Setting up my new basement shop #2: Prepping the concrete walls. Could use some advice.

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Blog entry by Dan posted 04-01-2015 01:20 PM 3375 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: I don't even know where to start.. Part 2 of Setting up my new basement shop series Part 3: Not a big fan of concrete walls.. Time for some new drills. »

In my last blog it was suggested by a few people that I seal the concrete walls of the basement with DryLok. So the past couple days I have been clearing the walls. One of the back walls in the basement had plywood covering it and when I took the plywood down I found all these 2x’s bolted horizontally to the wall.

My first question for you guys would be is it okay to just paint/seal around these studs or should I take them all off the walls before I paint?

I cleared one wall of the studs and it was no easy job. I was also left with this which will bring me to my next question..

Should these holes in the concrete be patched before I seal the walls? I am not worried about appearance as I plan on covering the walls anyway. I am just not sure if it is necessary to patch them or not for sealer to work right.

I am really hoping I can seal by painting around the studs on the wall. Tearing them all off the wall is going to be a lot of work and its going to leave me with a lot of big holes. However if the sealer is not going to work at its best by painting around them then I guess I will tear them off..

Once the walls in this back corner and sealed I plan on putting some studs back up and then covering the walls w plywood. This back corner will be the heart of my shop. It will house all my hand planes and other hand tools so I want it done right.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

20 comments so far

View kooldecker's profile


80 posts in 2860 days

#1 posted 04-01-2015 02:12 PM

Do you currently experience any moisture problems down there? How about when it rains? If the answer is no…...i would return your drylock. And if you want to seal it for dust…..go get some of the cheapest paint you can. Im in the masonry biz…..if your house is properly graded…..your downspouts are properly carrying water from your house…and as long as you dont get saturated soil. You could put that money in drylok into somthing else. Look at the paint thats there. Is it flaking and peeling? If its not. I say save the money. Drylok is a band aid anyway and yes for it to work you would have to remove all 2x’s and when you went to install new ones you are perferating your sealcoat anyway. I know its a lengthy one. But i would save the money.

-- " I dont understand......I cut that board AT LEAST 4 times and its STILL too short!"

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4172 days

#2 posted 04-01-2015 02:19 PM

The basement gets very humid in the summer and when there is really heavy rain there is some water that comes in due to neighbors driveway sending it my way.

I guess I should research this a little more. I have not bought any drylok yet. It was just suggested to me by a few different people.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2468 days

#3 posted 04-01-2015 02:26 PM

I would definitely fix the water coming in problem!

You could add a couple of dehumidifiers to handle the humidity problem. You could place them on a shelf and use the drain hose to go to a floor drain.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View AnthonyReed's profile


10184 posts in 3732 days

#4 posted 04-01-2015 02:29 PM

What a p.i.t.a., I hope you find a solution Dan.

The shuffleboard floor is too cool.

-- ~Tony

View terryR's profile


7683 posts in 3600 days

#5 posted 04-01-2015 02:29 PM

Sounds similar to my shop problems, Dan.

I get rain seeping from underneath the concrete foundation of my steel building. Have tried Thompson’s water seal for concrete, but little luck. I think I need to divert the rain somehow? Maybe you, too?

I just completed a 12’ stud wall, but it will sit in seeping water. Cheap paint sounds like the next plan for me???

Don’t care if my Grizzly jointer rusts…cannot handle it when hand tools gain patina in a mere month. :(

Ultimately, I’ll depend on a toolchest, but the upcoming french cleat storage is just open to humid air. Better for both of to just buy stock in WD40 now…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3890 days

#6 posted 04-01-2015 02:29 PM

You aren’t going to cover up the shuffleboard are you? oh, the humanity!

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4172 days

#7 posted 04-01-2015 02:40 PM

The neighbors driveway was put in with the water flow going right towards my house. So when it rains the run off form their driveway all heads my way.

I am not really sure what to do.. I have been researching Drylok all morning and the reviews either praise it or hate it. It either works great or does not work at all. To be honest I really don’t want to tear those studs off the wall so I may just cover it up and see how it goes.

The shuffleboard will stay for now.. I don’t know what I am going to do with the floor. That is going to be saved for a latter day.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4869 days

#8 posted 04-01-2015 02:43 PM

If you’re not experiencing water infiltration in your basement drylock is not necessary. If you plan on having wood on your walls you should not have removed the battens nailed on the wall because that’s the correct way to connect wood to concrete walls. If you want just want concrete walls then patching the holes will make it look better.


View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2468 days

#9 posted 04-01-2015 02:50 PM

If you can locate where the water is coming in and it is a small area then you could chisel out that area making the back larger than the front (sort of like a dovetail) and pack the hole with hydraulic cement. Hydraulic cement has the property that it expands when it hardens thus requiring the unusual shaped hole. I used this on my garage six years ago and it sealed the crack.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View chrisstef's profile


18138 posts in 4298 days

#10 posted 04-01-2015 02:56 PM

Id say skip the drylock bud. I used Behr Masonry and Stucco paint in my basement shop, about $100 for 5 gallons. It took 2 coats but its holding up very well, I haven’t noticed any signs of failure yet. I wouldn’t fill the divots either especially if youre covering it all up.

Here’s a before and after paint pic of my shop. The new lights helped out a ton too.

You cant really see it but a fresh coat of white paint tends to bury most of the wall imperfections from the form ties. Even the “concrete snot” as I like to call it, blends in pretty good. My walls are far from smooth.

A 3/4” nap roller was my best buddy.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 4172 days

#11 posted 04-01-2015 03:05 PM

I only plan on covering that back corner with plywood walls because that is where I am going to hang all my hand tools. The rest of the shop will have the concrete walls.

Maybe I will just go with regular paint for the rest.. That is why I wanted to ask you guys. I knew I would get a lot of good advice.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View johnstoneb's profile


3183 posts in 3464 days

#12 posted 04-01-2015 03:22 PM

You have to stop the moisture from geting to the wall to stop moisture infiltration. Sealers put on the inside of a concrete wall will only slow the infiltration down and cause bigger problems down the road. You say you know where the water is coming from you need to put something in to divert the moisture away from the wall.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3916 days

#13 posted 04-01-2015 03:29 PM

That wall ‘looks’ bone dry. No evidence of moisture anywhere. No mold no staining. I would paint, it studs and all and hang your ply. As to the water coming off the neighbors drive a simple French drain would most likely solve your incursion dilemma. French drains are cheap and effective.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8581 posts in 3274 days

#14 posted 04-01-2015 04:17 PM

Interesting how split everyone is on this. I used dry-loc (or zinnser’s version of it at menards) when I remodeled my shop. Seen here:

I think it was a good choice. It didn’t add a ton of cost because your gonna have to prime a bunch anyway. That cement really soaks, and dryloc is a nice thick sealer. It tough to quantify any moisture reduction, but I’m pretty sure it helped.

As far as removing the studs….kinda up to you. I think the dryloc will still do its job if you go around the studs. It’s more about surface area, If you have 90% sealed, that a lot less surface area for moisture to wick through.

Good luck with the new shop buddy.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View kooldecker's profile


80 posts in 2860 days

#15 posted 04-01-2015 04:23 PM

+1 on the French drain. you definitely need to get your water problem dealt with. this isn’t just for your shop but for your home as well. After you stating about your neighbors driveway situation. I would certainly say that drylok is not your solution. you should do some research and possibly consult a waterproofing contractor in your area. ive done countless French drains and they can be economical depending on the situation. But to be sure you need to deal with it , and to be honest its good your dealing with it now , not after building your dream shop! You could get a drain installed and be bone dry in no time, and then every operation you do after gets easier. I would check your local yellow pages for waterproofing contractors and see what they say . the problem is with the drylok is this, your painting over other paint. if the concrete/block gets moisture into it and they get wet. the paint will peel and the drylok will peel off because its on an inferior substrate. that’s just my two cents. good luck!

-- " I dont understand......I cut that board AT LEAST 4 times and its STILL too short!"

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