I am about to sell a house I have been renting out. It just had some foundation work done and part of that was in an unfinished part of the basement. This utility room is large, has two finished walls, and two walls that are poured concrete. It also houses the washer and dryer and these are also walls that are most susceptible to water.

I normally wouldn't think about painting but I was told by my foundation guys that the city has a new requirement for hairline cracks - must be covered in epoxy. I have three or four of these (been there since I bought house years ago) and just some really ugly looking walls right now that are a cross between fixed cracks, dusty and dirty. My stager has strongly strongly suggested that I get this painted.

What are the pros and cons of painting these walls and given that there could be water issues what paint should I use?

I have my own ideas and perspective so please be specific on reasons and materials. (note that the foundation does have a lifetime warranty that I will pass to new home owner and any paint will not negate that)

Also I do not want to cause future home owner any issues so this isn't a flip and dump job.

1 Answer 1


Certainly a fresh coat of paint costs little in money, time, and effort for the difference it makes as an impression on your potential buyers (do the floor too for best impact.) I've done this, and heard from the realtor afterwards...

If you choose a light color (or white, my personal preference) it's much brighter, dust from raw concrete is reduced or eliminated, and it does not cause any detrimental effects if finishing is later contemplated.

I use flat, not gloss as it minimizes rather than accentuates the surface irregularities. Personally I like latex base concrete paint (easy cleanup, easy to recoat if ever needed) but I'll stop short of the brand recommendation. If your "water issues" are not interior, use the "waterproofer" variant of the paint (less coverage, thicker, entirely compatible.) Not a miracle, but I've had it hold minor leaks for years (serious leaks will beat any interior coating, IME.)

  • "my foundation guys said that the city has a new requirement for hairline cracks - must be covered in epoxy."
    – Alaska Man
    Sep 30, 2020 at 22:37
  • ..which has been done, per the question. Paint would just be over the whole mish-mash to make it look decent. Does not mean you have to epoxy the whole dang wall...
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 30, 2020 at 22:38
  • I did not see where the OP had used epoxy paint only that it was suggested.
    – Alaska Man
    Sep 30, 2020 at 23:17

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