If you wish to expand your living space by making your basement more livable, painting cinder block with milk paint helps you take the look of concrete walls up a notch. Real Milk Paint comes in a variety of colors for complete customization, and since it’s a powder medium, you can mix up as little or as much as you need for the home improvement task at hand. If you’re wondering how to paint cinder block with milk paint, the process proves quick and easy whether you’re a novice or expert, making it an extremely doable weekend DIY project for most homeowners.

Benefits of Painting Cinder Block with Milk Paint

One of the oldest paints in existence, milk paint confers numerous advantages to your DIY home makeover and offers a fuss-free way to add a low-maintenance paint job. No volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and a nontoxic formulation make Real Milk Paint a safe solution for covering everything from masonry surfaces and basement walls to concrete blocks and outbuildings. Additionally, this virtually odorless medium offers safe use around children and pets for versatile decorating that’s a nice alternative to acrylic, chalk, latex paints, and it provides an attractive matte finish that’s safe for food contact, making it an excellent alternative for personalizing concrete kitchen counters.

How to Paint Cinder Block with Milk Paint

When you’ve picked out the color you want and are ready to get started with your cinder block painting project, gather your supplies and work out a game plan to complete your DIY project with ease. The following lines out exactly what you need for the job and the steps to take to achieve your desired results.

Supplies for Painting Cinder Block

To paint cinder block, you need some simple home improvement supplies on hand. These include:

  • Broom and/or vacuum cleaner
  • Common cleaner to wash your surface
  • Concrete mix for patching (optional)
  • Tarp
  • Masking tape
  • Containers for mixing paint
  • Real Milk Paint
  • Water
  • Small paint brushes
  • Small and large paint rollers
  • Compatible sealant (optional)

Preparing Concrete Blocks and Cinder Blocks

After you’ve gathered all the supplies you need to paint these porous surfaces, it’s time to prepare your work area and the surface itself. First, clean the area thoroughly with a hard-bristle broom or vacuum cleaner to remove as much dust and debris as possible, and you may also want to wipe down the surface with Tri-Sodium Phosphate cleaner to clear any dirt or grime away. If you spy any white powder efflorescence (salt deposit on surface) while you’re cleaning, clear it away with an acidic masonry cleaner and a scrub brush and fix any leaks before continuing. If you’re painting exterior walls, consider cleaning them with a pressure washer before you start your paint job.

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the surface, check for acrylic paint residue or flaking latex paint and peel as much of it away as possible using a scraper or putty knife. You can also scrub the offending area down with a wire brush if stubborn patches persist. If flaking paint is unusually stubborn, use Soy Gel Paint Remover to clear it from the surface. Next, put tarp down on the floor to capture any accidental spillage, and block off sections you don’t wish to paint or want to paint a different color with your choice of masking or painter’s tape. Now that your work area is prepared, you’re ready to get down to the business of painting your cinder block surface.

Patching Concrete and Cinder Block Walls

Holes and divots in the cinder block you wish to paint can cause uneven results, so you need to patch them before you begin painting. Start by mixing up concrete to fill the voids, but instead of diluting it to a pourable form, add just enough water so that it’s thick and chunky with little liquid and stickiness. If the holes and divots run deep or have the potential to leak water through, consider adding caulk before patching the voids with concrete. Push this mixture into holes with your fingers or appropriately sized tools, then smooth out the surface with a putty knife. If you’re patching a cinder block wall, be sure to scrape away concrete left in the grooves to give your surface a uniform look. Be sure to allow the patched surface to dry before continuing with the painting step.

Painting the Cinder Block and Concrete Block Walls

The first step to painting cinder block or concrete walls is measuring the total square footage of the surface you will be covering (length in feet x height in feet). Then multiply that number by two, as most paint jobs require two coats of paint. The next step is mixing the Real Milk Paint. Measure out how much paint powder you require for the square footage you need to cover, then measure out an equal amount of water to mix your hue. (Each cup of milk paint powder when mixed with equal parts water covers approximately 28 square feet. Every gallon of milk paint covers 280 square feet.) Be sure all the powder is thoroughly dissolved, then wait until the foam dissipates before you add a coat of paint to your surface. If you’d rather start the job quickly, consider adding Anti-Foaming Agent from the Real Milk Paint Co. to your mixture. Additionally, if you’re painting an exterior wall or concrete blocks used for landscaping, you need to mix in our Outdoor Additive to help the color endure through inclement weather, time and sunshine.

Once your Real Milk Paint mixture is ready, grab your paintbrushes and foam rollers and start painting your first coat. Start with a small roller to get into tight spaces like corners and around windows, then use the larger roller to cover large areas quickly. Paintbrushes like our chip brushes come in handy when you need to reach into tighter areas where rollers don’t fit, including the interior of concrete blocks. After you add a coat of paint to the entire surface, allow it to dry for 30 minutes to an hour, then cover the area with a second coat. Two coats of Real Milk Paint are typically all you need to achieve the durability and depth of color required for most DIY projects.

Sealing Concrete Covered with Real Milk Paint

The last step in how to paint cinder block with milk paint involves sealing the surface to keep it looking its best with time. This step is typically only needed for exterior projects. While many concrete sealer products are on the market, Pure Tung Oil from the Real Milk Paint Co. offers a fuss-free way to seal porous surfaces. To complete this task, simply brush on Tung Oil, let it soak in and reapply it up to six or seven times, depending on the level of protection you desire. Keep in mind that Tung Oil finishes typically take up to 30 days to cure and plan your home improvement projects accordingly. It’s also important to note that the milk paint color will darken with the application of the oil. Real Milk Paint does accept many types of sealers .

Sprucing up your home can be simple and green when you choose forgiving mediums by the Real Milk Paint Co. We have the paint, tools and finishing products required to take your weekend projects up a level, and the color and finish you add stands the test of time for added satisfaction.