How To Paint Cinder Blocks

Last Updated on February 27, 2020 by Ecorf

The construction of a building needs a collection of different materials that would be used to enhance the durability of the house. Blocks are one of the things you would need to do that, but there are slight variations when it comes to that. The struggle and challenges faced by many builders are on the use of either of the concrete blocks or the cinder blocks. Both have distinct functionalities, but we would explain the concept behind the cinder blocks before highlighting the options to paint them.

What are Cinder Blocks?

Cinder blocks are lightweight building brick that is made from small cinders, which, in turn, are mixed with cement and sand. The blocks are not only fabricated of coal cinders and concrete but contain sand or stone that make them more substantial. The incorporation of the last (stone or sand) is a dedicated approach to doing away with the notion that cinder blocks do not have any tensile strength to withstand pressure.

How To Paint Cinder Blocks

How Can I Paint Cinder Blocks?

Cinder blocks also double as industrial-looking materials that are used in the interior and the exterior walls of homes. Worthy of note is that the blocks come in gray color. So, if the default color doesn’t match the interior or the exterior of your home, you can then use a specific grade of paint that would match the color scheme of your home.

You would have no difficulty with how to paint cinder blocks if you follow the steps below.

  • Remove the Powder Deposits

Some cinder blocks tend to have been exposed to water. Hence, they may have some white powder coating on the outside. The perfect thing to do in that instance is to scrub the powder deposits using a wire brush or a scrub brush. The power washer or masonry cleaner can then be used to clean the surface.

It’s also essential to locate the cause of the earlier leak. Once established, proceed to repair it before continuing with other steps.

How To Paint Cinder Blocks

  • Remove the Paints

There are chances that the cinder blocks might have been painted in the past. If that is the case, then you would need to remove any current paint. The identification of additional colors is possible if the blocks have a different color other than the conventional taupe or gray.

The paint can be removed by using a putty knife or a paint scraper to remove any current paint. The edge of the tool can be used to lift the color off the blocks. If it proves difficult, you may want to chip away small portions of the color until many of it has been removed.

  • Wash the Blocks

It’s time to wash off the flaking paint and any other stubborn area in the blocks. You can do that by using a pressure washer or a regular garden hose to spray down the blocks. A scrub brush should also be handy to brush off the dirt as the water wets them.


Note that soap must be avoided here because it causes the cinder blocks to take long hours before they dry.

  • Dry the Blocks

Drying the washed cinder blocks can take up to four (4) hours. It’s worth noting that the drying of the blocks is essential because the primer or paint might not stick to the blocks if they’re wet.

However, the blocks may not get dry within the timeframe mentioned above for some reasons or circumstances beyond your control. If that is the case, then you would need to either wait for more hours or position the blocks under a fan or in a well-ventilated room.

  • Seal the Blocks

Worthy of note is that the cinder blocks might have some cracks in them. Therefore, you need to use an acrylic or polyurethane caulk to seal those. Smooth the caulk into the crack and use a putty knife to flatten it on the blocks’ surface.

The caulk should be allowed to dry. Another addition can be made if the former didn’t cover up some cracked areas in the blocks.

  • Apply A Primer

The coat of primer can now be applied to the blocks. That should be done with dexterity because specific primers are used for such a purpose. So, you may need to select latex acrylic-based primers that can fill in pores and cracks on the blocks while neutralizing the pH level when painting.

The coat of primer should be applied evenly with a wide paintbrush. After that, allow it to dry for about four (4) or eight (8) hours or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You may also extend the timeframe to 24 hours to be sure that the primer is dried.

  • Apply the Paint

A high-quality acrylic latex paint should be applied to the blocks’ surface. Note that a durable paint is needed for this because of the capability to hold up the tear and wear. Besides, the color is perfect for the job because of the extensive coverage it offers.

Allow the first paint to dry. This may take up to 12 hours. You can confirm if it is dry by gently touching the surface of the blocks using a gloved finger or a rag. If there was no transfer or sticking of the paint on the items mentioned earlier, then you’re sure the paint is dry. Otherwise, you may have to wait for some time for it to dry.

How To Paint Cinder Blocks

The second paint can then be applied and allowed to dry for about 24 hours or in a well-ventilated room. The same process as the first can be used to confirm if the paint is dry. If the second paint didn’t give the needed coverage, then you may consider applying a third paint using the same procedure as the former.

Paint Cinder Blocks

You want the interior and the exterior of your home to look resplendent. In those areas where cinder blocks were used, you could see that the default gray color might be making the walls look distant. So, to bring back the shine to those walls, you need to learn how to paint cinder blocks. The clues we just offered would be your guide!