Sealing/painting finished walls in basement? Moisture issues?

I recently bought a house that has a finished basement. All the walls in the house have a textured plaster(?) finish on them. I've recently noticed that the upstairs walls were painted over, but in the basement the textured surface was left bare. The house is only a few years old, and the paint upstairs doesn't look especially new, so I'm thinking maybe it was done this way intentionally when it was built?
Anyway, thanks to some territorial kitties, I was thinking about sealing & painting some wall areas. But I'm concerned that sealing the basement walls (making them non-porous) could cause problems with moisture in the walls?
I don't have access to the underlying cinderblock in the finished areas, so I don't know if they sealed that or not. Looking at the block in the storage area I don't see any obvious sealer coating, but then I'm no expert.
I could just paint, but any paint that's porous enough to let moisture though might let some residual odor through as well(?). Also it would be nice avoid having any new stains seep into the wall either. Any ideas?
Thanks, DCheesi
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