How to cover cinder block walls

Written by carson barrett
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How to cover cinder block walls
Many people dislike the appearance of an unfinished breeze block wall. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Breeze blocks are a common material for building things like foundations, sheds or large, non-residential buildings because they are a fairly easy-to-use, economical building material. One drawback to breeze block walls, however, is their appearance. Most people find the unfinished look of the rough, grey breeze blocks unappealing. This problem can be remedied by finishing the bare breeze blocks with another material. One option to use in this instance is stucco.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pressure washer
  • Stucco mix
  • Water
  • Hawk
  • Stucco trowel
  • Sponge trowel
  • Scarifier
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • 2-by-2-foot board, 12 inches long
  • Brush
  • Sponge

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  1. 1

    Wash the breeze block walls with a pressure washer and allow them to dry.

  2. 2

    Spray the walls with a hose, using just enough water to get the blocks damp. This prevents the breeze blocks from sucking moisture out of the stucco, which can cause it to crack.

  3. 3

    Mix a batch of brown stucco for the base coat, following the instructions on the packaging.

  4. 4

    Load the brown stucco onto the hawk. This is a metal tray that contains an upright handle underneath its centre.

  5. 5

    Spread the stucco onto the bottom of the wall with a trowel. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle along the bottom of the wall and work upward, reducing the angle to about 30 degrees as you spread the stucco on the blocks. Apply enough stucco to make the base coat 3/8 inch thick. Continue covering the breeze blocks with the base coat until you have finished, and allow the stucco to begin to harden.

  6. 6

    Slide a sponge trowel over the base coat with a swirling motion. This helps prevent the stucco from cracking.

  7. 7

    Scratch grooves into the stucco's surface with a scarifier. If you don't have a scarifier, you can create one by driving nails into a 12-inch long 2-by-2 board.

  8. 8

    Mix the finish coat of stucco, following the instructions on the packaging.

  9. 9

    Apply the finish coat of stucco to the wall, using the same method with which you applied the base coat. The finish layer should be about 1/8-inch thick.

  10. 10

    Add texture to the stucco with a brush or sponge, or leave the stucco smooth, whichever you prefer.

  11. 11

    Spray the stucco with a light mist of water every few days for six to eight weeks while it cures.

Tips and warnings

  • Add pigment to the stucco mix to change the colour -- just make sure that you use the same amount of pigment in each batch so the wall has a uniform colour.

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