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The Best Paint for High Humidity Environments


There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint on the walls to liven up a home. But there’s more to a good paint job than just picking the right colour and applying an even coat. Prepping surfaces properly and choosing the right kind of paint for the conditions are key elements for achieving long-lasting results.

A high humidity environment presents some challenges for a high quality paint job. For starters, application in high humidity can lead to blistering, as the moisture content in the air will hinder proper adhesion to the surface to be covered. Some moisture issues can be assuaged with a few modifications to the environment, such as adding vents to interior spaces where high humidity is a problem.

For high humidity environments, your choice of paint will have considerable impact on the durability of the paint job as well as the finish. To achieve the best possible results where moisture in the air is high, an acrylic-based product offers the greatest durability in high humidity environments.

In contrast to oil-based paints, acrylic paints will resist blistering, flaking or cracking, and are rugged enough to withstand not only high moisture content in the air, but snow, rain, sand and direct sunlight. Particularly for homes along seashores, acrylic paints are the best bet.

Of course, the aforementioned all-important step of prepping the surface must not be overlooked, regardless of the paint being applied. It is still essential that the surface be cleaned of any dirt, salt or chalking before painting to ensure proper adhesion.

As important as selection of the right kind of paint is the decision when to paint. If you’re painting in an environment that is generally high in humidity, you should keep an eye on the weather forecast in your area for a day with a low relative humidity, so as to avoid moisture being trapped under coats which will lead to blistering.

Interior surfaces where trapped moisture can promote the development of mould are best finished with semi-gloss or gloss finish paints as opposed to flat finish which are more prone to absorb the moisture.

In addition to providing adequate ventilation, it is also advisable to use heating and proper insulation for interior spaces where high moisture content is anticipated. Paint exterior surfaces in direct sunlight whenever possible to reduce humidity.

A professional licensed building inspector can access the moisture content in your home, and recommend paints and other finishes that work best in your part of the Northern Territory.