How to Paint Interior Foundation Walls and the Advantages It Provides
Doing a "Proper Job"
The truth of the matter is that painting concrete is no easy task. Whilst you don't have to spend time making it cosmetically pretty (depending of course what you are using the space for) the actual process itself, if you're going to do a "proper job", is quite involved. Generally speaking, painting an ordinary stone drywall only takes a day or two, but with painting concrete, you need to allow yourself a week to complete the process.
Why so long? Well concrete is a much more difficult surface than most because it breathes and transports moisture. It has a porous surface and therefore sucks up paint by the gallon. It needs to be properly prepared.
Stage 1 - Cleaning
Before you do anything else, you must ensure that the surfaces you are going to be painting are clean. Because concrete is a porous substance it absorbs dirt, oil, and grease. As any DIY guru will tell you, in order to get a good surface that your paint can key onto, you must first remove the grime. You can use tri-sodium phosphate, or a proprietary, off-the-shelf cleaner that you can get from most hardware stores, and/or builders merchants.
Stage 2 - Stripping and Washing
If you're interior foundation walls were already previously painted, then this will need to be stripped off, and then washed down.
Stage 3 - Sealing
We already touched on the fact that concrete is a porous material and therefore absorbs water. To prevent this from happening in future, you need to seal the concrete before you prime and paint.
Stage 4 - Priming
Having previously cleaned the concrete to allow for the sealant to key into it, you must now do the same in preparation of creating the right surface for paint to adhere. Once applied, ideally you should give the primer a day to dry and once dry, paint within 30 days.
Stage 5 - Painting
With all of the preparatory stages now completed, you're ready for the final act of painting. The most effective paint to use on concrete is masonry paint as this contains ingredients that allow it to expand and contract as the concrete moves.
Conclusion - The Advantage of Painting Interior Foundation Walls
There are several advantages to painting the interior walls of your foundation. Firstly, it helps to exclude damp, and therefore helps to prevent mold from forming. It can also help to prevent radon infiltration, as well as helping to minimize heat loss.