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How To Cover An Exterior Cinder Block Wall

Although affordable and sturdy, cinder block walls aren't often attractive. However, you can use different materials to get a beautiful finish. We've done some digging and have a few great options to try below!

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Surface bonding cement, stucco, and stone veneer can coat cinder block walls to strengthen their water resistance and longevity. Furthermore, they create a consistent surface that will go with most architectural designs.

Covering an exterior cinder block wall isn't always easy. That said, you might also want to hire a specialist to do the job for you. Please continue reading to learn more as we go into more detail on this topic.

A white cinder black wall - How To Cover An Exterior Cinder Block Wall

Cement Finish On A Cinder Block Wall

Hand image worker Concrete plaster

Most people with exterior cinderblock walls wish to find a means to conceal them. The easiest and best method for covering cinderblock walls is with a cement finish using surface bonding cement.

Let's examine the process of covering cinder block walls, from surface preparation to finishing.

  1. Begin with deep cleaning.
  2. Repair holes and cracks.
  3. Pick the right wall covering or materials.
  4. Apply the surface bonding cement.

Deep Cleaning

Your cinder block walls might have grease stains and surface dirt, so you must do a deep cleaning. Clean your cinder block walls with a firm brush, mild dish soap, and warm water.

It would be best if you scrubbed to make the surface clean.

Holes And Cracks

Check your walls for holes or cracks after cleaning. Hydraulic cement or a concrete patch mix can repair holes and cracks.

After removing loose concrete fragments from the holes or fractures, apply the patch compound according to the manufacturer's directions.

You can fix the cinder block walls' flaws and cracks with epoxy, nails, sand mixture, or concrete.

Wall Covering And Materials

Surface bonding cement helps achieve a concrete finish and is the quickest and easiest technique to cover a cinder block wall. Concrete keeps moisture out and aids in building insulation.

It produces a completed, smooth surface that you can paint or leave unfinished.

Surface Bonding Cement

Surface bonding cement is viable because it contains acrylic and fiberglass, making it easier to apply to vertical surfaces.

Prepare the concrete mix before adding this cement. Wet the entire cinder block wall well. It must be damp to ensure the mixture correctly adheres to the wall.

Texture of an old white wall made of rough ceramsite concrete blocks as a background

Stone Veneer On Cinder Blocks

A stone veneer is an excellent option for homeowners who want to modernize their houses and increase their curb appeal. Once ready, installing stone veneer over cinder block walls is a simple process.

Here's what you should do:

  • Clean the surface and let it dry.
  • Apply a mortar scratch coat.
  • Arrange the stones in the desired manner.
  • Eliminate all dust.
  • Push the stone against the wall.
  • Seal the stone veneer with an excellent sealant.

The specifications and veneering methods are identical for block, poured concrete, or a wood-frame wall. You should place a firm footing beneath the stone and use wall ties to fasten the veneer to the wall.

Wall Made of Various Dimensions of Sandstone Bricks

Below are the steps in detail on installing stone veneers on cinder blocks:

Clean And Dry Surface

The stone must adhere to a clean, dry surface free of paint, dust, or debris. Ensure you cover any other surface with a metal lath before applying the stone veneer if it covers a brick or concrete construction.

Scratch Coat Of Mortar

The ratio of washed sand to lime and Portland cement to make the proper mortar should be 3:1:1. Spend five minutes stirring the mortar to achieve a thick, creamy texture.

Mix the dry-stack mortar a bit wetter; it should be slightly sticky.

Take a handful, shape it into a loose ball, and throw it into the air as a test. Add water gradually until it forms a ball that does not crumble.

Male worker plastering cement on brick wall at construction site. A professional mason plastering a wall of a room. Construction worker wearing reflective clothing and hardhat.

Lay Out Stones

It's essential to see all the stones to select the ideal size, shape, or face for each specific location, especially the corners. The stones should be arranged in the desired manner.

If required, use a masonry hammer to cut individual stones to a usable size or a Skilsaw outfitted with a masonry blade. A brick hammer, a Rock hammer, blunt chisel, plumb bob, tape measure, and garden sprayer are some tools you'll need.

Check out this Skilsaw on Amazon.

Remove Dirt

Clean the stones with water to remove any remaining dirt, dust, or loose debris. Once the stones are tidy and dry, use a masonry brush to lightly wet (but not wholly submerge) the backs of the stones.

Doing this ensures a solid connection between the stone and mortar.

Press The Stone To The Wall

Over the back of the stone, apply mortar an inch-wide to the two-inch-wide pattern. Press the stone against the wall firmly. Rotate while pressing to encourage some mortar to escape around the stone's edges.

Clean excess mortar from the stone's surface with a rag or brush before it can dry and harden. Keep the joining lines between adjacent stones as narrow as possible for the most appealing appearance.

Master tiler fills the joint of laid natural stone tiles with glue - exterior finishing of the house

Apply A Sealer

Apply a high-quality sealant to the stone veneer four weeks later to safeguard the surface. Periodically reapplying the sealer is required after the initial application, particularly for outdoor installations.

Remember that a sealer may alter the stone's color, so test it in an inconspicuous area. Try a different sealer if you are unhappy with the results.

Check out this stone sealer on Amazon.

Stucco On A Cinder Block Wall

Stucco is a superb match for cinder blocks. The two materials are highly compatible and are created from the same essential components, making a good finish when done correctly.

These are things you need to do to use stucco on a cinder block wall:

  • Ensure the area is clear of any loose debris and disintegrating stones.
  • Start mixing your stucco.
  • Apply the stucco.
  • Apply the finishing coat.

Plastered concrete wall. Vintage or grungy background texture

Manufacturers created stucco explicitly to mimic concrete's rough-hewn and urban ornamental charm without weight or application challenges.

In contrast, concrete is almost exclusively employed for practical objectives, such as constructing a home's structural framework.

Prepare Your Wall

Preparing the walls is the first step in stuccoing them and removing any loose trash and disintegrating blocks. For a beautiful flat service, chip away at any pieces that may protrude more than others.

Remove the dust and debris from the walls by brushing them. Add some mortar to fill in any gaping cracks and holes. Before applying the stucco, ensure the surface is as level and flat as possible.

Mix The Stucco

Use the same ratio of sand to lime to Portland cement, which is 3:1:1. Next, add water until the mixture resembles brick mortar.

Mix roughly for 90 minutes because anything more than that, the stucco will dry out too quickly. Once it dries out, add additional ingredients to get it back to your desired consistency.

Apply The Stucco

Before applying the stucco to the entire wall, recheck and fill up the large cracks and voids. The stucco won't adhere well if you ignore significant gaps or cracks. Troweling over them won't help; therefore, we advise paying particular attention to those first.

Apply the initial coat, then use a stucco float to smooth off sharp edges. Make sure to tidy up your workspace once the first coat is finished, even if it isn't flawless.

Cleaning up after stucco is a messy task, so do it while the stucco is still wet to save yourself a lot of scraping later.

Freshly plastered and white painted wall

Finishing Coat

You are ready to apply your final coat once the stucco has dried. Pay close attention to making this coat as smooth as you can.

Smooth it out, and give it time to set. Use a sponge float and lots of water to smooth out the stucco, and pay particular attention to any seams that may be present.

In Closing

The simplest method to cover a cinder block wall is to use surface bonding cement to create a concrete finish since cement serves as a moisture barrier and helps to insulate the building.

To improve the aesthetic of your exteriors while maintaining the longevity of your cinder block wall, you can also use stucco and stone veneer.

Made it to the end? Check out these related posts:

How To Insulate A Concrete Block Wall?

R-Value Of A Cinder Block Wall