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Answers: Moisture / Vapor Retarder Primer Paints

scpnvvZeAy | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Hi everyone,

I did some research and found these paints that are qualified as moisture / vapour barriers:

(The table shows the grams of VOC per litre, Brand, Model #, and coverage.)

  • under 50g/l — Kelly-Moore — 95-500TDS – 250-300sqft-gal – <1 perm
  • 73 g/l — Miller Paint — Vapor-Lok Moisture Vapor Barrier Primer #1545 325-375 sqft-gal – <1 perm
  • 74 g/l — Sherwin-Williams — INTERIOR LATEX MOISTURE VAPOR BARRIER B72W1 – 200-250sqft-gal – <1 perm
  • 85 g/l — ICI Glidden PREP & PRIMEâ„¢ VAPOR BARRIER – 400sqft-gal – – 0.6 perm – my pick based on VOC, coverage, and national availability (assumed)
  • 99g/l — Rodda (Cloverdale) — pds507901 – 230-270 sqft gal – 0.68-0.42 perm depending on thickness (1 coat) / 0.55-0.3 perm depending on thickness (2 coats)
  • 99g/l — Cloverdale — 507901 10-0135 – 230-270 sqft gal – see Rodda for perm ratings
  • 107g/l — Benjamin-Moore — 20110228 260 TDS US OKF – 450sqft-gal – 0.5 Perm

MPI VOC Ranges (grams/L) E3 <51 g/l E2 51 – 100 g/l E1 101 – 150 g/l E2 and E3 are generally considered “Environmentally Friendly” GPS-1 meets the MPI Green Performanceâ„¢ Standard GPS-1-08 GPS-2 meets the MPI Green Performanceâ„¢ Standard GPS-2-08 Via “Master Painters Institute” Paint Specifier’s List: “MPI # 61 Primer Sealer, Low Permeability, Latex, Interior A white pigmented, latex-based primer-sealer intended for use on new interior plaster, concrete and wallboard surfaces that are to be subsequently painted with latex or alkyd finish coats. Materials conforming to this standard will retard the transmission of moisture vapor through the coated substrate. This coating is not intended for use on wood.” Also, here’s a “Jon Eakes” article about the vapour barrier paints: Looks like I’ll be buying some ICI Glidden PREP & PRIME to use instead of 6-mil poly on my project. Cheers! Danny

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  1. jklingel | | #1

    Dan: Thanks for the info. This one sentence early on in Jon's article, though, does not compute. "...or 0.26 Perms (Imperial) of moisture passage. These are required where there is cladding on the house that doesn't breath well." That sure sounds like a double vapor barrier to me.

  2. Natur Haus | | #2

    I like using these primers on cathedrals and bathrooms, but have also kraft paper behind the drywall with perm rating of .7, fortifiber makes a good one called aquabar.

  3. thrifttrust | | #3

    Zinnser's shellac based BIN primer is my go-to. I just looked it up and it seems to have a perm rating of .4. Common wisdom says that shellac sticks to anything and anything sticks to it. While I couldn't find a definitive answer as to it sticking to latex, it is commonly used on to seal walls from smoke odor after a house fire.

    Douglas Higden

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