How to Make Emulsion Paint Waterproof (Easy Guide)

If you’re looking to paint your walls or ceiling, you’ll be using emulsion paint. This type of paint is water-based, with either acrylic or vinyl added for longevity, and is typically offered in a wide array of finishes, such as matt or gloss. However, a finish that is not offered right off the bat is a waterproofing finish, which you can achieve in two different ways.

One method of waterproofing emulsion paint involves the application of a waterproof sealer following the application of water-based paint to a surface. Another way of waterproofing is achieved through additives that are carefully blended into emulsion paint before the application of the resulting mixture.  

Waterproofing can be a painless process when done correctly. When making your decision to waterproof a surface, it is important to be conscious of the benefits and your different options moving forward. There are various factors you’ll want to consider when deciding which method of waterproofing is best for you, outlined for you below.

Should You Bother Waterproofing at All?

Waterproofing your emulsion or latex paint – regardless of which method you inevitably use – is a process that could save you some money and a headache down the line. If you walk into your basement and it’s cold and dark, and the walls are wet, your house isn’t haunted; you probably just need to waterproof those walls.

Many paints come with claims that they are waterproof to some extent, and this could be true… to an extent. Would you rather have slightly waterproof walls or waterproof walls? Your decision could be the difference between dry mold-free walls and forking over cash to the handyman in the middle of winter.

Waterproofing is inexpensive and can prevent issues stemming from excess moisture, such as mold, which could weaken the integrity of your walls. Waterproofing is a must-have. Whether you’re painting your basement wall or your garden wall, you’ll need to decide on a method of waterproofing your paint.

However, waterproofing is only a solution to damp walls where the factor causing the dampness is external. If the dampness is caused by a burst pipe leaking water into the wall or cracks in your brick, waterproofing the wall will not solve your problem. Once you have repaired the relevant issue causing the dampness, you will be able to seal the painted wall using a waterproofing agent.

If you’re looking to paint more than a wall and attempt to paint something wooden that you wish to waterproof, then you’re in luck! It is possible to seal a wooden surface that’s been painted using water-based emulsion paint, though the process varies slightly from that of painting walls.

Waterproofing After Painting with Emulsion Paint

There are various waterproofing agents available to buy on the market that is suitable to use on emulsion paint. You or a handyman can apply the coating to the relevant surface, and it will typically dry within a matter of hours. You’ll be left with a smooth, waterproof surface.

It is also possible to waterproof concrete walls using this method with more durable cement-based agents that are available in different colors. This will not work in conjunction with emulsion painted surfaces, however, and functions as a more durable protectant against the outdoor elements.

When looking at the various waterproofing paints that can be applied to an already-painted wall, it is important to choose a product that allows your wall to breathe, as this is what allows the coating to eliminate moisture effectively.

Before applying your waterproof coating, it is important to make sure that the wall you wish to coat is in good repair. As discussed earlier, it important to inspect the wall for moisture that may be stemming from a fault within the wall, such as a burst pipe. Furthermore, inspect the wall’s surface for any cracks or holes that needed to be patched or filled before applying the waterproofing agent.

You could use a paintbrush to apply the waterproof coating, though it is also possible to use a foam paint roller for even application. Depending on the product you buy, you may need to apply more than one coating to achieve the desired outcome and protect your wall from the dangers of moisture!

Waterproofing with Paint Additives 

Using specially designed paint additives, it’s possible to add the desired waterproofing properties to emulsion or latex paint before painting the relevant surface. The additives that you’ll carefully stir into your paint are designed to prevent any possible damage that stems from moisture.

If you go down to your local paint shop (or just do a simple browse online), you’ll be able to find the right chemical additive product for you and your price range. The use of these additives remains the same, regardless of different brands of additives. The quality of the waterproofing could vary from brand to brand, so it’s best to ask at the hardware store or read some reviews online before settling on a waterproofing paint additive.

When purchasing these additives, you should ensure their compatibility with the paint you want to use. Most are suitable to use with water-based emulsion paints, also known as latex paints; however, they would ruin oil-based paints, wasting money in the process.

When you’re ready to use your additives, you’ll also need a 5-gallon bucket, the appropriate water-based paint, and a rod to stir the resulting mixture with. Your additive should constitute 20% of your total paint mixture, so be sure to add it using a 1:4 ratio. Make sure to stir the paint for roughly five minutes once the product has been added to the paint. You’ll be ready to apply it to the desired surface in a few minutes!

Wood, Emulsion Paint, and Waterproofing

If you have some emulsion paint leftover from painting a room, you might want to use the remaining paint to decorate some wooden furniture. Once you’ve waterproofed the room using one of the above methods, you might be wondering how to waterproof the wooden surfaces you’re painting with latex paint.

While waterproofing additives may destroy oil-based paints when combined, oil-based paints are usually the best to apply to wood for protection. However, if you want to seal wood painted with emulsion paint, it is possible.

Your best bet would be to apply two layers of a clear varnish once the painted wood has fully dried. Like with walls, make sure the painted wooden surface is clean and that there is no dust or debris to ensure a smooth finish. The varnish will provide a glossy finish that will protect your wood from water and moisture.

For wooden surfaces, it is important to use varnish and not the above solutions designed for water-based paint on walls. Using those products on the wood will result in a challenge down the road should you wish to repaint the wooden item!

Final Thoughts

No matter what you’re using that container of emulsion paint for, there’s a way to waterproof it! There are many benefits to waterproofing walls, advantages that could stop you from spending unnecessary money down the line. You don’t to be sitting with a wall that’s rotting, wishing you could go back in time and tell yourself to waterproof that wall.

Whether the wall you want to waterproof has already been painted or if you haven’t even picked a paint color yet, there’s a waterproofing solution for you. You will be able to buy products to coat painted walls, or additives to turn any water-based paint in a waterproof water-based paint! If you’ve got paint left from your renovation project, you’ll be able to spruce it up to make a matching item of furniture.

Once you’ve painted it, you’ll be able to seal the emulsion paint using varnish that can be purchased from your local hardware or paint store.

Recent Posts