Which Masonry Paint Is Best?

Waterproof exterior masonry paint


What Is Masonry Paint?


Masonry paints are mostly acrylic based paints that are designed to adhere to exterior walls. Masonry paint is a versatile formulation as it is required on a range of substrates, including brick & concrete.


Due to the varying uses of masonry paint, they are designed with different benefits in mind. Some masonry paints come in a broad range of colours to give you the freedom to get creative, while some products are specifically designed to protect your home from the elements.


Furthermore, masonry paint comes in two broad forms; smooth & textured. Textured masonry paint offers a traditional finish & allows any blemishes or cracks on older properties to be filled or hidden. The most popular choice today is the quick & easy to apply smooth masonry paint, which leaves a clean & modern finish on properties.


What Is Waterproof Masonry Paint?


Due to the exterior nature of masonry paint, many of these paints are designed to be waterproof. This is to protect the brickwork from water seeping into the surface through cracks. When water enters the substrate, a wide variety of negative effects can follow including damaged brickwork, peeling or further cracking and damp problems.


Many of these waterproof paints & coatings form a barrier on the surface of the wall, resulting in water being unable to penetrate, and thus keeping the property dry from the outside. However, while sealing the surface to not allow water to penetrate, many waterproof exterior paints seal the surface of the walls completely, not allowing water vapour from the outside of the structure to escape. This leads to a build up of moisture within the property, causing damp.


When using a waterproof masonry paint, it is crucial that this masonry paint is highly breathable. This breathability is what allows moisture to escape from inside the property. The breathability of a paint is measured in an SD value. To be considered breathable, a masonry paint should have an SD value of 1 or lower. If a material does not have an SD value of 1 or lower, this will not sufficiently allow water vapour to easily pass through the material. 


Furthermore, many products are developed with short-life spans. This requires extra maintenance with further re-coatings required in less than 5 years time, leading to further costs.


Waterproof masonry paint


Factors To Consider When Choosing A Masonry Paint


The primary factors to consider when deciding which masonry paint to use is longevity, ability to keep properties dry & the finish you are looking for. We would recommend that whatever masonry paint you choose, it must be waterproof & highly breathable.


Which Masonry Paint Is The Best?


So, what makes a good waterproof masonry paint & which masonry paint is best?


Well, firstly what makes a good waterproof masonry paint is a crucial question. Ultimately, masonry paint must be long-lasting & be able to protect your home from the elements, especially moisture. Longevity and the ability to prevent moisture intrusion go hand in hand. As previously discussed, moisture is one of the most common causes of deterioration in exterior walls.


The new and innovative formulation from Emperor Paint has been designed to offer unrivalled performance compared to the standard waterproof masonry paint available in the UK today. The technologically advanced solution uniquely solves the varying problems relating to water ingress on properties of all kinds.


If you are looking for a smooth masonry paint that is waterproof & highly breathable, Emperor Paint is the best option to go for.

Emperor Exterior Masonry Paint

While many products offer waterproofing abilities, they lack a number of other key factors. In five key points, we are going to breakdown the factors that make Emperor Masonry Paint the best masonry paint on the market.




Emperor Masonry Paint forms a super hydrophobic surface on exterior walls, meaning water will simply run off. While lining the pores of the surface, the coating does not seal the pores, meaning water vapour can escape from the inside of the property. 


An independent scientific testing confirmed that Emperor products had little effect on breathability and did not restrict the movement of air. An untreated wall in the test was measured to have an SD value of 0.57. The wall treated with Emperor Masonry Paint gave an SD value 0.60, demonstrating that they had little effect on the breathability of the brick and showed a similar breathability level to limewash.


Allowing this moisture to move freely out of the exterior wall is essential for preventing penetrating damp attacking the structure. This is a crucial factor in making Emperor Paint such an effective masonry paint.


Read more about breathable masonry paint here.




An independent, UKAS accredited laboratory tested Emperor Paint products in a 25-year accelerated weathering process to establish the effectiveness of the technology in a number of areas. Overall, the products passed all measures during the Lucideon tests. 


The results found that both Emperor Masonry Paint showed no signs of deterioration either in performance or aesthetic appearance over the 25-year period, meaning the protective qualities could far exceed this.


This is thanks to Emperor Paint's combination of high water repellency and high breathability. By keeping the exterior wall dry, the masonry paint will not peel, flake or discolour, ensuring lasting performance & aesthetic appeal for years to come.


This is why we offer a lifetime guarantee on our exterior masonry paint. The results of the tests demonstrate that Emperor Paint will far exceed the 25 year proven performance period, meaning your home is protecting for a lifetime with Emperor.




The Lucideon testing also found that the products showed significantly higher heat retention compared to untreated walls. Temperature readings taken before, during and after the accelerated weathering test found that the walls that were coated in Emperor's waterproof exterior masonry paint & masonry cream were on average 6⁰C warmer. This heat retention is essential for improving the energy efficiency and reducing energy waste in households.


A large part of the DNA of Emperor Paint is contributing to sustainable solutions to help protect the planet and lower the carbon footprint of UK households. Emperor's waterproof exterior masonry paints create dry houses, and dry houses mean less energy is required in order to heat the property as. This not only reduces the energy bills of your home but lowers the carbon footprint of your household.


If exterior masonry paints such as Emperor became the norm in the UK, a significant positive contribution could be made to the global effort to reduce carbon emissions and reduce the effect global warming is having on our planet.




Saving money upfront doesn't mean better value for money.


You can put your mind at ease knowing that your home is protected, without requiring another coating in as little as five years which is the case with some waterproof masonry paints.


Furthermore, leaving your home untreated could lead to significant maintenance costs to treat damp and re-decorate your home. 


House painted with Emperor Paint


Don't just take our word for it, here is what some of our Emperor Paint customers had to say about our exterior masonry paint:


Ash - Professional Decorator


"First time using today gotta say it’s the best masonry paint I’ve used in the 17 years I’ve been painting."


Steve Gould - Homeowner


"This is the 1st time I've used these paints and I wasn't disappointed. With a wide choice of colours available it was hard to choose the one for us. I have used most of the top brands before and these paints are no way as good as Emperor Paints."


Matt Fuller - Professional Decorator


"Absolutely cracking product, as a professional Decorator I am always looking for the best products to offer a better solution to my clients. In Emperor I believe this to be among the best out there currently. I often re-look at previous jobs a long time after I have completed them and I have found this particular product still looks like it was only applied the day before, even on buildings subject to a high degree of moss or carbon from road traffic, years after completing the job."


Take a look at our other Trustpilot reviews here.


Textured finish


A smooth masonry paint is the best option when it comes to painting your home, however it will retain any texture that it is applied to, meaning if you are painting a textured finish you will still have a textured finish. This raises the question of what to do if you either want to create a textured finish or need to repair surfaces to ensure a seamless texture.


The solution to this problem is Emperor Textured Basecoat, which has been designed to create a range of textured finishes as easily as applying a paint. The basecoat is applied to surface before painting in order to repair cracks, cover imperfections or simply to create a textured of your choice on the wall, which can then be overcoated with Emperor Masonry Paint.


Using either our light, medium or rough textured rollers, you can simply roll the basecoat on to the wall in order to create your desired finish and allow to dry for 24 hours. Once dry, you can paint the wall as normal!


Emperor Textured Rollers


Frequently Asked Questions


We have put together a number a masonry paint FAQ's to answer any other important questions you may have.




Once the surface has been cleaned & primed, masonry paint can be applied using a spray machine, brush or roller. Most masonry paints will require two coats.


Read our full guide to waterproofing exterior walls.




The vast majority of masonry paints, including Emperor Masonry Paint, dries with a matt finish.




Yes, masonry paint can often be applied over previously painted surfaces.




As previously mentioned, you should not apply masonry paint in temperatures below 5°C or in wet conditions as the surface must be completely dry to be effectively waterproofed. This means that it is not ideal to apply masonry paint in winter months. Try and allocate a period where no rain is forecast and where you will have enough time to apply two-coats, if using a two-coat masonry paint.




Yes, masonry paint can be used on wood. However, while masonry paint will adhere to the wood, it won't provide the same longevity as it would for masonry.


Hopefully this should have answered any questions you had regarding masonry paint. If you have more questions, we are here to help with our full technical support from our in-house team of experts. Whether your suffering for penetrating damp and want to know if the products can help you or want to find out more information about waterproof masonry paint, they are on hand to help. Talk to one of our experts today or shop Emperor Masonry Paint and get FREE delivery on all orders.