How to handle unsightly cinderblock walls

10 Replies

Hello BP! 

This is my first post in the DIY section. Just a quick backstory:

I have been living with my wife (Adries) at my in-laws as we finish saving for our first investment/principle property. While living here we are taking advantage of the free rent and slowly fixing up the home. So far we have re-painted/new hardware in two bedrooms, as well as renovated the bathroom with new tile, vanity, hardware, toilet, lighting, etc. They are gracious and keep splitting or paying for the repairs. So now we are onto the backyard:

There are cinderblock walls, a pool, and a patio cover that needs some love. What are your thoughts on fixing up a cinderblock wall? Given that replacing is not an option what is a good chioce? Can they be painted? Is their a simple way to modernize them? Cover them?

The backyard is mostly concrete because of the pool running parallel to the street. The back-most wall is approximately 5 feet tall with a wooden addition framed out adding an additional two feet to it. The left wall is shorter, approximately 4 feet also cinderblock, no additions. 

Current plans include: new patio, solar panels eventually, moving the pool filter/pump from the corner of the yard to the side of the house near the air conditioner to free up space. 



Excuse my totally non-construction lingo because I'm not a construction guy. But there is a McMansion going up down the street from me. The material they used for the exterior looked like cinderblock, but it was covered in some kind of blue film. I remember thinking, "well that's not going to be very attractive."

So anyway, I few days ago I drove by and noticed that they had completely covered the blue blocks with something that looks like stucco. I didn't see them in action, so I don't know if they sprayed it on or painted it on, but it's actually very attractive now. The exterior is smooth with no tell-tale lines from cinderblock, or whatever that stuff is underneath.

Yeah that could be it. That stuff is foam plastic? Go figure.

I see that construction method has been around in the states since the 70's, but I have never seen it before until now. Maybe with all the teardowns and new construction in my neighborhood I'll see more of it.

Cinderblocks can be painted with exterior paint and should look okay if the finish is smooth enough. It can also be wire meshed and stuccoed to make smooth. You have a lot of options.

Stucco is one approach. Or you may want to look into a stone veneer. The stone can be natural (even sliced into thin sections) or it can be man made. 

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