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Community and Q&A

Breathable Paint for wooden joists

1000 | Posted in General Questions on

Hi all,
Looking for a breathable paint that’s sprayable for the wooden joists for the basement of a 1940’s building in the suburbs of Philly.

I’m rehabbing the 4 unit property and converting one of the basements into my shop space.  The walls have been cared and lime washed – doesn’t look like they’ve ever seen latex paint or drylok, and there’s not too much moisture in the basement. 

Hoping to find a breathable paint that we can spray the underside of the subfloor and the pocketed floor joists.  Maybe I’m looking too far into things?


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  1. Expert Member
    DCcontrarian | | #1

    What do you mean by breathable?

    1. 1000 | | #2

      Something with a high perm rating that won't trap moisture in the pocketed joists!

      The basement is in great condition and I don't want to compromise its longevity for aesthetics.

  2. Expert Member


    Primer is about 6 perms. regular latex paint is about 5.

  3. jollygreenshortguy | | #4

    I doubt it's sprayable but I just wanted to mention the option of limewash. It's highly permeable and also has benefits with regard to mold and pests.

    1. scottperezfox | | #6

      I agree — Mineral Paint is just about the most-open form of covering. Milk Paint is also an option that outperforms Latex. Here's a rundown. (Trust but verify — this isn't a peer-reviewed scientific journal)

      1. 1000 | | #8

        I saw this article too, have been calling up some of the companies but having trouble finding credible perm ratings. will follow up when I do!

    2. 1000 | | #7

      We're big fans of KEIM, but my understanding is that their coatings aren't suitable for wood. We just shot a video with their rep about painting our brick facade with mineral paint!

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