Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

May, 2002

Nonporous Paints for Interior Walls

Q. I am looking for information about suggested coatings for the walls in a Police Evidence Room. Currently, the walls are an unfinished concrete block. We want to provide a non-porous coating to the walls so that they will be easier to clean. We plan to use a biocide such as Beaucoup (diluted with water, one ounce Beaucoup to one gal. water). Can you provide any assistance on this matter?

A. Acrylic latex paints are commonly used on interior and exterior walls, but they are porous. If you want something that is nonporous (or rather, less porous) you would need to look at a semi-gloss or high gloss alkyd, epoxy or polyurethane system. While some are available in waterborne formulations, others are only available as solvent-based products. Solvent-based and must be applied by professionals who have the appropriate respirators and protective clothing.

Alternatively, you might go to your local industrial paint store (not your local hardware store) and ask them for their recommendation for painting hospital walls, operating theaters, etc.

Please be aware that while ALL paints must be applied while wearing appropriate protective clothing and respirators, this is ESPECIALLY true when applying solvent-based paints. In addition, others who are not involved in the painting operation must also wear protective clothing (mainly respirators), unless the painting is performed on a weekend or non-working day when everyone else is out of the work place.

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