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HandyFrank 10-15-2010 11:32 PM

Basement Walls - Which Paint?Drylok?
So I'm finally getting to painting the walls in a house I bought about a year ago, house was built in the 1920's. I wanted to get some feedback on the situation, and figure out if I need a Drylok type paint, or if a different type paint will do the trick? Without the details, I'm trying to figure out the best way to prep the walls, and then which paint to use.

Now i'll bore you with ALL the details:)

The basement is only getting paint on the concrete walls, I have no plans of ever insulating/framing/finishing it. It is my work area so I'm just trying to clean it up a bit. There are no water problems other than one spot where there is a little bit of effervescence from when the down spouts weren't working and water was puddling but since is resolved.

Here are some run down facts:
-Poured Concrete Foundation
-Walls were painted with this odd silver/metallic colored paint. I'm not sure if this was a waterproofing paint from the old days, or if it was just some extra paint the last owner got on the cheap and put up (In the old days people would use whatever was laying around or on super sale). It is chipping a little here or there, but it seems pretty solid and stuck to the walls.
-There is one spot (where the gutter downspout issue was) where the paint has flaked and has a tiny bit of effervescence but I've since had new gutters installed and now no water goes to the spot where it used to puddle and eventually seep.
-I've never found any water in the basement and assume no water is seeping in at all other than when the downspouts were allowing some to seep slightly in that one spot.

I've always known of the product Drylok so naturally its the first thing I looked at. Then I read a brochure at the store and it said that it works best on non-painted surfaces so it can seep into the pores of the concrete. My walls are poured concrete so other than that one spot (about 3 feet long, and 1 foot high, 1 foot from the ground) I found effervescence.

1.) To prep where the effervescence was should I use an etch or acid, or just use a wire brush?
2.) Is using Drylok the best bet after I chip away the paint/effervescence and get the walls all ready to go? Or is using Drylok not a great choice since 97% of the walls have that old school silver paint already in good condition? Or is it a good idea to go right over that paint? In other words, is Drylok a good option, or one of those masonry type paints? I say Behr also has a competing product with Drylok at a similar price and was told it smells less than Drylok. I'm not a user of Behr and I've heard bad things, I usually buy paint at Sherman Williams or Brandman's and get better brands, but Drylok's a name I've always heard as a decent product.

The guy at the depot told me that if the walls are already painted I'm not going to get the true benefits of the drylok because it can't seep into the pours, so I may consider a masonry/stucco type of paint, but that the drylok may be a good bet just to be safe. I'm not sure if the masonry/stucco type paints have the water pressure qualities that Drylok has, or if I even need it, but I guess it may be smart to use anyhow.

Can someone help me decide if my prepping and drylok are the best bet? I appreciate the help:thumbup:

jklingel 10-16-2010 04:18 PM

First, I am not an expert on paint. If you think the paint is real old, you may want to test it for lead (or just don't eat any). I would brush the death out of the effer'd area and use Drylock, if you can paint your new paint over it. If the walls are dry and the old paint is in good shape, then I'd find out what the hey it is and get something that will stick to it. If you are not in a hurry, rough-sand a small spot (that is just my thing; I can't get myself to paint over paint unless I scratch it up a bit, for better or worse,) and paint it with something. After a few days, beat on it to see if it hangs tough. I don't know if a primer is recommended between your (probably) oil based paint and latex, if you want to use latex, but I know my Mom painted linoleum floors and counter tops w/ latex, and it has lasted for decades. I think you've got a simple deal here, since your old paint is intact. Do a psychodelic job just for jazz!

HandyFrank 10-17-2010 10:21 AM

Thanks for all the tips so far jklingel. I sort of want to get the walls painted and done since it is starting to get colder here, and I want to get it done and the smell out,etc. Are you saying maybe use Drylok in that area where there was effervescence, and then a different latex on the rest of the area's where there is definitely no water? I'd rather use latex over oil because the oil will stink too bad and its too cold to air the whole house out for days :)

Seems like people say that Drylok isn't good to use IF the walls already have paint on them, since its designed to seep into the block. I read the label on the can and it said if the surface is not bare the warranty is void, which sort of sounds like them saying don't do it.

I called the local paint house and they said it sounds like I have oil based paint since I chipped a little off and it was brittle, not flexible. They recommended that I wash the walls with a little water where the paint is still stuck well, scrape and etch the area where there was a tiny bit of effervescence, and then use a high quality acrylic latex exterior paint.

I'm guessing the paint should have some hydrostatic resisting qualities in case we ever do spring some sort of leak.

Have anything to add to that? Anyone else have any recommendations or think the local paint house's feedback was on point?

jklingel 10-17-2010 12:07 PM

done deal. good luck. j

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