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How to Paint Textures on a Concrete Wall

Adding texture can brighten an ugly wall and disguise its flaws. Gritty textures are achieved with textured paint or you may comb, stipple or use textured rollers.

Paint textures can beautify an ugly concrete wall.

Adding texture can brighten an ugly wall and disguise its flaws. Gritty textures are achieved with textured paint or you may comb, stipple or use textured rollers. A person with experience may choose to coat the wall in cement first, using the cementing trowel to make patterns, which are enhanced with the textured paint. Suitable products include premixed paints with integral texture, powder products based on cement, and colorants to which you add water or texturizing products that mix into any paint. Texturizers usually are based on silica sand or stone aggregates and are available in fine, medium or coarse textures.

Preparation

  1. Decide on the type and degree of texture required. Even with texture, concrete walls can look blank. Consider breaking the wall into sections and using two colors of textured paint or different textures for different sections.

  2. Brush the wall with the stiff brush and the wire brush to remove dirt and debris. Get into all the corners. Power wash large expanses. Remove any grease with masonry cleaner or trisodium phosphate.

  3. Patch major cracks and flaws with concrete patch or cement. Textured paints will disguise small hairline cracks.

  4. A newly patched wall or a new concrete wall must "cure," or harden, for five days. Hardening requires moisture -- keep wall moist with a sprinkler, fine hose or wet burlap.

  5. Prime and seal the wall. Consult your hardware store for the most suitable product for use with your chosen textured coating. Allow to dry.

Applying Texture

  1. Mix paint or stir texturizing compound into paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The consistency should be thick.

  2. Roll on the textured paint. Use a brush to get into edges and corners. Allow to dry.

  3. Apply further coats as needed. The texture and consistency of the paint mean full coverage will require several coats.

  4. If adding further texture with comb, trowel or roller, apply the final coat more thickly. Comb, roll or stipple the chosen pattern, working on small sections at a time. Combs or notched trowels can produce swirls, wavy lines or zigzags.

Tip

Elastomeric paints are good for covering hairline cracks in concrete, but work best with finer texturizers. Most paints are suitable for spray application, but experience is needed for good results. Colored stucco can be used for an adobe effect. For eye-catching texture, consider covering the wall in colored concrete and pressing textured objects, such as pebbles, shells or mosaic tile, into the surface. On interior walls, texturizing options are more varied because finishes need not be weatherproof. Options include spackling compound, faux finishes or tissue paper glued beneath the paint.

Warning

Consider the abrasive quality of textured finishes -- is the wall somewhere where you will brush up against it? Do you have small children who might fall against it? Finishes including silica and aggregates can be sharp; combed or rolled textures are less sharp.

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