Breathable Paints

Breathable Paint – what do we mean by breathable paint – microporous paint ?

This is any paint that allows the passage of moisture back and forth unimpeded – allowing a building to “breathe”. Solvent-based paints are not good at this because they deposit a continuous film of plastic, whereas emulsion and colloidal paints & varnishes are very much better as breathable paints because they are inherently Microporous – allowing moisture vapour to pass through, whilst stopping the movement of liquid water like rain – which is exactly what we need for any house paint and more so for older buildings needing breathable wall paint for lime plaster, for instance. Our Eco friendly wood glue and quick drying floor varnish are similarly breathable, allowing the free passage of water vapour and expansion & contraction of the built structure.

The breathability of Breathable paint and quick drying floor varnish is measured is Sd value (Steam Diffusion Value) or MVT and a breathable wall paint is one that lets moisture to get through it quickly - so a lower Sd means a more breathable paint. Standard paints meanwhile are often higher Sd than Sd3.0 = not great ! Breathable Paint with an Sd of 0.1 or less is a good breathable microporous paint suitable for all purposes. All building materials like eco friendly wood glue plus any quick drying floor varnish should ideally be breathable like this.

Nominally, Breathable paint is considered to have an Sd of <0.1.

ALL Lakeland Paints are Super Breathable paint anyway – we don’t specifically engineer them to be that way, they just ARE breathable paints. All Breathable Paint is rated by its Sd value as per our examples below –

Lakeland paints Sd values =

Limewash/woodwash = 0.01

StdMatt/Soft Sheen/super chalky/distemper/claypaint/cover-up/marble/firewall = ~ 0.04

WashableMatt/gloss/satin/floorpaint/eggshell/masonry/fengshui/varnishes/woodstains= ~ 0.08

Special considerations-

Paint for Lime plaster needs to be not only a super breathable wall paint, but also quite forgiving and microporous with inherent flex, to avoid flaking on the soft lime plaster or lime render surface – ideal breathable paint for lime plaster includes our Soft Sheen, Std Matt, Chalky etc.

Our breathable Masonry paint is ideal both outdoors and indoors – and like all types, was invented in the UK and made in the UK. When using our breathable masonry paint on top of lime plaster or lime render, it ideally needs first a coat of our Stabilising solution to consolidate the soft friable lime plaster surface, which can ordinarily tend to be dusty. Our breathable masonry paint is available in all 372 colours.