How To Paint The Foundation Of Your House

If you are looking to make your home more attractive or suited to your personal style, painting the foundation may be a way to do it. You'll be surprised at how a freshly painted foundation can immediately breathe new life into your home's appearance. We have researched how to paint a home's foundation. In this post, we will go over how to get it done.

Here are the steps to paint your home's foundation:

  1. Clean up the lawn area around the foundation
  2. Clean the foundation
  3. Patch up any damaged areas
  4. Apply painting tape and tarp
  5. Apply a primer
  6. Apply the topcoat
  7. Remove the tape and tarp 

Before painting the foundation, it's best to think about the color scheme you want it to have. For example, do you want it to match the home's siding, or do you want it to be a complementary or contrasting color, perhaps even a complex color scheme? Continue reading to learn about the best way to kick off this DIY project.

Woman painting a wall of her new house with a blue or grey color and using a paint roller. How To Paint The Foundation Of Your House

Steps to Paint the Foundation of Your Home

More often than not, the foundation of a home will be made of concrete. The reason is that concrete provides the best stability for the rest of the home's structure.

However, if you're unsure what material your foundation is, you'll want to confirm the foundation material beforehand. You can do this by contacting your local permit building permit agency or housing records office for the floor plan.

Townhouses of a residential building. basement for single family

Things you need:

  • Pressure washer or garden hose
  • Concrete patching compound
  • Stiff-wired brush
  • Garden shears or weed trimmer
  • Shovel
  • Concrete sealer
  • Exterior primer and paint
  • Paintbrush, roller, or sprayer

1. Clean up the lawn area around the foundation

Before cleaning your foundation, take the time to clean up the area around its perimeter. This means pulling out your weed wacker or garden shears to remove any weeds, shrubs, or dirt mounds from around the area. Take a shovel or stiff-wired brush and scrape any caked dirt or debris along the bottom of the foundation.

2. Clean the foundation

Take a pressure washer or garden hose and spray down at the concrete. Be sure to use your wire brush for any areas with hard-to-remove dirt or stains. You can purchase any all-purpose cleaner or concrete wash for this task. Start from the top of the foundation and work your way to the bottom using a left-to-right sweeping motion.

If you have never cleaned your home's foundation or find that it is especially dirty, take a TSP cleaning solution and sprinkle it onto the foundation, allowing it to soak for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Next, scrub the solution away using your stiff wire brush. Follow this up with another blast from your pressure washer.

Find this TSP solution on Amazon.

If you don't have any TSP, you can use a mixture of distilled white vinegar and warm water. Mix the water and vinegar in equal amounts and pour it into your pressure washer to clean the foundation.

Repeat the process as needed until the foundation is free of all caked dirt, leaves, and other debris. Then let it dry for a day or two before moving on to the next step.

3. Patch up any damaged areas

Once the foundation has dried completely, patch up any damaged areas that contain holes, dents, or cracks. Depending on your preference and the amount of damage, you can use a concrete patching compound for the foundation or an epoxy-based solution.

With either solution, the goal is to ensure that the foundation is in a healthy state before you apply the paint. Otherwise, you may find that the paint will crack and peel in the areas that are damaged--and it may leave your foundation exposed to wildlife, pests, and weather conditions.

Find this concrete patching compound on Amazon.

4. Apply painter's tape and tarp

Next, apply tarp and painter's tape to the area above the foundation and beneath it on the surrounding grass. If you have any nearby plants or shrubs, be sure to cover them with a tarp or plastic bags to prevent them from being painted. Lastly, place drop cloths on any nearby sidewalks and driveways running alongside the home's foundation.

Find this tarp set on Amazon.

5. Apply a primer

Next, prepare your primer by agitating the can for a few seconds. Apply it to a top corner of the foundation and work your way from left to right in two-foot sections.

If you're using a roller for the foundation, be sure to first cut-in the primer on the edges using a two or three-inch paintbrush. And if you're using a sprayer, be sure to keep the sprayer at least eight to 10 inches away from the surface of the concrete to avoid dripping.

Check out this paintbrush set on Amazon.

Take note of where you first applied the primer, as you'll start in the same area when you apply the paint. After the first coat of primer has dried, apply the second coat. The primer will generally need to dry for about 24 hours.

6. Apply the topcoat

After the primer has dried, prepare your topcoat. Follow the same process of cutting in the topcoat using your brush and then applying the rest with the roller. If you're using a spray gun and you are using masonry paint, be sure to thin the paint well enough so that it doesn't clog the sprayer.

Note that masonry or concrete paint is typically thicker than your everyday interior or exterior paint, so that it may require more water for dilution. However, you'll want to look at the manufacturer's instructions before doing so. Wait for the first coat to dry, and then apply the second coat.

7. Remove the tarps and masking tape

After the second coat of paint has dried, go back and remove any tarps, drop cloths, and masking tape applied to the foundation and surrounding areas.

Want to see exactly how it's done? Check out this video?

Should you paint the foundation of your house?

Painting the foundation of your home is a matter of personal preference. If your home looks outdated or old due to peeling or discolored foundation, painting it can help give it a fresh new face. It's also a great selling point if you're looking to sell the home within the next year or so.

Cover the concrete wall with a cement-polymer waterproofing membrane. Waterproofing with a blue shade brush.

What kind of paint do you use on a house foundation?

The most common paint to use on a house's foundation is masonry paint. This is because a home's foundation is usually made of concrete, for which masonry paint is perfect. Using your typical interior or exterior house paint won't work well on concrete, as it will peel prematurely.

Masonry paint is a bit thicker, more durable, and able to withstand weather conditions way better. You'll find you can find masonry paint at any hardware store or online for about $20 per gallon. The best ways to apply it include using a pressure sprayer, high-capacity roller, masonry brush, or texture roller.

Check out this paint sprayer on Amazon.

How can I make my house foundation look better?

You don't have to necessarily paint your house foundation for it to look better. There are other great options to consider. However, if the paint is cracked and peeling, applying a couple of fresh coats is the quickest and easiest way to make it look great again.

Create a flower bed

Don't have a green thumb? The good news is that you don't necessarily need one. You can purchase a few easy-growing plants, bushes, and shrubs to plant around your home's foundation. Check out your local plant nursery or home improvement store for tall enough plants to cover the foundation.

Apply stones or panels

You may also want to consider spreading stones or gravel around the foundation. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to gravel that you're certain to find something that goes with your home's exterior decor.

Save money by applying the stones yourself instead of hiring a contractor. However, be ready to do some heavy lifting or call in a second pair of hands for the task.

How much does painting a foundation cost?

The cost to paint your foundation will vary depending on its square footage and the type of paint you use. The average cost to have it completed by a contractor will range from $1,500 to over $3,000.

man wearing work gloves and using roller to paint a wall white. How To Paint The Foundation Of Your House

Wrapping Things Up

While painting your home's foundation is a fairly straightforward project, it does require a bit of planning. And of course, remember that a good paint job is only as good as the preparation job, so be sure to properly clean and prepare the foundation beforehand.

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