Making it all come together with an interior concrete block wall finish

Those of us who live in a house made of concrete blocks would need to go through the pain of seeing an unsightly basement covered in exposed concrete blocks. Instead of keeping them that way, you can choose to cover these blocks in order to improve the aesthetic look of the basement. Here are some ways in which this can be achieved with minimal effort and cost.


Choose VOC Free Paints

Sometimes all the blocks need would be a fresh coat of paint to look nice and cheerful. Choose a light airy color to make the basement look a bit brighter and spacious, as minimal sunlight can make dark colors look darker and more claustrophobic. You would need to start by applying good quality primer to the concrete blocks. Choose a primer that is water resistant in order to prevent moisture seepage into the blocks. A water based latex primer will work well for interior concrete walls.

You can choose to paint the entire basement a single color or be more creative and use different colors or shades for each wall. As in the case of primer, water resistant paint would work well and would not peel away in case of moisture buildup in the walls.

While painting the concrete walls can be considered as the easiest way to cover up those dull looking blocks, you will note that painting alone will not be sufficient to hide the seams and joints in between the blocks. This is why you would need to opt for pargeting instead.


interior concrete block wall finish

This is the traditional method of covering old, hideous looking concrete blocks. Parget is a material made of an appropriate mixture of sand, water and lime. It is usually used in between concrete blocks during construction. You can make use of the same parget to cover the concrete wall as well.

You would need to spread the parget quickly over the wall so that it doesn’t dry out midway, creating bumps and ridges you would have a hard time removing later. Apply just a thin coat of the parget to cover the joints, for a heavy coat will result in peeling. Different wall conditions would entail you to test with different parget consistencies until you zero in one the one that works best for your wall. And don’t forget to spread a drop cloth over the entire stretch of the wall on the ground beforehand. This will make it easier for you to clean up afterwards.

Concrete Overlays

vertical concrete overlay

Instead of covering up the concrete wall with paint or parget, consider using a vertical concrete overlay which would enable you to draw patterns and textures on the wall, making it stand out significantly.

Decorative stamping for walls has become a trend of sorts today with many designers exploring the myriad opportunities in the area. These techniques make use of cement based overlay materials that are extremely lightweight and can be easily used on any wall surface, including concrete. The materials are mixed in such a way that they can be applied thickly on the walls without worrying about sagging. This additional thickness makes it easier to embellish the wall with myriad imprinted or hand carved designs. You can also choose to stain the overlay to stimulate the appearance of brick, natural stone or any other wall material.

Wood Paneling

Wood Paneling

Another brilliant way to hide those ugly looking concrete blocks in the basement would be to cover them up completely with wood paneling. You need to start off the project by attaching horizontal furring strips to the concrete wall using screws and a hammer drill. Follow this by attaching pine boards on the furring strips in a vertical manner. The result will be a striking wood wall that would definitely more appealing than an old, outdated concrete wall.

There is no need to remain stuck with the old concrete blocks that make up your home’s walls. You can transform these walls into more appealing as well as attractive alternatives by covering the blocks up with paint, parget, concrete overlay or wood paneling.

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