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.
• 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
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.