If you have ever tried to paint over pebble dash, or are considering doing so, we have some tips, and some words of warning for the average DIY fanatic.
Be prepared for long, difficult job, and ending with a poor finish if you plan on doing it yourself!
The trouble with pebbledash and other heavily textured wall coverings is the fact that because it has the sharp stones and various undulations and pits, painting it, with a brush or roller, is fraught with difficulty and problems and what you end up with may not be what you had 1st imagined!
One major issue is the fact that this particular kind of wall coating is not really designed to be painted, the stones themselves are supposed to be decorative, although many others would argue against that!
Pebbledashed homes started to appear around the housing boom of the early 20th century, where poor quality bricks were covered up and weatherproofed but painting pebbledash was never even thought of.
Some (but not many) homes at this time actually had a very good quality coating of pebbledash, and many still have their original wall covering, however over time the stones fall out, and cracks do appear.
Most houses now have an alternative, cheaper quality form of rough cast and that is known as spar dash.
The wall of that 1970′s house behind the handsome devil in the photo below (!) is spar dash and believe me, it’s very sharp, as the exterior surface is made from rough cut flint chips that are pressed or thrown onto wet cement.
Time to paint the dash?
Don’t “dash” off down to B and Q just yet though (ha ha!), we have put together a few pointers for you, so you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to attempt to paint your dashed wall, or if you want someone like NEVER PAINT AGAIN to quote you for their pebbledash coating system.
Yes, you may well stand there, like I did (above) and wonder what on earth to do about it!
Once you paint pebbledash, you are committed to repainting every 1 or 2 years, so listen up!
Painting your own pebbledash.
If you want to give it a go, here is a quick guide to painting your pebble dashed house.
First off, get the job into perspective.
Make a plan, just one side of A4 paper. Mark any problems and cracks you know about (that is, if you know how to fix them) and any areas that concern you, especially as regards to the height you will be working at.
1. Clean the walls of dust, moss and debris with a power washer.
Make sure all doors and windows are closed during this time and keep pets away.
Wear waterproof clothing and eye protection as small flakes of paint can be shot into you eyes. For the advanced DIY’er, you can augment this action with a fungicidal wash but be sure to wear extra protection for this.
Any paint left over can be removed in most cases with a scraper or wire brush.
Tidy all the debris away, especially if its windy as the dust and paint chips can be blown back onto the wall, and later that day the wet paint that you have just taken blood sweat and (Nearly) tears to apply, will be ruined.
2. Identify any areas of concern with the walls.
Do you have any damp in the house? That will be water getting into porous wall with cracks, and of course, from outside. Masonry paint will NOT cure it, and neither will a “lick of paint” cure cracks. If your walls have defects like this, call in someone who knows how to fix this type of thing or you could be wasting your money watching paint dry.
3. Pace yourself. – Rome wasn’t built a day, and neither was your house.
If you are not used to this type of work, its hard and physical so pace yourself and do one wall at a time.
Never go outside your comfort zone when working outside, especially up a ladder!
Make sure you also put plenty of dust sheets on the floor too, and cover the windows with paper.
Watch the backs of your hands on the rough stones when painting or working on this type of walls as some of the sharper stones can take the skin off the backs of your hands (and knuckles) and believe me from experience, it does, and it hurts!.
If you can get someone to help you and hold ladders, clean brushes etc,(and make tea?) then the more the merrier, and having someone hold the ladder for you is another top tip I assure you!
Did you know….?……Some people hold “House painting parties” and everyone goes en-masse to each house in turn, getting the job done quicker, sharing the cost, and having some fun and bonding with people too!
4. Getting started.
Make sure the area is clear of cars, pets and kids. Get all the tools, brushes, rollers and paint that you think you need. Test the paint on a ground floor area beforehand, then start AT THE TOP.
A half painted house (ALWAYS THE LOWER HALF!) is a sure sign of an abandoned DIY paint project!
If you are painting onto unpainted pebbledash, the 1st coat of paint will be sucked into the house. Use this as a primer.
YES, SORRY TO TELL YOU BUT YOU WILL TO PAINT IT TWICE!!!
6. Is there a method to this madness?
Use a brush to cut in on edges and around windows. Use a thick knap roller and a paint scuttle, which is like a deep, oblong bucket to put the paint in. (some of) The stones will come off whilst you are doing this, so be aware of that.
7. Weather report!
Normal paint needs a dry day, so if rain is forecast, its down to the pub until tomorrow for you!
Painting a pebbledash house yourself is very hard, beset with problems, and will take ages. The patches of missing pebbles, and maybe any alterations to the walls will show through more than ever now paint is on the wall.
OH IF ONLY THERE WAS ANOTHER WAY TO PAINT A PEBBLEDASHED HOUSE!
Having a special pebbledash wall coating
Ah, now, you’re talking.
Ok, here is the point to all this.
Painting your house, if the walls have pebble-dash is thankless, hard work, possibly dangerous, and the end result will look “pants”.
In addition, doing it yourself can take weeks, especially if it is to be fitted around your work. And finally, once it is painted, uh-oh, it is going to have to be painted again next year!
The other way is to employ our house painting teams, who have been repairing and painting dashed, rough cast and Tyrolean homes since the 1980′s.
How WE go about painting pebble dash.
The first thing we do is to fully check the walls for defects and problems, all of which are then professionally repaired, meeting BS standards.
Any areas of baldness where the stones have fallen off are reinstated, meaning that when our special paint is applied, the entire wall has a uniform look and finish to it. The photo above shows a house we did a while ago in Hampshire. You can see the whole job, and more photos, here.
Then we masked up the house (see image further up) and hand applied a latex modified slurry render which is known as bagging or bag rubbing (And no, I’m not sure why!).
Then we hand applied a primer coating to the walls, which is an off-white colour, again, in the image nearer the top of the page.
We of course had to mask off all the lower bricks, which was a feat of engineering and Origami in itself!
We then spray applied an Andura textured masonry coating to the upper parts of the house.
The coatings are guaranteed for 15 years not to fade, flake, crack or peel.
They stop damp too.
The whole process from start to finish, takes just a few days, but you trying to paint your pebbledash, could take months!
And here’s what a house with painted Pebble-dash looks like!
Nice job eh?
To find out more about having your pebble dash painted with our revolutionary dash wall painting system then give us a call on 0800 970 4928.
All text and photos are copyright Guy Alexander Bell, Bsc.(hons). Please SHARE but don’t steal!