Skip to content

Painting Cinder Block Walls

before and after of painted brick wall

Did you know that a concrete cinder block can withstand up to 1,700 pounds per square inch? A more densely made cinder block can hold even more weight than that. It’s no surprise that cinder blocks are one of the leading choices for building materials.

A downside of cinder block walls is that they can be a bit unsightly. The plain gray color might look like an eyesore, especially if the wall is seen in your home or backyard. However, you don’t have to live with an unaesthetic fence on your property.

With a little paint and imagination, you can turn your cinder block wall into a feature piece of your home. This guide will discuss everything you need to know about cinder block walls and how to paint them.

What Are Cinder Block Wall Fences?

Cinder blocks were first created in the early 1900s by Harmon S. Palmer. He invented the machine that combined the two processes of forming and texturing a concrete block, patenting the design in 1900. When the blocks were first created, they weighed so much that a crane had to lift them.

Cinder block walls became increasingly popular as machines and the cement industry evolved throughout the century. In addition to being commonly used in industrial and commercial buildings, a cinder block wall fence can be used for:

  • Sound barriers
  • Retaining walls
  • Boundary walls
  • Security walls
  • Privacy fencing

What Are the Types of Cinder Block Wall Fences?

There are many types of cinder block wall fences. Each type has different design capabilities.

Some of the most common types include:

  • Smooth Block: Cinder block wall made with the smooth side facing out
  • Rough Block: Blocks that are altered to create an uneven, rough surface
  • Block Wall With Stucco: Stucco has been applied to the surface of the blocks to create a different texture

Your cinder block wall fence can be painted, no matter the type.

1. Buy the right type of paint

High-quality acrylic cinder block paint is essential for this project. You want to ensure the longevity of the paint job. Low-quality paints can fade and peel quickly, in addition to looking chalky.

Acrylic latex paint will provide the best smoothness and coverage for the job. When you visit your local paint store, let them know what you’ll be painting. They can provide you with expert recommendations on paint and primer and ensure you purchase enough paint.


2. Pressure Washing the Wall

Prepping your cinder block wall fence by pressure washing is the first step. You want the wall to be clean enough for the paint to stick.

Cinder blocks produce a substance called efflorescence. Efflorescence is a white, powdery stain. This substance comes to the surface in an environment with high moisture levels for an extended period of time.

To paint a cinder block wall, you must first clean the blocks. You need to remove all of the powders and stains. A pressure washer is the best method to remove all the dust.

If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can easily rent one from Home Depot or a local tool rental company. Remember that you don’t want to use soap when cleaning the wall. The soap might add more residue and take the wall longer to dry.

3: Apply the first coat

Once your wall has dried for 24 hours, you can apply the first coat of paint. Using the proper technique when spraying on the paint is essential to ensuring a smooth finish. You should work in four-foot sections at a time.

Spray in Two Directions

When spraying on the paint, you should apply the paint heavier than you would an interior wall. Hold the sprayer firmly and spray a base layer of paint on the wall horizontally. Once you’ve completed one section, you’ll want to go over it by spraying vertically.

Spraying in two directions is essential because cinder blocks are very porous. They’ll absorb a lot of paint during the first application. By spraying in two directions, you’ll guarantee that many cracks and pores are filled on the blocks’ surface.

painting a brick wall in two directions

Backroll While the Paint Is Still Wet

Immediately after you’ve sprayed vertically, you’ll want to backroll the paint while it’s still wet. Backrolling makes sure the paint gets pushed into the pores and cracks of your cinder blocks. This process won’t completely seal your cinder blocks, but it’ll minimize the appearance of pores on the cinder blocks.

This process goes even easier if you have two people working on the project. One person can be in charge of spraying the paint. The other person can work behind you, backrolling while the paint is still wet.

back-rolling a brick wall

4. Apply the second coat of paint

Once your paint has dried for at least one hour, you can come back and apply a second coat of paint. You don’t have to backroll the second coat since it’s a finish coat. The second coat helps smooth out imperfections that the backrolling didn’t fix.

To apply the second coat, spray it side to side. Once you’ve completed your first section, you can spray up and down.

When you’ve completed the second coat, you’ve technically done four coats of paint. That’s because you’ve sprayed on the paint both vertically and horizontally each time.

Cinder blocks are one of the few surfaces you can heavily apply paint on without worrying about it not drying correctly. That’s because cinder blocks are so porous and quickly soak up the paint.

applying a second coat of paint to a brick wall

Frequently Asked Questions

Painting cinder blocks can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about painting cinder blocks.

Paint Help

What Kind of Paint Should I Use?

Do I Need to Prime First?

How Can I Clean the Cinder Blocks?

Partner With an Experienced Fence Paint Services Company

You don’t have to live with ugly and boring cinder block walls. Applying a few coats of paint can turn your unsightly fence into something attractive.

Crash of Rhinos Painting is here to help turn your cinder block wall into a beautiful focal point. Contact us today to learn more about our cinder block fence paint service.