Choosing textured exterior wall coatings

Never holds enough paint

What do people need to protect the outside walls of their house from the weather? I’ll give you a clue, it isn’t paint.

So if it’s not paint, what is it?

We look at the pro’s and con’s of the various different textured external wall coverings that people usually have on their outside house walls, with examples of what is good and what is bad about each one.

Yes I know what you are thinking.

You have had paint on the exterior walls of the building ever since you bought it and you don’t see why you should change what “works”. But does it really work?

OK, the house may look nice from the outside, but if your decorator has used normal masonry wall paint, then a nice appearance is all you will get.

You will not get any protection from the harsh British weather, and you may be surprised what is going on to your house under all those layers of paint. Painting rendered walls is a cinch for house painting companies, but house outside wall paints, although cheap to buy, are a prime example of getting what you pay for.

So if paint is a load of rubbish as it needs doing every year, what else do people consider as an alternative to having paint?

View our before and after house painting gallery

Types of exterior wall coatings in use today

1. Masonry paint.

As we have seen above, masonry paint is tried and tested and cheap to buy however it does have it’s drawbacks. Paint for the exterior is very different in composition than interior DIY paint like emulsion, and the application of the paint is also much harder too.

Masonry paint is designed to last on average about two years, although some brands claim their paint will last for 10 to 15 years, which is utter rubbish and the paint will not protect your walls, nor give the building any damp protection or in fact any weather shield at all. You can’t just use exterior paint to cover bad rendering, the repairs must be done beforehand.

Paint is made by huge multi national chemical companies and marketed by smaller companies using “trusted” brand names such as Dulux, Johnstone’s, Leyland etc, but if you trace the companies back, more or less most of them can be linked together, even if it is solely down to the supplier of the raw materials needed to make paint.

dulux paint cans

Some dulux DIY paint cans

Paint will not last long as it is coloured water and these big corporations want you to come back time and time again to buy more. Try thinking longer term when having a painter and decorator around to slap a lick of paint on the house. You will see him next year, and the year after and the cost of this decorating drama soon adds up.

2. Pebbledash.


Pebbledash, or spa dash, was a nasty substance invented at the turn of the last century to cover over poor quality bricks and add a moderate amount of weatherproofing. This was in response to a housing boom where properties were being built quickly and something cheap and cheerful was needed.

We often get called in to repair and paint pebbledashed houses because the external wall is so textured that if you try and add paints to the surface, it will not look good and will take you or the painter absolutely ages to complete.

Pebbledash is not a flexible surface coating and often cracks, especially when the pebbles fall out of the pebbledash and the mortar is exposed to the weather.

As you can see, old and new pebbledash will NEVER match up

As you can see, old and new pebbledash will NEVER match up

We have seen many older homes that have been completely and utterly ruined by the application of a dashed wall coating, so don’t do it and call us for advice!

3. Stone cladding.

There was an article many years ago for Ideal Homes Magazine about stone cladding, and how to remove it because most of the time when people come across external surface cladding it is to have it removed, not installed.

This type of extruded cladding became popular at the end of the 1970’s and was marketed very aggressively by door to door salespeople, and was installed on houses that it did not suit and ruined the character of the house altogether.

Stone cladding is NOT a protective external wall covering and is literally blocks of coloured aerated concrete, that are stuck on to the outside, blocking the houses need to “breathe” and often causing damp.

stone cladding removal services

TOP TIP: Be very wary about buying a house with stone cladding and it is often stuck on to cover up major cracks and subsidence.

4. Exterior weatherproof wall coatings

The question people often ask is “What is the best paint for the outside of my house”? Well, as we have seen above, in the short term, applying masonry paint to the house is only OK for a cheap short-term quick fix.

Paint offers zero wall protection. Your walls need protection from the rain, the snow, driving wind, hail, pollution and paint just doesn’t do it.

However Exterior wall coatings DO do it. They are specially made to resist all kinds of weather, giving your home a great looking weatherproof finish every time.

The down side is that it is more expensive that paint in the short term and you cannot buy the system in the shops, it has to be specially applied by textured coating spray teams and comes under specialist external painting.

spraying wall coatings on rear

spraying wall coatings on rear

They are a good alternative to traditional painting and more like a permanent exterior paint, so if you want to know how much to texture coat a house, call us on 0800 970 4928, your local wall coating company.

5. Rendering

Rendering is quite a common external surface covering for many houses old and new, however even the best house render coatings will not last for ever and will eventually crack and fall off.

The problems with render are the fact that it is a hard and not flexible wall covering meaning that if it does not have a weathershield fitted to the wall such as durable home coatings then water can get in, which will freeze when the thermometer drops, expands, cracks and hey-ho, the render falls off, or at worse the home suffers water ingress and mould on the wall.

An external home coating like we discussed above, would certainly cure cracks and faulty render, but for a more durable wall system, many people are now choosing coloured render instead.

3rd job is to smooth the render and then apply a light texture

Never Paint Again GRC coloured render

It is perhaps the most expensive exterior wall covering in this list of five options, but also the most durable, useful and hard wearing of the lot too. Average price of application is around £55 a square metre, compared to £35 a square metre for spray applied wall coatings.


Outside house walls have to put up with a lot of weather and paint just is not up to the task. Other wall coatings either don’t last long, do not come with a warranty, or are just too expensive to consider.

So there you have it, the pro’s and con’s of five different exterior wall covering products. Which one would you choose for your house?

If you would like FREE advice, call us now on 0800 970 4928

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