Painting pebble dash what’s the best way to prepare pebble dash for painting?

Are you planning on painting those tired grey lumpy pebble-dashed walls of your home?

If you are embarking on painting pebble dash or a rendered wall, you want to make sure that not only is the paint finish the best quality product but that the preparation has been done properly. The amount of time & effort you put into preparing those walls will be rewarded with a good looking and long lasting job.

We have never had a person disagree that preparation is everything when it comes to painting exterior house walls like most jobs prep is the key to a good job. Improving the looks of your exterior house walls by painting them can freshen things up and give a property added kerb appeal. But if the job is not done correctly then any external wall coating or paint, budget paint or top quality can quickly begin to look shabby. Unless the walls are prepared correctly any paint finish can lose adhesion, it can then crack and peel. We often get asked what is the best masonry paint for exterior walls. A lot of masonry paint products are out on the market, all with fancy tins and bold pledges as to how long they will last. Below you will find some top tips from All4Walls, we are experts in exterior wall care, including painting to all types of external walls.

Painting the exterior house walls with a long life finish

First thing is to arrange access equipment, you will not get a good job done if you are hanging on for dear life 5 metres up the wall from bits of tower scaffold or ladders with two hands and a brush stuck in your mouth, so safety first!.

Next, if the walls have been rendered or pebble-dashed, you will need to make sure any loose render is repaired and made good.

Just gently tap the render with a hammer you will hear and feel the sound of any hollow, loose bits. Wash down the walls with your Karcher power wash if you have one to remove friable paint, loose paint,  if the walls are contaminated with lichen etc use a bio-wash which you can easily get from a decorators or builders merchants or use a little bleach spray. Apply the solution of your chosen acticide-biowash with a knapsack spray easy and cheap to buy from Screwfix or B&Q etc.

Repair cracks loose sections you have removed with lime or cement mortar and texture the repairs to match the existing finish or if the render is flat, smooth the repairs into the surrounding render when they have gone off a little, (do not try and smooth wet render too much, wait until it has set a little and then dampen and smooth with a wooden or plastic float, again easy enough to buy from the DIY or builders merchants) . Any large cracks (over 2mm) should be chased out with a hammer and chisel or an angle grinder. Once brushed and cleaned they should be filled and repaired.

If the house has been pebble-dashed and it is heavily undulated brush with a solution of slurry made up of two parts sharp plastering sand to one part, cement, you can add some latex SBR liquid (this makes it a polymer render mix). You could also use lime such as NHL 3.5 instead of cement.MAke sure you mask windows brickwork etc as this stuff with latex additive  will stick to glass

Mix the ingredients with a paddle mixer with a powerful enough sized drill such as an SDS drill to a creamy consistency (just like a Yorkshire pudding! batter mix)

Brush this slurry onto the walls, this will weld the pebble firmly in place and fill out the undulations a little. This mix is a lot cheaper and will do a better job at stabilising and levelling the surface than the exterior masonry paint you may have just purchased. As mentioned not only does this slurry mix weld the pebble on the wall, depending on how thick you mix it, it will also soften the texture.

To make the pebble even less textured before painting, you can also apply a second coat of the slurry once the first has dried.

See the picture below preparing dash for painting, this example has been sprayed with a textured paint but you could use smooth paint which could be roller or brush applied.

how to prepare pebble-dash for painting

Preparing pebble dash for painting

Once the walls and render repairs have dried out apply your exterior masonry paint by roller and or brush. Don’t  forget to mask the windows etc, even with the best cutting in, with the required elbow grease working that roller and brush you will still get speckles of paint on the glass and window frames (and your new block set or resin driveway so mask up or you will spend hours cleaning)

If you don’t fancy giving this a go why not invite All4Walls to conduct a survey and have a high-performance coating installed that will look great and last for years to come guaranteed, all with no mess and fuss

masking walls spray wall coating

Masking Quoin stones & paths before coating

All our exterior wall paints are specified for each property on an individual basis, from silicone paints with Nano self-cleaning properties to acrylics and lime-based paint finishes All4Walls can specify the best preparation and coating for your domestic or commercial project.

For more information see our other Pebble Dash painting page

After spray wall coating