Waterproof Expert

Waterproofing tips & tricks

Splish-Splash Proof: Making Your Latex Paint Waterproof

Today we’re diving into a simple, yet super handy skill – making your regular latex paint waterproof. Use the tips below to help your DIY projects stand up to the elements, no sweat.

Is Latex Paint Waterproof?

Latex paint is water resistant but isn’t completely waterproof. While it might be able to withstand a light sprinkle or minor splashes, it won’t hold up against heavy rain or continuous water exposure.

This is why we often need to step in and give it a little waterproofing boost!

Let’s get our hands dirty! Here are some beginner-friendly steps to waterproof your latex paint.

How to Make Latex Paint Waterproof

Start off with high-quality latex paint. It’ll have a better base to withstand the elements.

Step 1: Clean the surface

Whether it’s a wall or an outdoor bench, make sure the surface you paint is clean and dry.

Dirt, dust, or moisture can mess up your waterproofing efforts.

Step 2: Prime Time

Apply a layer of primer. This helps the paint stick better and enhances its waterproof properties. Plus, it gives you a smooth canvas to work on.

Step 3: Paint away

Apply your latex paint evenly, following the grain if you paint on wood. One layer is good, but two is even better.

Allow the first to dry completely before adding the second.

Step 4: Seal the deal

The last step is sealing the paint. Get yourself a clear, waterproofing sealer suitable for the surface you’re painting.

Brush it on evenly, again allowing it to dry completely.

Let the sealer paint dry and cure for a few days before exposing it to water.

And voila, you’ve just made your latex paint waterproof!

Simple, right?

Remember, these steps can be fun if you let them be, so put on some music, get painting, and enjoy the process.

Best Waterproof Latex Paints for DIY Projects

If you’re seeking latex paints, here are some strong contenders that DIY enthusiasts and pros alike love.

Remember, it’s not just about the brand, but also how well you apply it!

KILZ Exterior Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint

It’s super durable, making it great for outdoor projects. Plus, it’s resistant to cracking, peeling, and blistering.

Get it from Kilz.

Valspar Duramax Satin Base 1 Tintable Latex Exterior Paint

With great coverage and a mold-resistant finish, this one’s a crowd-pleaser.

Get it from Lowe’s.

Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint

Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint is a popular choice among both DIY enthusiasts and professionals for its quality and durability.

SuperPaint is a paint and primer in one. It’s a long-lasting paint that holds up well against weather changes.

Get it from Sherwin-Williams.

How Long Does Latex Paint Need to Dry?

Latex paint takes about one to two hours to become touch dry, but it will typically need a full 24 hours to fully dry and cure.

If rain is in the forecast, you’ll want to ensure your freshly painted surface has a solid 24 hours, or even a bit more, to dry before it gets wet.

Always check your local forecast before starting an outdoor painting project!

How Much Water Is in Latex Paint?

Latex paint is water-based, which means water is one of its primary components.

The exact amount of water can vary from brand to brand and formula to formula.

Typically, water can make up anywhere from 25% to 50% of the total volume of latex paint.

This water helps to keep the acrylic or vinyl particles in suspension and aids in the application process.

As the paint dries, the water evaporates, leaving behind the color and finish on your painted surface.

Can I Add Water to Latex Paint to Thin It Out?

You can add water to latex paint to thin it out.

Here’s how you can do it.

Stir First

Before you add any water, make sure to stir the paint thoroughly. This helps to evenly distribute the ingredients that might have settled at the bottom of the can.

Add Water Gradually

Start by adding just a small amount of water – no more than 10% of the volume of the paint.

So, for a gallon of paint, you’d start with no more than a pint of water.

Mix Well

Stir the paint and water together until they’re fully mixed. You’re aiming for a slightly more liquid consistency that still sticks to your brush.

Test It

Before you start painting, test your thinned paint on a spare piece of material. If it covers well and dries to a finish you’re happy with, you’re good to go!

What Happens if I Add Too Much Water to Latex Paint?

Adding too much water to latex paint can lead to reduced coverage and poor adhesion, potentially causing the paint to peel or chip over time.

Additionally, it may dilute the color, lower the durability of the paint job, alter the desired finish, and lengthen the drying time.

Pros and Cons of Using Latex Paint to Waterproof Something


Easy Application

Latex paint is beginner-friendly. It’s easier to apply with standard brushes or rollers and typically dries faster.

Versatile Colors

Latex paint offers a wide range of colors and finishes. You can tailor the look of your project to your exact liking.

Low Toxicity

Latex paint tends to have fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than many commercial waterproofing products.

When using paint in enclosed spaces, always make sure there is enough ventilation.


Not as Durable

While you can make latex paint waterproof, it won’t be as durable or resilient as a dedicated waterproofing product. It might need more frequent touch-ups.

Surface Limitations

Waterproofing latex paint may not work on all surfaces. Commercial waterproofing products usually offer a wider range of suitable applications.

Extra Steps

Waterproofing latex paint involves an extra step of sealing, compared to commercial waterproofing products which are typically a one-step process.

In the end, it’s all about weighing up these pros and cons and deciding what’s best for your specific project.

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