Can You Paint Over Drylok? Maximizing Your Home’s Aesthetic

When you have a wet basement, the first thing you want to do is waterproof it. Drylok is a common waterproofing product that you can buy at your local hardware store. But what if you already have paint on your walls? Can you paint over Drylok?

You can paint over drylok. But not every paint will adhere to it. According to the manufacturer, “Drylok can be painted with any good quality latex paint.” They also recommend that you use a primer before painting. But cleaning is important   first because “Drylok is a porous material and will absorb dirt and stains if not cleaned first.”

If you want to paint over Drylok, it’s best to use latex paint. But make sure you clean the surface first and use a primer. This will help the paint to adhere better and give you a better-finished product.

Can You Paint Over Drylok

To Paint or Not to Paint Drylok?

Drylok is a brand of waterproofing paint commonly used to seal and protect interior and exterior masonry surfaces, such as basement walls and concrete floors. Whether or not you should paint over Drylok depends on your specific goals, the surface you’re working with, and the intended use of the space. Here are some considerations:


  • Aesthetics: Painting over Drylok can enhance the appearance of the treated surface. Drylok itself is often gray or similar neutral color, and painting can allow you to add a more personalized touch with the color of your choice.
  • Additional Protection: Painting over Drylok can provide an extra layer of protection against moisture, stains, and other environmental factors.
  • Customization: If you want to achieve a specific look or coordinate the space with your overall design, painting can help you achieve the desired aesthetic.


  • Surface Preparation: Proper surface preparation is crucial before applying paint over Drylok. You need to ensure that the Drylok has fully cured, clean the surface thoroughly, and potentially use a primer to create a suitable base for the paint.
  • Adhesion Issues: If the Drylok surface is not prepared correctly, the paint may not adhere well, leading to peeling, chipping, or bubbling.
  • Maintenance: Painted surfaces require ongoing maintenance to preserve their appearance. Depending on the location and level of use, you may need to touch up the paint periodically.
  • Breathability: Drylok allows moisture to escape from the substrate while preventing water from entering. Painting over Drylok may affect its breathability, potentially trapping moisture within the substrate.
  • Longevity: Drylok itself is a durable waterproofing solution, and some argue that adding paint on top might not significantly extend the lifespan of the protection.

Which Paint Can Be Applied Over Drylok?

Drylok is a brand of waterproofing paint that can be applied to concrete and masonry surfaces. It is often used in basements and other areas where moisture is a problem. Drylok can be applied over other paints as long as they are in good condition and are not peeling or flaking. Here are a few suggestions for the paint to use over Drylok:

Latex Based Paint

You should use latex-based paint as a topcoat when working with Drylok products. This type of paint will adhere well to the Drylok and provide an extra waterproofing layer. This will help ensure your project is protected from the elements and looks its best for years.

Oil Based Paint

If you are looking for a paint that will provide a bit more durability, you may want to consider an oil-based paint. This type of paint will stand up better to wear and tear and provide an extra layer of waterproofing. However, oil-based paints can be more challenging, so read the directions carefully.

High-Performance Paint

For ultimate protection, you may want to consider using high-performance paint. This type of paint is designed to withstand the harshest conditions and will provide an extra layer of waterproofing. But high-performance paints can be more expensive, so budget accordingly.

– Can I Use Drylok to Seal and Prime Drywall before Painting?

Yes, you can use Drylok to prime and seal drywall before painting. Drylok is a great option for providing a moisture barrier and sealing porous surfaces. It also creates a smooth surface for painting, making it an ideal choice for prepping drywall.

How Can You Paint Over Drylok?

Your Drylok painted basement can lose its color over time or become too old, and you want to paint over it. And thinking how you can do it? Here are the step-by-step guide:

What you will need:

  • Paintbrush
  • Paint tray
  • Drop cloths
  • Waterproof Paint (Latex Paint any color)
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer (Latex)
  • Putty knife

Step 1: Clean The Basement

Before beginning the application process, cleaning the basement wall to ensure optimal results is essential. Begin by removing any mildew, dust, or other debris that may be present. If the wall is damp, thoroughly dry it before proceeding. You can use a putty knife to remove them

Step 2: Prepare The Basement

Once the surface is clean, you must prepare it for painting. For best results, use sandpaper to sand the surface lightly. This will help to create a smooth surface for the new paint to adhere to. After sanding, be sure to wipe away any dust that may be present.

Step 3: Apply Primer

Before painting over drylok, you need to apply a primer. This will help ensure the new paint will adhere to the surface properly. For best results, use a latex waterproofing primer. Apply the primer evenly to the surface using a paintbrush.

Step 4: Apply The Paint

After the primer has had time to dry, you can apply the new paint. For best results, use latex paint. Choose any color that you like! Apply the paint evenly to the surface using a paintbrush. Be sure to work in small sections to avoid any paint from drying before you have a chance to spread it evenly.

Step 5: Allow The Paint To Dry

After applying the paint, be sure to allow it to dry completely. This may take several hours or even a day or two, depending on the type of paint that you use. Once the paint is dry, your new Drylok finish will be complete!

Can Drylok Be Used to Cover Efflorescence?

You might wonder if you can simply paint over efflorescence if your home has it. Yes, you can paint over efflorescence with Drylok.

However, there are a few things you need to do first to ensure that your paint job will last.

  • Efflorescence is caused by water seeping through the pores of concrete or brick and leaving behind minerals. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind these white or yellowish deposits.
  • While efflorescence is not harmful, it can indicate a bigger problem, such as leaks or poor drainage.
  • Before painting over efflorescence, you must remove any loose particles with a wire brush or vacuum. Once the surface is clean, apply a coat of primer designed for masonry surfaces.
  • Once the primer is dry, you can apply Drylok according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Drylok is a latex-based waterproofing compound that will create a barrier against moisture infiltration.
  • Drylok should only be used as a top coat, not as a primer, since it won’t adhere well to bare concrete or brick.
  • When applying Drylok, make sure to caulk all cracks and seams to create an effective seal.

Once everything is dry, you can paint over Drylok with any type of exterior paint (latex-based paints work best).


Painting over Drylok is possible and can be a pretty straightforward process! Just make sure you properly prep the surface beforehand and use good-quality paint. Select a high-quality latex-based paint and apply two coats for the best results. If you do this, your paint job should last many years without any issues.

Leave a Comment