Danny Lipford installing drywall
Covering exposed masonry walls with drywall is easy. But don’t forget to waterproof the surface beforehand.

Exposed masonry walls are common in basements, but you can easily tackle any underlying moisture issues and cover them with drywall for a finished look.

Materials Needed

• Stiff brush and mild detergent (to remove efflorescence)
• Waterproofing masonry paint
• Pressure-treated 1×4 furring strips
• Foam insulation board (1/2-inch)
• Construction adhesive
• Masonry nails
• Drywall sheets
• Sanding paper
• Patching compound
• Power drill
• Screws
• Paint

1. Remove Efflorescence

Before you cover the masonry walls of a basement, it’s important to deal with the possibility of moisture that may seep through them. White efflorescence is a sign that this has happened before, so remove that chalky residue with a stiff brush and mild detergent.


2. Waterproof the Walls

Coat the wall with a waterproofing masonry paint to seal out future moisture. Let dry.


3. Attach Furring Strips

Attach furring strips to the walls. We’re using pressure-treated 1-by-4s — it’s important that the wood be pressure-treated so it remains protected if moisture does get through to it. We’re installing these boards on 16-inch centers with masonry nails.


4. Add Insulation Board

For a little thermal insulation and more moisture protection, we’re applying pieces of half-inch foam insulation board between the furring strips. A little construction adhesive will hold these in place until the drywall is installed.


5. Install the Drywall

Finally, we’re ready to install Purple XP, the moisture-, mold- and mildew-resistant drywall.
After installing, just tape the seams, fill the screw holes, sand and paint.

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