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Waterproof Masonry Paint - The Ultimate Guide

What is masonry paint, is masonry paint waterproof and which is the best masonry paint are all questions we get asked all the time here at Painters World, especially when the weather picks up. We answer all of the most common questions we receive regarding masonry paint below, so you can get going on your next exterior painting project.

Waterproof Masonry Paint

What Is Masonry Paint?

Something we get asked a lot here at Painters World is what is masonry paint? Well, masonry paint is exterior paint designed for a range of vertical wall surfaces, including brick, stone, concrete, plaster and cement render, and pebble dash. As these surfaces are often exposed to the elements, these masonry paints offer weather protection to varying levels, which is why interior paints are not durable enough to use on an exterior wall. Masonry paints are a coloured paint, while weather protection for bare bricks & stone can be found in a masonry cream, which is an invisible exterior coating.

Is Masonry Paint Waterproof?

As masonry paint must be able to deal with the weathering that it will inevitably undergo, especially in the UK climate, masonry paint must offer weather protection. Due to this, many masonry paints are waterproof, but what do we mean by waterproof?

The term waterproof can have many different meanings. Masonry paints such as Dulux Weathershield offer some weather protection, however standard acrylic masonry paints like this will never be 100% waterproof. These paints are designed to remain looking attractive for a period of time without peeling or flaking. They are not designed to completely prevent water from being soaked into the brickwork, and after heavy downpours, visible water marks can sometimes be seen where the moisture was entered the exterior wall. So, while standard masonry paint offers weather protection, it would not be considered 'waterproof'.

Highly advanced masonry paints have been developed in response to this to offer waterproof properties. One such masonry paint is Emperor Paint, which creates a super hydrophobic surface on exterior walls, which repels water off the surface. It does this using nano-technology, which makes the moisture more attracted to itself than the wall, leaving it to bounce straight off the wall.

A key consideration when looking for a waterproof masonry paint, is that it MUST be breathable. Breathability refers to the ability for water vapour to transfer through a paint, which is crucial for a masonry paint. If a masonry paint is waterproof but not breathable, while moisture will be stopped from entering the property, moisture will also be prevented from escaping the property. Unable to escape, moisture that is trapped within a building will cause significant damp issues.

The waterproof masonry paint developed by Emperor Paint is highly breathable and does not limit the ability for moisture to escape a property. This makes it a highly effective penetrating damp treatment. Furthermore, as moisture is usually the cause of paint failure, Emperor Paint has the longest lifespan of any masonry paint. In a 25 year weathering test, it was shown to have no change in appearance or performance, which is why Emperor Paint offer a lifetime guarantee.

Waterproof masonry

What Is The Best Waterproof Masonry Paint?

So in summary, while masonry paints often offer weather protection, only some specialised masonry paints are truly waterproof. When considering which masonry paint to go for, it's important to consider what level of protection you are looking for. If you are looking to keep your exterior walls dry, which in turn can keep your home 6°C warmer, go for a waterproof masonry paint such as Emperor Paint. If you are looking for a masonry paint that is slightly cheaper and offers some degree of weather protection, Dulux Weathershield or Armstead Masonry Paint are good options.

Here at Painters World we are often asked by customers what masonry paint we would recommend. Exterior painting can be a much harder task than interior painting. Unpredictable weather, working on uneven & difficult walls and the difficulty that comes with painting exterior walls such as the need sometimes for scaffolding, all mean that when it comes to painting your home you want to do it right first time. No one wants to have to paint the exterior of their home every year, which is what one Painters World customer told us they do recently!

We would always recommend buying the best you can afford, whether with paint, tools or equipment. Going for a cheaper option may save you money at first but this is often a false economy, as it will cost you more in the long run to re-do the project either your desired finish isn't achieved or it doesn't last very long. From our experience, it pays to do it to the best of your ability first time.

Because of this, we recommend that you opt for a completely waterproof masonry paint like Emperor Paint. Emperor Paint in particular as we have mentioned comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you know you are covered! Emperor Masonry Paint will never peel or flake, and is self-cleaning as no dirt can attach itself to the exterior walls once painted. We have also heard recently from a professional decorator who said "Emperor is the best masonry paint I’ve used in the 17 years I’ve been painting". Feedback like this from industry professionals really does speak volumes!

The Best Masonry Paint: Our Choice

What Is Masonry Cream?

An alternative option to a waterproof masonry paint is using a masonry cream. Masonry creams are clear coatings that waterproof exterior walls by creating an invisible, water repellent surface on brickwork, stone or concrete. These have often been referred to as masonry 'sealers', however as we have already mentioned, a waterproof treatment must be breathable to be effective, which many treatments that are referred as 'sealers' are not. These products seal the pores of the masonry, creating a completely impenetrable barrier for moisture, which will result in damp in a matter of months. Masonry creams such as Emperor Masonry Protection Cream chemically bond to the exterior wall, waterproofing the brick itself, rather than creating a waterproof film on the surface.

If you simply want to waterproof your exterior bricks without changing their appearance, masonry cream is an ideal choice!

Brick Sealer

How To Apply Masonry Paint

Almost every masonry paint can be applied using brush, roller or spray machine. The number of coats a paint will require completely depends on the product, although masonry paints most commonly require to coats.

As with any exterior painting, it is crucial to plan ahead and ensure that the weather is suitable to paint. Any rain during the painting process can significantly effect the results, so it is not worth risking it. Ironically, painting in temperatures that are too high can also negatively impact exterior painting, as the paint will dry before you are finished, leaving big marks and lines on the exterior wall. This makes dry conditions between 5-20°C the ideal conditions to paint. If you are painting in conditions higher than this, try to ensure that the wall is in the shade.

We recommend using a large masonry brush to cut in around the edges of the wall & then use a long pile roller to coat the large areas of the wall. Allow to dry completely as per the manufacturer's instructions and then apply the second coat.

How Much Paint Will I Need?

This completely depends on the area you are painting & which masonry paint you are using, as they all have varying coverage rates. A common coverage rate is generally 10 metres squared per litre, which means a 40 square metre terraced house will require 8 litres to cover. We highly recommend you do the maths and get an accurate estimate as to how much you will need as you want to ensure you can coat the full exterior wall at the same time. Emperor Paint have a useful paint calculator that can be used to estimate how much of their waterproof masonry paint you will require.

Does Masonry Paint Require A Primer?

Bare, non painted masonry surfaces will often require a primer in order for masonry paint to adhere to the surface. This is due to the fact that brickwork is a porous surface, meaning that any non-primed exterior walls will soak up the paint, leaving a poor finish. If an exterior wall is already painted and the paint is sound, it will not require a primer. This is even the case with waterproof masonry paints, meaning you will not need to prime the surface if you opt for this.

If you have a bare surface, simply apply one coat of masonry primer to the surface before painting. This will not take long and the primer is a runny, milky liquid that can be applied in no time at all. While standard masonry paints often do not require a particular exterior primer, due to the water repellent technology in some waterproof masonry paints, they must be used with the relevant primer. Emperor Masonry Paint for example has an exterior masonry primer that contains the same super hydrophobic & highly breathable technology. No other exterior primer should be used in combination with the product.

If you decide to opt for masonry cream in order to waterproof your exterior walls, you will not require a primer. Masonry cream penetrates into the brick, which would be prevented by a primer.

We hope this has answered any questions you may have had regarding waterproof masonry paint. If you require anymore help, just send an email to and our expert team will be on hand to give you any advice you require. At Painters World we have a wide range of paints available, so not matter the job, we've got the right tools for you. Shop your full masonry paint range today & get FREE next working day delivery on all orders over £50.

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