Painting your exterior masonry walls is a decision that should be made for the purpose of aesthetic reasons and equally to consider the need for a moisture sealing agent. While wanting things to be pleasing to the eye, preservation of your masonry surfaces must be taken into consideration when choosing an application or finish. Once a choice has been made regarding what look you wish to achieve for your exterior masonry walls, you may purchase your painting products to complete the job.
What You Should Know Before Painting Masonry Work
Before you apply any products to a newly built masonry wall, you must allow six to eight weeks for the purpose of curing any mortar or concrete. Curing is the process of drying and hardening of masonry structures to obtain optimal weight distribution. Hardening of concrete type masonry work is part of the process to create a strong and well balanced structure. Adding rebar to the center of concrete structures gives it even more sustainability. Any attempt to apply products prematurely to masonry surfaces before it has cured out completely, will lock in any unreleased moisture.
Making this mistake can be a costly one because it is very likely structural damage and breakdown will occur. Another threat when sealing moisture into a surface, is the possibility of black mold becoming trapped inside masonry work This will cause a continual growth of this mold in and around mortar lines, This problem is very difficult to remedy.
Product Information and Overview
If your masonry work contain porous surfaces, you may wish to reduce its textured surface.. To create a smoother surface, using block filler. Block filler is a high performance product containing vinyl, acrylic, and, latex. It is, by far, the best solution for filling in small cracks and porous surfaces. This products intended use began some years back primarily used as a filler for cinder block. This is the reasoning for its name. Since then, block filler has broadened its horizons to include most masonry surfaces such as concrete and brick. The consistency and appearance of block filler is comparative to Elmers glue. Do not worry about difficulty in applying this product because it can be diluted with water at a ratio of ½ pt. for each gal..of block filler.
Application of Block Filler
Block filler can be applied using many different methods. Spraying block filler with an airless paint sprayer is only one method of applying it. It must be diluted following the ratio of ½ pt. to 1 gal. of block filler. This product may also be applied with a paint roller using a heavy nap roller sleeve. (1 in. to 1 ½ in. thickness) The term sleeve refers to the woolly tube that is slid over the roller frame, used to apply block filler or paint to a wall. The other way you may apply block filler to a surface is by using a paintbrush.
If you find it difficult to spread and cut in, diluting it at the same ratio as above will make for an easier application. No matter which application method you choose to use, after completion you must give it a dry time of at least overnight. Once your block filler has dried completely, you may begin painting your exterior masonry walls.
Paint Products for Masonry Walls
Paint products used, following the application of block filler includes latex and acrylics. Even solvent based paint products may be applied to block fillers. To further increase performance of block fillers different types of epoxies may be added directly into the block filler. Times that the need for hardening agents, such as epoxy is needed, is when the masonry structure to be sealed is exposed to continual and copious amounts of moisture.
Application Methods of Paint to Masonry Walls
Using an airless paint sprayer is an acceptable method of applying paint to masonry walls. If block filler has been applied prior to spraying the walls, just simply applying two good coats of paint will provide sufficient coverage. If a block filler has not been applied to the masonry walls then, throughout spraying the paint onto the surface, it must be brushed in, not to wait until the paint has dried. You must brush it into the surface while the paint is at its wettest so it will seep as deeply as possible into the pores of the masonry work.
Coverage of paint to masonry surfaces not containing block filler is a much slower process of application. Many times it require several coats of paint to adequately cover its surface. Using a paint roller to apply paint to raw masonry surfaces usually has greater success in coverage using fewer coats to do it in. As indicated above, brushing paint on a masonry wall has a level of difficulty when trying to cut in because you need to load your paintbrush extremely full of paint in order for it to seep into its pores. This can be a messy venture. Nevertheless, it is still a way of applying paint to your exterior masonry walls.
Cleaning up block filler is done best with warm soapy water, but just water alone will work. You can also use water to clean up latex acrylic paint. To clean up alkyd paint products (also known as oil based products) solvent clean up is necessary. Using mineral spirits or lacquer thinner is necessary for the clean up of any alkyd or oil based product.
Painting exterior masonry walls is much easier if a block filler has been applied prior to painting. Although it is not necessary, but it is advisable. Aside from making the surface easier to paint still is not the most important factor of using block filler. The main purpose of using block filler is to create a moisture barrier for your masonry structures. When painting masonry surfaces, applying block filler is a very important step and should always be included in the process.