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What is Waterproof Paint?

By T. Webster
Updated May 16, 2024
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Waterproof paint is either water-resistant or entirely waterproof and can be used inside the home in bathrooms or basements or used outside the home on objects such as boats, birdbaths or water tanks. It often is made with a latex, oil or concrete base, all of which can provide a strong waterproof seal. The kind of paint used depends on where it is being applied and how much moisture it must sustain. Inside the home, it often is used on surfaces made of concrete or wood.

Inside the home, this paint is often used to protect bathroom or basement walls from leaking or from excessive moisture. When applied to cement walls in the basement, it can help avoid water seepage and the resulting damage to a home’s foundation. In turn, it also can prevent damage that can lead to costly repairs.

Waterproof paint often is used in bathrooms because it prevents moisture from seeping into the walls. These paints are chosen simply because regular paint will not stand up as well to the damp conditions caused by frequent showers, bathing and running water in the sink. The main purpose of the paint is to keep the moisture within the bathroom. If moisture gets into the walls, then mildew or mold can build up, causing unsightly stains and creating the potential for health issues as well.

Waterproof paint cannot fix everything on its own, however. Any cracks in a basement wall or other openings around bathroom fixtures, for example, must be sealed. Just like other paints, waterproof versions must be applied to clean, dry surfaces for it to adhere properly. If necessary, a dehumidifier can be run for several days to help lower the humidity.

Another common use for waterproof paint is on walls in high-traffic areas. A home entryway is a good place for waterproof paint because it can be easily cleaned up. Hand prints from children or dirt on the walls also can be cleaned off more easily. The paint contains a protective surface that keeps the paint from coming off when it is being cleaned.

Epoxy paints are a heavy-duty type of waterproof paint used for boats, equipment and tanks, for example. These paints contain strong chemicals that protect an object while it is immersed in water. Epoxy paints have a strong sealant ability as they generally contain no solvents and will maintain their thickness as they dry. Some epoxy paints are so durable that they even can be applied under water.

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Discussion Comments

By recapitulate — On Jul 26, 2011

@Sara007- when I was little my brother drew some random thing on my wall. I was horrified, and my mom was mad. The worst part was that at the time I was about 5 and he was about 11, so my parents thought I had done it. To this day I'm not sure my mom is totally convinced it was him.

Maybe this whole memory would have been fixed if we had just had waterproof paint on our walls?

By Sara007 — On Jul 26, 2011

If you have kids using waterproof paint in their rooms can be a really good idea because it is really easy to clean. Pretty much everything either just wipes off, or if you need to, you can use one of those cleaning erasers to get marks off without worrying about your paint job.

So now when I come home to markers and crayon on the wall I don't have nearly as much stress over the whole thing. I actually don't mind when the kids start making art everywhere because I know it can me removed in a snap. Though, I am still waiting for them to grow out of the coloring on the walls stage so I can go for a nice satin finish in their rooms.

By popcorn — On Jul 25, 2011

Making sure you have the right waterproof paint when you set out to do your bathroom makeover is a must. When we started doing our bathroom we didn't realize we needed a special paint for the project but a friend quickly let us know the error of our ways.

If we had left the regular paint up it would have probably started to peel and bubble with all the moisture it was exposed to. I am really glad my friend had a keen eye while she was helping us.

Just be aware that waterproof paint is more expensive than regular wall paint, but if you ask they may have a tin or two on discount.

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