Painting a non-tanked cellar

12 Jan 2012
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United Kingdom
I live in a rented house so don't want to make any significant investments in the building. The house has a cellar which isn't tanked but is painted, carpetted and has a radiator. It's not under the ground on one wall and has a number of air-bricks in that wall which helps to keep it dry.

About a year ago we had a bad attack of mould over most of the walls (and our stuff!). The landlord added some more airbricks (there was only one at the time I think) which helped and we've now got a de-humidifier in there so its stays relatively dry.

I've scrubbed all the walls but they are still badly stained from the mould so I want to repaint. I've no idea what kind of paint they've used before but its gone straight onto the brickwork.

What kind of paint should I use? I'm planning on adding an anti-mould additive as well, is it okay to add that to any type of paint?
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I am no damp expert but I would recommend against using any anti-mold additives (unless they are approved for habitable areas).

The increased air flow may well have reduced problems but I am guessing that you need some kind of insulation. Failure to do so will lead to mold in areas with limited airflow, eg behind cupboards.

There are affordable paint additives which claim to boost thermal properties, I have never used them though.

Provided that airflow is adequate then any mid sheen finish should suffice and not lead to mold. I'd be inclined to use the Zinnser BIN. It is alcohol based and will prevent bleed through. It is not cheap though.

Alternatively if you suspect that the lack of tanking is an issue then

Hopefully, at a minimum, the landlord will pay for the paint.

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