The UK is notorious for having wet weather throughout the year and this type of climate can wreak havoc on new and old homes alike.
Many properties in the UK suffer from mould and damp problems and this has led many paint manufacturers to look at solutions such as waterproof paint. In addition to damage caused to homes, the rain can also have a negative impact on that perfectly painted fence of yours as well as any garden furniture you’ve decided to paint.
Whilst waterproof paint isn’t as accessible, and perhaps not as high quality, as other types of paints on the market, there are still some that professional decorators swear by. With that in mind, we’ve reviewed some waterproof paints that we personally use as well as consulted a network of professional decorators to get their unbiased input.
Let’s take a look at some of the best waterproof paints available in the UK, depending on the purpose.
Best Waterproof Paint for Interior Walls – Zinsser Perma-White
If you’re looking for waterproof paint for your interior walls and ceilings, you don’t have to look much further than Zinsser Perma-White. Ideal for walls, ceilings, doors and wooden trim, this all-rounder can transform your rooms into a mould-proof haven. Furthermore, the finish is so good that you can use this stuff on any room in the home.
Admittedly, this paint can be somewhat frustrating to work with if you’re a professional decorator as the coverage doesn’t size up well against similar brands. On the other hand, if you’re not in a rush and are a DIY painter, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. With that being said, professionals and DIYers alike will be highly impressed by the effectiveness and durability of Zinsser Perma-White. It’s truly waterproof and mould-resistant which makes for happy customers and happy homeowners.
My advice would be to follow the usual prep for decorating interior walls before applying 2 to 3 coats, depending on what the finish looks like once the second coat has dried.
- Perfect for homes with condensation issues as it will resist the buildup of mould which commonly occurs in damp rooms.
- Very easy to apply and won’t leave roller marks
- Looks stunning after 3 coats
- Will likely need 3 coats for maximum effect
- Doesn’t roll very far so increases the time on the job
Best Waterproof Paint for Concrete – Zinsser Watertite
If you’re suffering from mould, mildew or condensation issues in your cellar or garage, a good quality waterproof paint for concrete will go a long way. And for this occasion, we would highly recommend Zinsser Watertite.
Ideal for use on interior and exterior concrete as well as any other masonry surfaces, Zinsser Watertite utilises a special formula which essentially seals the surface and thus stops water from getting onto the substrate – this will fully waterproof your surfaces and saves you from unhealthy mould or mildew buildup which occurs in damp conditions.
In terms of application, the paint is very thick but relatively easy to work with.
Using this paint can be considered as ‘cellar tanking’ and is especially useful and indeed imperative if you want to make cellars or basement living areas.
One thing you should bear in mind is that this particular paint is solvent based so it’s imperative that the area you’re working in is properly ventilated before, during and after application and use an M3 fume mask for added protection.
- Can convert cellars and basements into living areas
- Completely waterproofs concrete and masonry which will inhibit mould and mildew growth and thus makes the environment healthier and saves on costs associated with mould and mildew removal
- Can be painted over
- It’s solvent based so you’ll need to take extra precautions for your safety
Best for Roof – Ronseal Isoflex Liquid Rubber
I remember a time when I decorated an exterior for a lovely elderly couple a few years ago when they asked me to apply waterproof paint to their flat felt roof to keep it watertight until they could afford to get it redone the following year. This was my first time using a waterproof paint on a roof so naturally, I consulted my friend who is a roofer. He suggested I use Ronseal’s Isoflex Liquid Rubber and boy was it a good call.
As you’d expect from a waterproof paint for roofing, the consistency of Isoflex Liquid Rubber is extremely thick and can best be described as being like applying syrup to your roof. This does make it a little bit challenging to apply in the conventional way of using a roller, however, I’ve found that using a mini-roller does the trick. Of course, that means you’ll have to spend a little more time than you usually would applying it.
- Highly efficient and can save money on costly roof repairs
- Thick consistency makes it tricky to apply
- Guaranteed to ruin a new roller so use an old one if you have one lying around
Best Waterproof Paint for Wood – Sandtex Flexigloss
Fences, garden furniture or exterior wooden doors, it’s pretty unanimous in the decorating world which waterproof paint we’d choose if we could! Sandtex Flexigloss (or Flexisatin if you want less of a sheen) is hands down one of the most durable waterproof paints with a stated guaranteed 10-year durability, although many tradesmen will tell you it could easily last longer than this before it’s in need of maintenance.
In terms of application, this paint doesn’t get much easier. It’s got a great flow when laying off so even amateur DIYers won’t get stuck with pesky roller marks. Furthermore, the opacity is pretty on point. My recommended go-to system for application would be 1 coat of Sandtex Flexiprimer followed by 2 topcoats of the Flexigloss.
Depending on what style you’re going for, you could always opt for the Flexisatin option. This will have a lower sheen and is better at hiding imperfections. For this reason, I’d suggest taking a look at the condition of the wood you want to paint and making a decision based on that. If your wood has plenty of imperfections, the Flexisatin would be a good choice but I’d opt for Flexigloss if you really want to make a statement!
- Excellent flow makes it easy to apply even for amateur painters
- Comes in gloss or satin allowing you to achieve the desired look you want
- Guaranteed to last at least 10 years, saving you time and money in the long run
- Has quite a long re-coatable time (16 hours) so you’ll need to plan for any bad weather disruption before applying the first coat
What To Use On Exteriors – Rust-Oleum Mathys Murfill
Whether you have issues with damp walls, you live near the coast or your home is particularly prone to small floods – Mathys Murfill will go a long way to helping you solve your issues.
This waterproofing coating is perfect for waterproofing any exterior masonry work including the exterior of your home as well as any perimeter walls.
Applying it is fairly easy but be warned – it’s best off using throwaway brushes and rollers as this paint will completely destroy your equipment! It dries to a texture that resembles a rubber mat, will bridge large cracks without showing and will hold stabilised damaged surfaces together better than filler. It’s a true gem that, best of all, is 100% waterproof and thus protects your property from any water damage.
- 100% waterproof guaranteed
- Dries to a super flexible finish meaning it won’t crack as your exterior expands and contracts during different weather conditions
- Destroys your brushes and rollers
Waterproof Paint Buying Guide
Now we’ve covered the best waterproof paints you can buy, let’s take a little bit of a deeper dive into what you should look for when buying waterproof paint.
Purpose and Location
The most important aspect when it comes to choosing the right paint is matching it to its purpose. For example, you can’t just find a paint that claims it’s waterproof and use it in any location in your home. You will need to be specific. Here’s what you should look for in each area of your home:
Interiors & Bathrooms
For interior walls around the home and particularly in areas of high condensation and humidity such as the bathroom, it’s always a good choice to go for a paint that contains a biocide which can protect against mould and fungal degradation. You’ll also need a paint that has plenty of flexibility – this means it won’t peel and crack despite the conditions.
Another important thing to note is that whilst functionality is key, you’ll still want to choose the right sheen for your home. Go for a matt paint for general interior walls but if you have a particularly troublesome bathroom, it’s not unreasonable to choose a satin which will offer more protection and durability than matt paint.
Cellars or Basements
Cellars and basements are particularly prone to damp conditions so it’s always best to avoid troublesome mould and mildew problems by cellar tanking. This means applying a waterproof coating to the area which will seal all the substrates and make it improbable that mould or mildew grows in the area.
Taking this step isn’t strictly necessary if you’re not using it as a living area but if you do plan to host living activities, I’d definitely recommend it.
The best type of coatings for this environment will be solvent based and usually contain a combination of waterproof resin as well as Portland cement. This combination will ensure the environment is watertight.
Again, look for something with a biocide to prevent fungal degradation.
Exterior Concrete and Masonry
If you live in an area that is particularly wet such as somewhere that rains often or you’re near the coast it’s likely you’ve experienced cracking exterior paint – commonly caused by moisture movement within your building or ground movement. Therefore, it’s useful to use waterproof paint with excellent paint film flexibility properties. Furthermore, look for something with a microporous structure – this will ensure the paint is able to ‘breathe’ and not hold onto any excess moisture.
In general, the best protective paint for woodwork is gloss. And if you want something weatherproof, this is certainly what I’d recommend. However, as mentioned above, you can go one step further and go with Flexigloss. This will give you much better performance than traditional gloss and should last a lot longer too.
It’s no surprise that waterproof roof paint is going to need to be extremely durable and certain to keep the rain out. For this reason, it’s a great idea to look for paint made from crude oil such as those that are bituminous. As this paint is immiscible (won’t mix with other liquids) it’s virtually impossible for water to pass through the coating.