Should I Paint My Foundation?

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

It is becoming more popular to renovate your house instead of buying a new one, which leads to the question ‘Should I paint my foundation?’ It is okay to paint the foundation of your home and it can provide you with many benefits. There are ways that you can paint your foundation that will last a long time!

The primary benefit of painting your foundation is the look of it.

If you are concerned about painting your foundation then you shouldn’t be because you can paint it without any issues! Paint products that are waterproof can last up to 10 years without damage like peeling or cracking, and you also get to pick from a variety of different colours!

You can completely transform your foundation look by painting it, but you can also protect it from moisture and UV damage. An outside surface like your foundation is exposed to conditions like water and sunlight which can cause your foundation walls to deteriorate which leads to cracks and holes and sometimes crumbling can occur.

You can make the aesthetically pleasing choice of painting your foundation which is a straightforward process and there are many products to pick from so you can get the look you have always dreamed of!

Painting Your Concrete Foundation:

If your foundation is made of concrete then you have an easy task ahead of you to paint it! This type of foundation is usually left alone by homeowners, but it doesn’t look the most pleasing on the eye. With a concrete foundation it is really simple and straightforward to paint, you shouldn’t find any major issues with painting your concrete foundation.

Painting Your Brick Foundation:

Brick foundations are harder to paint unfortunately, and this is due to the texture and pores on the surface. There is likely to be more cracks and holes than in concrete foundation which makes it a bit harder to paint.

It is manageable but you need to take a few extra steps to give you the best finish. Make sure that you apply plenty of primer before you start painting, applying lots of layers to stop the paint seeping into the texture. Also, if you use a paint sprayer rather than a roller you will have a much easier time painting it.

Your foundation will look a lot more appealing and is more prone to handle the extreme conditions that go on outside. Any small cracks or holes you have can also be covered when painting your foundation, bringing it back to life and looking a lot better.

Can You Paint Over Foundation Coatings?

Your foundation coating is in place to prevent water and water vapor moving up the wall. It helps to prevent water damage and is a great addition to your foundation. But can you paint over your foundation coating?

Can you paint over foundation coatings

The simple answer is yes, depending on the material of your coating.

Your coating may be something like tar or parging, these are what the builders put around your property to help to waterproof the structure.

Tar coatings:

Tar is a very popular choice for a foundation coating because it is very efficient at protecting your property from the earth.

Tar coatings

If you have a tar coating then it is unfortunate to say but you can’t paint over it. This doesn’t mean that you should give up your hopes on painting your foundation, it just means that you will have to remove it before you paint. This is a lengthy process, and it can be difficult, but with the right equipment you should be able to manage it and then you will be on your way to a gorgeous looking foundation!

What you need:

Follow these Step:

  • Step 1: Dilute the Hydrochloric acid with some water
  • Step 2: Use your scrub brush attached to your cordless drill to scrub the acid onto your foundation
  • Step 3: Use your scraper to scrape off as much of the tar coating as you can
  • Step 4: Rinse everything with water

You must follow this method if you want to paint over your tar coating.

Parging coatings-

Parging coating isn’t as popular as tar because it is less weather resistant and can hold quite a lot of moisture which can lead to water damage and staining. You can paint over your parging coating because it is a smooth finish and will let the paint sit well on top of it.

Be careful when painting as the parging holds a lot of moisture and if you paint using a waterproof mix then the moisture can get trapped inside but using a paint that isn’t waterproof can lead to leaks and cracks in your foundation. Take a look at the condition that your parging coating is in, if there is no issue with water coming through your foundation then go ahead and paint directly on top. If you are having some problems then it is recommended to use a non-elastomeric exterior masonry paint.

What Color To Paint Foundation?

Picking the color of the paint for your foundation can be tricky and you may find that you need to mix and match your colours as many manufacturers don’t sell matching paints. So, it can be really hard to find a perfect colour for your foundation, so instead of trying to match the colours completely choose an accent colour in a neutral shade like grey, brown, or something that goes well with the earth near your foundation.

What color to paint foundation

Keeping the color neutral is a great way to draw unwanted attention away from your masonry and it will put the attention onto your house instead.

Have a look at what is available on the market for you and pick a colour that suits your property and will be aesthetically pleasing. Remember that your foundation colour should be the same or darker than your siding colour.

What Kind Of Paint Should I Use On My Foundation?

You need to use paint that contain binders when you are painting on top of your concrete foundation. If you use standard exterior house paint then this will crack and peel on your concrete and leave it looking damaged and unappealing.

There are many different options to paint your foundation, take a look below and pick what you think is right for you.

Waterproof paint- Elastomeric:

This type of paint is great because it is waterproof, and many manufacturers include a lifetime guarantee. This is different from different waterproof paints because it fills the pores of your concrete and can shift the entire look. Elastomeric paint can expand to 500% or more providing an amazing, long lasting seal on your concrete foundations.

Waterproof paint Elastomeric

Another great point about this paint is that it is super breathable, so it allows any moisture in your concrete to be released, but it is only suitable on vertical surfaces above grade. It doesn’t work below grade because the waterproofing fails.

If you are painting above grade then this is a fantastic option and will last a lifetime.

*Waterproof paint- Elastomeric* – Buy now

Waterproof paint- Acrylic:

This type of paint is very similar to the Elastomeric paint that was mentioned before. However, this paint is not elastomeric and is meant to be utilized in above and below grade applications. This paint has a better waterproofing system, and it provides a tight seal so no moisture can get in or out.

Waterproof paint Acrylic

This paint tends not to last as long as Elastomeric paint and it only comes with a 10-year guarantee depending on the brand you purchase so you will have to re-do it at some in the future.

*Waterproof paint- Acrylic* – Buy now

Concrete stain:

This isn’t exactly paint; it is a stain that is either water based, or acid based. If you go with an acid base it tends to last longer than water and is usually more permanent so you have to be careful when you pick the colour because you will be stuck with it for a long time.

Concrete stain

It is easier to apply than paint, but it does require a lot of prepping of the foundation beforehand. You should consider what type of concrete stain to use as water-based ones have more colour options but do not last as long as acid based.

*Concrete stain* – Buy now

Should I Paint Foundation Walls?

Painting your foundation walls will give you many benefits so it is a good idea to paint these. Not only will your foundation walls look more attractive, they will also be more waterproof and protected from UV damage and moisture.

Take care when painting your foundation walls, picking what paint you use and the colour can have a lasting impact and change the way your foundation looks completely. Take a look at the recommended paints above for your foundation.

It is becoming increasingly more popular to paint foundation walls so there are a lot of different products available on the market that you can use. You should look at what suits your preferences of style and lasting effects.

How Do You Paint The Foundation Of Your Home?

How Do You Paint The Foundation Of Your Home

Step 1: Remove old paint-

The easiest way to remove old paint is to use a power washer as this can clean your foundation and get rid of any chipped and flaky paint as well as any left on the foundation. However, if you are painting your interior foundation you are going to have to use a bit more effort and work the paint off with a wire brush and a scraper.

Step 2: Clean the foundation-

You don’t want to paint over a dirty surface and grime, dirt, and dust can get stuck in your concrete overtime which can affect the finish of your new paint. If you used a power washer to remove your old paint then most of the grime would have already gone but it is best to go over it again to just ensure it is thoroughly cleaned.

Step 3: Fix any damages-

Before you start painting you should fill in any cracks or holes that have appeared over time. You can use a simple concrete patch product and then wait the recommended time before you continue with your foundation.

Step 4: Seal and prime-

You need to seal before you apply any paint because your concrete can absorb any water, so this is a crucial step. Let the seal cure for a couple of days and then go over it with your primer. This will fill in the pores of the concrete and even out your surface.

Step 5: Paint-

Apply your paint with a roller or a masonry brush and make sure you paint several thin layers. Wait a couple of days between each layer so you know they are completely dry before adding more paint.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A House Foundation?

Painting your house foundation does not have to cost a lot, there are cheap materials that you can use that will still give you an amazing, finished look. The overall price depends on the type of paint you use, sealant, and also the primer as different manufacturers’ products vary in price.


It is perfectly okay for you to paint your foundation and it can be really beneficial to your property. Look into what will work for you and identify any problems before you begin as you may need to get a professional to take a look.

Randy Charles
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as a painter earlier in my professional career. There is simply nothing about painting that I didn’t do as a painter. From painting a fridge to a multi-storied building, I left nothing. I retired from my painting job in the mid of 2018 due to back arthritis problems.

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