Painting Cinder Block (How To, Paint Type & Ideas)

Are you wondering if you should paint cinder blocks? Concrete surfaces can create challenges because of their porous surfaces. However, if you have the right tools, you can paint cinder blocks and get great results.

Painting cinder blocks can easily improve the look of your home. You can paint them yourself if you have the right tools and properly prepare the surface. Cinder blocks need to be filled, sealed, and primed before they are painted. Avoid painting over damaged blocks, as this can create further issues.

You should be prepared if you’re thinking about painting cinder blocks. Today, we’re going to cover all of the steps you need to take to properly paint cinder blocks. We will also discuss what paint types you can use and the complications you may experience. Read on to learn more.

Why Paint Cinder Blocks?

Painting cinder blocks gives them a finished look. If you don’t like the unfinished look of cinder blocks, painting them is the easiest way to freshen up their appearance. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should paint cinder blocks.

Boost Curb Appeals

Painted cinder blocks will improve the curb appeal of your property. Any time you choose to paint the exterior of your home, you will be boosting its curb appeal. So, how does painting cinder blocks improve curb appeal?

The fresh paint will help your exterior look better. On top of that, it will also be easier to keep clean. The paint acts as a protective layer to prevent dirt, mildew, and other elements from building up. You can keep painted cinder blocks clean with a pressure washer. 

Increase The Home Value

Painting can help you increase the resale value of your property. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase how much buyers are willing to pay. On average, a good quality paint job can increase the final sale price by 5%.

That being said, it’s essential that the cinder block is painted properly to improve its value. If it’s painted poorly, it could have the opposite effect. Drip marks, patchy areas, and peeling will all decrease how much a potential buyer is willing to pay. 

Cover Up Damages & Imperfections 

Paint is the easiest way to hide any imperfections in the cinder blocks. If the cinder blocks have experienced damage, they should always be repaired before painting. Painting over damages that haven’t been fixed could cause further problems.

Once you repair the damages in the cinder blocks, they will look unappealing. A fresh coat of paint will hide these imperfections, allowing the blocks to look new again. 

How To Paint Cinder Blocks

You don’t have to be an expert to paint cinder blocks. However, you do need to be patient and give yourself an adequate amount of time. If you want to paint the cinder blocks on your property, you will need the following supplies:

  • Concrete primer
  • Concrete sealer
  • Paint
  • Power washer
  • Paintbrush
  • Rollers
  • Wire brush
  • Painter’s tape
  • Caulk
  • Putty knife
  • Drop cloth/ tarp/ sheeting

Let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow to paint cinder blocks.

Step 1: Clean The Cinder Blocks

Paint needs a clean surface to stick to. For this step, you’ll want to remove old paint as well as any dirt, debris, and mildew on the blocks. The most efficient way to get this done is with a power washer.  

The power washer can lift old paint and stuck-on dirt easily. You will get the job done with less effort in a fraction of the time. 

However, there will likely be some areas where the paint didn’t get fully removed. Use the wire brush to scrub any difficult-to-clean areas on the blocks. Allow the cinder blocks to completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Fill In Any Cracks & Damages

Use the putty knife and caulking to fill in any cracks in the cinder blocks. Make sure you inspect all of the blocks before painting them to find cracks and damages. Even hairline cracks should be addressed.

If you don’t find any cracks, you can move on to the next step. For the cracks you do find, fill them with caulking. Use the putty knife to smooth out the caulking. Allow the filler to completely dry.

Once it’s dry, the caulking may shrink. Inspect all the cracks you’ve filled for shrinkage. If there is any, add an additional layer of caulking and smooth it out. Allow it to fully dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Seal The Cinder Blocks

Sealer will help protect the cinder blocks from moisture. This step is optional if you’re using a primer. However, we suggest using both a sealer and a primer for concrete because your blocks will get an extra layer of protection.

Before sealing the cinder blocks, make sure you prepare the area. This includes placing the drop sheets over things you don’t want to get hit with paint, putting up painter’s tape, and removing fixtures.

You can apply the sealer using a paintbrush. For best results, apply a thin layer of sealer and allow it to fully dry.

Step 4: Prime The Cinder Blocks

Priming the surface ensures that the paint will adhere to the cinder blocks. This is an essential step in painting any concrete surface. It makes sure there are no gaps or voids on the porous surface.

The paint job will look a lot better and last longer if you have a smooth surface to paint on. That can’t be achieved without primer because cinder blocks have a rough surface. 

Step 5: Apply The Paint

You can use elastomeric or latex paint on cinder blocks. Make sure you choose durable paint that’s resistant to temperature changes and moisture. This will ensure your paint lasts longer and the blocks stay protected.

Use the paintbrush to cut around the edges. Then, use a roller to paint over the larger surface areas. Most cinder blocks require 2 coats of paint. Allow the first coat to fully dry before applying the second. 

What Type Of Paint To Use On Cinder Blocks

Elastomeric paint and latex paint are the best choices for cinder blocks. Concrete surfaces require strong and durable paint. Let’s take a look at the difference between these two types of paint.

Elastomeric Paint

Elastomeric paint is a common choice for concrete surfaces. It’s a high-build paint that can protect the cinder block surface. 

This is a top-choice paint for cinder blocks because it’s flexible. The blocks expand and contract with changing temperatures. Elastomeric paint can stay strong throughout these changes without peeling or cracking.

Are you wondering which elastomeric paint you should use on the cinder block? Let’s take a look at some of the best-selling paints.

PaintPriceFeatures
Behr Premium Elastomeric Masonry Stucco & Brick Paint$37.98 Strong protection, mildew and mold resistant, moisture resistant
Benjamin Moore UltraSpec Masonry Elastomeric$49.95Best protection for porous surfaces, mildew and mold resistant, breathable coating
Sherwin Williams Conflex Sherlastic Elastomeric Paint$73.49High coverage, stormproof, waterproof

Latex Paint

Latex paint can be used for interior and exterior projects involving cinder blocks. Many people prefer working with latex on concrete surfaces because it spreads easily. You can get great results because it’s not complicated to work with.

One of the advantages of using latex paint is that many of the brands are fade-resistant. You won’t have to worry about a yellow tint appearing as the paint ages.

Latex Paint

Do you think latex paint is the right choice for your project? Let’s compare some of the top latex paints to use on cinder blocks.

PaintPriceFeatures
Kilz Enamel Porch and Patio Latex Floor Paint $31.62Mold resistant, fast drying, budget-friendly
INSL-X Sure Step Acrylic Anti-Slip Coating$74.99Best choice for steps and flooring, can be use for interior and exterior projects, anti-slip formula
Benjamin Moore Aura$45.99High coverage, long lifespan, flexible

Common Challenges While Painting Cinder Blocks

Painting cinder blocks does have its set of challenges. If the blocks aren’t painted correctly, moisture can get trapped inside. This can cause problems for the blocks. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges you may face.

Paint Traps Moisture

Paint can cause a seal that will trap moisture inside the cinder block’s pores. This is why it’s very important to allow the blocks to thoroughly dry between each step. If you paint too soon, the moisture in the block’s cracks won’t be able to evaporate.

It doesn’t matter how small a crack or opening is. Water will still be able to find a way into it. That’s why you need to make sure the surface you paint is 100% dry. While paint can keep moisture out, it can also keep it inside.

Cinder Blocks Absorb Paint 

Don’t think that you can get away with skipping some of the steps. The paint will absorb into the pores if you paint directly onto the cinder block’s surface. That is why using sealer and primer is essential.

Paint is meant to create a protective layer. However, it can’t do that all on its own. The sealer will fill the pores, while the primer creates a smooth surface for the paint. 

Cinder Blocks Need Air Flow

Cinder blocks have many pores that help with the airflow. This is needed because the blocks expand when they freeze, then contract when they thaw. If the paint isn’t a flexible formula, these conditions can cause them to peel or crack.

Always compare paints and check the reviews before making your final decision. It’s important to choose a flexible paint that’s suitable for concrete surfaces.

Conclusion

Cinder blocks can be painted to improve their appearance. It’s a good idea to paint cinder blocks because the paint acts as a protective layer. This prevents moisture, dirt, and mold from affecting the concrete surface.

If you decide to paint your cinder blocks, make sure you follow all of the steps thoroughly. This will ensure that you paint the blocks properly and the paint lasts longer. Always allow the paint to dry before using the area you’ve painted.

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