Painting Breeze Blocks – A Guide

Breeze blocks are just about everywhere. They’re used in construction, home decoration, and just about everything in between. If you have some breeze blocks in your garden, you’re likely wondering how to get them a bit prettier. The answer, of course, is painting breeze blocks! Not only will this breathe a bit of life into your garden, but it’s a nice personalised touch.

When painting breeze blocks, proper paint choice is vital. Use masonry paint for outdoor breeze blocks, and contract matt on indoor ones.

There’s a lot of ground to cover here, so let’s dive right in!

Painting Breeze Blocks – Can You, and Paint Choice

Okay, first things first – can you even paint breeze blocks? The answer is, obviously, yes – otherwise we wouldn’t be here! They’re made from aerated concrete, making them highly porous. This means that your paint choice is actually pretty important here because not all paints are created equally. Some paints may require 3-5 coats to get a good look, while others will stick with one or two. You can do the math yourself on which is the better option, but we’re going to give you two very good options.

Masonry Paint

This should be your go-to for painting outdoor breeze blocks. Masonry paint is explicitly designed to go on exterior surfaces like concrete, bricks, stone, and yes – breeze blocks. It’s made to last a long time in varied outdoor conditions, making it a great choice for outdoor blocks as it can last as long as 25 years!

You really don’t want to use it indoors, though, because it’s made to be used outside. That means that it has stronger fumes and smells. If you paint with it indoors, that smell could very well last for quite a while, which nobody wants.

Your other option is contract matt paint for indoors painting.

Contract Matt Paint

Contract matt paint is an emulsion paint designed for general indoor use. Not only is it cheaper than vinyl matt, but it has fewer resins and binders. Its one downside is that it’s a matt paint, so you kinda have to like that as a look. It will come out with very little sheen, meaning it won’t really “sparkle” like a high-gloss or silk paint might.

However, its biggest bonus is that it’s quite cheap in comparison to other paints. It also dries quickly and is designed for large projects (like a factory or large building), so it’s great for bigger projects like painting a bunch of breeze blocks.

Pros of Painting Breeze Blocks

There are also a lot of bonuses to painting your breeze blocks, indoor or out. Indoor breeze blocks benefit from:

  1. They look much better when painted.
  2. Painted surfaces gather dust and dirt slower than unpainted ones, making it easier to keep them looking clean.
  3. A rough surface is harder to clean than a smooth (painted) one.

Outdoor breeze blocks benefit from:

  1. A painted surface is drastically less porous than an unpainted one. This means that exterior painted breeze blocks will absorb less moisture overall than unpainted ones.
  2. Painted breeze blocks can make your home prettier, increasing its value!
  3. And perhaps most importantly – they look so nice!

How to Paint Breeze Blocks

Now, this is a bit of a new process compared to painting a wall in your home. You’re going to need quite a few things, so look below for the list. You’ll need:

  • A putty knife
  • Interior or exterior filler
  • A stiff (metal bristles work best) brush
  • Anti fungal masonry cleaner
  • Masking (painter’s) tape
  • Plastic sheeting or newspaper
  • Proper primer
  • Paint brush or roller
  • Lomg-pile roller (yes, two applicators)
  • Paint of choice

Step 1: Prep

Preparation is perhaps the most important part of any project. If you properly prepare your painting surface, you’ll end up with a much better coat, as well as a healthier painting medium.

Begin by inspecting your breeze blocks. Any cracks or holes will need to be filled with the filler we mentioned above (using the putty knife). Be sure to remove anything like dirt or twigs that is in the cracks to ensure it’s filled properly. Work your filler up and down in lines, filling the hole slightly more than you think it should be. This allows the filler to shrink as it dries while keeping the hole filled.

Let everything dry, and it’s time to clean (I know, everyone’s favourite). If it’s an outdoor block, use your brush to thoroughly clean any dirt. Then, apply the anti-fungal cleaner to the blocks, allowing it to sit for at least two hours. If it’s an interior wall, you can likely just wipe down the block with a damp rag and allow it to dry.

Now, all that’s left is to tape off what you don’t want to be painted (or tape off a design if you want) and lay down a protective layer. This can be plastic sheeting or newspaper – as long as paint doesn’t go everywhere, it’s good.

Step 2: Priming

If the block is plain, you need to prime it. If it’s already been painted, you may not need to prime – read your paint container to see what it recommends. Be sure to use the recommended primer for your paint (i.e. masonry primer for masonry paint) and apply a thin, single coat. Allow it to dry and you’re ready to move on!

If you’re painting an indoor block, a mist coat is actually a good substitute, so skip on down.

Step 3: Painting

Exterior

When painting outside, wait for the right temperatures. You’re aiming for a sunny day with temperatures above 5° C and below 20° C. Too cold and it won’t stick or dry. Too hot and it will dry too fast and look shoddy.

Begin at the edges of your breeze block and paint the corners and small bits that you can’t get with a roller. It’s important to note that a natural paint brush will absorb moisture, making this harder, so a synthetic brush is recommended.

Now that you’ve got the edges painted, take that long-pile roller I recommended up above and start to paint the large surfaces that are left. The long-pile roller works so well because it has longer fibres than a standard roller, making it easier to get the paint in all of the nooks and crannies of the block.

Once it’s done, allow the area to dry and begin with your topcoats. You should be able to make this happen in two layers, but it really depends on the paint. Keep applying layers until it’s the colour and appearance that you want.

Interior

This is pretty similar to painting an exterior block, except you’ll need to mix your paint and give a mist coat first.

A mist coat is a diluted coat of emulsion that can replace primer by absorbing into the wall – that’s normal, so don’t worry. It essentially seals the block so you can paint on top. This is also why we recommended contract matt, as vinyl matt will make a weird film, rather than soaking in.

Dilute your paint with roughly 20% water (or what the paint recommends) and apply your first coat. Now, you repeat the above steps, but apply the subsequent layers undiluted. It likely won’t absorb much, if at all – that’s what we want.

Now, you again reapply until you achieve the look and finish you want.

Final Thoughts

Painting breeze blocks, both inside and out, can be a great time. Not only will it make your home prettier, but it’s a fun bit of side work to do on the weekend. It is important, however, to make sure that you’re doing it properly. It’s not quite the same process as painting, say, your bathroom walls, though there are a lot of shared similarities.

Be sure to properly clean and seal your blocks before painting. This is extra important for exterior breeze blocks, as they can harbour mould and bacteria that aren’t great to have trapped under paint. Once you’ve cleaned off your blocks, you can apply a layer of primer or a mist coat if it’s an indoor block. After cleaning and priming, it’s pretty much the same process as painting anything else. Apply coats until you like how it’s turned out!

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.