Can You Paint Over Drylok? Unraveling the Mystery

Bob Thomas
Yes, painting over Drylok is possible. But there's a method to ensure a lasting finish, and there is compatibility issues with some paint types. Curious? Read on to master the technique.

Hello, DIY enthusiasts! It's Bob Thomas, your go-to guide for all things painting and decorating.

Today, we're going to demystify a common query that pops up in our community: "Can you paint over Drylok?"

The simple answer is a resounding yes!

But, as with all things DIY, there's a bit more to it.

So, let's roll up our sleeves and delve into the nitty-gritty of painting over Drylok.

Quick Summary

Yes, painting over Drylok, a widely-used waterproofing product for concrete and masonry surfaces, is entirely possible. However, it's not as straightforward as applying a fresh coat of paint. You need to ensure proper surface preparation, select the right type of paint, and adhere to the correct painting techniques. Here's a snapshot: 1) Allow the Drylok to cure fully, 2) Clean the surface thoroughly, 3) Opt for a latex-based paint, 4) Apply the paint uniformly, and 5) Let the paint dry completely.

The Lowdown on Drylok

Drylok is a robust waterproofing product line, typically used on concrete and masonry surfaces like basement walls, to prevent water seepage.

It creates a barrier that keeps moisture at bay, making it a top choice for damp environments.

But what if you want to change the color or finish of your Drylok-coated surface?

That's where painting over Drylok comes into play.

Prepping the Surface

Before you even uncap your paint, it's crucial to prepare the surface correctly.

Drylok needs to cure completely before you can paint over it.

The curing time can vary depending on the specific product and the conditions, but generally, you should wait at least 24 hours.

Once the Drylok has cured, clean the surface to remove any dust or debris.

Selecting the Right Paint

When it comes to painting over Drylok, the type of paint you choose matters.

You'll want to go with a latex-based paint, as it adheres well to the Drylok surface.

Steer clear of oil-based paints, as they can lead to compatibility issues and may not adhere properly.

The Art of Painting Over Drylok

With your surface prepped and your paint chosen, it's time to get painting.

Begin by stirring your paint thoroughly. Then, using a high-quality synthetic bristle brush, apply the paint in even strokes.

Aim to cover the entire surface, but avoid applying too much paint in one area, as this can lead to drips or an uneven finish.

The Waiting Game: Letting the Paint Dry

After you've applied the paint, you'll need to let it dry fully.

This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the paint and the conditions. Resist the temptation to touch the paint to see if it's dry - this can leave fingerprints or smudges.

Pro Tip: When painting over Drylok, consider adding a second coat of paint. This can enhance the color and provide additional protection for your surface. Just be sure to let the first coat dry completely before applying the second one.

Safety, Risks, and Considerations

When undertaking any DIY project, safety should always be your top priority. Painting over Drylok is no exception. Here are some safety considerations, potential risks, and tips to keep in mind:

Safety Precautions:
  1. Ventilation: Ensure the area is well-ventilated when painting. Paint fumes can be harmful if inhaled in large amounts. Open windows and doors, and consider using a fan to circulate the air.
  2. Protective Gear: Wear protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses, and a mask. This will protect you from any potential splashes and the inhalation of paint fumes.
  3. Safe Storage: Store paint and other materials out of reach of children and pets. Always secure the lids on paint cans when not in use.
  1. Inadequate Surface Preparation: If the Drylok isn't fully cured or the surface isn't clean, the paint may not adhere properly, leading to peeling or flaking over time.
  2. Wrong Paint Selection: Using oil-based paint over Drylok can lead to compatibility issues. The paint may not adhere properly, resulting in an uneven finish or peeling.
  3. Over Application: Applying too much paint in one area can lead to drips or an uneven finish. It's better to apply two thin coats than one thick one.
  1. Curing Time: Drylok needs to cure completely before you can paint over it. This can take at least 24 hours, but it's best to refer to the manufacturer's instructions for the specific product you're using.
  2. Paint Selection: Choose a latex-based paint to ensure proper adhesion and a smooth finish.
  3. Weather Conditions: If you're painting an outdoor surface, consider the weather. Avoid painting if rain is forecasted within 24 hours of application.

Remember, safety first! By taking these precautions and being aware of the potential risks, you can ensure a successful and safe DIY painting project.


Even with the best preparation and techniques, you may encounter some issues when painting over Drylok.

Here are some common problems and how to troubleshoot them:

  1. Peeling or Flaking Paint: If your paint is peeling or flaking off, it could be due to inadequate surface preparation or using the wrong type of paint. Ensure the Drylok is fully cured and the surface is clean before painting. Also, remember to use a latex-based paint for the best adhesion.Solution: If you're already facing this issue, you'll need to remove the peeling or flaking paint, clean the surface, and repaint it.
  2. Uneven Paint Coverage: If the paint coverage is uneven, it could be due to applying too much paint in one area or not stirring the paint properly before application.Solution: Stir your paint thoroughly before application and apply it in even strokes. If necessary, apply a second coat for a more uniform finish.
  3. Visible Brush Strokes: If you can see brush strokes on your painted surface, it could be due to using a low-quality brush or the wrong painting technique.Solution: Use a high-quality synthetic bristle brush and apply the paint in even strokes. Don't overload your brush with paint, as this can lead to thick strokes.
  4. Drips or Runs: If you notice drips or runs in your paint, it's likely due to applying too much paint at once.Solution: Apply the paint in thin, even coats. If you notice a drip or run, smooth it out immediately with your brush.
  5. Paint Isn't Drying: If your paint isn't drying, it could be due to high humidity, low temperatures, or applying too thick of a coat.Solution: Paint dries best in conditions with low humidity and temperatures above 50°F. Also, remember to apply thin coats of paint.

Remember, the key to a successful painting project is preparation and patience. If you encounter any issues, take a step back, identify the problem, and apply the appropriate solution. 

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs) 

Q. Can I use Drylok as a primer for paint?

  A: Yes, Drylok can serve as an excellent primer for paint, especially for masonry surfaces.

It creates a smooth, waterproof surface that paint can adhere to well.

However, ensure that the Drylok has fully cured before applying paint.

Q. Can I add color to Drylok instead of painting over it?

  A: Yes, Drylok does offer tintable versions of their product that can be colored before application.

This could save you a step if you're looking to add color to your masonry surfaces.

However, the color options may be limited compared to the vast range of paint colors available.

Q. Can I use Drylok on painted surfaces?

  A: Yes, but the existing paint must be in good condition and properly adhered to the surface.

If the existing paint is peeling or flaking, it should be removed before applying Drylok.

Also, keep in mind that Drylok is designed to penetrate the pores of the masonry to block water, so it may not be as effective over a painted surface.

Q. Does painting over Drylok reduce its effectiveness?

  A: No, painting over Drylok does not reduce its waterproofing effectiveness. The paint serves as a decorative layer over the Drylok, but the Drylok continues to provide a barrier against moisture.

Q. How long will paint last over Drylok?

  A: The longevity of paint over Drylok depends on several factors, including the quality of the paint, the conditions of the environment, and the preparation of the surface before painting.

However, with proper application and care, paint over Drylok can last many years.

Q. Can I use any type of latex paint over Drylok?

  A: Yes, you can use any type of latex paint over Drylok. However, it's important to consider the finish and the specific needs of your space.

For instance, a semi-gloss or gloss finish might be more suitable for high-traffic areas or spaces prone to moisture since they're easier to clean and more resistant to mildew.

Q. Can I use a paint sprayer to apply paint over Drylok?

  A: Yes, you can use a paint sprayer to apply paint over Drylok.

It can be a faster method, especially for large areas.

However, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the sprayer and the paint to ensure a smooth, even application.

Personal Experiences

Last year, I helped a friend paint over the Drylok in their basement.

We chose a soft beige latex paint to brighten up the space.

The process was straightforward, and the results were fantastic. The painted Drylok not only looked great but also held up well against the basement's damp conditions.

A few years back, I had a client who wanted to spruce up their basement, which had been previously treated with Drylok.

We chose a latex paint in a calming blue shade. The transformation was incredible! The once dull and utilitarian space turned into a cozy and inviting room.

The client was thrilled, and the painted Drylok has held up beautifully over the years.


So, there you have it! Painting over Drylok is not only possible but also a great way to customize your space.

Just remember to let the Drylok cure, clean the surface, use a latex-based paint, apply the paint evenly, and let the paint dry fully.

With these steps, you're well on your way to transforming your Drylok-coated surface.

Suggested Products:

  1. Drylok Masonry Waterproofer: This is the base product we've been discussing. Drylok is a high-quality waterproofing paint that can be used on any interior, exterior, above or below-grade masonry surface. It's perfect for preventing water seepage on basement walls, foundations, and more.
  2. Purdy XL Series Medium-Stiff Nylon/Polyester Paint Brush: This high-quality synthetic bristle brush is ideal for applying paint over Drylok. Its medium-stiff bristles offer excellent control, allowing for even strokes and a smooth finish.
  3. Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Latex Paint: This latex-based paint is a great choice for painting over Drylok. It offers excellent adhesion, coverage, and durability. Plus, it's available in a wide range of colors, allowing you to customize your Drylok-coated surface to your liking.
  4. Wagner Control Pro 130 Power Tank Paint Sprayer: If you're painting a large area, this paint sprayer can make the job quicker and easier. It's designed for applying latex paints and provides a smooth, even finish.
  5. 3M SandBlaster Pro Sandpaper, 220-Grit: If you need to smooth out any rough spots on your Drylok-coated surface before painting, this high-quality sandpaper can do the trick. The 220-grit is fine enough to smooth the surface without causing damage.
  6. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner: This cleaner is great for preparing your Drylok surface for painting. It's biodegradable, non-toxic, and effective at removing dust, dirt, and grime.

Remember, these are just suggestions. Always consider the specific needs of your project and choose products that best suit those needs.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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