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What is the Best Masonry Paint?

What is the Best Masonry Paint?

In short? There isn’t one.

If you study Google Analytics and how people use a search engine, you will discover that we search for the ‘best’ no matter the product. The best and the cheapest, which are by no means inclusive!

The thing is, asking which masonry paint is the best for…houses say, is a bit like asking which song is the best for advertising – It very much depends on the circumstances. You wouldn’t pick a masonry paint without waterproofing qualities for a coastal home. Then you wouldn’t advertise a spa resort using the theme tune from ‘Psycho’.

This is a good thing of course. It shows how far the technology of paint has come. When choosing a product, do what you would with any other product choice. Check the specifications for your needs. If you listen to Drum & Bass music, you buy headphones with a good bass. If you live in a city rife with pollution, you pick an anti-carbonation paint. There is a selection out there for good reason.

The internet is rife with differing opinions on masonry paint. Some say it will leave your home without breathability, others that it won’t last the year, a few that you shouldn’t use it at all.

I believe the simplest way to tackle this burning debate is by giving a factual outlook on what masonry paint is and then showing you which of our masonry paints are good at what. The decision from then, is yours. But do give us a call if you are unsure!

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What is Masonry Paint For?

Masonry paint serves two major purposes – to look good and protect.

They are exterior paints aimed to protect a variety of substrates. Concrete, brick, stone, render, pebbledash/roughcast and more. Several brands can do all of the above, and can be found below. It is when you get to needing UV protection, high levels of waterproofing, salt water resistance or protection for a heritage site that you need more specialised products.

Aesthetically, the world is your oyster with masonry paint. You can stick to white or black that both tend to look striking and contemporary when applied properly, or you can go as exotic as you like! Mix colours up, use stripes, colour window sills in different shades. All I would say on that, is double check with your local council in case there is a protocol or restriction in place.

For more ideas, we have a blog on more challenging masonry colour concepts that you can read on our website.

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Types of Masonry Paint

There are many different finishes of masonry paint that are designed, again, to be more specific to the project needs. There is coarse finish, textured, smooth gloss, matt, satin, heavily textured etc.

Best exterior masonry paint for seaside towns, cities with air pollution, for waterproofing or UV, colour retention, smooth or textured, they all serve different purposes with a degree of excellence. Coarse texture, best masonry paint for render, is it waterproof, can you use it on wood, can it be used inside, etc. If you have any discomfort in your choosing, ALWAYS TALK TO OUR TECHNICAL TEAM.

As a very general rule, there are two types that you will see discussed more than most – Textured and smooth.

Smooth Masonry Paint

Smooth masonry paint will come in different finishes depending on the manufacturer and product, such as matt, satin and gloss. Smooth masonry paint is easier to distribute across large areas and leaves a nice smooth finish – as you’d expect. You’ll find it feels similar to interior walls that you have painted. It is also excellent for covering more problematic surfaces such as pebbledash, roughcast and building blocks.

Textured Masonry Paint

Textured masonry paint offers more protection. If you live in a harsher climate such as a seaside resort or a city with a high level of pollution, textured will serve a better purpose. It is also better for sealing up fine cracks. This doesn’t mean it will fix structural damage like magic, that’ll have to be addressed first and you should seek a structural engineer’s advice. It will be more weather-resistant and better on already smooth surfaces.

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Is it Elastic and Does It Breathe?

Again, we stumble upon a hotly contested subject. The simple answer, despite what may be written elsewhere on the internet, is yes. Our modern paints with their technologies and unique formulas allow both the surface to breathe and offer elasticity for movement which the elements may cause. Paints with plastic in them will not breathe as freely as those without granted, but it does not mean they will trap moisture in your wall indefinitely.

Part of the problem here could be that The European Commission does not have an official ‘Breathability Scale’, which means the term is in danger of being interpreted at the reader’s discretion. There is no doubt it is a term thrown around loosely. ‘Breathable’ could mean that the fumes are not life-threatening, or it could mean that your wall will allow moisture to exit with ease and avoid damp or condensation.

There is the Sd Value – a measurement of a material’s vapour resistance and thickness, or the equivalent air layer thickness, but this is not always evident in a Data Sheet. For an in-depth look at the Sd Scale, there is an excellent article on LinkedIn from SURFASOLOGY (a network we are also on so do follow us!)

Masonry paint will have caused breathing problems in the past, that is not the debate. Especially for heritage sites and listed buildings that were built very differently. These need particular attention to be able to breathe, and for that reason a lime-based paint is more suitable. For this type of project, we sell Remmers Historic Lime Paint, a coating that has no solvents or plasticisers in its makeup giving it optimum breathability.

We also have products that offer enhanced elasticity, such as Bedec Extra-Flex Elastomeric Masonry Paint. This offers up to 400% elasticity to combat movement that could cause cracking in standard acrylic masonry paint.

Our Top Masonry Paints and Their Specialities

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Smooth Masonry Paints

The All-Rounder

Zinnser AllCoat Exterior Satin Finish (water-based) is a paint we have mentioned before in our ‘How to paint uPVC doors and windows’ blog. It is an extremely versatile paint that can be applied to a multitude of substrates, including existing gloss paint. It offers fungal protection, weather resistance, a quick re-coating time and there is no need for a primer. It also comes in a variety of colours.

Waterproofing

Rust-Oleum Mathys Murfill Waterproofing Coating offers 400% elasticity and exceptional waterproofing qualities. Its microporous structure allows breathing, it is colourfast meaning darker colours will not be dyed by the sun, and it is adept at crack bridging.

Exposed Concrete and Concrete Repair

Sikagard 670 W Elastocolor is EN 1504-02 approved as a protective coating. This paint is also water permeable and great against weathering and ageing. Its anti-carbonation composition will also combat pollution. If you have exposed concrete, this is a product worth looking at.

Energy Saving

Hydron Nu-Guard NRG Clear is an energy-saving, new generation impregnation that utilises the most advanced hybrid chemistry available to maximise weather protection. It has super hydrophobic water repellency, resists dirt and pollution, has self-cleaning properties improves energy efficiency internally and externally. It is also available as a colour topcoat and primer.

Breathability

Rebutting the doubters, Remmers Silicone Resin Filling Paint LA followed by Remmers Silicone Paint LA will give you a comprehensive, well-structured breathable paint effect. Whilst boasting water-resistant qualities primarily, they contain a film preservative to repel fungi, crack filling properties, a positive effect on the heat balance of a building, protection to mineral building materials, are adept in driving rain, do not swell, do not darken when wet, the list goes on! These countless components make it a good choice for historic buildings built by brick or stone.

These Remmer products, along with Remmers OS Concre-Fill (discussed below) can be BOTH textured or smooth masonry paint due to their intermediate filler qualities. Which you achieve depends on application – if you used a textured roller sleeve it will achieve that more rugged finish, whereas use of a brush and trowel can achieve a smooth finish in both instances.

Fire Retardant and Anti-Graffiti

Hydron Nu-Flame AG Glaze is the final coating in the Nu-Flame Fire Protection Coating system to produce fire retardant and anti-graffiti properties. It can also be used to overcoat masonry paint making it ideal for inner city venues at risk of both. It is also non-toxic, another positive for somewhere with heavy traffic such as venues.

Eco-Friendly

Britannia Wallshield Eco is a NEW offering from the Rawlins Paints range. Ideal for eco-friendly homeowners and businesses, this paint can give your building that aesthetic enhancement without being toxic, improves insulation and offers you protection.

All-Weather Application

If you live in a part of the UK that is prone to being tempestuous at times, Zinsser AllWeather Exterior Masonry Paint is a no nonsense coating that can be applied at temperatures down to -5°C and is shower resistant in 20 minutes. If you need to urgently apply a protective masonry paint in winter, this product offers you a solution. It also resists dirt accumulation, another problem in such conditions.

Mural Application

Finally, Hydron have created a masonry paint that enables artistic licence! Hydron Nu-Guard Mural Paint allows painters to paint onto previously painted brick and concrete with whatever design may inspire you. If you really want to wow with your aesthetic offering, this paint allows you to paint every brick a different colour if you wish. If you add Hydron Nu-Cryl AG too, then you can protect your wonderful artwork from UV dyeing, graffiti, the elements and stains with no reapplication required. Embrace your creative side!

 

Textured Masonry Paint

Outdoor and Indoor in one

Rust-Oleum Mathys Paracem Quartz is a paint for new or old substrates that can be used internally and externally. It hides surface imperfections, has high filling and hiding power, is water vapour permeable and offers weather resistance. All the traits you want from a textured masonry paint.

Insulating Walls with Imperfections

Thermilate PRO Insulating T-Flex Coating is a really high-quality paint that boasts it can be used anywhere in the world. It is breathable, flexible, offers crack bridging to mask gaps and cracks in your wall, and keeps your energy bills down with its insulation qualities. Its microporous structure also allows the substrate to breathe, allowing water vapour to exit the wall but not enter, combatting condensation.

Renovation of Tired Walls

Wethertex HBS Flex-Coat Hi-Build Coating is Wethertex’s textured masonry paint offering that also uses Optilife silicone technology to protect your wall. If your renovation area is uneven, has developed cracks or is weather-beaten, then this masonry paint will offer weather protection and breathability for up to 20years.

Competitive Intermediate Repair

For a multi-layer repair system that will fill imperfections and offer more evenness, Remmers OS Concre-Fill followed by Remmers Concrete Acrylic are efficient in closing pores and pipes on concrete surfaces. With their fibre reinforcing and static hair cracks in the substrate respectively, they are CO2 inhibiting and water repelling. It boasts good adhesion to old and new fair-faced concrete as well as restored concrete surfaces and coating compatibility with old, load-bearing, cementitious or synthetic resin bound coatings.

Anti-Pollution and Corrosion

Rust-Oleum Mathys Murfill Quartz can camouflage unevenness and damage on cellular concrete and steel reinforced concrete that could be susceptible to carbonisation and corrosion. It is elastic and 100% waterproof. This makes it a fantastic choice for industrial environments.

The Rolls Royce of Flexible Masonry Paint

Sika are often considered the go-to for intermediate repair masonry paint with their products such as Sikagard 545 W Elastofill and Sikagard 550 W Elastic with very good reason. But Remmers boast some fantastic products that should be on your shortlist when choosing such. Remmers Elastoflex Filler Paint followed by Remmers Elastoflex Façade Paint use silicone technology to create flexibility, waterproofing, anti-carbonation, high crack-bridging and filling properties and more. It really is a superior system in repairing concrete and protecting it henceforth.

Social Media – We are Online Anytime

Rawlins Paints is active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Our social media team are here to answer queries when you cannot get to the phone. Follow us for all the latest blogs, offers and free advice at your convenience.

We are Here to Help!

To conclude, masonry paint application is clearly much-disputed. The reason for that is we all want to get it right and avoid repeating the process year after year. If you have ANY doubt at all, our technical team would be delighted to hear from you on 0113 245 5450. You can also email us on [email protected]. Further still, feel free to leave a query on the comments section below or send us a message on Linkedin or Facebook.

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