Here’s how to hide your cinder blocks

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

I have a 2-year-old daughter, an 8-month-old son and an 8-year-old dog. All move quickly and all are growing up a little too fast. There are so many moments I want to freeze in time, and often the picture-perfect angles and smiles last only for a few seconds.

Most of these photo ops occur in the home. It is where we spend the majority of our time, after all. While constantly gunning for the right angles and lighting, I find myself also incorporating one more factor — avoiding the cinder block wall. To me, any appearance of the wall automatically ruins our photos. It is an eyesore that I hope to tackle one day soon. Looking further into options, I found that there are several ways we can hide it. If you have an interior cinder block wall that you would rather not see, consider some of these ideas:

Paint

The easiest and least expensive option is to paint the cinder block the same color as the other walls in the room. Keep in mind, however, that if your cinder block wall wasn’t previously painted you may need to take some preparatory steps. You will need to seal any cracks with polyurethane caulk and prime with a bonding and filling primer before you begin.

Wood panels

These are relatively easy to install and often match existing decor, considering how widely used tongue-and-groove panels are here in Hawaii. You will need to prep the walls by cleaning thoroughly and repairing cracks or holes with interior caulking. After sealing the walls, you can then add adhesive and install the panels. Check manufacturer guidelines for how to properly install and for which adhesive to use. Keep in mind that installation will typically require that you cut panels to size. You can rent the proper woodcutting tools from the hardware store, or if you take precise measurements, you can have the panels cut to size before you bring them home.

Drywall

To me, this would be the most attractive option. However, it also may take the most work. If you are handy, you can DIY. Otherwise, I would suggest consulting a professional to ensure it is done right. The process involves installing some strips or channels to the wall first, along with some insulation. This will likely result in the surface of the wall protruding several inches farther than it does with cinder block alone.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.