How to Paint Concrete Walls in Basement

Last Updated on July 22, 2021 by Bright Calister

How to paint concrete walls in basement? Painting a basement wall most times requires more work than the conventional interior wall. You will likely work with unusual materials. Also, you need to choose the perfect paint color too. Lastly, you have to check if the walls are waterproof before going to purchase the paint.

Hence, it would be best to know the primary causes of water damage. Afterward, follow the steps provided in the article learn how to paint a concrete basement wall.

How to Paint Concrete Walls in Basement

How to check for water damage

You need to ensure your basement is waterproof. It would be best if you started by knowing the main forms of water damage. Condensation, which is the gentlest form of the water issue, doesn’t originate on the outside. It emerges when the cooler temperatures of water pipes and the walls condense the moisturized air from the warmer weather air and remain on the surface.

Before you can overcome this problem, you need to enhance the ventilation, insulate the pipes, or install an instrument known as a dehumidifier.

The next issue is to control seepage from groundwater. Here, you have to install a new gutter or repair the old ones you have and slope at a minimum of 4 feet of the soil. But, you should ensure the slope is away from the foundation to keep the water away from the walls.

However, to cure the water seepage problem, it is best to seal the interior surface of the walls with hydraulic cement. Also, patching the holes can be an excellent solution to seepage issues. If both methods fail, talk to a drainage specialist.
Immediately you are sure that the basement is waterproof.

The next step is to paint. You should expect to allocate an hour of your time to preparing and painting the wall, excluding the time needed to dry the wall for repairs. But, before you start, ensure that you learn how to brush the wall, prominent cracks, and apply liquids that waterproof the walls.

Materials you need

  • Wire brush
  • Trowel
  • Hydraulic cement
  • Waterproofing agent
  • Sled
  • Cold chisel
  • Muriatic acid
  • Power sander
  • Pole sander
  • Fine-grit sandpaper disc

How to paint the basement wall

The steps discussed below will simplify the process of painting your concrete wall.

Step 1

Get rid of debris
With the site brush, you can eliminate as much loose mortar and paint from the wall as possible. Then, remove efflorescence with muriatic acid. However, you have to follow the instructions given by the manufacturers of the acid.
It would help if you remembered to rinse the wall afterward and allow it dry.

Why should you remove the efflorescence?

The powdery coating of salts in the masonry is a material called efflorescence. This powdery coat emerges due to water migrating from the interior part of the material. It is necessary to remove it before you can paint the walls of the basement.

The best way to get rid of efflorescence is to use a mixture of muriatic solution and water. Then, scrub the surface of the wall using a bristled brush. Further, follow the instructions on the label strictly. Also, remember to wear gloves, goggles for eye protection, and old clothes.

Step 2

Key cracks
To enable you to key the cracks in the wall, use the sled and cold chisel. It would help if you held the chisel at an angle where you can get maximum penetration. Undercut the edges of the crack to make the bottom of the crack wider than the opening.

Key cracks are necessary because they help to hold the patching cement in place. Vacuum the crack to eliminate dust.

Step 3

Apply Cement
If the walls are not wet, you can make it misty with a spray bottle. Afterward, force a little amount of hydraulic cement into the crack with a trowel and smooth it.

The best place to apply the hydraulic is where the walls connect with the floor.
It is best to plug wide cracks with hydraulic cement or urethane caulk. Then, press the foam backer rod into the crack before you caulk it.

Step 4

Brush paint into the parameter of the concrete
You can sweep the area or wipe it with a dry rag. Your choice should depend on the kind of surface you are going to paint. Afterward, you are ready to start painting.

It would be best to use a paintbrush to apply the first coat of paint over the area.
You can use regular medium-sized paintbrushes. They will make it easy for you to coat lots of places when painting corners or edges.

Scrape or sand surface flaws
It would be best if you used a putty knife for this process. Scrape away leftover protruding lumps that will show up after the initial coat dries. Sand any place where the paint didn’t adhere. Also, it would be best to sweep again after sanding too.

Step 5

Roll on additional paint to coat more places
The next step is to use a paint roller to fill in the part of the wall you didn’t coat with the paintbrush. It is best to begin from the end of the wall for concrete walls so that you can finish near the doorway or another steeping-off point. It would help if you allowed the first coat to dry for a minimum of 16 hours.

If you notice that the paint failed to adhere to some parts of the wall, you should scrape the bumps and possibly sand it again.

Step 6

Apply a second coat of paint to the wall
Typically, this should be the last step. Here, all you have to do is apply a second and final coat to the concrete wall in the same manner as the first paint.

However, it would be best if you pressed the paint down firmly using the paint roller. Then, mash the paint into holes the first coat didn’t get into initially.

Before you think the project is complete, allow the second coat to dry for a minimum of five days. It is even more critical if the painted surface is the type that gets heavy traffic.

Types of Paint for Concrete Walls in Basement

The concrete sealant is distinct from typical interior or exterior paint because they are mainly designed to work on concrete. These paints may come with various chemical compounds, and they have a similar function – prevent mold, mildew, and corrosion that show up when the concrete wall is exposed to the element.

We shall discuss the different kinds of concrete walls in the basement below.

Concrete sealer

This type of concrete wall can be described as a mixture of cement and water to produce a unique product that will help you restore the appearance of your concrete wall.

Concrete primer

Some paints need a primer before you can use them. The primers enable the sealant to adhere properly. Also, primers will ensure you don’t use too much quantity of the sealant when painting.’


If you want to paint your concrete walls, you will find two-part epoxy-type paint. These paints are excellent for sealing up the concrete or block wall in your basement. Therefore, they will work at covering holes in the wall.
What you should consider when buying paint for your concrete wall in the basement

Before you go to the hardware store to purchase paint, you need to consider certain factors. We shall discuss these factors in this section of the article.


You should ensure the product you want to purchase has great reviews on e-commerce websites like Amazon for the best results. Some things are good to purchase cheap. However, you should not comprise quality because of price because your home deserves the best you can offer.

Basic cost
Before you run put to the store and start picking up paint chips, it is time to do basic calculations. If you are painting your basement wall for the first time, it means you are learning about the project’s cost. Therefore, you can underestimate the cost of the project.

So you need to carefully measure the space you are going to paint. Your local hardware store professional can assist you in calculating the necessary amount of paint needed. Immediately, you figure out your spending range from the measurement. Then, set aside the money for other things like brushes, rags, and rollers.

Health concerns

Irrespective of the chemical components, paints consist of many chemical compounds. Paints are designed to adhere easily to walls and surfaces and harden when exposed to the air. Often, when you compare indoor air with the one outside, it is more than three times more polluted.

Therefore, paint emissions can linger for a long time after painting. Volatile organic compounds are necessary for the performance of the paint. Hence, if you breathe these compounds, you will have to pay the consequences. If you want to avoid these VOCs, you have to look at the labels of each painting before you buy the coat.


Most concrete paints are manufactured with practical qualities as the main focus. Hence, most of them exist only in standard colors. If you want to see a pop of color on your basement wall, you should look for a brand that comes in various colors.


If you use the right concrete paint for your walls, water will shed off and not cause cracks or harm the paint. So when painting a concrete wall of the basement, you need paint that can hold water, which implies you need special paint.

Best concrete paints for your basement walls

Concrete and cement surfaces need paint that can clasp the element and tough use. Here, we shall look at some brands of concrete paint, their prices, and their quality to help you decide which paint you can use.

Rust-Oleum Decorative Concrete coating

It is hard to find a paint that is tough, versatile, and provides a special look. However, this paint has all these unique qualities and cones at a great price. It is one of the most sold products on Amazon. Further, the paint is available in more than two colors which is hard to find. The average cost of the paint is $54.

Kilz decorative concrete coating

This coating is the cheapest paint on our list with a price tag of $44 per gallon. It is also versatile and easy to use. The paint is perfect for walls, patios, and driveways. You can use it on any other cement project that you want to complete.

The disadvantages of using the product are limited colors and inconsistency in thickness, making it hard to deduce the right quantity to use for the project. The best way to overcome this problem is to purchase an extra 15% of what you normally use on a concrete surface. The cost of the paint is $40 per gallon.

RTC Supply Co. Concrete paint

Although all the paints on this list are great for basement walls, this paint is the best at painting walls. However, this paint is more expensive than the rest on this list since it has a price tag of $30 for a quart. But, you don’t need to apply a primer before you can use this paint.

Furthermore, it extends far, and a quart of the paint can cover at least 80 Square feet. You can purchase any of the four colors – white, gray, sand, and amber. It also has UV stable which means the paint will resist fading in sunlight.
However, the paint is not as tough as garage or driveway paint, so you should consider it if you intend to use it for any other purpose besides a concrete basement wall.

Conclusion-How to Paint Concrete Walls in Basement

The concrete basement wall is different from other parts of the house. Hence, painting it needs more effort than you would give to other parts of the house. Hence, it would help if you took some time to familiarity yourself with the material you will need for the project. We have listed these materials.

Also, we have discussed the methods you can use to complete the project. We wish you luck.

Important Reads:

Best Paint for Concrete Walls in Basement

How to remove polyurethane from wood floors

How Should Primer look on a Wall?

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