from the beginning if you want to have a nice house with no mildew or mold. There are quite many types of paints that can inhibit mildew growth, for example, semi-gloss paint, high-gloss paint, or satin paint
People don’t use oil-based paint or latex paint to prevent mildew because they contain organic materials, which is more likely to stimulate mildew growth. Paints that have zinc dioxide tends to forbid mildew growth better than those with titanium dioxide.
Depending on your budget and your surface conditions at home, choose one mildew resistant paint that you think would be suitable. So far, painting your walls with mildew resistant paint is the best solution the deal with mildew as well as mold.
There is a wide range of types and brands of paints for you to choose from. Therefore, take your time and think carefully before investing in any specific brand of paint.
I hope you find my article helpful. Don’t forget to share your experience with your friends and family if you succeed in keeping your walls clean and mildew-free.
Thank you for reading.
I am a licensed architect who is passionate about all things home improvement industries, I have been doing DIY painting projects and have developed lots of experience around home improvement over the 10 years.