Interior Cinder Block Wall Covering
If you have a home or shed made of concrete blocks or cinder blocks, yes there is a difference, you probably want to cover them for different reasons. It could be to help insulate the blocks or just to make them look nicer than what they do. Either way, it’s not that hard to do and even better, it’s not all that expensive either. Below, I’ll share with you 3 cheap and easy ways to make your cinder/concrete blocks look nice.
- Wood Paneling
Pargeting is basically a weatherproofing plaster. Its made up of lime and sand and you mix it with water. Its a lot like the mortar that’s used when building the block wall. (the stuff between the concrete/cinder blocks) You spread the parget out over the block wall evenly using a trowel. It can be a bit tricky covering the joints because you want an even coat of parget but where the joints are it will take a little bit more as opposed to the blocks. And if you put it on too heavy, it will fall off. So, play around with the amount of water you use and the thickness of the parget and you’ll figure out what works for you and what don’t. Don’t worry if some falls on your floor, it’s going to happen, it just does. So, you might want to put a drop cloth below the wall your pargeting. It’ll save you some time cleaning up.
If you want to hide the block wall completely, using wood panels is the way to go. You just pretty much attach the furring strips to the wall using a hammer drill and screws that are meant for concrete. And then attach tongue an groove pine boards to the furring strip until your done. It’s a very simple and straightforward process that most anyone can do. For added protection, you should apply linseed oil to your pine boards. It’ll give the wood a rich tone too. It’s a win-win.
Painting Interior Cinder Block Walls
Many of us have walls in our house constructed of cinder (concrete) blocks. These can range from being the wall around our garden to the walls in our basement.
There is nothing wrong with cinder blocks. They are generally a sturdy material which does great at trapping moisture and then expelling it. The only real problem with them is on an aesthetic level.
Bare cinder blocks can be unsightly, particularly if they are covered up with splotches of leftover paint or even splashes from other painting projects. They also collect dust like there is no tomorrow, and all of this can add up to ruin the atmosphere of the space they are in.
Therefore, many people choose to paint them over in order to make them prettier to look at. In this article, we will discuss why you should paint your cinder block wall, how to do it, and which paint and primer to use.
The benefits of painting your cinder block wall
So why should you paint your cinder block wall? The simple answer is: because it looks better. A bare cinder block wall has a dull grey appearance, and its rough surface does not help the impression. Painting over that with a nice, clean or vibrant color will not only make it look more appealing but also smoothen out the texture. Your home might also have its own color scheme in which case it would be natural to want to match your basement walls with it.
The other answer is more related to practicality, in that a painted surface generally collects less dust. This is great because, as we have previously mentioned, cinder blocks tend to collect a lot of dust. It also seals the surface up to the point where moisture cannot evaporate. This will not be an issue if it is also completely sealed up from the outside, but if not then any moisture that enters will be trapped in the block.
Which paint and primer to use?
When painting your cinder block wall, it is important to use the right paint and primer. Getting those right at the start will save you a lot of frustration down the line.
We advise you not to use oil-based house paints because they crack and peel easily, and concrete is not a forgiving material when it comes to painting.
The best type of paint to use on cinder blocks is masonry paint. As the name implies, this type of paint is usually used for masonry and bricks, but it works just fine on concrete as well (cinder blocks are made of concrete). Masonry paint contains binders which allow it to expand and contract along with the concrete as temperature changes. It is also called elastomeric paint.
It is also important to use a primer as that is the layer between the material and the paint. A primer will optimize the final result of whatever painting endeavour you embark on.
There are four different types of primer to consider when painting concrete:
- Acrylic Primer is good because the combination of acrylic and water is able to absorb into the concrete and create the right surface on which you can apply paint. This is a great solution as concrete is very absorbent by nature, so an oil-based primer would not work properly.
- Polyurethane Primer works well with concrete as it provides great grip—just the right thing for surfaces with any sort of imperfections such as stains.
- Epoxy Primer bonds really well with concrete, creating a great grip for the paint. Even though it provides a thin finish, it is very durable and works really well for demanding materials such as concrete.
- Silane Penetrating Sealer is water resistant so it is good if you have concrete outdoors. It will also protect the material from temperature changes, chemical effects, and biological growth.
Tips for painting your cinder block wall
One thing to consider when painting a cinder block wall, even after you have all the right materials, is that it will be a long and arduous task. Of course, this depends on the size of the wall but generally speaking expect to invest a lot of time and effort into it. Some people have recommended using a shoe polish brush in place of a standard paintbrush as it will you with getting the paint into the rough material.
You might also prefer to use spray paint. A product called Water Bloc has been reported to be excellent at covering concrete and lasting for years without showing any signs of peeling or cracking. Before starting the painting process, it is important to remove any flaking paint or dirt from the wall, wire brushes, and a pressure washer if necessary, and then leave it to dry.
You should then use acrylic caulk to fill in any large cracks until the cracked areas are flush with the rest of the wall’s surface. Also, painting is messy, so be sure to put a drop cloth underneath the wall and tape off any surfaces surrounding the wall to protect them. After that, apply an even coat of primer and allow to dry for four hours (or the time indicated on the sealer label). After that, apply two coats of masonry paint, allowing the first coat to dry for about four to eight hours before applying the second one.
So there you have it. We have talked about the benefits of painting your cinder block wall, which paint type and primer to use, and gave you some general tips for when and if you decide to actually do it. Whether you are doing it to prevent dust collecting on your cinder blocks, make them more impervious to moisture, or simply liven up the room with a more pleasant color, we hope you will find this guide of some use.
Just keep in mind to use masonry paint, any of our four recommended primer types, and follow the tips we have outlined (those fall under common sense, anyway).