Water and moisture are all around us. Outdoor furniture and roofing can be affected by rain or snow, and indoor environments, like your bathroom and basement, are also thick with moisture.
Using paint to waterproof your roof, tiles, and wooden furniture is an effective way to make them last a little longer and protect them from the elements.
But which waterproof paints should you use? The type of waterproof paint you should use will depend on the nature of your project. Generally, indoor projects can be done with latex, epoxy, or enamel paint. Outdoor projects require waterproof paints such as masonry paint, epoxy, latex, or exterior acrylic paint.
This is the short version, but if you are looking for the best waterproof paint on the market and wondering exactly what type of waterproof paint to use for your next project, there is so much information to know, and unfortunately we can’t fit it all in one paragraph.
So, in this article, you’ll find all the information you need to choose the right waterproof paint for you.
Benefits Of Waterproof Paint
Aside from protecting your roofs, walls, and belongings from moisture and water damage, waterproof paints have a ton of other benefits.
The first thing you need to know is that waterproof paints are quite versatile. There are a few types of waterproof paints, which we will explain further in the next section, and they can work with so many different types of materials, including porous surfaces like wood or cement, as well as non-porous materials like plastic or metal.
This means that whatever material that you need to waterproof, you can surely find the right paint to work with it. The other thing that you probably don’t know about waterproof paint is that it works both ways – it keeps moisture outside from getting in, and it also keeps moisture inside from getting out.
What does this mean, exactly? If you have a waterproof wall in your bathroom, for example, you can keep the moisture in the shower from penetrating the walls, and if there’s any moisture inside the wall, it also keeps the water from spreading and protects your wall from water damage. It also helps keep mold and mildew from spreading.
Certain porous materials, such as wood, need waterproofing more than others. Porous materials can absorb water and moisture in the air, causing the materials to expand. When the moisture evaporates, the material will shrink down again.
Wood is especially susceptible to this process, and if the wood is not treated with waterproofing measures, it can warp, crack, and deteriorate very quickly. Using waterproof paint to finish wood is a quick and efficient way to avoid these issues.
In addition to protecting the materials, waterproofing also makes them easier to clean. Molds and mildews are less likely to grow, and stains can easily be wiped away with soap and water.
Types Of Waterproof Paint
While there are many paint formulas out there that can provide waterproof abilities, below are three of the most popular types of waterproof paint that you can use in your DIYs. Let’s take a look at each type below.
1. Masonry Paint
Masonry paint is a type of acrylic-based paint that is specially formulated to bond well with rough, coarse surfaces. Because of these characteristics, it’s normally used for exterior walls rather than indoor use.
Masonry paint is great for outdoor use because it can also withstand harsh weather conditions, especially the heavy rain and snow that can occur during winter.
Since porous surfaces can absorb water and moisture, using masonry paint to waterproof your outside walls can help to reduce weather damage and possible structural damage that can occur during the wintertime.
Depending on the manufacturer and brand of the paint, it can take up to 24 hours to dry completely. If you are painting an exterior wall, it’s good to plan around the weather so that the wet paint doesn’t get rained or snowed on as it is drying. Otherwise, the paint won’t dry properly.
Masonry paint doesn’t require any kind of primer, but you will still have to prep your surface before painting. Masonry paint will provide a protective coat that will seal your surface from the elements, but it will trap any dirt, oil, or even ice inside.
Before painting, you will need to clean your surface thoroughly to make sure that it’s completely clean before painting. That way, the paint can dry properly to form a long-lasting protective layer without chipping or peeling off.
2. Epoxy Paint
Originally used for industrial purposes, epoxy paint is an amazing and affordable waterproof paint option that’s popular for flooring and other non-industrial applications.
Epoxy is well known in creative circles as a material that dries clear and resembles plastic. This is not to be mistaken for epoxy paint, however. Epoxy paint is actually a type of paint that has a little bit of epoxy mixed in to provide a water-resistant, dust-resistant, and durable finish.
Because of these amazing properties, epoxy paint is often used for flooring, especially in warehouses and garages where you need something that’s durable and easy to clean up. Once completely cured, the paint will have a slightly shiny appearance that resembles epoxy plastic.
Epoxy is also one of the most difficult types of paint to apply because the surface needs to be properly treated before applying the paint. That means all the cracks need to be filled in, and all the dirt and grease on the surface need to be completely removed before the paint can be applied. Otherwise, the paint will not adhere to the surface and won’t cure properly.
Depending on the brand of epoxy paint that you are using, it can take 48 hours (or up to several days) to cure completely. You will want the epoxy paint to cure completely before coming into contact with it, because the paint can release strong fumes when it is curing.
3. Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint is a durable and low-cost waterproofing solution that can be used for various surfaces, including wood and metal. You can easily access acrylic paint almost anywhere, it’s super easy to apply, and it is non-toxic by nature, so it’s quite friendly to beginners.
Compared to the other types of paint, it’s also very quick-drying and can be applied with just a roller. It’s also quite forgiving since it is water-based paint and can simply be wiped away with water when it’s still wet, so you don’t have to worry about making mistakes.
Now, to the cons. Acrylic paint is not a very durable solution, especially for exterior use. Its waterproof abilities are not as impressive as the other types of paint, and without a primer and sealant (top coat), the paint can crack when exposed to the elements.
If you are applying acrylic paint on a non-porous surface, such as metal, then a layer of primer is enough to help extend the performance of the paint. If you are using acrylic paint on wood, then we recommend a layer of polymer varnish as a top coat to make sure that no moisture can get through to the porous material underneath.
Alternatively, you can find acrylic paints that are branded “exterior paints,” which are specially formulated to resist the elements, including moisture, sunlight, dirt, and mildew. These are usually more expensive, but you don’t have to worry so much about priming or sealing after painting.
4. Latex paint
Latex refers to paints that contain synthetic polymers that act like a binder for the paint, similar to acrylic paint. There are three main types of latex paint: acrylic, latex, vinyl styrene paints.
Latex paint is often sold in spray paint cans, which makes them quite convenient for application, especially when you need to cover a small area at a time.
However, for bigger jobs, latex paint does not perform as well as acrylic or other types of waterproof paints. It is not as waterproof as acrylic, and therefore, is quite prone to chipping and cracking after it is dry.
To avoid this problem, all the surfaces being painted will need to be thoroughly cleaned and primed before painting so that the paint can adhere properly and provide better protection to your surface.
5. Outdoor Waterproof Paint
Being outdoor is great for your personal health, but your roof, exterior walls, and outdoor furniture may disagree.
The outdoor is home to a host of harsh factors that can be quite damaging to wood, brick, and metal—moisture, sunlight, dust, and stain, to name a few.
That’s why outdoor paint needs to be extra waterproof, durable, UV-resistant, and easy to clean. That way, any exterior surface that you paint can stay fresh and new without much maintenance.
The weather conditions in your area may also be a big consideration when choosing the right type of paint for your project. Remember, your paint cannot be exposed to water or moisture when it is still drying, so the paint’s drying time is quite important.
If it tends to rain a lot in your area, we suggest you pick a paint with a faster drying time so that it will not be ruined when the rain inevitably comes. It’s also good to watch out for rain in the weather forecast and pick a dry week to paint your roof and outdoor furniture.
Let’s take a look at what type of waterproof paint would work for each type of project.
Waterproof Paints For Roofs
1. Masonry Paint
The most popular waterproof paint for roofs is actually masonry paint, which is made from a combination of latex and ceramic paints. This type of paint is highly reliable and durable and can be applied to all types of materials, including bricks or metal.
Masonry paint is a durable waterproofing solution that can prevent rain and moisture from penetrating the roof. It’s also dirt-resistant, which keeps your roof low-maintenance and easy to clean.
For an outdoor waterproofing solution, masonry paint also has the added benefit of being mold-resistant, thanks to its fungicide and algaecide properties. Because of this, masonry paint is a highly dependable solution for your roof because it can withstand the elements very well without a lot of maintenance.
2. Epoxy Paint
Epoxy paint provides a durable layer of resin/paint that is highly effective at waterproofing your roof. If you’ve worked with resin before, you probably know how strong and amazing it is at being dust-resistant and easy to clean, so it’s a great solution for your roof.
Keep in mind that epoxy does take some time (about 48 hours or up to a week) to cure completely, so watch out for any rain or snow if you are planning on waterproofing your roof with epoxy paint.
Waterproof Paint For Exterior Walls
One of the most common types of exterior paint is waterproof masonry paint. As we’ve mentioned, masonry paint is highly versatile and can be applied to wood, brick, as well as metal. That’s why it’s an excellent solution to waterproof your exterior walls.
Wooden Outdoor Furniture
Wood is especially susceptible to warping, cracking, and fading because of moisture and sunlight. If your wooden outdoor furniture is left untreated, the wood will absorb the moisture from the air, rain, or snow and can lose its shape after less than two years!
Sunlight can also be quite damaging to wood, so when you choose waterproofing paint for wooden furniture, make sure to select a type of paint that also has some UV-protective abilities, which can preserve the natural colors and shine of the wood.
Latex paint is commonly used for sealing outdoor furniture. It provides protection against moisture as well as sunlight and is stain-resistant. You can find latex paint in spray bottles that are pretty easy to apply, especially for beginners, so it’s a quick and efficient paint job that can substantially extend the life of your outdoor furniture.
Alternatively, you can also use exterior acrylic paint to get a better level of protection for your wooden furniture. Since wooden furniture can expand and contract depending on the temperature, you should opt for a flexible formula that won’t crack as the wood moves through its natural rhythm.
This is not a permanent solution, of course, since the elements can still wear down the paint layer. It is recommended that you reapply the topcoat at least once every two years to sustain the protection.
You might be thinking: wait, isn’t plastic already waterproof? While that might be true if your plastic items are only used lightly and indoors, outdoor furniture that is made of plastic may still suffer when exposed to the elements.
A lot of cheaper outdoor furniture designs may look like rattan or wood, but if you pay close attention, they may actually be plastic.
That’s because of a process called oxidation that can occur when plastic is exposed to sunlight, high temperature, and moisture. If your plastic furniture is left outdoors for a long time without being treated, the plastic may become discolored and brittle, which is not only unpleasant to look at but also dangerous to use.
That’s why sealing outdoor plastic furniture is important to extend its life.
The main culprit that can cause damage to your plastic outdoor furniture is actually sunlight, not just moisture, so using UV-resistant, waterproof paint is highly recommended to provide maximum protection.
In this case, you can get exterior paint, which is commonly acrylic paint, to protect your plastic items.
If your plastic furniture has a special design (especially faux rattan chairs) that can be difficult to work with using a paintbrush, then you can get spray latex paint for an easier application. There are latex paints that are formulated to resist UV damage, so you should choose this option when buying paint.
Like all outdoor furniture, it’s highly recommended that you reapply the paint occasionally (once a year for plastic furniture) because the protection can be worn out after long-term exposure to the elements.
Yes, most metals are waterproof, in the sense that water cannot penetrate beyond the surface of the metal. However, a lot of metals can become rusty after being exposed to air and moisture, causing issues when you try to use them.
A few metals are naturally rust-proof, such as aluminum and stainless steel. However, if you have metal furniture that is made from iron, for example, sealing it with waterproof and rust-proof paint is ideal, especially if it’s a piece of outdoor furniture that needs to withstand the elements.
When painting metal surfaces, it’s important to remove any dirt and rust that already exists on the surface of the metal. Otherwise, the paint won’t stick to the surface properly. If you want to go the extra mile, you can apply a layer of primer before painting to help the paint perform better.
Exterior acrylic paint is the best type of waterproof paint for this case. A lot of exterior paints are formulated to become rust-proof as well as waterproof, so make sure to check out these options when you need to find a type of paint that works well for metal.
Indoor Waterproof Paint
While indoor environments are generally more forgiving on your walls and furniture, there are a few areas in your home that are constantly exposed to water and moisture, such as your bathroom, your shower, and your basement.
Let’s take a look at some things that you need to consider when choosing waterproof paint for these areas.
Since bathrooms tend to get splashed with water and are constantly exposed to moisture from your shower, a paint that can stand the moisture is important to prevent mold and water damage.
You’ll also want something that’s dirt-resistant and easy to clean since the bathroom walls and surfaces can get stained really quickly.
Of course, the bathroom is not just one big tile surface – You will need different paints for different surfaces and varying levels of water exposure.
The ceiling, for example, is mainly exposed to steam rather than water, so using latex paint would be sufficient.
Shower tiles and bathroom floors are more exposed to water, so you will need epoxy paint to provide durable and sufficient protection for the bathroom. Not only is epoxy paint waterproof, but any dirt and stains can also easily be wiped clean, making it simple to keep your bathroom and shower clean.
Keep in mind that epoxy is not a time-proof solution, especially for something that is used regularly, such as a bathroom floor and shower tiles. Although epoxy paint can provide durable protection, touching up occasionally (at least once every two years) is highly recommended.
Being underground can increase the likelihood of water damage and moisture accumulation. That’s why basements always feel mustier and more humid than the rest of your house. During warm and humid months, the air in your basement always feels damp.
Your walls can absorb the moisture over time, which can result in water damage in your basement that will cost thousands to repair. The best-case scenario would still be an accumulation of mold and fungal growth that can be damaging to your health.
That’s why waterproofing your basement walls is necessary to avoid long-term damage after consistent exposure to moisture. Sealing your basement walls with a layer of waterproof paint will help keep the moisture from entering the walls.
Keep in mind that using waterproof paint is only a superficial solution, and if your basement feels musty and humid, there may be issues with the piping system inside the walls itself.
This is a common problem with older houses that still use cast iron piping, which is another problem that cannot be solved with waterproof paint and will need to be looked at by a professional.
However, if your house is new and you want to keep it that way, sealing the basement walls and ceiling with waterproof paint is a good idea.
In that case, using epoxy paint is a great option to seal your basement walls and ceiling to keep moisture away. Epoxy provides a durable layer of protection, and it also has the great benefits of being resistant to dirt, mold, and mildew. This solution offers triple protection for your basement and prevents any water damage.
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