How to Drywall a Basement Wall

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 from National Gypsum.
After installing, just tape the seams, fill the screw holes, sand and paint.

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