Every little job adds up to create an improved whole, but this particular fix went a long way to burnish curb appeal: refreshing the crummy cinderblock wall at the front of our property. It only took two afternoons and a tin of paint but the result is loads better, almost modern even.
The wall looked like this beforehand and let’s be real, it was an eyesore. Low block walls like this are common on our street; most people have hedges growing above them. (That’s my eventual goal, as well.) But the paint was flaking off and some of the mortared joins had worn away, leaving large cracks. It was not flattering.
(Just so we’re clear: I’ve heard them variously described as concrete blocks, besser blocks, and breeze blocks. “Cinderblocks” is what I’m going with.)
To prepare for a fresh paint job, Jamie sprayed it down with a pressure washer. I knew it’d take off the dirt, but I hadn’t expected large chips of paint of come along with it. Jamie’s legs were covered in grime and paint flecks. It was pretty gross, and it definitely underscored the need for new paint.
After the wall dried, I filled in the cracks with a flexible gap filler meant for masonry, shown here un-filled. It’s paintable, but more flexible than mortar, so here’s hoping it lasts a while.
We applied a coat of water-based primer (Zinsser 123) and two topcoats, using Taubmans exterior paint in Colorbond Monument. Two afternoons later, and we had our finished wall.
This was the result! The dark grey helps disguise the cracks and overall cinderblock profile. Good.
I couldn’t bring myself to go for pure black, so, charcoal grey it is. The answer to all colour dilemmas. Imagine it with navy weatherboards and white trim in the background, it’ll be awesome.
These beds out front are looking great, if you don’t mind me saying so. Got our paver edging done and now this. Those ‘Limelight’ acacias by the steps are LIME GREEN.
(In this photo, from furthest to nearest, you’re looking at an Aulax cancellata, two ‘Dark Delight’ flax, a baby woolly-bush, a ‘Fireworks’ grevillea and a Melaleuca gibbosa. That’s a bottlebrush above, with a few red brushes beginning to pop.)
Gratuitous before and after shots, just because they’re so satisfying. You can also see our bottlebrush bed in progress! More on that later.
These guys also look extra photogenic against the dark cinderblock wall. The melaleuca is thisclose to blooming, if those pink raisin clusters are any indication, and my fringe-myrtle (Calytrix tetragona) is covered in tiny starry flowers. It’s such a pretty shrub at this time of year, and as far as natives go I couldn’t ask for anything more low-maintenance. More of that, please.
To our great surprise, the new paint job changed our minds about wanting to smash out the block wall posthaste. It’s not the most stylish thing, but it doesn’t look decrepit and sad anymore, which makes all the difference. CURB APPEAL, Y’ALL.
PS: I know it’s spelled ‘kerb’ not ‘curb’ here, sorry not sorry.