Stylishly hiding block basement walls behind drywall can be a very expensive undertaking. Although sheet rock is relatively inexpensive, wood and labor charges can break the bank. It can cost thousands to remodel the space, but costly wall coverings and professional services are not required. You can do a lot with tape and paint. With a couple of easy application techniques, the cinder blocks will look like grouted bricks.
To make block basement walls look like brick you will need concrete primer, light gray concrete paint, and two shades of brown or brick red concrete paint for the blocks. You will also need multi-surface FrogTape, two-inch wide painter’s tape, a roller for textured surfaces, clean cotton rags for rag painting the blocks, two paint trays and lots of extra liners. Nothing else is required. Depending upon how many walls that you plan on painting, the entire job could cost less than $100.00.
Time Frame for Prepping and Painting the Walls
When using a painting technique with multiple steps and layers of paint, plan on spending more than a single day on the project. Keep in mind that fresh paint must dry for 72 hours before applying painter’s tape and another layer of color. Plan on the block basement wall project taking a minimum of 96 hours total. You will not be working on it the entire time. The first layer of paint might come off when the tape is removed if it is not fully dry. Although it seems like a long time to finish a single painting job, the results will be well worth the endeavor.
Also, it would be a good idea to practice your rag painting technique on a scrap piece of wood before apply it to walls. Although the wood texture will be different from the cinder block basement walls, practicing will allow you to figure out the best method of combining the two different hues to recreate the look of brick.
Begin by taping along the basement floor and ceiling using two-inch wide painter’s tape. Taping will take longer than the other steps, but it is important if you want to create clean lines and obtain neat results.
Next, coat the block basement walls with concrete primer. Follow label directions for precautions and further instructions. Allow the primer to dry for 24 hours or as long as indicated on the label.
Follow up with a coat of light gray concrete paint. Cover the walls from top to bottom. It will give the painted bricks a grouted appearance after the blocks have been painted. Let the paint dry for three full days before continuing the technique.
The next step involves covering the seams in between the blocks using narrow FrogTape. The goal is to completely cover the grouted and painted areas in between the blocks. The lines should be straight, but they do not have to be clean. The edges of bricks tend to be jagged, and multi-surface FrogTape is ideal for recreating the look of brick.
After all of the seams are covered, use two separate rags to apply two shades of the same color to the blocks. Continue the process of rag painting the basement walls until they are fully covered. Give the paint 24 hours to dry before removing the tape to reveal the results. If you perfected the painting technique, the walls will no longer look like bare concrete blocks in an unfinished basement.
Source: Advanced Crafting Education and Professional Home Decorating Experience