How to Paint an Exterior Concrete Wall
LESLIE: Now we’re going to go to Helen in New Jersey who has some painting questions.
Helen, what can we do for you?
HELEN: Hi, Leslie.
LESLIE: How are you?
HELEN: Very good. Thank you for taking my call and I really enjoy your show.
HELEN: My problem is I have a cement block wall around my yard and it’s been coated with a layer of cement and obviously it’s getting quite old. But a few years ago – it’s been painted but a few years ago I painted it. I put a good primer on, and then I put a good cement paint on top it. But it’s peeling like, oh – just all over the place it’s peeling. So how can I – of course it has to be scraped. Or can I power wash it? And if I do, what kind of paint can I put on it? Can I use like a whitewash that maybe wouldn’t peel?
TOM: Or a stain, I’m thinking.
LESLIE: Yeah, a stain might be better. I think what’s happening is because you probably used an exterior latex cement paint, it’s peeling off just like a – it almost feels like a balloon; like it’s plastic-y.
TOM: Yeah, masonry – it’s very hydroscopic. It sucks up a lot of water and water’s the enemy, so it’s hard to keep paint on a wet surface.
HELEN: What kind of stain could I use on …?
LESLIE: A stain. They make – especially Behr makes a cement stain that you can get at your Home Depot and they can tint that to a variety of colors that you might like. And it applies just like a paint and it goes on either clear or opaque or however layers of thickness that you might like so you can either see the cement or not see the cement. And because it’s a stain, it adheres much better than wood and exterior latex paint.
HELEN: Oh, I would have never thought of a stain to – never even occurred to me that I could do that. So I should scrape off what I can get off.
LESLIE: Do you think a pressure washer would get that off for her, Tom?
TOM: Yeah, it would but just make sure that after you get everything off, if you use a pressure washer, that you leave plenty of time for it to get really, really dry because you don’t want to put the stain on anything that’s a wet wall.
HELEN: Oh, yes. Yeah, they have – do you think I could get maybe a white stain and paint it white again?
HELEN: That’s what it was before. Oh, you guys are so helpful. I was just dreading doing anything because I was afraid that it wouldn’t last too long.
TOM: Well, go forth and improve your house, Helen.
HELEN: I certainly will.
TOM: Thanks for calling 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.