What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for Mold?

Mold is an unsightly and potentially dangerous problem in many homes. It can quickly spread throughout a home and be difficult to remove without the right tools. One way to prevent mold growth is by using the right paint and primer. 

To combat mold, you need to apply mold-resistant paint and primer that contains a mildewcide. It’s recommended to use high-quality latex paint with a mold inhibitor. Before painting, apply a mold-killing primer containing a mildewcide to stop mold from growing and spreading on the surface.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 3 factors to consider when choosing paint for mold
  • What finish is best
  • What type of paint to use
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for mold

The 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Mold

1. Mold-Resistant Products

Always opt for mold-resistant products when selecting paint for areas where mold is likely to grow. These types of paints are designed to resist moisture, which is a leading cause of mold growth. Look for products labeled “mold-resistant” or “mold-inhibiting,” as these are your best bet for preventing mold growth on your walls.

2. Quality of Paint

The quality of the paint is a crucial factor to consider when selecting paint for mold-prone areas. Quality paints usually contain more mildewcides, which help inhibit mold and mildew growth.

High-quality paints also have better coverage, durability, and moisture resistance, making them a great option for bathrooms, kitchens, and other damp areas.

3. Consider the Finish

The paint’s finish can also be a factor in preventing mold growth. Flat or matte finishes can be more susceptible to mold growth as they have a more porous surface.

Consider choosing a semi-gloss or gloss finish for mold-prone areas, as these finishes have a more seamless surface that is less likely to provide a breeding ground for mold.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Water-based Paint

Water-based paint, also known as latex paint, is a type of paint that uses water as its main solvent instead of oil. This type of paint is becoming increasingly popular due to its lower environmental impact and ease of use. 


  • Water-based paint releases fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, making it a more environmentally friendly option.
  • It dries faster than oil-based paint, allowing for quicker application and re-coating.
  • It has a lower odor than oil-based paint, making it a better choice for indoor painting projects.
  • It can be easily cleaned with water, making the cleanup process faster and easier.


  • Water-based paint is more prone to fading and peeling compared to oil-based paint.
  • It is less durable.
  • It may require more coats of paint to achieve the desired finish.

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint, also known as solvent-based paint, is a type of paint that uses organic solvents as the main ingredient. While it has been the preferred choice of paint for many years due to its durability and versatility, it has some downsides.


  • Oil-based paint is known for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, making it an excellent choice for outdoor surfaces.
  • It has a higher-quality finish than water-based paint, which can sometimes show brush strokes or roller marks.
  • Due to its oil-based nature, this paint repels water, making it resistant to mold and mildew growth.


  • Oil-based paint can take up to 24 hours to dry completely, which can cause inconvenience in certain situations.
  • The solvents used in oil-based paint can emit a strong smell.
  • Due to its composition, oil-based paint requires harsh solvents to clean up spills and equipment.
  • Oil-based paint can sometimes lose its color quality and turn yellow over time.

What Paint Finish Is Best?

A semi-gloss or high-gloss finish is the best paint finish for areas susceptible to mold growth. These finishes are less porous than others, meaning they absorb less moisture.

In addition to minimizing moisture absorption, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes are also easier to clean and maintain than other finishes.

They are less likely to accumulate dust, dirt, and other particles, which can contribute to mold growth. Furthermore, these finishes are more resistant to mildew and other fungi, which means they offer better protection against mold growth.

The Best Paint and Primer for Mold

Best Paint

If you’re looking for the best paint for mold and mildew-prone areas in your home, look no further than Zinsser Mold & Mildew-Proof Interior Paint.

This paint guarantees a mold and mildew-free finish for 5 years, providing peace of mind and lasting protection for your home.

Not only does this paint prevent mold and mildew growth, but it’s also washable, scrubbable, and stain-resistant.

The moisture-resistant finish repels water and prevents water damage, making it ideal for use in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-moisture areas.

One of the standout features of this paint is its self-priming capabilities. This means it sticks to most surfaces without sanding or primer, saving you time and effort during the painting process.

In addition to its practical benefits, Zinsser Mold & Mildew-Proof Interior Paint is available in various colors, including off-white, pastel, and medium shades. And despite its strength and durability, this low-odor water-based paint won’t emit any unpleasant fumes.

Best Primer

Rust-Oleum 276049 Mold-Killing Primer is the ultimate solution to prevent the growth of mold and mildew in your indoor space.

It is a top-performing primer that kills existing mold, mildew, and odor-causing bacteria, without needing extensive pre-cleaning. It is EPA-registered, ensuring product performance and quality.

This primer boasts a water-based, fungicidal protective coating that works under any coating and helps cover fungal stains. It is an ideal solution when used with Zinsser Perma-White, and you can paint directly over existing mold and mildew without requiring extensive pre-cleaning.

However, it is worth noting that fixing all moisture issues before application is vital. For structurally unsound surfaces, refer to the label for remediation guidelines.

Rust-Oleum Mold-Killing Primer is recommended for residential, commercial, and industrial applications, including bathrooms, basements, wall cavities, window frames, office buildings, and factories.

It dries to the touch in 30 minutes and can be top-coated in one hour. For optimal protection, it is recommended to top-coat within 72 hours of application.

One of the significant advantages of this primer is that it is extremely easy to use. It has a smooth and easy application process that requires no special skills. However, it is crucial to carefully follow the instructions on the label for the best results.

Alternatively, you can use Zinsser Mold-Blocking Primer spray for small projects, which provides similar protection in smaller quantities.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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