Waterproofing Basement Walls With DRYLOK Paint

Introduction: Waterproofing Basement Walls With DRYLOK Paint

About: We love home improvement and enjoy sharing tips on YouTube and Home Repair Tutor. Everything we do is self taught. Over the last 12 years we've bought and rehabbed several rental homes in Pittsburgh. Sometim…

Recently I had to remodel one of my rental homes. And I was teetering with the idea of not touching the basement.

But it became clear that the basement walls were a nightmare. So I decided to paint them with DRYLOK and share that project with you today…just in case you’re in the same predicament!

I’ll add a supply list at the end of this tutorial. That way you can check out all the materials I used for this project.

Step 1: Inspect Both Inside and Outside the House

I’ll say this right now: I’m not a basement waterproofing expert.

Okay, got that off my chest.

But I do know you should

  1. Clean gutters and downspouts at least twice a year
  2. Downspouts should extend at least 3 to 4 feat away from the foundation.
  3. And the yard should slope away from the house if possible

The house I’m working on has the gutters and downspouts cleaned twice a year.


The downspouts work properly and extend away from the foundation.


And the yard is what it is – this house is landlocked by the neighbors.

Side Note: as I was painting the walls in the basement I noticed our neighbors had their downspout facing my foundation. Yep, that’s an issue and I’m sure they’ll fix it – they’re great people.

But that explains some of the moisture in the basement. Another issue with this home is that it’s over 100 years old. The walls are constantly moist and some of the old paint was pealing. As a result, I had to prep the walls before applying the DRYLOK.

Step 2: Prep Basement Walls for DRYLOK Paint

My basement walls looked terrible.
Some areas had pealing paint and cracks. I used a 6 inch drywall knife to remove the old pealing paint.

And an angle grinder with a Sawtec blade to knockdown any high spots. My goal was to make the walls as smooth as possible.

Once that was done I brushed off the walls with a broom to remove excess dust. Then I filled cracks and holes using UGL’s hydraulic cement.

Mix three parts powder to one part water and stir well with a putty knife. You’ll have a pliable cement mixture that sets up in 3 to 5 minutes. Cut a ‘V’ notch in cracks or holes to ensure the hydraulic cement will adhere properly. Use a hammer and chisel for that. I love hydraulic cement because it works fast and is simple to use. It’s a great way to prevent water from trickling into the basement.

I added extra tips in the video in regard to the Fast Plug, and show how to handle mildew with Concrobium. Efflorescence should be removed with muriatic acid, but have good air circulation as this is potent stuff.

Step 3: Safety Precautions - Don't Blow UP the House

Some people will think I’m crazy but it’s best to be safe when working with paint in a confined space.

Open windows to allow fresh air in and out of the basement.

Turn off the gas to the furnace,

Hot water tank,

and gas dryer if you have one or at a minimum don’t use the dryer while painting.

These are safety precautions because of the paint fumes. Okay, let me know if I’m crazy or you’re just as anal retentive.

Step 4: Waterproof Basement Walls With DRYLOK

DRYLOK can be applied to walls with a brush, roller, or paint sprayer.
I toyed with the idea of using a paint sprayer but decided against it. Simply because I had the brushes and there were areas in this basement where a brush was better. UGL (they make DRYLOK) has brushes.

But any standard brush for latex paint will work. Waterproofing basement walls with DRYLOK paint can be done with a 3/4″ nap roller, I got a 1 3/4″ nap roller because the walls were very bumpy in spots. The DRYLOK I used for this project was DRYLOK Extreme.

Stir DRYLOK very well, pour some paint in a metal tray, and start at the top of each wall. I applied the DRYLOK across 3 feet of the wall then worked downward.

I moved left to right and applied enough paint to cover any bare spots. Back brushing minimized drips and runs. The drop cloth saved my butt a few times when I got a little messy with the paint. I’m not the cleanest painter :/ Always wear protection when prepping or painting walls. My 3M respirator is seriously the best investment I’ve made for my lungs (well that, and not smoking two packs a day!).

Even though I used a brush, it didn’t take long to paint a wall – maybe 45 minutes. In the video I said it took 60 minutes but that was an overestimate. Watch my video tutorial to see the full effect of the DRYLOK® and how it made our basement walls way better.

Step 5: Supply List

These are all the supplies I used for my project

6 inch Drywall Knife ($7)

Venom Gloves (100 Count for $19)

Angle Grinder (corded) ($124)

Abrasive Grinding Disc ($7)

Concrobium ($12)

Respirator ($19)

Earplugs ($7)

Glasses ($5)

Cloth ($12)

Paint by DRYLOK ($45 per gal)

Fast Plug ($17)

Paint Brush ($14)

Tray ($4)

There you go, waterproofing basement walls with DRYLOK paint is pretty easy.

Let me know your questions about this project. I’d be happy to help.


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    4 years ago

    can this be done on an outside cement wall? not part of house a 45 triangle extended from garage 3 ft.


    5 years ago

    Nice Job! I did the same thing to my >100 year old basement but I was finishing it after so got a bit paranoid. I applied Lithitek 9500 as a densifier, it supposedly reacts with the calcium and creates more concrete in the pores of your existing walls then I applied Siloxatek 8500 sealer followed by Drylok. Pushing water away from the foundation is also a good point. I don't think you can get to an explosive mixture with the current levels of organic solvents in modern paint so you are probably safe but if you feel better by all means turn off the pilot lights!