Choosing the best masonry paint might seem like a bit of a minefield. After all, with so many choices on the market, how do you know which one is best for you?
From pebbledash to concrete, masonry in itself is rather varied so getting your paint choice right is critical. After all, you don’t want to make a purchase and be left with something that has poor coverage, terrible opacity and ultimately fails to cope with the British weather.
Fortunately we’ve combined our years of experience with the opinion of our fellow tradesmen to come up with this definitive guide to masonry paint. To make things even easier for you we’ve also broken the paints down into different categories so if you’re looking for a masonry paint for pebbledash for example, feel free to skip ahead. Otherwise, we hope you enjoy the read…
Best Masonry Paint Overall: Sandtex Masonry Paint
When we put out our survey to over 100 professional painters and decorators, the general consensus was that Sandtex masonry paint is the current cream of the crop and we’re certainly not arguing against that!
This ultra smooth masonry paint is a top notch all rounder and is suitable for use on anything including pebbledash, concrete, roughcast, building blocks and bricks. This means that you can use it on anything from painting your exterior walls to giving the outside of your home a fresh new look and everything in between.
In terms of application, you can can easily apply this masonry paint with a roller, brush or airless sprayer. The paint has quite a thick consistency and goes for days when applying which means you don’t have to constantly be in and out of your roller tray or scuttle.
The consistency also means the paint doesn’t drip at all and splashes are kept to a minimum which is ideal because this stuff is a nightmare to wash off! We should also mention that the opacity is absolutely brilliant meaning that even the white colour will cover darker colours in 2 coats.
When it comes to durability, Sandtex’s masonry paint is up there with the best of them. Due to its microseal technology formula, the paint is resistant to dirt, mould, flaking and peeling which will overall save you effort as you won’t need to maintain it as often as you would with cheaper masonry paints. Over the course of its lifespan, we’d say you’d get a good 15 years out of this paint before you’ll need to give it a fresh coat.
- High opacity means the paint covers over dark colours in 2 coats
- Gives your masonry 15 years of protection from the weather
- Easy to apply even for the average DIYer
- Quick re-coat time of around 3-4 hours
Best Masonry Paint for Pebbledash: HQC
Pebbledash can be a bit of a tricky surface to paint as it’s difficult to hit every spot you’re working on. That makes it very important to choose a paint that has a thick consistency. Fortunately, HQC masonry paint has just that and makes the job easier than you’d think.
Apart from saving you time on application, the opacity of this paint is second to none and on previously painted pebbledash that’s in good condition, you may even get away with using just 1 coat although we’d always recommend two just for peace of mind.
We always like the fact that this eco-friendly paint has been specifically formulated to withstand the UK weather and particularly excels in protecting your home due to the acrylic resin’s natural water-resistance.
In terms of coverage, you can expect to get around 6m squared per litre which is around half of Sandtex’s capabilities but as mentioned above, HQC masonry paint is much more likely to cover all areas of a pebbledash surface.
Another thing we prefer over some of the other paints on this list is the fact that the paint comes in many different colours. You can get yourself a number of modern looking greys, clean whites or if you fancy something a bit bolder, the Rich Red colour really makes a statement.
- Covers pebbledash surfaces much more efficiently than other paints
- Comes in a variety of different, eye catching colours
- Lasts for years
- Is eco-friendly
- Quite expensive
If You’re Painting Roughcast: Dulux Trade
Loved by tradesmen all across the UK, the Dulux Trade Weathershield system is a go-to for many when it comes to painting roughcast masonry.
Much like pebbledash, roughcast is another substrate that can be difficult to paint if you don’t have the right gear. Fortunately, the covering power of Dulux Trade Weathershield makes the whole process that much easier and thus ensures you don’t need to keep going over the same areas which ultimately saves you time.
The consistency of the paint is also excellent and when used with a long pile roller coats masonry in a lovely, opaque colour. We tend to find that when using cheaper paints supplied by our clients masonry painting jobs can be made much longer as you constantly need to fill in gaps with a masonry brush. Fortunately, we never have this issue when using the Weathershield system.
In terms of durability you can expect your paint to last many years as it withstands the elements with ease. It also contains a fungicide which aids in preventing any mould growth. Once cured, the paint is also more flexible than typical retail paints so it’ll be many years before you start to see unsightly peeling (assuming you prepare the surface correctly). It’s also shower resistant within 30 minutes of application which can be handy especially in our country!
- Showerproof within half an hour
- Superior opacity to retail paints and can cover light colours in one coat (but 2 is recommended)
- Has incredible durability and doesn’t crack or peel
- Inhibits mould growth due to the fungicide contained within the formula
Good Budget Option: Leyland
If your exterior masonry is already in good condition, you don’t necessarily need to splash out on high quality paint to get an attractive and durable finish. Sometimes all you need is a refreshing coat and if that sounds like you, we’d recommend trying the cheap but reliable Granocryl by Leyland.
Leyland’s masonry paint is very good quality and can be used on substrates such as brickwork, concrete and rendering so if you’re looking to paint a wall, stone garden ornaments or your home exterior this paint will do a good job. I’ve even heard of some decorators who swear by using this stuff on fencing although I can’t vouch for that as I’ve not personally tried it!
The covering power of Granocryl isn’t the best and there are some question marks surrounding its opacity but after a bit of hard work you can achieve a smooth finish that’s up there with Sandtex, HQC and Dulux Trade. To get a comparable finish you may need 2/3 coats though.
In terms of application, you won’t face any issues painting smoother masonry surfaces although when it comes to roughcast or pebbledash your job will be made a little more difficult. Even with the best roller to hand the paint doesn’t quite cover highly porous surfaces so you will need to regularly fill those gaps with a masonry brush.
Perhaps the best feature of Granocryl masonry paint is the fact that it comes in a huge variety of different colours as well as a smooth or textured finish. Colours include regulars such as white and magnolia as well as softer pastel colours such as spray blue and fern. Really impressed with the choices here.
Finally, a note on durability. The paint lasts up to 10 years if applied to a substrate that’s in top condition although you might find that you’ll need a repaint earlier than this if your masonry is a bit weathered.
- Comes in a nice variety of colours so you can style your home to your preferences
- Excellent value for money
- Smooth or textured finish
- Takes plenty of effort to get a finish that’s comparative to the better paints
Highly Reviewed: Dulux Weathershield for Masonry
Dulux have long been a favourite for professional decorators and at-home DIYers alike so it’s no surprise that consumers rate Dulux’s Weather Shield Exterior Walls paint as one of the best.
With 15m2 per litre covering capability, you’ll find that a little bit of this paint goes a long way and covers substrates such as brickwork and concrete. Whilst it can be used on pebbledash and roughcast, we find that it loses some of its coverage and so would opt for the Trade version instead as overall you won’t be spending too much more per/litre for a superior product.
Like the Trade version, the retail Weathershield still becomes rainproof in 30 minutes, is quick drying to allow for quicker coating and contains a biocide that’s able to prevent dirt and mould buildup.
In terms of opacity, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to complete the job in just one coat although the matt finish (around 5 – 10% sheen) is well worth the effort especially as the colour you choose will be highly accurate to what the colour card says.
- Perfect for smooth masonry
- Has a lovely low sheen finish that makes your home look modern
- Weatherproof in just half an hour
- Water-based paint tries quickly to allow faster re-coating
- Doesn’t perform as well as the trade version on roughcast or pebbledash
Best Textured Masonry Paint: Blue House Farm
Whilst the majority of homes in the UK tend to opt for matt finishes for their masonry paint, textured masonry paint is becoming more and more popular. So any article about masonry paint needs a category for a textured finish. And if you’re looking for the best one, we’d suggest trying Blue House Farm.
Their masonry paint comes in a 20L tub which, combined with its solid covering power, will paint most UK home exteriors without the need to buy more.
To really get the best out of this paint it’s worth mentioning that you should also purchase a decent textured roller to go with it. They’ll combine to make a nice even textured finish that’s highly durable and flexible enough to stop any peeling or cracks appearing.
- Provides an even, textured finish on your masonry surfaces
- Comes in a 20L tub so you won’t need to buy any more
- Flexible finish ensures durability for years
- Can be a bit tough to apply
Best Paint Roller for Masonry: Purdy Colussus
When painting masonry, it’s hugely important that your paint roller is long pile. This essentially means that fibres are longer than other rollers and will cover uneven or porous surfaces without missing gaps. With that in mind, if you’re looking for the best paint roller for masonry, we’d advise you to go with the Purdy Colussus.
The 100% polyamide sleeve picks up an enormous amount of paint and does an equally impressive job of releasing it during application. And despite being able to carry so much paint, you don’t typically get any issues with drips or splashes.
Another aspect that tradesmen often rave about is the fact that the roller feels light in the hand, even when loaded up with paint. This means it’s much more comfortable to use over the course of the day and your arms shouldn’t get as tired as they would if using a heavier roller.
- It’s light to hold which means it requires less strength to use
- The sleeve picks up a generous amount of paint and releases the majority of it during application
- It can last for around 10,000ft which would be a lifetime for DIYers
Best Masonry Paint Brush: RoDO
If you’re using a brush to paint masonry, you’re going to want something that is durable, has high bristle density and is bigger than your standard paint brushes. It’s for this reason that we’d recommend RoDO.
This particular masonry brush is designed with a high bristle density. This makes it perfect for achieving a smooth coverage on masonry. The extra bristles also mean you can hold more paint which ensures you’re not leaving patches in areas you’re going over.
Bristle: Blend of Natural and Synthetic
Best for: Masonry
Best Way to Apply Masonry Paint
To get the best possible finish from your new masonry paint, there’s some easy things you can do.
Step 1: Clean the surface
Get yourself a medium or stiff bristled brush to give the surface a good clean. The brush will work well to remove any dirt or flaking paint. Once you’ve done this, use a scraper to remove any loose paint or masonry that the brush couldn’t get. If you’re happy that everything is clean, move to step two. If not, give the surface another once over with the brush.
Step 2: Repair any damage
Painting over broken masonry is going to be a waste of your time. For extensive repairs, call in a builder. If you just have some minor imperfections, cracks or damaged render, you can fix these yourself with a suitable external filler such as Polycell’s Polyfilla which is a popular choice for many professional decorators. To do this, simply follow the instructions that come with it.
Step 3: Cutting in
Once your surface has been prepared, the next step is to start cutting in around all of the corners and edges.
Tip: use a regular paint brush to do this as it will give you more accuracy than a masonry brush.
Step 4: Whip out the roller
To paint the large surface areas of the masonry, use a roller. Follow the classic W pattern to ensure you cover the surface efficiently. For surfaces such as roughcast and pebbledash, you may need a masonry brush to fill in any areas the roller misses.
Best Way to Remove Masonry Paint
If you’re happy to paint over your existing paint, just follow the method above where we suggest using a combination of a brush and scraper to remove any loose bits of paint.
If you have a surface that requires all paint to be removed, we’d suggest using Peelaway 7.
Applying the Paste
- Give the paste a stir and then apply it onto the masonry paint you want to remove using a brush or the provided spatula.
- Brush it on thick enough so it covers the colour of your paint.
- Apply the paste until you’ve covered 1 square metre.
- Cover the paste with the provided plastic sheet.
- Remove any large air bubbles by smoothing out the sheet. If you’re struggling, you can pop some of them.
- Continue to add the paste and sheets 1 square metre at a time until you’ve covered all of the old masonry paint.
- Let the paste work its magic for around 48 hours.
- Peel off the plastic sheets and dispose of them responsibly.
Removing the Masonry Paint
Now the paste has had chance to work, it’s time to remove the old masonry paint. Here’s the tools you can use to make your life easier:
- Drill with a wire brush bit
- Wire brush
- Bucket of water
Once you’ve got the tools to hand, you’ll need to:
- Use the scraper to take off the paste.
- Use the drill with the wire brush attachment and go over any large areas that you were unable to scrape off. This should remove the majority of the masonry paint.
- Use a wet wire brush to remove any last remaining masonry paint.
Masonry Paint Buyer’s Guide
If you’re looking to purchase some new masonry paint, there’s some things you should take into consideration.
Masonry paint will constantly be exposed to the British elements so it’s imperative that you choose a paint that’s going to stand the test of time. Brands such as Sandtex and Dulux are accredited for providing at least 15 years of durability and are good, trusted choices. Also look out for paints that contain biocides. Biocides will keep your paint job protected from mould which could potentially have damaging consequences for your masonry.
Masonry paint colours
From our experience, masonry paint tends to differ in colour to what you see on the colour card so always be prepared to receive a paint that might not be the same colour as you thought you were going to get. That being said, brands such as HQC are often spot on with colour so if you’re going for something bolder, go with them.
The opacity of the paint is essentially going to dictate how many coats your masonry will need. For the sake of time and effort, high opacity masonry paints are the ones to choose. Dulux Trade’s Weathershield is one of the best on the market for opacity.
Again, coverage of the paint is going to dictate how difficult the application is going to be. If the paint doesn’t cover large areas you’ll be working hard for many hours whereas high covering power paints such as Sandtex is going to go for days with the roller and thus have you finished in no time.
We know it can be tough finding the best masonry paint but hopefully this guide will give you the knowledge you need to make the right choice for your home.