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The Best Moisture Resistant Paint for Indoor & Outdoor

Moisture is the enemy when it comes to preventing mold, mildew, and rot in interior wood, exterior wood, and masonry surfaces. Almost all surfaces absorb moisture, whether it’s the area around a shower that sustains splashes and high humidity or exterior walls and foundations that routinely see moisture in the form of rain, snow, and humidity in the air. 

Choosing the best moisture-resistant paint for indoor and outdoor applications will preserve the longevity of the materials.

Moisture Resistant Paint


What Is Moisture Resistant Paint?

Basic Chemical Makeup

Paints are composed of essentially the same components — resins, additives, solvents, and pigments. Each component is responsible for a different quality of the paint. Moisture resistant paint is largely dependent on the resins and additives used:

  • Resins: Resins bind the pigment to the surface of what you are painting. The type of resins in the paint depends on the purpose of the paint. Where the paint needs to expand and contract to account for changes in moisture level and air temperature — generally for exterior applications — a softer resin must be used. For interior applications, a harder resin reduces the chances that the paint will chip, smear or scuff with wear and tear. Resins are usually silicone, epoxy or acrylic.

  • Additives: Additives give paint different properties including mildew resistance, texture, scent, waterproofing and more.

  • Solvents: Solvents are essentially the liquid part of the paint. As the paint dries, the solvent evaporates, leaving behind the resin, additives and pigments, resulting in a painted surface.

  • Pigments: Pigments provide the color for the paint.

Does Moisture Resistant Mean It Doesn’t Breathe?

No, moisture-resistant products don’t suffocate surfaces. Moisture-resistant paint creates a barrier that resists moisture intrusion, helping to stop the growth of mold and mildew on the coating film, often aided by a biocide additive. Moisture-resistant paint will still allow the paint to exhale any trapped moisture to further prevent mold and mildew, providing proper care is given in eliminating existing mold and mildew before applying the finish.

What Is Waterproof Paint?

Waterproof paint is a waterproof coating combined with pigments, solvents and resins that creates a moisture and vapor barrier on the surface to which it’s applied. Waterproof paint also contains additives that prevent the growth of mold and mildew in the presence of moisture.

What Is Waterproof Paint?


Where Are Moisture Resistant Paints Used?

Moisture-resistant paints are used anywhere that moisture threatens to create mold or mildew, either from water directly or from humidity in the surrounding environment. It is also applied in areas where high winds create wind-driven rain.


In kitchens, heat and moisture are constant — heat from the stove and oven, steam from boiling water, and water that splashes onto walls and surfaces from the sink all contribute to a high moisture environment. Moisture-resistant products are used in kitchens for protection against cooking elements.


Humidity from hot showers and water splashing from the bathtub and sink create an environment in which mold and mildew thrive, which is why moisture-resistant paint is often used in the bathroom. Often, moisture-resistant ceiling paint is used to add additional protection from rising humidity.


Where Are Moisture Resistant Paints Used?


Below-grade basement walls and floors are the last line of defense against groundwater and runoff. Moisture-resistant paint can be used during construction to coat the exterior of the below-grade foundation before it is filled in, and/​or can be applied to the interior of a finished basement for extra protection, stopping any moisture from the outside from coming inside.

Exterior Masonry Surfaces

Exterior masonry surfaces — including brick and stucco walls, above and below grade masonry walls, wood and fiber cement siding and even pools — require moisture and mold resistant paint to ensure they last as long as possible.

Choosing the Right Paint for the Right Job

As with any project, the right materials and products not only make the work go more smoothly, but they last longer and do their job, requiring less maintenance in the long run. Choosing the right paint for the right job is essential for a successful project. 

Painting Vertical Masonry Surfaces: Interior and Exterior

Both interior and exterior vertical masonry surfaces will benefit from the application of moisture-resistant paint. DRYLOK® offers a selection of the best moisture-resistant paint to protect these surfaces. Many are compatible with a sprayer application for moisture-resistant spray paint.

  • DRYLOK® Original Concrete & Masonry Waterproofer: Guaranteed to stop water with no pre-mixing or pre-wetting, this product is the original solution for masonry waterproofing. It resists 98 MPH wind-driven rain and is tintable for an added layer of design.

  • DRYLOK® Powdered Masonry Waterproofer: When mixed with water, this product is specifically formulated to fill and seal porous masonry walls against water, becoming part of the original surface. It can be used as a base coat or a finish coat, and it resists 10 psi hydrostatic pressure.

  • DRYLOK® Extreme: As the name implies, this product is best used for applications that require a high level of moisture and mildew resistance. The flexible encapsulated polymers create a beautiful, smooth waterproof finish that is guaranteed to stop water even under pressure. This product is ideal for concrete block, stucco, brick and even bare concrete swimming pools.

Sealing Concrete Floors

  • DRYLOK® Floor & Wall Masonry Waterproofer: This non-pigmented masonry waterproofer is specifically formulated for use on bare masonry floors and walls. From concrete to stucco, this product is easy to apply and incorporates a biocide that resists the growth of mold and mildew. It will preserve the beauty of the material with a non-yellowing high gloss finish that also resists wearing from foot traffic.

Painting Interior Wood Surfaces

  • ZAR® Interior Oil Base Poly PRO: This oil-based, fast-drying contractor formula will make the job go smoothly while providing superior protection with fewer coats. It protects all types of interior wood, including floors, woodwork and furniture.

ZAR® Interior Oil Base Poly High Solids: The rich amber finish of this product offers maximum film build to create long-lasting beauty and protection for interior wood, including cabinets, floor and woodwork.

Painting Vertical Masonry Surfaces: Interior and Exterior

Sealing/​Renewing Wood Decks

  • ZAR® NuDECK® Wood and Concrete Restorative Coating: For old or damaged wood decks, this product doesn’t require special applicators, primer or a topcoat. Its elastomeric resin creates superior performance for expansion and contraction. Available in a wide range of colors, this moisture and mold-resistant paint creates a slip-resistant surface where it is needed most — pool decks, concrete porches, walkways, wooden decks and docks.

  • ZAR® Solid Color Deck & Siding Stain: For full coverage and superior color, this stain will show the wood texture without the grain. 100%-acrylic resins and a unique alkyd blend create long-lasting protection against the elements on decks, siding, railings, fences and even wooden lawn furniture.

Painting Steel and Fiberglass Doors, Vertical Wood and Fiber-Cement Surfaces

  • ZAR® Platinum PRO Translucent Urethane Finish: Ideal for vertical non-porous primed substrates, this product is well-suited for applications on doors made of fiberglass and steel. It is available in eight ready-mixed mold-resistant paint colors, including Charcoal, Sage and Golden Wheat. It is not intended for horizontal applications, but it can be used for other vertical applications such as wood and fiber-cement surfaces.

For the Best Moisture Resistant Paint, Choose UGL®

For years, United Gilsonite Laboratories® has manufactured the best moisture-resistant paint for both indoor and outdoor applications. Our products include DRYLOK® and ZAR® paints and stains that provide mold and moisture resistant products, preserving the beauty and longevity of basement walls and floors, decks, doors, cabinets and nearly any other masonry or wood surface.

Reach out to the experts at UGL® today to explore high-quality products that provide simple yet effective solutions for your project.