Cinder blocks are rectangular blocks made out of concrete, used in many different types of construction. They are one of the most versatile and commonly used products within building, and you can also achieve many different appearances with them, which is what makes them so useful.
But what type of paint do you use on cinder blocks? After all, not all types of paint can work for every surface and material!
Luckily, you don’t actually need to buy any type of special paint for cinder blocks, as any regular type of paint will work just fine! You can use interior wall paint, or acrylic paint, latex paint, or masonry paint…honestly, anything will do! Cinder blocks are just concrete, so any paint that works for concrete will work perfectly for the cinder blocks.
Of course, some paints will be better than others. So if you want to achieve the best and most professional results, it is best to use either acrylic latex paint or more specialized masonry paint.
Then, it’s all about making sure the cinder blocks are in good condition for painting, and about applying the necessary amount of layers of paint to achieve the smoothest finish possible.
What is the Best Paint for Cinder Block Walls?
Acrylic Latex Paints are the best option for painting Cinder block walls. My go to options are
- Mix N’Match brand Acrylic Latex Paint. You can get this in One or Five Gallon Buckets. Its also your best budget friendly options
- Krylon ColorMaxx. This one is a bit more expensive. But you get more variety in color options
- Kilz Porch Floor and Patio Paint. This is your cheapest option. But it is an enamel so it is much better for high traffic applications.
Can I paint exterior cinder block walls?
Most often, walls made out of cinder blocks will be located and found in the exterior, as they can resist weather conditions really well and perfect for outdoor use. But can you paint cinder block walls that are placed in the exterior?
Yes, you absolutely can!
However, there is one small issue. And that is, that the typical paints used for painting exterior walls aren’t always the best at adhering to masonry surfaces such as cinder blocks, as they struggle against the rougher texture. And the thing with exterior paint is that it is extra important for it to properly adhere onto the surface, or else it will be very vulnerable to the weather conditions, and to peeling or cracking.
But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to buy specific specialized masonry paint. Instead, you can just use a block filler primer that is specifically formulated for things such as cinder blocks. This type of primer will soak into all the pores of the rough texture of the cinder block surface, sealing them so that the paint doesn’t get absorbed into them. The primer will also then provide a solid and smooth surface on top of the cinder block, to which the paint will very easily adhere, without being absorbed into the concrete. This way you will be able to apply fewer layers of paint with a great result, and the result will also be a lot more durable and resistant.
Essentially, you can use regular paint, as long as you use the right type of primer! This will make it a lot cheaper, and a lot easier, as it’s just the primer that needs to be specific.
You can also then, of course, finish the job by applying the right type of sealer that will protect the paint job from the weather conditions, a necessary step for outdoor and exterior walls.
Can I use spray paint on cinder blocks?
You can use most types of paint on cinder blocks, and that includes spray paint, as it is completely fine to use on concrete surfaces and actually works really well!
However, you should always double-check, just in case, to make sure that the spray paint in question is viable for concrete surfaces!
As a general rule, spray paint will always be viable for use on cinder blocks, and it is also perfectly fine to use in the exterior (where cinder blocks are most commonly used). You might even notice that most graffiti drawings are painted on cinder block walls with spray paints! So there’s your irrefutable proof!
Can you stain cinder blocks?
Staining is an easy alternative to painting that offers a very similar, almost identical, end result. The main difference between painting and staining is that paint adds a thin layer of color on top of the surface, while staining soaks the color into the surface.
We’ve established that cinder blocks can be painted, and you can in fact use most types of paints with them without any issues whatsoever. But what about staining? Can you stain cinder blocks?
The answer is yes! Cinder blocks are made out of concrete, and there are plenty of concrete stainers available in the market, so you will be able to choose from many different colors and brands, to achieve the best possible result in the end!
The concrete stain will color the cinder blocks, giving them a mottled look in the color of your choosing. The stain will be soaked into the surface of the cinder block, to give it that permanent new color, but it will not affect the structural integrity of the cinder blocks in the slightest, so you can rest assured that no damage will be caused by staining your cinder blocks!
Staining your cinder blocks can also be a very easy alternative to painting, as it will not require any primer beforehand!
Do you have to prime cinder blocks before painting?
If you were to stain your cinder blocks, then there isn’t really any need to use a primer. But if you’re painting the cinder blocks, then it is another matter entirely.
It can depend on the type of paint that you are using. But as a general rule, you will have to use a primer before painting your cinder blocks. This is because the concrete surface of the cinder blocks is rough and porous, so you need a primer to create a smooth and solid surface that the paint can adhere to without being absorbed!
Specifically, you will need to use filler block primer, as it has been formulated to fill in the porous surface, and to seal it off so that the paint can adhere on top with ease.