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Waterproofing Basement Walls with DRYLOK Paint

Waterproofing basement walls with DRYLOK® paint is pretty darn easy.

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!

Let’s dive in.

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.

DRYLOK® partnered with me on this tutorial but I was going to use their paint anyway.

Step 1: Inspect Both Inside and Outside 

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.

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Check Gutters


The downspouts work properly and extend away from the foundation.

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Check Downspouts


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

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Check Yard

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.

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Old Walls

Some areas had pealing paint and cracks.

I used a 6 inch drywall knife to remove the old pealing paint.

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Drywall Knife

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

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Grinder

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.

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Fast Plug

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.

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Plug Walls

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.

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Open Windows

Turn off the gas to the furnace,

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Gas Furnace

Hot water tank,

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Hot Water Tank

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

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Gas Dryer

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: Waterproofing Basement Walls with DRYLOK Paint

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.

Waterproofing Basement Walls - Drylok Brush

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.

Waterproofing Basement Walls with DRYLOK Paint- 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.

Waterproofing Basement Walls with DRYLOK Paint - Drylok Application

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!).

Waterproofing Basement Walls with DRYLOK Paint - Drylok Application 2

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.

The Supply List

These are all the supplies I used for my project

The above links go to either Amazon or Home Depot. I tried to find the cheapest prices for each item. Hope that helps.

What’s Next

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

You can check out DRYLOK® by clicking this link.

They make a variety of different products for the home. I bet you’d be surprised.

It made a huge difference in the basements smell and appearance. I’ll have to do a follow up video or post in a year to see how the DRYLOK® holds up.

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.

Thanks for reading, watching, and being part of our DIY community.




  1. Carolyn West says:

    Thanks for another great video, Jeff. Would this product work on the concrete floor of my house? I need to fix a problem with the linoleum turning gray in spots – I assume the problem is water. What do you think?

    1. Not sure if DRYLOK is the answer there Carolyn. Sounds like you have a water problem under the floor. You’ll have to address that issue first. Does your home have a sump pump?

  2. Squafdonoboles says:

    Since DRYLOK can be applied to almost any surface, can it be used on the aluminum exterior of a mobile home?

    1. Hmm, haven’t tried it on aluminum but it is latex paint. Is there a reason you want to use it on the exterior instead of a traditional paint?

  3. TN says:

    What are the dimensions of your basement? How many gallons did you use?

    1. The dimensions of the basement are 7ft tall x17ft wide and 7ft tall by 35ft long. I used about 8 gallons of paint with 2 coats. Hope that helps.

  4. Jeanette says:

    Hi Jeff,
    How long has it been since you have done this, I need to do but don’t want to spend all this money and invest a lot of time and not have it work….

  5. Barbara says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for the great article and video! This looks exactly like what we need to do in our basement… 😉 I am curious though, did you fix the outside wall cracks as well? My thinking is that if there was cracking and water seeping in your basement, there may have been a problem to fix outside too… I would appreciate the extra info, before I jump into this project… Thanks again! 🙂

    1. Thanks Barbara, I did my best to fix cracks on the exterior and that did help. I used a flexible Sika product between the sidewalk and foundation. That helped a lot with the moisture infiltration but didn’t fix it quite as well as I had hoped. We still get some moisture on the walls even after the DRYLOK. That said, I still like the product.

  6. Cristina Magbanua says:

    Hi Jeff, thank you for very specific steps on waterproofing with drylok. Question, can I use the paint spray with drylok extreme? If so, any tips I should pay attention to?

  7. Cindy says:

    Can I paint over this product with my color choice?

  8. roberta kolargreen says:

    has it been a year yet? has the drylock held up well? wanted to know how it did over existing painted walls

  9. Alison says:

    I’m curious how this has held up? We are doing the same thing with our basement walls currently. What type of paint did you paint over?

  10. Michelle says:

    I’m curios how this held up. Also, I see you already had painted walls in the basement. Was that Drylock from before? Did you have to remove the previous paint first? I want to do this in my basement but the previous owner had painted the walls and it

  11. Michelle says:

    I’m curios how this held up. Also, I see you already had painted walls in the basement. Was that Drylock from before? Did you have to remove the previous paint first? I want to do this in my basement but the previous owner had painted the walls and there is efflorescence and flaking/peeling paint. There are also two cracks the previous owners sloppily filled with cement and that is crumbling.

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