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Paint expert explains when and how you should paint over a mouldy or damp surface


Due to cold weather in recent weeks, there has been a considerable increase in searches for how to get rid of mould with a 180% increase within the past month alone. Finding black mould in the home is never lovely as it can cause issues for your property and, more importantly, your health. 

Michael Rolland, interiors expert and Managing Director of The Paint Shed explains the best practice for painting over mould.

Unfortunately, mould isn’t a feature that can just be painted over and forgotten about like a scuff or other mark on a wall you might create by accident. While painting over mould will temporarily hide its ugliness, it won’t resolve the issue by itself. Mould will continue to grow unless properly treated and eventually reappear, bringing the same problems as before. There are some steps you should take before painting over the mould.

  • Work out what is causing the mould

Rather than hiding the mould problem by painting over it, you need to ultimately work out and fix what is causing it. Mould is a living organism and can cause permanent damage to property and your own health if left untreated. This may mean repairs being made to your property or improving ventilation inside your home to reduce the amount of condensation you are creating. 

If simply left untreated and covered up with paint, the mould will regrow working its way through the walls and ceilings, eating through the coatings of paint and you will be left back in the same situation as before. Only once the surface you are looking to paint on has been made free of the dampness and mould issues, you should apply a new coat of paint without the worry of black mould reappearing due to dampness.

  • Treat and clean the surface thoroughly 

It is important to properly tackle the black mould when it first appears. Before any paint touch-ups are made, you need to treat and clean the surface thoroughly. A simple wipe or spray of anti-bacterial cleaner won't cut it. You should always use a fungicidal sterilisation wash before painting over mouldy surfaces. Remember, these will only temporarily remove the mould if the underlying issue is not dealt with.

You can also make your own DIY surface mould remover by mixing two parts bleach and ten parts water. Simply spray onto the wall, and wipe away with kitchen roll. Make sure to wear a mask and rubber gloves for this. White vinegar can also be used to clean affected areas but make sure to read the label on the products before use. 

  • Prepare the surface 

After treating and cleaning the surface, you need to ensure it is clean and dry. You also need to remove any loose material with scrapers or stiff-bristled brushes. This will help prevent any interference with the adhesion of paint and create the smoothest finish. You can use fine, abrasive paper to get into corners and seams. 

  • Seal and prime the surface 

Using a primer over a damp or mouldy surface will help cover over some of the discolourations and marks it may have left. You can also use a seal such as Polycell Damp Seal, this paint has been specially formulated to seal patches of penetrating dampness on interior walls and ceilings in just one coat, preventing them from showing through and spoiling decorations. 

  • Apply mould-resistant paint 

Once the surface has been cleaned, primed and sealed you can start applying the paint. If you're looking to paint an area prone to mould such as a kitchen or bathroom, then mould-resistant paint should be used such as Crown Trade Clean Extreme Mould Inhibiting Scrubbable Matt which contains more mould-inhibiting ingredients than most emulsions and is designed to be used on interior walls and ceilings, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms where there is a lot of moisture. It can also be washed, wiped and scrubbed regularly without damage to the finish or colour. 







An inexpensive alternative to mould-resistant paint is an anti-mould additive that you can mix in with your everyday paint to give it mould-resistant capabilities such as The Owatrol VC175 Mould Stop. An additive is an inexpensive way to kill and treat mould and algae. Simply add a few drops to your paint, mix well and apply as normal for long-lasting protection. A few drops of a mould killer added to your paint will mean they will stay like new without unsightly and musty-smelling mould. This is a great option if you can’t find any anti-mould paint in the colour you want. 

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