The paint contains a newly developed compound that acts like silica gel, which is used in sachets to absorb moisture and keep food, medicines, and electronics fresh and dry.
But unlike silica gel, the new material, synthetic molybdenum-sulphide, also acts as a semi-conductor and catalyses the splitting of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.
Lead researcher Dr. Torben Daeneke, from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, said: "We found that mixing the compound with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air.
"Titanium oxide is the white pigment that is already commonly used in wall paint, meaning that the simple addition of the new material can convert a brick wall into energy harvesting and fuel production real estate.
"Our new development has a big range of advantages," he said. "There's no need for clean or filtered water to feed the system. Any place that has water vapor in the air, even remote areas far from water, can produce fuel."