What types of paint are available to paint exterior cinder blocks?

Updated February 21, 2017

Exterior breeze block has a grey, institutional appearance that is greatly improved with paint. Whether it's the exposed part of your house foundation, a retaining wall or your home's siding, you have several types of paint to choose from. Your choice is usually determined by the type of breeze block you're painting -- rough or split-face block. If the breeze block texture is very coarse, an elastomeric paint will make it look smoother.

House Paint

Most 100 per cent acrylic house paints hold up very well on cleaned breeze block. Although some paint companies claim their product is "self-priming" on exterior masonry, meaning that no primer is necessary as long as you apply two coats of paint, the Paint Quality Institute recommends a water-based primer for concrete or breeze block. Depending on the appearance you want, use flat, satin or semigloss paint. The higher the gloss, the more it will accentuate surface irregularities.

Masonry Paint

A less expensive option is latex masonry paint, which is typically only available in a flat finish but comes in all colours. Latex masonry paint is a little thinner than acrylic house paint, making it easy to apply to very rough surfaces since it penetrates the nooks and crannies well. Apply the paint with a roller and brush or a paint sprayer.

Elastomeric Paint

Elastomeric paint is thick and dries to a very tough, long-lasting film that bridges cracks and pores in breeze block. If you want a durable paint job and exterior breeze block walls that are impervious to moisture, prime the block and apply two coats of elastomeric paint. This paint will cost you a little more than acrylic or latex paint but will last much longer. Apply elastomeric paint with a brush, roller or sprayer; since it's quite thick in consistency, you'll need a professional-grade sprayer.

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About the Author

Stevie Donald has been an online writer since 2004, producing articles for numerous websites and magazines. Her writing chops include three books on dog care and training, one of which won a prestigious national award in 2003. Donald has also been a painting contractor since 1979, painting interiors and exteriors.