The aim of this study was to evaluate the properties of polymer dispersions prepared from hydrophobic monomers as barrier coatings. These dispersions were produced using a new emulsion polymerization process involving cyclodextrin as a phase-transport catalyst. Conventional emulsion polymerization techniques are not applicable due to the low water solubility of the monomers, such as lauryl and stearyl (meth)-acrylates. The experimental polymers showed improvements in water and water vapor barriers, as a result of the incorporation of hydrophobic monomers. The barrier properties could be further improved with functional groups, crosslinking, and chain-reg-ulating agents, as well as fillers. Grease and water barriers were strongly affected by pinholes, and functional monomers appeared to be effective in enhancing the grease barrier property. Particle morphology, glass transition temperature, and drying affected the performance of these dispersions.