Can You Use DRYLOK On Drywall? (Explained)

If you want to stop water from seeping through masonry walls, Drylok is the best waterproofing product to use. It is mostly used on concrete surfaces within the basement.

Apart from concrete, Drylok can also be used on plaster, stone, and stucco. But can you use it on drywall? Keep on reading to find out.

Drylok can be used on drywall. When painted on drywall, it will waterproof the surface and prevent moisture from passing through. As we all know, drywall is not a waterproof material.

Therefore, when exposed to water, it will soften, and mold can start to grow on it. However, if it is covered with a waterproof sealer like DRYLOK, it will be more resistant to water damage.


Is Drylok the Best Product to Use to Waterproof Drywall?

Drylok is highly effective at sealing or preventing the passage of water or moisture. However, it’s not the most convenient method of waterproofing drywall.

If you are experiencing leaks or high humidity, replacing drywall with a green board is the best solution. Or you can install a vapor barrier on the drywall.

The latter two options are expensive and entail a lot of work as compared to painting Drylok, which should only take a short duration.

While we are still discussing whether Drylok is the best waterproofing product to use on drywall, you should take note of the following.

Some experts recommend applying gloss paint instead of Drylok if you are dealing with mild humidity. Gloss paint acts as a vapor barrier, and instead of letting water pass through, moisture will bead up on its surface and eventually fall to the ground.

Does Drylok Add Texture to Drywall?

One of the drawbacks of using Drylok waterproofer on drywall is that it will add some texture. Drylok is mainly used to seal basements because not many homeowners care about the wall finish in this part of their homes.

However, if you apply Drylok in a room such as a bathroom or a kitchen, the finish will be textured and won’t be so pleasant. This is something you need to be ready to deal with.

Many people prefer to use gloss paint because it looks way better than Drylok and prevents moisture from passing through.

How to Paint Drylok on Drywall?

Now that you know Drylok can be used on drywall, the risks associated with this project, and the alternatives, it’s time you learn how to do it correctly. Even though Drylok resembles regular paint, the application process is slightly different.

And how well you install the Drylok determines how long it will last on drywall and how effectively it will prevent water from passing through.

Here is a quick guide on how to paint Drylok on drywall:

Step 1: Prepare the Drywall

If you have decided to waterproof drywall with Drylok, don’t jump straight into the application. Begin by preparing the walls.

The best way to prepare drywall is by cleaning any loose dust, dirt, and paint with a wire brush. Scrub the drywall until it’s clean. Make sure you wear a dust mask because drywall can release lots of dust.

Before moving on to the next step, you need to assess the condition of the drywall. If there are dents or chips, they need to be fixed, as these will be leaking points for moisture. So, any holes or cracks in the drywall need to be fixed immediately.

Step 2: Apply the Drylok with a Brush or Roller

A roller is the best option because it makes application quick and easy. What I like about Drylok is that as long it’s applied correctly, it will penetrate the pores of drywall and create an impenetrable barrier.

To apply Drylok, treat it as you would paint. For it to stick properly, paint it when the temperatures are around 50 degrees F.

As you paint, ensure that the product penetrates the pinholes on the drywall. Don’t overdo it, as that will soak the drywall. You need to apply around two coats of Drylok. But give each coat a couple of hours to dry.

Drylok spills can easily be cleaned using soap and water. But they can be a bit stubborn if left on for long. Make sure you do the cleanup immediately. Another tip you must follow when applying Drylok is to avoid thinning the waterproofer.

It can be tempting to thin Drylok because it appears too thick. Doing so weakens the molecular strength of the waterproofer, and it may not be very effective.

How Much Drylok Do I Need to Paint Drywall?

A gallon of Drylok can be applied to around 500 square feet. You need to calculate how many drywalls need to be waterproofed so that you can buy enough Drylok.

The Moisture Problem Affecting Your Drywall Still Needs to Be Addressed

Drylok can waterproof drywall, but this is only a temporary solution. At the end of the day, you will need to address the source of moisture or water. The drywall isn’t designed to handle continuous exposure to moisture.

Therefore, it will eventually get damaged by water. The best course of action here is to find and eliminate the water source. If it’s a leak from a pipe, it needs to be fixed. Or you need to install a drain within the walls.

Do not assume that just because you have treated the drywall with Drylok, it will be protected from water for years.

Which Side of Drywall Should You Apply Drylok On?

There is one important bit that we haven’t discussed regarding the usage of Drylok on drywall, and that’s regarding which side you should paint it on. The drywall has two sides.

There is the paper-backing side and the front one. If you apply Drylok on drywall, you should not paint it on the paper-backing side as it will not adhere properly. You should apply it on the side facing the interior.

Drylok vs. Waterproofing Primer for Drywall

As mentioned earlier, there are many ways you can waterproof drywall. Some prefer to replace it with a greenboard, and others use waterproof paints such as Drylok.

However, there is another waterproofing method that is equally as effective, time-consuming, and affordable. It entails utilizing a waterproofing primer.

If you have some drywall that you want to seal from moisture and humidity, waterproofing primers can prevent the passage of water while keeping mold away.

Unlike Drylok, which leaves a textured finish, waterproofing primers are super smooth and look more aesthetically pleasing. As if that’s not enough, you can get waterproofing primers in oil or latex. So, you can choose from several options.

The application process of waterproofing primers on drywall is almost the same as that of Drylok. The walls need to be dusted and cleaned. And you can apply the product using a brush or roller.

Waterproofing primers are a more popular method of sealing drywall than using membranes such as Drylok. You should weigh both options and determine which is more ideal.

Can You Use Drylok on Greenboard Drywall?

Greenboard drywall is already water-resistant. Therefore, you do not need to use Drylok waterproofing membrane over it. Doing so would be a waste of time and resources.

Next time you have a construction project and you suspect there will be a lot of moisture or exposure to water, you should opt to use a greenboard instead of regular drywall. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth spending money on.

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