DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofing Paint Review – A Tale Of Three Basements

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Drylok Masonry Waterproofing Paint

What's This?This post is sponsored by UGL – DRYLOK®. Once upon a time, there was a family who moved into a home with a perfectly dry basement. Now, I’ve never actually MET this family, but I’m sure they must be out there somewhere. Here in the real world, I’ve lived in several homes over the years, and none of them has had a totally dry basement. The amount of water has varied, from minor seepage to a couple of inches of standing water after a heavy rainfall. Luckily, there’s a cure for that; move your chair out of that puddle, and join us as we explore how DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofing paint can transform your dark, damp spaces into bright, white happy places.

drylok gallon size
A big can of DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofing Paint, ready to keep the agua out…

Actually, if white doesn’t ring your fashion bells, there are other colors to choose from that will keep you equally dry. More on that shortly, but let’s start off with a little insight into what DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing paint can do.

Chances are, the name DRYLOK® conjures up visions of thick, sandy paint on freshly-painted basement walls. That’s certainly in the DRYLOK® skill set, but DRYLOK® products are useful in a wide variety of residential and commercial applications including (take a deep breath): Living spaces, laundry rooms, dry storage, fish ponds, retaining walls, bird baths, stenciling on concrete floors, painting concrete ponds, waterproofing cisterns, and sealing and protecting walkways and decorative garden statuary.

DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofing Paint is available in various formulations, including Original Latex, Clear Floor and Wall and Extreme. All varieties are designed to withstand hydrostatic pressure, meaning they stop water that is below grade from penetrating foundation walls. Even more impressive, DRYLOK® products are formulated to stop hurricane-forced wind driven rain! DRYLOK® products accomplish this by actually penetrating the surface of the masonry, forming an impenetrable barrier.

The beauty of DRYLOK® products is that they require no special skills to use. If you can hold a wire brush and wield a paint brush, you can easily finish your walls with DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing paint. As with most DIY projects, good prep is the key to a quality job. Invite some friends over for a BYOWB (Bring Your Own Wire Brush) party, and have some fun! Here’s a short video from the folks at DRYLOK®, showing the whole process:

A Waterproofing Fashion Show

Getting back to the question of color, you can pick up DRYLOK® Latex Base Masonry Waterproofer’s sandy finish in four ready-mixed colors: Blue, white, gray, and beige. It’s also available in six tints: Buttercup, mint green, platinum, sand, slate blue, and soft pink.

After a smoother finish? DRYLOK® Extreme Masonry Waterproofer is available in bright white and an expanded tint palette: Beige, blue, buttercup, gray, mint green, platinum, sand, slate blue, and soft pink. Still not colorful enough? Put on a base coat of DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing paint, wait 24 hours, choose a good-quality latex paint, and you can have any color your artistic little heart desires!

drylok color options
The DRYLOK® Extreme tint palette. Or top coat with any color you choose!

No pigments were harmed in the process of introducing the following three basements to DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing paint; all three are plain old white. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and these white – and dry – basement walls look pretty good to me!

Basement Number One: The DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofing Paint “Aha” Moment

My first encounter with DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing paint was about 15 years ago. I was rehabbing an entire 100-year-old house for resale, and it was a mess from bottom to top. The stone foundation resembled a water feature, with its multiple leaks and constantly wet floor. After having the crumbling masonry joints repaired, we had the entire wall surface parged (skim coated), inside and out.

before drylok
The project house was NOT in very good shape…
pre waterproofing paint
Including the foundation. We repointed and parged inside and out…

We let the wall dry and cure for about 60 days. Based on a recommendation from the mason, we then brought in the big guns: Five-gallon buckets of DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing paint. Two coats later, the old wall looked better than it had likely EVER looked! The exterior foundation was bright and clean, and set off the new cream-colored siding nicely. The basement looked clean and bright, and more importantly – it stayed DRY.

drylok masonry waterproofing paint
The foundation looked MUCH better – and the basement stayed dry!

Basement Number Two – A Labor Of Love

A few years after that, our next-door neighbors were slowly correcting some of the “character” of their century-old home. One of their projects involved re-pointing and parging their leaky stone foundation walls. Notice a pattern here?! They had previously used some hydraulic cement, to deal with some active leaks, and had added a downspout to help keep water away from the foundation.

Working in her spare time over a period of a couple of months, our neighbor cleaned out the crumbling mortar. She then re-pointed the joints, doing one stretch of wall at a time. To finish up, she parged the entire area, let it cure, and laid in a supply of DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing paint. She mentioned to me that she quickly learned why a special brush and roller are recommended to apply the thick coating, especially on rough surfaces like their walls.

When I told her I was writing this article, my neighbor invited me over to have a look at her nine-year-old project. Even though the walls are a bit dusty in places, thanks in part to a recent first-floor renovation that opened up a section of floor, the DRYLOK® paint job has held up very well. I didn’t see any peeling at all, and the basement is nice and bright.

drylok masonry waterproofing paint
Nine years later, the basement still looks great…
drylok masonry waterproofing paint
Painting the rough surface was easier with a special brush and roller.

As part of the first-floor renovation, they removed and relocated the basement access stairs. Once the stairs were gone, she was able to access that previously-hidden wall, and get it coated with DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing paint. Proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished, she now says that section looks so clean and bright, it makes the older sections look dingy, so she now wants to clean and possibly re-coat the older areas with DRYLOK®…

drylok masonry waterproofing paint
Nice, fresh DRYLOK® where the stairs were. Now about those other walls…

Basement Number Three – The New Place

My wife and I have lived in our large, old character-filled home for over thirty years. We love the neighborhood, but since our kids have moved on, we no longer need all the space – and the cleaning and upkeep that go with it. We recently started looking at smaller homes in the area.

One home we just looked at has potential to become our new “downsized” abode. It’s about the right size, and has a beautiful, not-too-big yard. Best of all, it’s a newer home. Well, relatively newer; built in 1936, it’s a half-century newer than our current home. I’m still thinking the warranty period has expired, though…

drylok masonry waterproofing paint
Our Realtor opening the door on our next home…?

The living area looks great, with newly-refinished hardwood floors and a sun room. What got me most excited, though, was the basement. (Yeah, I might be a little weird). It has nice, high ceilings, whereas I can barely stand upright in most parts of our current basement. And it’s totally DRY!

drylok masonry waterproofing paint
Open spaces, high ceilings…and it’s DRY!

The walls are in good shape, and someone put on a fresh coat of DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofing Paint about a year ago. The space is very open, and if there were more than three fluorescent shop lights to illuminate the entire basement, it would be nice and bright, too. That’s an easy fix, and it would transform the space into a perfect location for my workshop. And did I mention it’s DRY?!

without masonry waterproofing
With the fresh white walls, it COULD be a nice, bright space. With a few more lights.

Time To Try Dry?

Maybe your basement is a beautiful, finished living space, or a laundry area or workshop. Or maybe, like ours, it’s just storage space for Christmas decorations and other dubiously-useful “stuff” that has accumulated over the decades. In either case, having that space dry is undeniably preferable to having it be damp, and possibly mildewed and moldy.

before waterproofing
A good cleaning and some DRYLOK® will make this space a bit more appealing.

The lineup of DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing products has been helping pros and DIYers to keep the agua on the outside of those basement walls for decades. The products work great, they’re easy to use, and they are guaranteed to stop leaks. When applied according to the instructions, DRYLOK® masonry waterproofing products carry a warranty of at least ten years.

The DRYLOK® website has a lot of useful information on DRYLOK® products, as well as ideas for projects. There are also a lot of videos, including many with helpful step-by-step instructions on how to attain that dry look you’re after. Check ‘em out, and get that project knocked off your to-do list, and soon you’ll be high and dry. Or even better, low and dry.

DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofing Paint is available at most home centers, and in many hardware stores. To find a location near you, check out the DRYLOK® Store Locator.

More Info - via Drylok.com

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About Phil

Phil’s path to the pinnacle of success as HomeFixated’s Senior Writer was long and twisted. At various stages of his life, he worked as a framing carpenter, attended motorcycle mechanics school, served as an Army MP, did a hot and itchy stint installing insulation in Phoenix, owned and operated a small contracting firm doing residential renovations, and worked as an employee of a major airline (Motto: We’re not happy ‘til YOU’RE not happy). He is currently semi-retired, but continues to take on little projects, such as the total renovation of an old farmhouse. Yes, he is a slow learner. Future projects include a teardown restoration of his 1965 BMW motorcycle, and designing and building a kick-ass playhouse for his grandsons. Phil loves spending time outdoors, hanging out with family and friends, cool tools, and a cold IPA when beer o'clock rolls around.

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