A home project underway for us is converting our unused basement into a gardening workshop. At one time, we used this space as a family room and used manufactured stone held on with a black latex adhesive to cover the concrete block chimney foundation. Bringing this room out of the 1980s and into the present by removing the stone and adhesive was the first step for us before we could paint the concrete block.
A note about the photos in this Instructable: until we install new ceiling lights, the lighting in the basement right now is very poor; the lighting in the room also changed considerably depending on time of day the pictures were taken. These photos show the painted walls in various colors - white, off-white, gray, yellow, gold, and even pink. I wasn't able to take pictures showing the true color, which was white, except for the final photo where the wall has been painted ever-so-slightly off white.
Step 1: Removing Stone & Adhesive
We removed the stone, piece by piece with a chisel. Removing the black latex adhesive required using a hand power grinder with a coarse disk - extremely dusty and dirty job! We patched a few miscellaneous rough spots on the walls with extra grout that we had left over from the ceramic floor tile install we did earlier this summer.
Step 2: Primer Paint
We opened windows and had a fan running whenever we painted to create cross-ventilation to keep the paint fumes to a minimum.
Using a 3" brush, we applied a heavy coat of latex primer paint to all of the wall surfaces except for the area surrounding the wood burning stove. These unpainted concrete blocks will be finished with ceramic tile (gray area behind the wood burner in photos). After the paint dried for ~2 hours, we reapplied primer to a few sections that still were rough or uneven, trying to get an overall smoother surface before applying the textured paint.
Step 3: Textured Paint
The next day, using a smaller 2" brush, we applied a heavy layer of latex textured paint over the primer paint. We used the 2" brush because we wanted to fill in all the nooks and crannies of the walls, and we were willing to take the extra time required using a smaller brush to be sure we got the coverage that we wanted.
We also wanted to have a swirl pattern like you see in plastered walls in the finished appearance, so we applied the textured paint in 3 ft. x 3 ft. sections; before the textured paint had a chance to setup or dry, we used a stiff bristle brush to brush on the swirl patterns. We repeated this process for the entire concrete block foundation.
Step 4: Painted & Finished!
Because the textured paint could not be tinted and we didn't want to have this flat white finish, the third day we painted over the textured paint with an off-white semi-gloss latex paint. The only heat source in this room is the wood burner, so we chose a semi-gloss finish for the final coat of paint because it will be easier to clean than a satin finish.
We have never worked with textured paint before, and except for our project requiring removal of the manufactured tile and adhesive, this project was straight-forward and easy to do and we're very happy with the finished walls. It's exactly what we wanted!