How to Make Your Drywall Waterproof

Waterlogged drywall can get damaged and cost you more than what it would take to waterproof it. This guide will discuss why you should waterproof your drywall and how you can do it.

What happens when your drywall gets wet?


Many residents in Salt Lake City and other metropolitan areas want good basement finishing since it's the first place where water damage often occurs. But why should you waterproof the drywall? Here are a few things that can happen if you don't:


  • Staining and discoloration. When drywall gets wet, yellow stains or discoloration usually occur. 
  • Paint and wallpaper damage. Water damage can cause the paint to chip or flake away from the drywall, and wallpaper to peel off. 
  • Paint bubbles. The water behind the layers of paint on the drywall can create unsightly bubbles. 
  • Weakening. Water can affect the structural integrity of the drywall, making it softer and more susceptible to crumbling.

How to waterproof your drywall


If you don't have waterproof drywall already installed, you may want to upgrade your current drywall before it becomes water damaged. There are two main ways to make your drywall waterproof:


Worker using gypsum plaster ceiling joints at construction site

1. Covering the drywall with waterproofing paint


Repainting your drywall with a waterproofing paint is an easy and straightforward way to protect your walls against water damage. Here is how to do it:


Step 1: Find oil-based or latex paints that are designed to waterproof walls. 

Step 2: Clean your drywall to get rid of dust and debris that may have accumulated on the wall. 

Step 3: Wait for the drywall to dry as per the manufacturer's instructions on the paint.

Step 4: Put the primer into a paint tray. Use painter's tape to cover edges of the wall and things that you don't want to paint on. Use a roller to paint the majority of the wall and a paintbrush to paint the edges. Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding to the next step. 

Step 5: Put the paint in another paint tray. Cover the drywall with paint in the same manner as the previous step. If you want, you can paint additional layers until you are satisfied with the color. 


2. Installing new waterproof drywall


This method is a bit more expensive and may require more effort on your part, but it's a great way to waterproof areas in the house that are prone to water damage, such as bathrooms and basements.


Step 1: Find a suitable waterproof material. Measure the area that needs replacing, so you know how much to buy. 

Step 2: Cut the drywall using a utility knife or blade. Snap off the board and cut the bottom layer of the paper. 

Step 3: Use cupped-head nails to attach the drywall to the wall studs. 

Step 4: Spread a thin layer of joint compounds to fill the space between the joints. Cover the seam with drywall tape before setting it firmly with a stiff blade.

Step 5: Finish the corners with a drywall compound. 

Step 6: Allow the compound to dry for at least 24 hours before priming and painting. 


Water damage can lead to hazardous effects such as the formation of mold and structural problems. Before any of these happens, be proactive and waterproof your drywall with one or both of the methods highlighted above.