What Color Should You Paint The House Foundation?

Have you considered painting your home's foundation? If so, you're probably wondering what color is the best choice. You've come to the right place. We've done the research to compile this guide dedicated to helping you choose the best color for your house foundation.

The following are the best colors for house foundations:

  1. White
  2. Gray
  3. Black
  4. Brown

Any of these shades work well for a house foundation, but it will ultimately depend on the color of your home's siding, trim, and roof. Some of the colors have benefits other than just looking nice too. Keep reading to learn more about choosing the perfect shade for your home.

A man with yellow gloves painting foundation, What Color Should You Paint The House Foundation?

Four Best Colors For House Foundations

1. White

White is a safe option for any home due to its neutral properties. One of the benefits of using white on the foundation is that it reflects the sun, keeping your basement cooler. This can be convenient in hot areas, especially if your basement is also a living area.

This exterior paint from Zinsser is mold and mildew-proof, which is perfect for a foundation. Click here to check this paint out on Amazon.

2. Gray

Gray is a great color for a house foundation. It works in any shade, light or dark, and looks great with most other colors. If your home is a light color, like white, a light gray will work best. If your home is a darker color, like navy blue, a darker shade of gray will look great.

This paint is made for concrete and masonry surfaces, like foundations, and protects as well as adds color. Click here to see this paint on Amazon.

3. Black

Black is another neutral color that goes with anything. One of the benefits of painting your foundation black is that it attracts the sun and its heat, which is great if you live in cold areas. It can help keep your basement warm in the winter months. 

This exterior paint is great for exterior projects. Click here to see it on Amazon.

4. Brown

Brown, tan, and other earth tones are always great options for a foundation color. These shades have a natural feeling that can help your home blend in with your landscaping. This is a great option if you want a subtle color for your foundation.

This light brown paint has a gorgeous natural look. Click here to see it on Amazon.

Should You Paint The Foundation of a House?

New residential homes under construction

Painting the foundation provides the masonry with a layer of protection from exposure to the elements. This can extend the life of your foundation and prevent future repairs. Painting the foundation also makes your home feel more complete and finished.

What is The Best Way to Paint a House Foundation?

The best way to paint your home's foundation is with a paint sprayer. It will help you complete the job quickly, and it goes on evenly. A roller brush or paintbrush will work as well, but it takes much longer and requires far more labor. 

This paint sprayer will come in handy for all kinds of projects. Click here to take a look at it on Amazon.

Can you Paint Over Foundation Coating?

Yes, you can paint over the foundation coating, as long as it is in good condition without any cracks or chips. Painting over the coating will require a primary coat of a good latex primer to block the color of the coating from showing through. Make sure you clean the foundation coating well before you apply your primer.

Should The Foundation Be Lighter Or Darker Than The House?

According to Better Homes and Gardens, it is recommended that the foundation be darker than the house's siding. You can also choose to make the foundation the same color as the house, which will make the home seem taller from the outside. If you choose a darker color than your home's siding, it will create contrast, creating a dramatic look.

How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Foundation?

Cover the concrete wall with a cement-polymer waterproofing membrane

According to Fixr, the average cost to hire help for an exterior house painting job ranges between $1.50 and $4.00 per square foot. The total cost will depend on how tall the exposed portion of your foundation is and the standard labor rates in your area. If you have the time, you can save a good sum of money by doing the job yourself and cutting out the hired labor costs.

How Do You Protect an Exposed Foundation?

You can take many preventative steps to make sure your foundation is well cared for and kept in top shape. Most of the things you can do involve taking just a few minutes several times a year to inspect the area and maintain it. Here's a list of ways to keep your foundation in premium condition:

  1. Install gutters and keep them clean.
  2. Make sure you have a good runoff. 
  3. Search for puddles.
  4. Keep shrubs and foliage in check.
  5. Paint the foundation.
  6. Use a sealant.

Install Gutters and Keep Them Clean

If you don't already have gutters around your home, you will want to install some immediately. They prevent the water that runs off your roof from hitting the ground near the foundation, weakening the masonry.

Gutters can redirect the water to a more appropriate area, like a rainwater collection barrel or a trench that leads to drainage. Make sure to check your gutters monthly or seasonally and clear out any obstructions.

Suncast Gutter Splash Guard

This splash guard will keep your downspout runoff from pooling up near the foundation. Click here to check it out on Amazon.

Make Sure You Have Good Runoff

The ground around your foundation should slope away from your home to create a runoff that will divert water away from your foundation. You should also have a way to direct water draining from your gutter's downspout away from the home unless you plan to collect it. You can do this by creating a small trench lined with stones or concrete that will lead the water to a more suitable location.

Search for Puddles

Take a seasonal stroll around your home on rainy days, paying close attention to your foundation. Look for water gathering against or near the foundation.

If you find any areas where water is puddling up, you will want to mark them with a flag or a large stone. On the next nice day, you can regrade the area by filling it in with more dirt and angling the soil away from your home.

Keep Shrubs and Foliage in Check

Make sure any plants around your house are kept trimmed so they don't make contact with your foundation. This can lead to mold, mildew, and moisture building up against your foundation. Try to leave enough space between your foundation and your landscaping so that you have a good amount of airflow. 

Paint the Foundation

Concrete foundation for a new house

As we've discussed, using good paint on your foundation doesn't just make it look nice, but it also shields your foundation by providing a layer of protection from the elements. Don't forget to use a primer first; this will allow the paint to adhere better to the surface of your foundation. 

Use a Sealant

Use a sealant over your paint job to prevent chipping and increase the longevity of your paint job. A good sealant can add years to the life of your paint and foundation, with some boasting protection for as long as 12 years.

Many sealants will waterproof your foundation, preventing leakage and moisture damage. Make sure you choose a sealant that can be used over paint. 

This paint sealer will also seal your surface against moisture. Click here to see it on Amazon.

A Firm Foundation of Knowledge

Now that you know all the best options for foundation colors, you're ready to start looking at some color swatches and making plans. Make sure you compare colors in natural lighting so you can see how bright the shades will look in the sunlight. Have fun adding curb appeal to your home!

If you're searching for more ways to give the exterior of your home a facelift, read our article "What’s The Best Wood For Exterior Shutters?"

For more information on painting the exterior of your home, you should read our article "How Long Should An Exterior Paint Job Last?"

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