In this detailed guide we have answered your query “should I paint my foundation” as well as other information like how to paint, color ideas, types, hacks, and more.
As the cost of professional home renovation services continues to rise, an increasing number of people are turning to do-it-yourself projects around the house as a way to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about whether or not it’s a good idea to apply paint to your home’s foundation.
We’ve noticed a steady rise in the number of customers contacting us about painting their foundation and a drop in masonry paint prices for the past year.
Painting your home’s foundation has several benefits, and we want to help you understand why you should do it, what kind of paint to use, and how to do it.
Depending on where you live, painting services is possible to be prohibitively expensive, so painting the foundation yourself can be a terrific, low-cost solution.
Even though you’ll have to put in a lot of time, it could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run. Let us dive into the query “should I paint my foundation” and know more about it.
Should I Paint My Foundation?
That quick answer to this question is yes. Homeowner associations that require the painting of home foundations are an exception; therefore, the decision to do so is up to you.
However, more and more individuals are opting to paint their home foundations. Modern paint formulas that exist in masonry have made it possible for you to reap additional benefits, even if you’re just trying to keep up with the Joneses of your neighbors.
The primary goal is to keep moisture from penetrating your home’s concrete foundation and causing problems over time.
Cracks that form as a result of water freezing in the cooler months to mold growth are just a few of the possible problems that could arise.
When you take into account the costs and time required to remedy some of these concerns, painting your home’s foundation usually appears to be a more cost-effective option.
Please keep in mind that the likelihood of these issues arising in your location may be pretty low, so be sure to do your own research.
Types Of Foundation And Relevance Of Painting Those
UV light is also a significant threat to any outside surface. Even though concrete is highly durable and strong, it is vulnerable to the sun’s rays.
Block foundation walls can deteriorate over time due to direct sunlight exposure, causing the mortar to crumble and minor cracks or holes to emerge.
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Concrete block foundations are the most popular type of foundation. Most homeowners decide to leave it alone as long as it’s visible from the ground and beneath your siding.
There are times when a more aesthetically acceptable option is to leave the concrete as it is simple. Fortunately, painting concrete is a simple task for homeowners, and there are a plethora of options available in a wide range of hues.
Concrete, not brick, is used to construct brick foundations. When the house was erected or subsequently, a homeowner elected to encase the brick foundation.
Because of the porous nature of brick and the likelihood of more cracks and penetrations on the surface, painting brick is more complicated.
Additionally, the brick wall’s entire surface has undulations, making it more challenging to paint. As a result, you have the option of painting brick and completely altering the appearance of your house.
You can use a spray to apply a thick coat of primer before the main work helps the project to complete successfully. You might also find this guide helpful on door color combinations for red brick houses.
- Added aesthetics to your home.
- Protection from moisture and UV damage.
- Sealing small cracks and holes.
- Your siding will not match your base paint if you replace it.
- It is not a replacement for waterproofing the foundation.
- A 5-gallon pail of paint costs roughly $150.
Types Of Paint Suitable For Foundation
There are too many exterior masonry paints on the market. We’ll go through each briefly below to help you decide which product is best for your home.
The first choice is a stain rather than paint. When applying concrete stain, you can choose between water-based or acidic solutions.
Acid-based stains are more durable and long-lasting than water-based ones, but you must think carefully about the color before applying it because it is permanent.
An airless sprayer, concrete sealer, along with pressure washer are all necessary for applying stains. This stain is easy to apply, but it will not persist as long as acid-based stains.
On the other hand, water-based stains offer a wider range of colors. In addition to a wide range of hues, the translucent concrete stain lets more of the surface roughness show through.
However, the application process is identical to that of a standard concrete stain.
Elastomeric masonry paint and acrylic waterproof paint are both acrylics, but this non-elastomeric variant is intended for use on surfaces both above and below grade.
As a result, the paint’s waterproofing performance is superior to that of the elastomeric since this paint offers a genuine “seal” – no moisture can go in or out of the surface.
These paints, in contrast to elastomeric ones, often only have a 10-year guarantee. As a result, repainting may be necessary for the future. Both of these acrylics are available in a wide range of hues.
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It’s possible to get a lifetime warranty on elastomeric acrylic masonry paint, which is watertight. Next up, we’ll look at a typical waterproof masonry paint.
Simply said, the term “elastomeric” refers to the product’s elastic properties. It fills in the tiny pores and shifts with the shifting of the concrete, just like the concrete itself.
In order to keep the seal on your concrete wall in place, this product is capable of expanding up to 500 percent. Because it is “breathable,” this paint is only suitable for covering vertical surfaces above ground level.
Water will seep through the product’s waterproof barrier if it is submerged below ground level. Consequently, this is a fantastic alternative for painting surfaces above the grade of the foundation.
In addition, latex masonry paint comes in a wide range of colors and is less expensive than acrylic paint for the same purposes.
On the other hand, Latex does not have the same weatherproofing abilities as acrylic. Latex, in addition to its lower cost, has the advantage of not requiring a primer and being extremely easy to apply.
No sprayer is necessary when using a roller to apply Latex. On the other hand, acrylic masonry paints give a much better level of protection for the concrete than latex paints. You might also love to read about using latex over oil-based primer.
Colors That Go Well With Foundation
There are just a tiny number of homeowner organizations that will stipulate what color you must use to paint your home’s foundation, with the majority of them specifying a shade of grey or white.
If you reside in an area where there is no homeowner association, or if you live in an area where there are no homeowner association laws relating to your home’s foundation, you are generally permitted to apply any color that may seem suitable for your home’s exterior.
Despite this fact, even the best masonry paint solutions available on the market tend to have restricted color selections due to a lack of a viable market for such paint products.
A lot of people choose to opt for grey or white, although there are a few more hues available if you look hard enough.
In order to customize the color of white masonry paint, there are a few limited possibilities where you can mix in several pigment colors to make it a different shade, but most of the time, this is more trouble than it is worth.
Given that grey is such a straightforward and popular color choice, we anticipate that a big proportion of our readers will pick grey paint as their foundation color regardless of what we say.
How To Paint Foundation
Fresh paint is one of the most effective ways to revitalize any surface and breathe new life. On the other hand, painting concrete surfaces can be more complex than painting wood, drywall, metal, etc.
Concrete is porous, which means it can absorb and transmit water (as well as paint), but this does not rule out the possibility of successfully covering it with the appropriate goods and processes.
The following methods will help you restore the appearance of your concrete walls, flooring, and external foundations to the condition they were in when you moved in.
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Before you start painting the surface, it is extremely important to take the preparation step very seriously. This will decide the final result of your painting job and determine the durability and appearance.
Get Rid Of Old Paint
Repainting concrete is usually necessary because the existing paint has peeled or chipped. Get rid of vines and any other debris from the surface, and then use a power washer to remove old paint from the exterior of your home.
It is best to use a wire brush and paint scraper and a bit of elbow grease if you are painting interior surfaces.
Concrete is porous; grease, dirt, and other debris accumulate over time. Make sure you carefully clean your surface after removing the old paint so that the new paint will attach to it properly.
Power washers are great for washing the outside of a house, but you’ll need something more to clean the interior walls and floors.
TSP, or trisodium phosphate, is a good cleanser for this job and can be bought at most hardware stores. Wear safety eyewear and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when applying TSP.
Immediately after cleaning the concrete, use a concrete patch product to repair any tiny fractures or surface flaws. Then, wait the necessary period of time before continuing.
Of course, huge cracks or surface difficulties should be evaluated by an expert, as they may point to more significant issues with the foundation.
To get rid of all the gunk, give the roller a good cleaning with warm, soapy water. If you don’t use a properly clean roller for painting, you’ll get paint that’s caked with dirt and grime. When you’ve mixed the concrete paint to the proper consistency, pour it into a painter’s pan.
Tape And Tarp
Tarp and tape should then be used on the foundation and the grass around it. Cover any adjacent plants or shrubs with a plastic bag or tarp to keep them from getting painted. Place cloths on adjacent sidewalks and driveways that run along your home base.
Seal And Prime
Sealing the concrete prior to painting is necessary because it will absorb and convey water. Basement walls and floors are vulnerable to water damage, leaks, and mildew and mold growth; therefore, sealing them is necessary.
After the sealer has dried, which can take anywhere from 5 to 7 days depending on the brand, a primer should be applied to the surface to help fill in the pores in the concrete and level it out.
Allow at least eight hours for the primer to cure before going on to the next stage, and get assistance from an expert at your local shop.
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Paint The Foundation
Your surface has been prepped and is now ready to be covered in paint. Using a brush or roller, apply the product to the concrete.
Instead of only one or two heavy applications, use multiple thin coats and wait at least one day before making another application.
Get a paintbrush to apply paint to the concrete foundation before moving on to the roller brush. Keep your strokes consistent and meticulously apply paint to all borders.
If you use up much paint in the first coat, don’t panic. When painting concrete, the initial coat of paint will require a lot more paint than the succeeding applications.
After applying the first coat, let the paint cure for about an hour before moving on to the second. Wait until the first layer is completely dry before applying the second coat.
Tips To Make The Painting Job A Success
Painting is a skill that anyone can learn, regardless of their level of expertise. Even if you’ve never painted before, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on a few basic techniques.
Keep Your Furniture And Walls Protected
Prior to beginning the painting process, protect any surfaces you don’t need to be painted. Drop cloths are an excellent choice for this task. Sprinkle the floor and furniture with these. You can use saran wrap or Ziploc bags on doorknobs.
Before you begin painting, you’ll need to use a primer to create a flawless finish. Primer simply acts as a barrier between the surface of the wall and the paint you intend to apply. In order to get a professional-looking paint job, you need to use fewer coats of paint in the first place.
Remove Outlet Covers
Before painting, remove your outlet covers so that they don’t get splattered with paint. These can be put back against the wall once you’ve finished painting.
Make sure you don’t use paint straight from the bucket if you’re performing a large-scale job that requires a lot of paint. To save time, simply combine all of the paint buckets into a single bucket.
This will ascertain that the paint’s color is consistent throughout and does not change when you switch buckets. Boxing is the term used to describe this method.
Avoid the temptation to buy the lowest paintbrush and color you can find. Paint that is too inexpensive will require additional coats because the brushes won’t last as long. You may get a lot of use out of a high-quality paintbrush if you take proper care of it.
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Preparation Is Key
Take a close look at your wall before you start painting. Before you begin painting, make sure all of the cracks and peeling have been repaired. The simplest way to cure peeling paint is to sand or scrape it away. A specialist may be needed if there are cracks in the foundation.
The use of paint rollers is a time-saving method for painting huge areas. Make sure you buy a high-quality roller before you begin.
Don’t overload the roller with paint or use excessive pressure when rolling it out. Using an extension pole, you can roll your roller all the way up to the ceiling. Ladders are cumbersome and dangerous.
If you plan to paint outside, wait until the weather is dry. Paint will not dry properly if it’s wet or raining when you’re painting your house.
Even though it may appear more convenient to begin painting at eye level, it is best to begin at the top part and work downwards.
Baseboard edges are an exception to this rule and should be done early in the painting process. Consider this: even the smallest of drips eventually go to the ground.
By painting down, you’ll be able to correct drips as you go, saving you time and effort in the long run.
Before applying primer, make sure to sand out any nicks or dings in the walls. The wall will be leveled, and any problems with the wall will be resolved as a result of this procedure. In addition, sanding the surface will aid the drying and adhesion of glossy paint.
Remove any oil or dirt from the surface before you begin painting. This will ensure that the paint adheres effectively to the wall and does not chip or peel off easily. This can be accomplished with a de-glosser or more powerful cleaner.
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This concludes our discussion on “should I paint my foundation” and whether or not you should paint your home’s foundation. As painting and decorating costs continue to rise, it’s easy to see why many individuals consider painting foundations rather than hiring a professional.
Since the process is more straightforward than most people imagine, you can save money by doing it yourself without encountering any serious problems.
Just ensure that you take the preparation very seriously and follow the guidelines for that. Also, don’t forget to take safety measures to make the project a safe and successful one.
We have made this guide quite elaborated and comprehensive so that you can understand the process very, yet, if you have any confusion, are not confident about doing the job, or messed with any step, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.
Jenny SteffensHobick is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at House Whirl. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.