Applying Finish to Concrete Walls

What You'll Need
Paint roller
Concrete sealer
Retailed paint (type of paint can vary)
Paint tray

Concrete Walls are commonly seen in households and commercial buildings. These walls are either constructed from concrete blocks or poured concrete. Applying finish is a process wherein the concrete wall is strengthened and prepared for being painted. Concrete walls have a tendency to absorb water, i.e. they are slightly porous. Poor wall finishing leads to moisture seepage, spoiling the paint on the concrete walls and compromises the wall’s strength. Bathroom walls in particular need to be finished with repeated coatings to negate water seepage. Concrete living rooms are finished with an extra emphasis on the smoothness of the wall texture. This is mandatory to make the living room walls worthy of being decorated with expensive paints, i.e. the wall should have an unblemished appearance. Applying finish to your concrete walls is not demanding, if you follow some basic guidelines:

Applying the Finish 

1. Getting Started: Applying the Sealer

A concrete wall has to be sealed to make it durable and cover the imperfections. Some sealer brands emphasize that three-to-four coatings are mandatory — confirm this requirement with the hardware/paint store from where the sealer is bought. Your sealer options include:

Urethane sealers — recommended for concrete walls in the kitchen. They are scratch-resistant but fade easily when exposed to sunlight.

Acrylic sealers — they are cheaper than the urethane variety and almost as effective. Acrylics are suited for the outdoors too but are slightly less resistant to water vapor.

To apply the sealer:

  1. Thoroughly, clean the wall — dry walls can be cleaned with a broom but kitchen walls covered with grime need to be scrubbed with soap and water
  2. Just pour the retailed sealer into the paint try
  3. Dip the roller into the sealer and apply a thin coat on the wall
  4. Let the first coat dry, before applying the second one

Alternative to sealer: waxing is regarded as an inexpensive but laborious option besides using sealers. Numerous wax coatings need to be done in order to create the waxed appearance. If you want a dense, wet look on the walls to keep them shining bright, then this is the better option.

2. Applying the primer

It is recommended to use standard, oil-based primers. Mix the primer with a diluted form of a any locally-available (cheaper) paint. Apply a thin coating of the primer, using the paint roller. One-to-two coats of primer are sufficient.

3. Applying the paint

Some folks tend to use flat-finish paints. These are as effective as semi-gloss paints but their ability to hide small indentations in the walls is disputed. You can use block-filler paints that are an expensive option. Filler paints are recommended if the wall has too many craters even after plastering. Semi-gloss paints can be understood as a blend of these two options. Unlike high-gloss paints, they won't highlight the imperfections in the wall and offer appreciable protection against moisture. Using the paint roller, apply two coats of the paint to complete the finished look.