One of the best things about exterior concrete block walls is their extraordinary long-term durability. A decent concrete block wall effectively protect the home for decades on end. The only downside being that concrete block walls also have a habit of looking bedraggled and uninspiring pretty quickly.
For most homeowners, exterior paint jobs that involve anything other than wood appear a somewhat daunting prospect. Stone surfaces in particular often being avoided due to presumptions regarding complications.
The thing is though, stone surfaces need not be any more complicated to paint than any others. It’s simply a case of taking a leaf from the books of the pros and approaching the whole thing strategically.
So if you’d like to touch-up your exteriors for a bright and beautiful summer ahead, here are the simple steps involved in painting a concrete block wall like a pro:
Step 1 – Clean the Wall
As is the case with all exterior and interior painting jobs alike, the whole thing begins by giving the surface a comprehensive clean. If there is any residual dirt or grime left over, it will have a detrimental effect on the final result. The best way of cleaning a concrete block wall being to tackle it with a pressure washer at around 2000 psi max. If this isn’t an option, the combination of warm water, a sponge, a scrubbing brush and a good bit of elbow-grease will get the job done nicely. If there is already an existing coat of paint in place, you may need to be somewhat more aggressive with the cleaning.
Step 2 – Repair the Mortar
After giving the whole thing plenty of time to dry, this is the perfect time to apply repairs to the mortar where necessary. An important tip from us – always use a quality premixed acrylic mortar patch, in order to save yourself the time and effort involved in mixing and drying the mortar yourself. Use the product in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, once again giving things plenty of time to dry before moving on to the next stage.
Step 3 – Prime the Surface of the Wall
Irrespective of whether there is already a coat of paint on the surface or not, you are going to need to use a quality acrylic block fill primer to seal it. You’ll need to apply the acrylic block fill primer to the mortar as well. The rougher and more uneven the surface, the more acrylic block fill primer you are going to need to prepare it. As a rule of thumb, you’ll be needing somewhere in the region of 1 gallon of acrylic block fill primer for every 200 sq/ft of smooth concrete block surface.
Step 4 – Caulk and Seal
If you come across any cracks or gaps that are likely to let water into the stonework, now is definitely the time to tackle them. It’s always worth going over your stone surfaces as intensively as necessary to see if and where they could do with being repaired. Elastomeric caulk is just about the best caulk you can use to tackle cracks and gaps in your stonework, applying in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If there’s any serious damage to the stonework, it may be necessary to call in the professionals.
Step 5 – Painting the Concrete Block
Last but not least, it’s time to get busy with the painting itself. Once again, elastomeric paint is the best type of paint to use for exterior concrete walls, though a premium 100% acrylic paint will also get the job done nicely. In terms of application, it’s best to use an airless sprayer to apply a thin and even layer of paint, before immediately back rolling it and working on one small section at a time. It’s important to apply a minimum of two coats, though more may be necessary depending on the type of paint you use and its color. Make sure you give each layer plenty of time to dry and apply the paint slowly and gradually to avoid drips and a generally uneven finish.
If looking to breathe new life into your exteriors but unsure where to start, we can help. Homm CPS specializes in premium interior and exterior painting services, delivering unbeatable results at the lowest possible prices. For more information on any of our services or to discuss your requirements in more detail, get in touch with a member of the Homm CPS team today.